- Never skip a warm-up: get your heart rate up and your blood pumping through your entire body. Stick to dynamic stretches (jumps, skips, hops, etc.) as opposed to static stretches (holds). Warm-ups are crucial to proper muscle activation and injury prevention.
- Write it down: whether you have a workout journal or use your phone – make sure to have your entire workout written down and easily accessible.
- Push yourself: when you think you’ve given it all you’ve got – do one more rep.
- Have a spotter: if you’re squatting, bench pressing, or performing any other movement that puts you at risk for injury, falling, etc. – ask for an experienced spot! If one’s not around – skip that part of your workout until there’s one available.
- Leave your ego at the door: stick to weights and movements that challenge you and leave you exhausted – but don’t throw on more weight because you want to impress your friends or the cute guy squatting next to you. The injury isn’t worth it.
- If you don’t know, ask: never be embarrassed to ask for help, seek clarity, or look something up. I use YouTube all the time! Just make sure you’re seeking information from a credible source.
- No comparing: you’re doing this for YOU – no one else matters.
- Cool down: after an intense workout your body is begging for some TLC. Grab a foam roller, take a nice long walk, and chug some water.
- Rest: make sure you’re getting lots of sleep and taking at least 24 hours between training the same body part(s). If your legs are sore to the touch – they’re not ready to train again.
- Eat, eat, eat: before a workout and after a workout – your body can’t grow and improve if you aren’t properly nourishing it.
- Listen to your body: it’s totally OK (and good!) to take lots of rest. Your body needs sleep and downtime in order to perform optimally — and grow! Pain is your body’s way of saying, “I don’t like this!” so learn to differentiate between good pain and bad pain.
- If you’re not having fun, switch it up: chasing your health and fitness goals should be exhilarating. Sure, there will be days where you’re just not feeling it, but if you’re constantly dreading your workouts, it’s time to switch it up.