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How to get the best results from any workout

January 5, 2016
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Whether you're starting out at the gym, or are a regular on the treadmills, just a few common mistakes could mean you won't get the results you're after from your workouts. We spoke to Gym in the Park's personal trainer Andrew Mitchison who revealed his top tips for getting the most out of your sessions…

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Andrew has revealed the common mistakes people make at the gym

What are the most common mistakes people make at the gym?

"From a New Year's resolution perspective, I would say going all out, hammer and tong from the start, in the gym every day. This momentum is very hard to maintain and unfortunately people can get deterred through lack of results for the time they have invested, and lose motivation and eventually give up."

"From a workout perspective, I would say not including weight training in their programme. Stimulating the body through resistance training is the best way to burn body fat as it stimulates the metabolism and increases bone density, therefore decreasing the changes of osteoporosis and cellulite. Warming up and the mobilisation of joints is another key area, along with stretching afterwards to help cool down."

Should you invest in any products or equipment before working out?

"I think it is always a good idea to invest in the correct clothing attire, clothing that enables your body to move freely and not be restricted in any way. Correct footwear is very important - good trainers provide support and cushioning which absorbs impact when exercising. There are also a number of training apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone. These can be good for tracking progress and boosting motivation."

Is it motivational to work out with friends or is it distracting?

"I think this all depends on the individual at hand. It is true that one reason why tennis clubs have good retention rates is that it's a partner sport so having someone else helps spur you along. It's important that if you do buddy training that you have someone who's going to aid you by motivating you – not someone who will hinder you by talking about what's on television that week!"

fitness© Photo: iStock

Make sure to eat the proper food before and after a workout for best results

How do you target particular areas such as thighs, stomach and arms?

"Firstly I would start off with what we call in the industry multi joint exercises. These resistance exercises use more than one joint - for example a squat or shoulder press. These elevate the metabolism, burn a ton of calories and spike hormone levels. I would then go on to target each body part with more individual isolation exercises. For example for arms I would go for bicep curls and tricep dips. For the thighs, I would go for abductor, adductor band work. For the stomach, I would opt for crunches and oblique twists."

Should you mix up your workouts for best results?

"Definitely! A complete beginner needs to get to know the basics before progressing on to more complex exercises and routines. This is great as it just stops monotony kicking in and aids in keeping workouts different and fun, in turn helping you to stay motivated. The body is very complex and adapts very quickly - if you keep doing the same workout week in and week out the body has adapted and you will stop seeing progress. Switch it up! For example increase your cardio bouts, introduce new exercises and equipment to your programme. There are so many variations!"

What are the best foods to eat before and after a work out?

"The food to consume before a workout depends upon how the person feels regarding to training on an empty stomach. This means that you have your last meal two hours prior to starting. The meal should consist of a protein source like chicken, fish, or lentils along with a slow burning carbohydrate like a sweet potato or quinoa with some vegetables. I would always keep the quantities small if you are just about to work out. The best time for a workout is first thing in the morning with an empty stomach, as this is when your hormone levels are at their optimum for burning body fat. After working out I would always consume a meal high in protein and carbohydrate to replenish energy levels. This can be simplified by consuming a good quality protein powder along with maybe some porridge oats, with some fruit."

What’s the ideal breakfast post exercise?

"Post-workout breakfast... One of my favourites! It should contain good proteins, good fats, and carbs. Mine has to be scrambled eggs, smoke salmon on a wholemeal wrap with a side salad of greens and baby tomatoes."

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