We love developing new ways to make a training session more fun and exciting for our clients at Functional Effect, but even more important, we like learning ways to make our workouts for our clients more effective. Our goal is always for our client to spend the least amount of time in the gym possible to get the biggest payoff from their workout. Having an efficient workout allows the client to get through their quickly which encourages them to be more consistent as the workouts are a much easier to fit into their schedule. We are going to share some of our top 5 tips to help you get the biggest “Bang For Your Buck” from your workout. Remember it is best to train hard AND smart!
Tip#1 – Use a Lacrosse Ball during your warm up to roll out your upper body.
We are seeing more people starting to foam roll in the beginning of their warm ups now. Though highly effective for most body parts, there are a few areas which the foam roller proves to be ineffective. Upper back, Shoulders and Pecs are the main areas the lacrosse ball can be a significantly more effective tool. To use the lacrosse ball: Place the ball against the wall (or on the floor), roll the upper back, shoulders and pecs by leaning your weight against the ball creating small circles, both clockwise and counterclockwise, focusing in on the areas which are tender or “sore” feeling. You only need to spend a few minutes on each side of your body to get the great benefits which include increased blood flood, enhanced muscle activation and decreased risk of injury.
Tip #2 – Perform your core training immediately following your warm-up.
When watching people in the gym, you will notice most do their ab training at the end of their workout. Think about it. The word core means “a central and often foundational part“. If that is so, then why would you wait until the end of the workout to train it? Your core training should be of highest priority, which is why we have our clients perform their core training immediately following the warm-up. The spine needs to be stable during squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc. or injury will occur. Exercises like front planks, Turkish Get Ups and alligator drags can be performed for 2-3 sets, or roughly 3-5 minutes, which should sufficiently warm up the core and prepare your body to lift weight which will challenge your body, which is what you need to be lifting if you want to see great results!
Tip #3 – Make POWER training a priority!
Power is the ability to perform a task effectively and with force, and it is one of the first things we lose as we age. Because of it’s importance, especially as we age, every client at Functional Effect has some sort of power exercise integrated into their program. From kettlebell swings, to box jumps, there are a million different variations of exercises which could fit into this category. Perform 2-5 sets, doing 3-8 reps per set or around 10 seconds of work.
Tip #4 – Don’t split up your body parts when you strength train!
Although there may be a time and a place for doing a traditional bodybuilding-style workout, if you are looking to train efficiently, performing a total-body split versus only 1 or 2 body parts per workout will allow you to activate more muscle groups during each workout, which in-turn will help your body burn more calories during AND after the workout. This style of training also will decrease the risk of overuse injuries commonly seen in the more traditional, single-body part strength training workouts and allow you to consolidate your training into 3 workouts per week versus 5.
Tip #5 – End your training session will a “finisher” instead of steady-state cardio.
Would you rather do 5-10 minutes of cardio at the end of your workout or 30? If you are anything like us, you will love the “finishers” that we use as a replacement for the steady-state cardio of our fitness past. Finishers are short but incredibly intense and require little to no equipment to perform. One of our favorite finishers here at Functional Effect is the Leg Matrix. With only your body weight necessary for this punishing lower-body finisher, you will perform the following sequence as quickly as possible, from start to finish. 24 body weight squats, 24 alternating lunges, 24 split jumps (12 each side) and 24 squat jumps. Start with 1 set of the matrix and work up to doing 3 at the end of your workout. Each Leg Matrix should be done in 2 minutes or less.
Use these tips to help increase the efficiency of your training program. Take it from a person who used have a much more traditional-style training program…..you will not be disappointed in your results! Remember, your training program is only PART of the equation if you are striving to transform your body in any manner and you must also be looking closely at your nutritional habits. Look forward to my upcoming blog post, “The Top 5 Diet Mistakes”. As always, please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions!