If your New Year’s resolution has you planning to lift more, run more, or sweat more, chances are, you’re looking to do it in the most efficient and effective way possible. Sure, showing up may be half the battle, but the other half of the battle is made up of hard work, consistency, and training smart.
Whether you’re a seasoned gym-goer or you’re new to fitness, here are 19 workout tips to take your fitness to the next level. And remember: doing any type of physical activity is a great first step.
Wake up with a cup of coffee before your morning workout.
The caffeine in a pre-workout cup of joe helps stimulate your central nervous system, so you’ll have a little extra oomph in your indoor cycling or boot camp class. Plus, in addition to a performance boost, research shows that it can actually make exercise feel more enjoyable, so you’re more likely to push harder.
Walk into the gym with a plan.
Having a plan of action before you step foot in the gym can help you avoid wandering aimlessly around while you decide what to do next. This indecisiveness not only adds time to your workout, it also makes it less efficient, since you’re letting your heart rate drop. “A clear plan is your secret weapon,” Jared Kaplan, founder of Studio 26, previously told SELF. Know what exercises you’re going to do, where you’re going to do them, and in what order.
It’s also a good idea to have a plan B, just in case the machine or floor space you were planning on using is taken. Move on to other parts of your workout and come back, or be armed with a backup exercise in mind that utilizes different equipment.
Get motivated with a solid workout playlist.
Get pumped up on your way to the gym and during your workout with songs that make you feel strong, powerful, and like you can do anything. If you’ve been using the same earbuds since who knows when, upgrade your sound quality and comfort with one of these four best workout headphones rigorously sweat-tested by SELF staffers as part of our annual Healthy Living Awards.