Making the most of your time @ the gym

We understand busy schedules. In fact, many of the members we have here at CrossFit Barrie initially joined because they needed a more efficient workout that didn’t require them to be in the gym for hours at a time.

“I used to spend an hour on the treadmill and then an hour on machines. Week over week, month over month, nothing changed. I was spending SO much time and getting no where.

-Mandy

That’s why we’ve put together this list of ways you can make your time at the box as productive and fulfilling as possible.

  1. SET A SCHEDULE

  2. TRACK

  3. COME EARLY, STAY LATE

  4. ASK FOR HELP

  5. DRINK WATER

  6. SLEEP MORE

  7. STRETCH

    All theses things can help you but you DON’T (and shouldn’t) try to implement them all at once. Pick one, once you’ve nailed it, add another. Small steps are the most sustainable and therefore impactful.

SET A TRAINING SCHEDULE

While the workouts are fun and you enjoy coming into the gym, there are some days when maybe overtime at work, family issues and other nasty things can change your drive to get in here and you end up skipping the day “just because.”

A good way to deter the “just because” excuse is to get into the habit of coming in at the same time on the same days. Once you’ve created this habit, it becomes automatic. You’ll find yourself going to the gym without any force involved regardless of the plants who could probably use watering (or any other strange excuse you give yourself).

Bottom line: A schedule keeps you consistent, and consistency is the key to forming healthy habits and results.

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS, CELEBRATE ACHIEVEMENTS

If you’re serious about hitting your fitness goal, it’s critical to track your progress. What we observe, improves. And we don’t mean stepping on the scale every morning and completely freaking out at any increase in weight.

Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you’re doing it right you’ll be gaining lean muscle while you’re losing fat which doesn’t always result in seeing a lower number on the scale.

Throw out that scale and buy a notebook. Keeping track of your workouts and progress will help you train with a purpose. If you did 5 back squats at 135 a few months ago, and that sequence has come up again, well now you’ll know what number to shoot higher than.

Bottom line: Knowing what you did yesterday will help you be better today.

COME EARLY, STAY LATE (TRAIN MORE, CHAT MORE)

Many of us get into the habit of coming in on-time and leaving on-time. That’s by no means a bad habit. But to make the most of your workout, the best thing you can do is put in a little extra time before and after class.

We know, working out before working out sounds like advice from a crazy person, but it’s really the key to taking your fitness to the next level.

It’s no news to say that putting in some extra credit will turn you into a better athlete, but when you do it with other athletes that like to go above and beyond outside of class times, you’re fostering some really positive relationships. That’s when the true awesomeness happens.

Maybe it’s not extra work while you do here, maybe its chatting with members and creating gym friends. It’s not common that our friends outside the gym are on the same journey is us. As you go through this chapter of your life it’s nice to have friends that get it. Your classmates are those people.

Bottom line: To get the most out of your training session, put in some extra work both physically and socially

ASK FOR HELP

It’s ok to admit that you feel a little intimidated to ask for help. But don’t be! Even those big, huge, grunting, guys were new once. In our experience, those guys are the nicest people in the gym (teddy bears really). Everyone has been in the same spot and there’s absolutely no shame in needing some extra help to understand a movement. In fact, that’s the sign of a smart athlete who’s on their way to big things.

Bottom line: There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Except for maybe, “Can I pee before you start the clock?” Lining up for the bathroom right before the workout starts even when the coach has given you 3-5 minutes to pee and grab water. We don’t like that one.

ALWAYS HAVE A WATER BOTTLE CLOSE BY (ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE NOT TRAINING)

Are you the type to only drink water when you’re feeling really thirsty or maybe you like to chug the majority of your day’s water intake right before and after a WOD? Well, you might want to change that and here’s why.

Feeling thirsty and getting dry mouth indicates that your body is already dehydrated. Dehydration can reduce the volume of blood pumped by the heart which means less oxygen to the muscles which often results in premature fatigue. And if you try to quick fix your dehydration by drinking lots of fluid right before class it can cause bloating and cramping. That’s a terrible way to suffer through a workout.

This is especially important for women. “Women are not small men,” says Stacy Sims, Ph.D., exercise physiologist-nutrition scientist. “They’re five times more likely than men to have GI problems when exercising . . . women are also more likely to suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”

Bottom line: To get the most out of your training session, stay hydrated all day long before you step foot into the gym.

SLEEP MORE

We want you to sleep more. In fact, we insist you sleep more. We can’t stress enough the importance of getting a good night’s rest because without it, all the training and dieting in the world will just be a waste of time.

It’s hard to believe that something you do when you’re not even awake can be one of the most important ways you can make the most out of your training sessions, but it’s true. To put it simply, lack of sleep stresses out your body which cases weight gain and anxiety.

Bottom line: Prioritize your sleep. Prioritize your well-being.

PRACTICE STRETCHING AT HOME

Stretching and becoming more flexible really shouldn’t take a back seat in your plan to become a fitter you. If we could tack on an extra 10 minutes to the workout for stretching, we’d do just that! An hour a day at the gym isn’t going to undo a lifetime of sitting on your bum craning over a keyboard.

Practicing mobility at home will improve your overall athletic ability and will decrease the risk of injury. Get some stretching in while watching T.V..

Bottom line: Use what you learn in class to stretch the areas you notice are tight as often as you can.

Like anything you do, slow and steady wins the race. You’ll get WAY more out of implementing one thing and consistently doing that. That slow drip over time always exceeds the results you’ll get by being “perfect” for 30 days. Choose what is best for future you, choose one day, one step at a time. ;)