Improve your daily workout routine without spending anymore time at the gym! It’s really great when you start to see improvements in your body after all the work you do at the gym. It doesn’t all happen at once. You don’t go to bed with a belly and wake up with a six-pack, but you do, slowly but surely, start to see the improvements, which is what makes working out that much more exciting. Even though your body may not change all at once, there are little things you can do to improve your daily workout routine.
Who doesn’t love seeing improvements? Its exciting when you see an indentation and more definition around your shoulders. A new vein makes itself known along your abs. Perhaps you have a slender, stronger jawline.
It’s all little improvements that add up to a big difference.
The improvements are gradual, but if you don’t see someone for a few months they will notice the changes right away. You’re seeing the improvements, and maybe you’re noticing the gains in your strength at the gym.
But what more can you do?
You can’t add hours to the day, so spending additional time at the gym likely isn’t an option (and you still have a life outside of workout out).
There are several ways you can improve your daily workout routine and, with it, boost your gains along the way.
Eating is a Crucial Part of Your Daily Workout Routine
It’s pretty simple, and yet it is a critical part of your workout.
Even if you’re trying to shed the weight, you need fuel for your performance.
However, don’t just stop and grab a Snickers. No matter how great those commercials are, you need a different kind of fuel.
Instead, focus on protein and slow-digesting carbs. This way, you’ll have the necessary energy required to put in your best effort.
Have you ever been at the gym and you just didn’t feel completely there? Like you were lifting but your full armament of strength didn’t come with you?
This happens when you are bone dry on your energy. When you fuel properly you’ll get more done at the gym, burn more calories and see greater gains.
But what exactly should you eat?
A classic peanut-butter sandwich is a great place to start as long as you use 100% whole wheat bread. You can grab an egg-white breakfast sandwich on whole wheat as well.
If you prefer to have your pre-workout in liquid form look for a protein powder that also comes with complex carbs (simple carbs are nothing but sugar which isn’t what you’re looking for) (Eat Right, 2017).
Take Supplements Before Your Everyday Workout Routine
When you supplement is just as, if not more important, than what you supplement.
If you’re putting in work at the gym you already know the benefits of creatine. It’s something your body produces naturally but just not to the extent you need to perform while working out.
Before your daily workout routine, you need to supplement both with your protein and your creatine.
You need around 20 to 30 grams of protein before your workout and 3 to 5 grams of creatine. Take this an hour or so before your workout.
It gives your body enough time to break down the protein for fuel and the creatine for your muscle energy.
You don’t want to only take creatine once a day though. Spread it out to twice a day. Take one serving before working out and one serving with your evening protein shake.
Your body will blow through the creatine intake you consume before the workout. You want to replenish it.
This not only helps ensure you have an elevated level of creatine throughout the day but it also helps prep your body to be able to handle the higher level of creatine (Healthline, 2017).
Caffeine Should Definitely be a Part of Your Daily Workout Routine
You already know how caffeine helps with your work performance.
It will also help your gym routine as well.
But you need to consume your caffeine an hour or two prior to the workout. This way you’re in peak caffeinated mode when you start working out.
You want to shoot for around 200 to 400 mg of caffeine, which is about the size of a 16 oz energy drink or two cups of coffee.
Now, the kind of caffeine you take in is important.
Don’t stop off at the chain coffee joint and get something loaded with cream and six inches of whipped cream.
You’ll end up spending your entire workout burning off cream calories.
It’s best to go with black coffee. If you want to sweeten it up a bit ditch the sugar and go with cinnamon.
Cinnamon is great because not only do you avoid the simple carbs but it’s also a metabolism booster, which allows you to burn more calories during your workout.
We prefer to go with coffee for our caffeine intake of choice.
Adding coffee to your daily workout routine is easy, inexpensive, and you can brew up a batch with no effort at all.
Energy drinks, even the “Zero Sugar” options have some ingredients we’re not huge fans of.
In fact, in some European countries, you can’t purchase energy drinks because of the ingredients. Do what works best and is most assessable for your intake, but we’d always tell you to go for the cup of joe (Healthline, 2017).
Add Music to your Daily Exercise Routine
There really is something behind listening to music.
It helps block out the noise around you so you can mentally focus on your lift while also helping your body increase its heart rate.
So, while you may enjoy some classical Clair de Lune on your ride out of work, it’s probably not the best piece of music to listen to while working out.
You want something with a faster beat and something you can really get pumped up to.
There’s a reason why pro athletes, especially those in contact sports, will bump rap or hip-hop.
It’s because of the faster beat. So indulge in the latest Eminem album and toss on your headphones.
It may be the difference between getting that last rep up or having it land back on your chest.
Drink Protein After Your Daily Workout Routine
You consumed protein prior to the workout. You now need to bring more in after.
This protein will go directly into rebuilding your muscles.
