1. Train with Intensity Every Minute of Every Hour
Your workouts aren’t a time to check emails, post to Facebook or pose for a perfect Instagram selfie. I have a game I play with myself, as soon as my headphones are on, the world is off! Think about how crazy your day is, a million emails to respond to, phone ringing off the hook, crazy commutes, kids to feed, dinner to cook, your time at the gym is for YOU. When you walk out of the gym ask yourself, “Did I make every second, of every minute count? Did I give 100% of myself?” If the answer is no, remember the only person you’re cheating is yourself.
2. Don’t Just Punch the Clock
Nobody gets a gold star for just showing up at the gym. A lot of people get to the gym 5 – 6 times a week, while their consistency is admirable, what they do with the time is less than stellar. The difference between just going through the motions of your workout and pouring every ounce of yourself into your workout is what separates the people that look the same a year later to those who have transformed their bodies a year later.
3. No Sloppy Seconds
More isn’t always better. Short, intense sets are the goal. Adding on sloppy sets for the sake of doing more will not give you results. Making each set count will.
4. Power Hour!
“Bro I killed my chest for 2 hours today, check out my stellar pump!”…Don’t. Be. This. Guy. "O.M.G! I ran on the treadmill for an hour today, then went to this killer spin class, then shook what my momma gave me at Zumba, then sweated out like 10lbs at Bikram yoga!”…Ladies… Don’t. Be. This. Girl. Seeing results and reaching your goal isn’t about how much time you can spend in the gym. It’s about the quality of the time spent. If you’re workouts are over an hour, I’m willing to bet you aren’t training with intensity. Workouts should be between 45 - 60min max. Get in, get the job done and get out. Rest periods should be limited to 30 – 60 seconds.
5. Write it Down
Write down the exercises, sets, reps and rest periods before you get to the gym.
Go in with a plan and take the guess work out. When you get to the gym, record your sets, reps, weight and rest periods. Being able to look back on what you did yesterday will make you want to strive to be better today. Remember, your biggest competitor is yourself. Be better than who you were yesterday and know that you will be better tomorrow than who you are today.
6. Push Through (Good) Pain
While we certainly aren’t all trying to emulate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s physique, I have to agree with his statement, “The last 3 or 4 reps is what makes the muscle grow.
This area of pain divides a champion from someone who is not a champion.” When that lactic acid starts to kick in do you think about stopping or do you push through? Having the mental toughness to keep going when something is difficult is the key to success, not only in the gym, but in life. Don’t get me wrong, I do not endorse pushing through with sloppy form and risking injury. Be smart, know the difference between pushing through “good” pain to reach your goals and throwing your back out trying to get 2 more squats because your ego got in the way.
7. Turn a Negative into a Positive
Ever get in an argument with your boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other and hit the gym, only to find you had the best work out ever!?!? Using negative emotions to get a positive workout is a “trick” I use all the time when I really have to dig deep to finish a set. Life isn’t easy, your boss is going to piss you off, your coworkers are going to get on your nerves, your kids are going to throw temper tantrums, NYC traffic is always going to be a nightmare, but instead of letting these negative feelings consume you, use them to get through a tough workout. Turn a negative into a positive and walk out of the gym knowing that you have left it all on the floor.
Training with intensity is going to force you to get out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to
convince yourself that you’re training with intensity, but are you truly putting in 100% effort 100% of the time? Be honest with yourself, and if the answer is no, then commit to becoming better. This is the only body you get, let’s make it GREAT!