We all have those days when we walk into the gym but really don’t feel like working out. We’ve had a long day, didn’t get much sleep the night before or still have so much to do that night; but if you do make it to the gym, which you better, then you may as well give it your all. Training with a high intensity can be tough even on the best of days but it’s on the difficult days that we really need to push ourselves in order to make these workouts really count. Here are 5 things to keep in mind to get the most out of your lazy day workouts.

Stick to Your Workout

If you are serious about getting into shape, then I am sure you have a strict gym routine that you stick to. Just because you are not in the mood to train, doesn’t mean that you can skip exercises, especially the ones that you dislike. Chances are that these are the exercises that require the most effort and therefore work the best. For example, I am not a fan of deadlifts and honestly can’t wait to get them out the way on back day.

That being said, I know that this big lift is one of the most important lifts to help tack on muscle mass, so I make sure to do these to the best of my ability. And if you are planning on skipping the exercise, thinking that you will just make it up tomorrow or next week, you are only fooling yourself. I can almost guarantee that you won’t catch it up.

Lift Until it Burns

The unpleasant side effect of training with a high intensity is the lactic acid build-up in our muscles. This will make your muscles feel like they are on fire. It is human nature to want to stop as soon as this burn kicks in, however, my opinion is that your muscles only start to work once you feel the burn. Once you feel like you can’t go on, try to push out another 2 reps. You will be surprised at what the body can handle if you can overcome the mind.

Push to Improve Each Workout

Comfort is the end of progress. This often happens in the gym when we become complacent with our workouts. Yes, it may have worked for a while but after a few weeks, our bodies adapt and the workout becomes easier. It may not feel easier when you are busy, but if you are not stiff the next day, it is very possible that your body has adapted and it is unlikely that you will see progress. This is when we need to re-evaluate our goals and decide whether we are going to mix it up and see improvements or if we are just going to be complacent with being mediocre.

My suggestion is to always challenge your mind and your muscle by changing up your program. This can be done by varying rep ranges, sets, time under tension, rest periods, adding weight or by completing changing the actual exercises you are doing.

Watch the Clock During Sets

Unless you are trying to pick up size and strength, try keeping rest periods between 30 and 60 seconds. You can push it to a maximum of 90 seconds if you are performing super and giant sets. So keep an eye on the clock and make sure to keep your rest periods as short as possible. This will add intensity to your workout and on the days you don’t feel like being in the gym, it will help get you out of there faster. It will also keep your heart rate up and burn more calories.

You may not think that missing out on burning a few calories here and there will make a difference, but over time, think about how these all add up. You may just end up losing out on burning thousands of calories over the course of a month.

Concentrate on Form During Your Workout

This applies to every time you enter the gym. Whether you are fresh and keen to be there or if it is a day when you would rather be plonked on the couch catching up on the latest episodes of Big Bang Theory, concentrating on form is key. It’s on these days of disinterest that this becomes difficult. Think about the guy doing a barbell curl at lightning speed, it may look impressive that he can move a heavy weight so fast, however, it is anything but impressive; it is actually more of a cop-out. This makes use of momentum and actually targets the muscle fibres less effectively. Plus, he will most probably be using more lower back muscles than actually using his biceps.

Instead, perform each rep slowly, concentrating on the eccentric and concentric movement equally. This will place direct stress on the muscle fibres and have you feeling the burn a lot faster. And remember point number 2, push until it burns and then do two more reps.

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