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How Can I Get More Out of My Workouts? Top 5 Ways to Amp Up Your Workouts with Nutrition Timing

Whether you're a long time gym rat or a newbie to the workout scene, we all want to get the most out of our exercise time, right?  

One of the questions I get asked all the time is, "How can I get more out of my workouts?"  or how can I maximize the effectiveness of my exercise time?

In the same 60 minutes you could walk or jog outside or take a class at the gym, hit the weights or get in some cardio on the machines.  But how do you know what will make the most difference and what else can you do to ensure that you have as much energy, endurance, strength and power as you'd like to really power through that workout time?

5 Important Ways to Amp Up Your Workouts:

  1. Mix it up:   Believe it or not, many people get stuck in a workout rut and do the exact same thing, in the exact same order, every time they workout.  Don’t stick to the same workout routine for too long, or your body will get used to what you're doing and after awhile it won't have the same effect that it once did.  Aim to switch up your routine and have variety as often as possible.  As a general rule of thumb:  For strength training, switch up your routine every few weeks or so.  And for cardio, cross training works best:  You could run on a treadmill or track, take a spinning class or a HIIT routine, just be sure to add variety.  (Try these workout ideas here:  Best workouts for staying Energetic Fit and Healthy)
  2. Protein: Many people don’t pay as much attention as they should to getting the protein their muscles need to rebuild. If you don’t, you are going to get very little out of your workout, as both cardio and strength training requires protein for building muscles.  Be sure to look for UNdenatured Whey protein over denatured to be sure you are getting the most preserved and pure form of protein possible!  (Learn more about denatured vs UNdenatured whey protein and what they difference is here!)
  3. Water: In order to get the most out of your workouts and feel your best, be sure you are hydrating throughout the day. It takes a couple of hours for your body to absorb the water, so you can’t just drink right before exercise. Make it your mission to drink water regularly throughout the day.  Drink a tall glass of lemon water first thing in the morning and aim for a gallon a day!  Trust me; your skin, energy and overall health will THANK you!
  4. Carbs: Although the low-carb craze might say otherwise, carbs are your body’s main source of fuel. When you do long, hard or intense exercise, your body needs carbs.  Without them your body won't have enough energy to power through.  If you have a pre-workout shake, be sure to include some sort of carb such as a banana, which is a fantastic source of low fiber as well as high glycemic carbohydrates that your body needs for working out.
    Click here to get more Protein Shake recipes!
  5. Shakes before and after workout:  A great way to maximize your workouts is to drink a protein/carb shake before and after your workouts. Drinking one before your workout increases the flow of amino acids to your muscles during exercise. After your workout, the the nutrients in your shake stimulates muscle growth. Consider also having a small protein/carb meal an hour to an hour and a half after your workout (a meal replacement/protein bar would also work well- I love IsaLean bars because they are perfect for this!).

Here is how to use Nutrition Timing to your advantage to Amplify Your Workouts:
Science has learned that there is a crucial element to timing when it comes to the relation between nutrition and exercise.  If you want to get the most out of your workout you need to be sure to pay close attention to 3 key areas of your workout:
  • Pre-workout
  • During your workout
  • and Post-Workout
"The nutrients you provide your body and when you take them, known as “nutrient timing,” can significantly affect how your body responds to exercise. The nutrient timing of food and supplements can be broken down into three distinct phases: pre-workout, mid-workout, and post-workout. Each one is important and sets the stage for the next phase. Missing out on proper nutrient delivery during these critical times could be hindering your progress; and while different training goals may require different nutrient timing strategies, the importance of these three phases remains the same."  (Read more about Nutrient Timing for Optimal Performance here.)
1-  Pre-Workout:  You want to be sure to fuel up before your workout.  Consider a quick and easy pre-workout supplement that supplies your body with Beet juice and other key fruit and veggie nutrients to help support nitric oxide production, which increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to cells so your muscles can function efficiently and prevent fatigue.  
2-  During Workout:  Another way to get more out of your workouts and support your endurance and energy levels is with carbohydrates and branch chain amino acids.  
Fast-acting fuel is crucial for maintaining peak performance during endurance training or events. You need the right combination of easy-to-digest carbohydrates to reach your muscles fast and hold o fatigue. Muscles also need branched-chain amino acids during extended exercise to offset breakdown. 
3-  Post-Workout:  After your workout, your muscles need to recover and rebuild.  Branch chain amino acids are necessary at this time to aid in this process.  Look for a post-workout supplement that supplies all the branch chain amino acids that your muscles need including l-carnitine, which works to help rebuild muscle tissue and decrease post-workout muscular fatigue.

