You can achieve anything if you work hard enough“….. Heard that one before? It’s certainly true in some pursuits, but in the gym, too much toil and effort is more likely to leave you exhausted and uninspired. Rather than admiring your accomplishments, you may find yourself smack in the middle of a physical and mental plateau. Just consider the person at the gym every day, panting and dripping with sweat talking about his killer workouts, all of which produce a body that looks exactly as it did three months ago. Chances are, after a while, you’ll see him less and less.

Can you blame him? Sustaining high intensity workouts most days can not only overtax the body, but also sap ambition and enjoyment of exercise. Plus, such a regimen can keep you from your ideal physique. After an intense weights session, for example, muscles need about two days to regenerate and repair. Work them again too soon and, rather than rebuilding stronger and denser muscles, they stay the same or even decrease in strength. A similar phenomenon can happen with fat-burning cardio. When the body reaches a new, high level of intensity, new capillaries form to deliver more blood to working muscles. Similarly, the nervous system recruits more muscle fibers, eventually making us more balanced, fluid, and powerful. However, on a fatigued or unprepared body, these improvements are less likely to occur.

At SMART Training Gym Churchtown our philosophy revolves around workouts being SMART! We are not drill sergeants. SMART Training Personal Trainers are there to bring you through a purpose driven programme tailored to your specific goals. Not one of clients are the same so why would their programmes be? Our Personal Trainers apply precision to all elements of the workout from the rest and recovery to the reps to ensure that the clients workout is the most efficient use of their time. We have a few tips we want to share to help you make your workout SMARTER!! 

1. Don’t Work Out Every Day

Don’t work out hard every day. Studies show that two high-intensity sessions per week are enough to achieve most fitness goals.

2. Have A Plan!

Simply put, if you just walk into your gym and expect a great workout to just happen; then you are taking a chance. You will almost certainly end up wandering aimlessly from set to set and machine to machine just going through the motions. In the end…nothing is accomplished. Make a plan before you even set foot in the gym!

3. Keep Moving

Although the phrase “active rest” may sound like an oxymoron, researchers have found that doing a light workout the day after a challenging one can actually help speed the recovery process. Gentle activities such as yoga, walking, or an easy swim can help bring blood to tissues and remove waste products, speeding the regeneration.

4. Use Your Energy for What Matters

Doing 14 sets for arms isn’t going to make the fat around your waist disappear. Spending more time on the leg extension and leg curl isn’t going to make your legs capable of lifting small. A SMART work out priorities the big moves and lifts and allowing the individual to put their physical, mental, and neurological energy into them since they are the ones that will cause the most change. The deadlift is paramount, the squat is king, and chest press is supreme!

5. Get Hands On

 If you’re exercising on a regular basis, a massage isn’t a luxury—it’s essential. Massage can improve the circulation of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, help remove waste, and reduce pain. It can also break up excessively tight areas in muscle tissue, known as “trigger points,” caused by muscle tension and scar tissue. Sean from SMART Massage has worked with the Irish, Australian and English Tag Rugby Team as well as Leinster Rugby. He is a fantastic Sports Massage therapist and offers great rates. Check out SMART Sports Massage here.

6. Hit the Hay

The internal processes in your body do not come to a standstill when you sleep. On the contrary, the time you sleep is the time your body uses to regenerate and to prepare all systems for another day of activity. If this regeneration time does not occur, your body is not fully prepared for the day, and therefore under performs as it tries to conserve the little energy that it still retains. Your body will fight you in your exercise efforts, rather than support you, if you do not give it enough sleep. Sleep experts acknowledge that different people need various duration’s of sleep to experience adequate rejuvenation, but on average, they say individuals need at least eight hours of sleep each night.

7. Drink Up

Dehydration impairs metabolism and prevents adequate nutrient transfer, which is the process of bringing food and oxygen into the cells and removing waste products. Replenish the fluids lost during exercise immediately afterward. Weigh yourself right before and right after a workout. Any weight lost during the session is water weight (not fat) that needs to be replaced. Down a few glasses until you’re back to your pre-workout weight.

8. Hit The Showers

During your post-workout shower, use hot water for two minutes, warm water for one minute, and ice-cold water for 30 seconds. Repeat the cycle three to four times. This process, know as Contrast Water Therapy, dilates and constricts blood vessels, which may help remove metabolic waste products and speed recovery.

9. Set A Goal

The most important tip of all is SET A GOAL! Having a purpose behind your training is going to make sure that you aim to land in that optimal zone.The optimal zone is the space where a training effect begins to take place and imprint itself into the person’s cells. Ask yourself what is it you want from your training session and what is your goal for 6 weeks time, 3 months and 1 year! This will help guide the plan for each work out!

30-Day Kick Start Programmes

If you feel have a goal in mind and feel that you could use a the guidance or support of some of the best Personal Trainers in the country, we offer a 30 Day Kick Start programme in our Churchtown based gym. We offer both Personal Training and Group Training programmes. During the 30 days, you’ll learn what you need to know to continue on your own path following the 30 days, or you can always sign up for 1-on-1 Training or Semi Private Training or even Group Training at SMART Training to continue working with a personal trainer.