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“This is a great goal,” Hawkins says. One new class a week can make your workouts a lot more fun and that’s a nice way of looking at the hour you spend sweating. Switch between yoga, spinning and other classes for six weeks and incorporate them into your routine. “Use every service your gym offers,” Hawkins adds. “Make you money’s worth.”
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One problem a lot of regular gym goers have is walking in there with a goal for the day. “Go with a plan because then you feel you’ve accomplished something,” Hawkins says. Working out just for the sake of scratching that task off your To Do list isn’t doing you much good. You can forget to do an exercise you were thinking of earlier and may decide that you’ve had enough. “But it’s probably not,” Hawkins added. “If you have structure, then you can’t back out on yourself.”
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Having a buddy with you while working out is not just a great way to feel like time if flying by but it also serves as motivation. “It’s all about accountability,” Hawkins says. You are unlikely to turn down a friend for a workout session if you’ve already made a commitment. It can be very helpful at the gym, he adds, if you approach someone who looks like they know what they’re doing and say ‘Hey, can you show me?’” You’d be surprised how responsive people are.
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First and foremost, you should be comfortable. Don’t be afraid to look like everyone or no one else at all. It’s important to wear sports clothing that doesn’t hamper your full range of motion. If you care about fashion, then spend a little more for gym wear. “If that’s going to motivate you, then it’s worth it,” Hawkins says. In general though, try to stay away from 100 percent cotton clothes. It doesn’t dry fast, thus your sweat will literally stick on you.
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A professional athlete or not going, back to basics is always a great idea. “Crazy workouts are not necessarily efficient,” Hawkins says. Try to do six to 10 weeks of one cycle of mastering the basics and working with different muscle groups. Then you can move on to a more aggressive program. Remember that having fun is probably the most important “basic.” If you're not enjoying your fitness, chances are you’ll lose motivation and interest.
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If there is just one new exercise you should include in your routine, it should be the deadlift, according to Hawkins. “If you do it properly, it’s among the most effective.” It uses most muscles of your body at one time. “It’s very functional.” The deadlift is similar to a squat, except you lift weights off the ground to the hips, and then lower it back.
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History repeats itself: Every January gyms get swamped with new members whose New Year’s resolutions include losing weight. They don’t have a clue what they’re doing and only get in your way. In general, they are annoying you. You know that most of them won’t be there in a couple of weeks, so why not try and help them. “If you see someone who looks confused, reach out. Maybe you’ll make a good friend. And, who knows, maybe one day they’ll get you a job,” Hawkins says.
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If you work out in the morning, try going in the afternoon. Strength and endurance are both higher in the afternoon, while the likelihood of injuries is decreased. Switch it up the other way around, too. There are many studies that suggest that the best time for weight loss is early in the morning on an empty stomach. “Switching up your routine is always a good thing. Try for a week,” Hawkins says. “It will certainly break some of the monotony.” But stick with what works in the end, he adds.
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An experienced professional can help you reach your goals. A trainer’s job is their job compared to a hobby for you. He or she certainly knows what an effective for the long run workout program should include and won’t forget anything. Personal trainers also provide encouragement and help you stay focused. Last but not least, you pay them so now you have an obligation to not waste your money.
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This is a tricky one, Hawkins says. People often over-reward themselves. “Oh, I went to the gym so I can have that cake,” but it doesn’t work that way. Make sure your reward is a healthy one such as eating more of that nutritious snack you like. “I have a client who gets a smoothie after every workout.” It’s a delicious prize for doing the healthy thing.