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Whether you’ve been hitting the gym for years or just getting started, there are guidelines everyone should take into account to increase the efficiency of their workout and achieve their health/body goals. We’ve outlined some tips we recommend incorporating into your workout routine to achieve a stronger, fitter body.

Eat slow digesting carbs before workouts – Researchers at Loughborough University (UK) discovered that consuming slow digesting carbs before a workout resulted in lower insulin levels and increased fat burn throughout the day. Additionally, they also showed that individuals who consumed slow digesting carbs before a workout had more endurance and increased fat burn while exercising. It’s recommended that you try to include 40 grams of slow digesting carbs such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, fruit, or whole-wheat bread before exercising to improve the your endurance and efficiency during a workout.

Vary your rep speed – In an Australian study, people who had faster reps (1 second gap) gained more strength than people with slower reps (3 second gap). This was because faster reps caused faster twitching of muscle fibers which lead to faster strength increase. Slow-reps, on the other hand, led to faster gains in muscle mass. Hence, a good way to increase both strength and mass would be by varying rep speeds.

Be consistent – You may not be a workout pro just yet, but the key to achieving your fitness goals is to be consistent at the gym, no matter how hard you push, as long as you remain consistent the results are sure to come!

Use a music player – Weider Research Group concluded that trained bodybuilders were able to complete an extra 1-2 reps per set when listening to music. So bring your favorite tunes to your next workout and push yourself even further.

Set realistic goals – This one is important, set realistic goals. Everyone wants to have the dream body, but the reality is having a high goal may discourage you if you aren’t seeing the results right away. Set incremental goals and do whatever it takes to get there. Also set some incentives to reward yourself at each benchmark.

Bring a buddy – Bring a friend with you to workout, and encourage each other to push yourself to the limit!

Try incorporating some of these tips into your next workout. We are sure that these will help you achieve your goals. Also, log your exercises with Calio to help you track your progress (download now)! One more thing to mention is the 80/20 plan – 80% of the year, exercise and eat well while allowing for a 20% “slip” due to holidays and vacation. Happy exercising!