Archive for December, 2012

There aren’t too many things you need to take to the gym with you, for example your phone, this can only disrupt your workout.

There are however a few things that can improve your gym session, and better workouts mean better results.

Here is my Top 3 Gym Essentials for a successful workout….

1/ A Workout Timer

Different brands are available but I find Gymboss Timers to be very effective and reasonably priced.

I see so many people in gym training randomly with no specific work or rest periods, a lot of people actually have no specific structure for which exercises they are doing that day.
To get the very best results workouts should be structured, the most important aspects of most workouts are the work:rest ratios.

If you aren’t strictly controlling your rest periods this can have a negative effect for two reasons.

Firstly, you are likely to be losing some intensity from your workout. If you are simply resting until you feel good to continue, instead of say, 30 seconds, then you are missing out on one of the most important principles of training. Overload.

To improve the strength and performance of any muscle you must overload it with new stimulus to force the body to adapt and improve, with extended rest periods you are almost certainly losing intensity and therefore not overloading the body as you could be, ultimately meaning you wont see as good results.

The second reason is that another important principle of training is Progression. As your body adapts you must progress your workouts to maintain improvement. This can be done in many ways i.e. adding more weight or shortening rest periods.
If however, you are not aware of rest periods then you cannot adjust them correctly.

Get yourself a Gymboss timer and I guarantee it will transform your workouts and force you to work beyond your limits!
It is also a heck of a lot easier than trying to watch the gym clock or use your watch, you simple sit back and the timer will tell you exactly when to work and rest.

2/ I-pod

Again there are two main reasons why I recommend taking your i-pod or mp3 player to the gym with you.

The main reason being that studies show music can improve performance.

So when your attempting to push through your last few reps or you are reaching an extremely challenging part of your workout, appropriate music can make the difference between success and failure and get you “in the zone” to fully focus on the task at hand.

Again, the more effort you put in at the gym, the better the results you will see outside of the gym.

The second reason to take your i-pod with you is to avoid distraction.

Remember I previously mentioned the importance of Overload in a training programme? If you aim for 30 seconds rest and at 20 seconds someone begins a conversation with you, you are likely to be resting for at least 5 minutes.


This lowers your heart rate probably to the level it was when you walked into the gym, it allows your muscles to cool down and seize up and it completely ruins your focus.

The gym is a place of work, you want results you have to work for them!

Stick your headphones in, be only aware of yourself and your own workout and if you want to chat to people you can do it after the workout. It may seem un-sociable but its either that or face the frustration of not seeing the results that you had hoped for.

3/ A Workout Log/Journal

Whatever your goal, if you aren’t tracking your workouts then you are missing out.
As mentioned above, if you cant recall how much weight you previously lifted, how many reps you performed and how much rest you had, then how can you progress your workouts? And how can you asses improvements?…You can’t.


Some people may think taking a book to the gym is a little pedantic, but this is a results game, and surely if taking a book to the gym got you better results you would do it, right?
I guarantee it will, so bite the bullet, commit 100% to your goals and record your workouts.

These 3 simple tools will transform your workouts from random wanderings and conversations in the gym to intense, euphoric workouts that leave you on a high with a unique sense of achievement…..and the all important reason….you will see much more improvements in your physique!


What is on your mind more?…Goals or Processes?

Often what can hold us back is the Process of achieving a goal….the “How” aspect as you could call it.

The Goal or the “Why” factor could be to get lean.

The Process or the “How” could be to hit the gym 5 times a week and eat nothing but salad.


In this instance the “How” firmly outweighs the “Why” and is likely to de-motivate you.

When you select a goal you must ensure that it means something to you so that the process becomes irrelevant, you will simply do whatever it takes.

For example, lets say I asked you to lift a car…
“Why”- No reason
“How”- Using simply your own strength
….Most people would say this was not possible, this is because the “Why” is not strong enough.

Now imagine that, god forbid, a person is trapped underneath the car.
You still only have your own strength to work with but now you have a very powerful “Why” and the likelihood is that somehow you would lift that car!

The point is, if the Goal does not outweigh the Process then you will not achieve your goals.

Make your goals as strong as you possibly can, with some emotional attachment and suddenly the Process, or the “How” will become irrelevant…you will simply do whatever it takes!