You will want up to 40 grams of protein at this time. Your body will need to replenish its energy source while rebuilding your damaged muscle tissue.
Following a heavy workout, your body may crave sugar.
A protein shake is a great way to indulge this, but you still want to watch out for added sugar and simple carbs.
If you go to a “healthy” shake joint next to the gym be careful with what you get. If they add fruits to the shakes make sure it’s fresh fruit and not frozen fruit (frozen fruit is often caked in sugar, which will cut down on your gains).
You’re better off making the protein shake at home so you know exactly what’s in it, but if you do pick up the protein somewhere else ask questions about what they are putting into it (Healthline, 2017).
What Kind of Workouts Should you Include in your Daily Workout Routine?
They’re a million ways to workout so it can be confusing at times to know what works best.
Depending on your goals, there might be a certain time of day that is better for you to get that workout in.
If you are crunched on time and don’t want to allocate more time in the gym, try adding these exercises to your daily workout routine.
Include Forced Reps into Your Everyday Workout Program
You’ll need a spotter for this one. And in spotter, we mean someone who can lift what you’re lifting.
After you hit failure on your heavier lifts (such as your bench press), drop down for another rep or two.
However, use what is called a forced rep. This is where you’re assisted on the last reps.
This puts your muscles into overdrive and you’ll dramatically increase your human growth hormone production during these last reps because your body is basically fighting against its own failure.
When this happens chemical and hormonal production is kicked into high gear.
By taking advantage of the forced rep on every last set you’ll feel an entirely new burn on your muscles, not to mention experience larger muscle growth.
Now, let’s say you don’t have a spotter, or your spotter is your girlfriend and isn’t able to get up the 300-pound bench you’re putting up.
It doesn’t mean you can’t get in any forced reps. It just means you’ll need to vary how you go about doing it.
You can’t do it on a bench with a barbell.
Instead, go over to the bench press machine at the gym (this will be one of the few times we’ll tell you to use this machine). Select a weight above what your one-time max is.
From here, give the one rep everything you’ve got. You may get the weight an inch off the stack, or you may not get it off at all. That doesn’t matter.
What matters is you’re forcing your body to lift beyond exhaustion, which forces your body to do something very similar to what it does with the forced rep.
It’ll also give you an incredible pump after trying to lift the weight for 10 seconds (Journal of Strength and Conditioning, 2007).
Does Your Daily Workout Routine Include Super Sets?
So let’s say you just don’t have much time in the gym.
You want to make the most of the time you do have so you’re looking for ways to increase your lifting potential.
The best way to do this is to add supersets into your daily workout routine.
Basically, you’re moving from one lift right into the next. For example, you’ll perform a curl and then press up into a shoulder press.
You’re performing two lifts at once.
You’ll shave time off of your lifting schedule, save time at the gym and get more dime in the amount of time you do have.
So when time is limited, always look towards the possibility of a superset (University of Washington, 1997).
Do Cardio After Your Daily Workout List
Getting some cardio in during your daily workout routine is a must.
The weight training will help build strength and size.
The cardio is just a great way to blast extra calories. After 45 minutes you might burn an extra 400 calories.
However, don’t do your cardio before your workout.
That’ll burn up all the extra creatine and energy you consumed prior to arriving for your workout, which in turn will reduce the quality of your workout.
Think of cardio as a finisher move. Whether you jog, sit on the exercise bike or use the elliptical, if you do cardio schedule it after your lifting.
Additionally, if you go hard with your cardio following a lift, don’t use the same muscles you just worked.
So on leg day, don’t go hard on the treadmill. Use the rowing machine instead. And likewise, if you just blasted your chest and arms, don’t use the elliptical, use the bike.
You want your muscles to begin recovering as soon as your done lifting. Cardio may prevent it.
What Time of Day is Your Workout Routine?
There are two ways to look at when you lift for possible gains.
Outside of simply lifting when you have the available time, you can look at lifting in the morning and lifting in the evening, as each comes with desirable benefits.
First, if you lift in the morning you’ll boost your metabolism for the rest of the day, allowing you to burn more calories and cut out more fat.
What’s better than that, right?
Well, if you lift in the evening you’ll see larger muscle growth. Why?
Because if you lift in the evening you’ll likely take in more protein after, shower, then go to bed.
This means you don’t put additional tension on your muscles and your body will be properly primed and ready to rebuild your muscles with the fresh intake of protein while you sleep.
So think about what your goals are: size or definition. There’s no wrong time to lift, but there is a better lifting time depending on what your gains are.
It doesn’t take much to improve upon your daily workout routine.
Chances are you can squeeze out a bit more lifting at the same time at the gym.
You can also change the schedule of your supplementation to see better results.
By taking advantage of these little tweaks and adjustments you won’t need to spend any more time at the gym, and yet you’ll reap substantial benefits. Just like a car, the smallest amount of fine-tuning can lead to massive gains.