Few people want to spend all day at the gym, which means it’s important to maximize time spent working out to make sure you are getting the best workout for your body while still accomplishing your workout goals.
Especially if you are just starting, it may be tempting to spend hours at the gym using each machine, but in this case, less is more.
The consensus is to do one to two exercises per muscle group per workout to see the maximum amount of benefits. This can look like five primary exercises plus cardio and a cooldown.
Depending on your fitness goals, muscle gains can be accomplished with as little as 3 to 5 sets of each exercise. If you’re focusing purely on strength gains, then lower reps of five and under are best. For a combination of strength and muscle size, moderate reps between six and 12 are best, and for muscle endurance, high reps between 13 and 20 are ideal.
Keep in mind that the fewer reps you do, the more sets you will need.
While it’s easy to pick a set of core exercises you enjoy doing, it’s also important to vary up your exercise routine, so your muscles don’t get complacent. However, when switching up exercises, less is still more. Picking two to three squat variations or bench press variations is better than cycling through five or more different exercises per muscle group.
To maximize your time at the gym, rest days and diet are also incredibly important. Taking rest days between strength training days is necessary, so your muscles have time to repair themselves. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is imperative to being able to power through an intense workout. Having a quality pre-workout snack and a high-protein post-workout snack, such as Jawbox Jerky, Can help you stay on track with your diet and exercise plan.