Fie tips for a more effective gym workout

I've been working in a gym setting for sometime now and I've seen just about everything you could possibly imagine. A lot of bad technique, poor form, poor advice given and taken, nonsensical routines, you name it I've probably seen it.

Now, before I go any further, let me say this - I applaud them for taking the time and putting the effort in. A huge portion of the population have paralysis by analysis.

With that said here are four keys to ensuring a highly effective workout

1. Perform compound movements. Most of us don't have time or don't want to spend 12-15 hours a week in the gym. I'm one of them, for me lifting weights or working out at the gym is one of the most effective yet least enjoyable workouts. If you strip out the efficiency of your trips to your gym you're left with an ineffective, unenjoyable workout. Brutal. Remove the bicep curls from your routine swap them with a variety of pull-ups. I know, pull-ups aren't nearly as fun as isolating those biceps but it's a heck of a lot more effective. The same goes for hamstring curls (Deadlift instead), seated rows (barbell bent over runs)

2. Have a plan. Most people go into the gym without a plan; like anything else in life, planning and commitment are often the most critical parts. If you don't have a plan you're wasting valuable time. Not only will your workouts become ineffective, you likely won't see results nearly as quickly and will be turned off altogether.

3. Find a workout partner. This isn't always possible but if able, find someone to workout with. A study was done that showed those working out with someone else had stuck with their program, on average for an additional two and a half months.

4. Limit your trips to the gym. Some folks love the sport of powerlifting or bodybuilding, they're in the minority. Most of us don't particularly enjoy going to the gym. The best piece of advice I could give is commit to going to the gym twice a week, and find something you love to do the rest of the time. Maybe it's ultimate frisbee, rowing, hiking, rock climbing etc. If you're hitting the gym twice (efficiently!) and you're taking part in other forms of exercise you will see results. Chances are you'll also stick with it longer.

5. Work to failure. Every time. I know pundits will list off a myriad of reasons why you shouldn't be working to failure. I call bs on 99% of the excuses. The reality is it is harder to work to failure it requires more dedication and commitment. The only excuse that is acceptable is safety, some exercises (such as bench press) aren't very safe without a spotter. So, if it's safe to do so, work to failure. Working to failure stimulates hormones which will improve results, not to mention when you work to failure you know you're leaving it all at the gym.

Author's Bio: 

Paul Beach lives in CA with his wife and kids, He runs where you can find out all about the the best foam roller. He's a personal trainer and loves running.