How to get more out of your workouts

1. Invest in higher tech gear

Before heading to class, make a simple swap: Ditch the cotton duds and slip into a poly blend that absorbs moisture and helps regulate your body temperature. Research shows that people who wear a more functional polyester fabric when exercising improved their athletic performance, compared to when they worked out in cotton clothes.

2. Improve your form over Speed

Speed and reps don’t necessarily equal a better outcome. The key to building muscles and avoiding injury is making sure every body part is in the right place. Instructors often explain when foot or arm placement is off and give modifications, but it’s important to ask questions if you’re unsure. If speaking up during class isn’t your style, stay afterwards so the teacher can show you precise alignment for your next visit.

3. Lift a heavier load

If you still believe heavier weights create a bulky body, it’s time to wake up and grab a heavier set up dumbbells! This is simply not true, to get toned, there are only two things you can do: lose fat or build muscle, and while you can’t target fat loss in specific areas of the body, you can build muscle in specific spots.
Having more muscle means increased strength and you can burn more calories. If an exercise still feels easy by the last few reps, it’s time to pick up a heavier set of dumbbells. 

4. Squeeze out the final reps

You know those last few moves you do to complete a sequence? The ones that leave you shaking or feeling like your arms are jelly? Those are the reps that change your body. Instead of giving up, talk yourself through it. Reminding yourself that you are grateful that you have a body that can push you through this and, unless you have an injury or feel that something is wrong, you’re benefiting from it. This is why you came. This is what you wanted. Keep repeating that when your muscles scream for rest.

5. Have a blast!

Dreading exercise means it’ll probably fall off your to-do list and lead to zero results. Find something you enjoy so you continue to go back. Picture your workout as fun or a deserved break, rather than thinking of it as hard work. Carry your commitment to fitness beyond those four studio walls and you’ll see big pay-offs in other areas of your life as well.