By being more intentional with your workouts and making sure to add variety as well as nutrition timing, you can be sure that your body gets the most out of your workouts.  Stay consistent and keep it fun and you will see the best results to help transform your body.

Next, check out the Optimal Performance system we recommend to help you maximize your workouts, and take your fitness to the next level!

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  1. Thanks for this post. I mix up my workouts as suggested plus I drink plenty of water. I must improve putting more protein in my diet

  2. I actually didn't look at my pace until right now when I went to write it down for the post and I was shocked. FREE Workout DVD Flat Abs Fast

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Two summers ago, I worked with a great gal from Hollywood, Rachel Nichols.
    Rachel did some TT workouts while filming a movie up here in Toronto.

    That's about it for me in terms of training Hollywood actors or
    actresses in person, but recently I was asked, "Imagine you're
    working with a major film star who has eight weeks to lose 30
    pounds of fat and build some muscle in preparation for the lead
    role in the latest Hollywood blockbuster. What do you do with them?"

    Here's my answer...

    I would have control over every single thing that they eat. That's
    the biggest ticket to success here. No booze, no excess sugar, and
    just giving them enough reward to stick with the program.

    If this "star" is a typical overweight, sedentary individual, we'll have
    no problem getting rid of 20 pounds of fat through nutrition.

    As for exercise, we need to be consistent, and stick with our intensity
    principles. We would do 3 hard workouts per week using strength
    training followed by interval training with the program being centered
    around basic movement patterns done with free weights.

    Everything is done in supersets in the workout to get more done in
    less time. For example, we might do a squat supersetted with a
    pressing exercise. I also like to pair free weight exercises and
    bodyweight exercises in supersets, for example, a dumbbell split
    squat paired with a decline pushup.

    We'll do 3 superset pairs, each for 1-3 sets, and stick to 8
    repetitions per set. Then we'll finish the workout with 6 hard
    intervals of 30-60 seconds (with 60-120 seconds rest between each).
    This way, we are in and out of the gym in 45 minutes.

    On "off days", we'd still get at least 30 minutes, if not 60
    minutes, of low-intensity exercise. But it wouldn't just be slow
    cardio. Instead, we'd focus on low-intensity bodyweight training.
    For example, if the actor can do a maximum of 25 bodyweight squats,
    15 pushups, and 5 chinups, we would use easier versions of those
    exercises in circuits.

    Here's a sample 6 exercise bodyweight circuit that we'd do at least
    3 times, doing 10 reps per exercise.

    Wall Squat
    Kneeling Pushup
    Beginner Inverted Bodyweight Row
    Stability Ball Leg Curl
    Mountain Climber

    After that, we might cross train with a variety of cardio exercises
    to avoid overuse injuries that occur when you repeatedly do the
    same activity and nothing else.

    So that's pretty much it. If he (or she) sticks to their nutrition,
    we're as good as gold and the actor will be ready just in time.

    Click here to start losing fat with Turbulence Training: ===> Drop 30 Pounds in 8 Weeks? <=====

    Screw New Years, get started now,

    Craig Ballantyne, CTT
    Certified Turbulence Trainer
    Author, Turbulence Training

    PS - Turbulence Training Beats Cardio for Fat Burning Effectiveness.

    "Craig's workouts were fun and challenging - I didn't dread going to the
    gym and I wasn't overly sore after our sessions. Much like my trainer in
    LA, Craig's workouts were always different: the exercises, the supersets,
    the weights...the combination of elements always varied and, therefore,
    I never got bored or felt like I was in a workout rut. And my co-stars
    couldn't believe how great my arms looked, thanks to Craig helping me
    do my first chin-up. Thanks Craig!"
    Rachel Nichols, actress

    Click here to get Turbulence Training: ===> Fast fat loss workouts... <=====

    "I have been in love with Turbulence Training ever since I started.
    I am 6'3", 28/M and my starting weight/body fat% was 208 pounds and
    18.4% body fat. After 22 weeks of TT, I am now down to 190 lbs and
    10.8% body fat."
    Nick Walters, New York, NY


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