Sometimes when you hit the gym, your heart just isn’t in it. Sometimes it’s stress, lack of sleep, soreness from last session, or maybe you’ve been stuck on a plateau for as long as you can remember (If that last one’s you, get in here!).
It happens to all of us – and it sucks serious balls.
However, there are simple gym life hacks to get back into upping your intensity – regardless of how you’re feeling.
This is a collection of both physical and psychological changes you can make to your workouts, that take minimum effort and can drastically change your results. Trust us:
1. Switch Up the Bar
Honestly, this one is die-hard broscience – but we’ve used it in the past and it’s served us well.
This is more for bros on plateaus just going through the motions. For arguments sake, let’s say your max bench is 225lbs – and it has been for months.
You run your warm-up routine, and tell yourself today is going to be the day. You load up two plates on either side and press that shit. But you only manage to do it once, and only once. Bro, wtf is wrong with you?
It’s a tragedy and seems like another wasted session – but bro, have you ever thought that the idea of benching 2 plates might actually be the problem? Stick with me on this. Instead of using two 45’s next time, why not one 45, a 25 and two 10’s, and try to convince yourself it’s a lighter weight?
At the mind controls the body, and there’s something about mixing up the order tricks that bitch into letting your lifts boom. Give it a shot.
2. Learn to Hate Mondays
We know, it’s national chest day all over the world. But if you’re favorite time to hit the gym is after work around 6 on a Monday I have some bad news.
Unless your gym is at home, chances are your gym is going to be surging with more testosterone than a gorilla’s nutsack. Now that’s a lot of dudes, and nothing kills a workout boner harder than having to wait seven years just to flounder around for 5 minutes on a half-broken pec-deck. Literally 2 minutes after you’ve fixed up the seat, and got the arms in the position that’ll help explode your gains, the whole gym is now asking you how many sets you’ve got left.
There’s two ways to work around this, and neither one is pretty.
Option 1: Be Garfield. Don’t go in on Mondays, re-arrange your schedule so you’re either hitting it Sunday or Tuesday.
Option 2: Be a morning person. Wake up at the crack of dawn and deliver yourself unto the temple of iron. Hit it up before work, and enjoy laughing at the idiots that didn’t – in what is literally a circus of members swarming your gym that evening.
3. End with forearms
As we’ve covered in our forearm exercise guide, a lot of bro’s don’t see the need in training forearms. The general consensus that surrounds this is that a solid back routine will do the job for you.
This is partly true, but you could be doing a lot more to help out with that grip strength, bro.
Training forearms is not a session in itself, and it’s a weak link that let’s down most lifts. Gaining grip strength will increase your gains and only add an extra 15 minutes or so to your workout. We suggest adding it on to the end of your workout, that way all the hard stuff is taken care and it can only improve your workouts.
4. Count like an idiot
This is for high-rep brahs that are finding the struggle very real. When you’re going for that hypertrophy, sets of 15 reps and the like can be daunting as hell. Unless you’re
not going heavy enough.
One of the main ways to get around this is to count like an idiot – it really takes the sting out of long ass sets. Take the fifteen reps for example, instead of counting all the way up to 15 – which can take forever depending on what exercise you’re doing – just count every rep twice for the first 10 reps and then finish with and easy five. Simple.
What you usually do: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8… ZZZZ
What you should be doing: 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,1,2,3,4,5
It makes the whole set easier to digest and really helps when knocking out a larger rep range.
5. Think about the journey not the destination
This is another problem that most bros encounter. It’s not their fault. It’s a hardwired issue that starts after beginning a lifting career.
Finishing a set.
Obviously finishing a set is important, but it’s not the be all and end all… particularly if you’re sacrificing form to get there.
If you’re not making the range of motion, you’re not really making the gains.
Let’s say you’re slamming some tricep extensions, the pin is at the bottom plate and you want 10 reps.
The first 5 are on point, but now your form is slipping. To compensate, you’ve cut the range of motion in half. Because you want 10, and will do anything to get there. With this goal, you’ve cheated yourself out of performing some good reps to meet your target. If you stayed on the track, you probably wouldn’t have made 10, but you would’ve made at least 3 more solid reps. And 3 good reps beat 5 shitty ones every day of the week.
6. Don’t Sit Down
One of the worst things you can do in between sets is sit down. Even if the exercise is something that requires you lying down or on a bench, between sets you want to get your ass up and moving.
The main reason for this is that sitting down between sets can lower your heart rate and decrease the amount of blood in your muscles. Why is this bad? Because with less blood passing through your muscles, it will take longer for the lactic acid to leave. This will leave you more fatigued than you would be standing.
Also sitting down really takes the edge out of your workout and puts you in more of a restful state – the last thing you want to be when aiming for some gaining is a yawning little bitch.
So put your phone away, brah, you can always do Tinder later. As for now, stand up and make some gains!
7. Enter the Alpha Arena
This one seriously needs a (no homo) tag. But one of the best ways to boost your gains in the gym is to surround yourself with dudes who are absolutely jacked.
Again, this is another verse straight out of the Bible of Broscience but there is something to this.
Train around guys who are absolutely huge, so huge they make your friend that you call a ‘monster’ looks like a wet tampon in comparison.
The idea is that your subconscious standards of strength and size should change. This will make you want to really up your game, and buy you first class tickets to Gainsville.
So there you have it. Our top gym life hacks for getting more out of your workout with minimum effort.
We personally think the rep-counting mind game has some serious plus points, as well as keeping stood up between reps.
Think it’s bullshit, or got something to add? Tell us more, Facebook comment away and we’ll look into it.