15 gym hacks to improve your workout and motivation

Lunging between stations, leaving your phone at home and listening to audiobooks are some top gym hacks to boost your workouts

cat gym
Staying motivated in the gym can be difficult Photo: Giphy.com

If you’ve got into a gym workout rut, we’ve got the perfect tips to help.

Some of the suggestions – provided by money saving site PromotionalCodes.org.uk – are motivational, like treating yourself to a new gym kit, creating a playlist to get yourself moving and going with friends.

Other hacks allow you to make the most out of your time at the gym, like lunging between stations, standing instead of sitting between sets and visiting during off peak times.

“Most of us shell out around £40 per month for our gym membership but don’t make the most out of it,” said Darren Williams from PromotionalCodes.org.uk.

“We’re either procrastinating from going or doing the same old routine when we do go.

“These pointers show that by making a few simple changes to your gym habits, you can save time and get more motivated to work out.”

1) Lunge between stations

Instead of dragging your feet over to the next workout station, try lunging across the gym. It will keep your heart rate up without wearing you out and keep your muscles warm.

2) Put frozen berries in your water bottle

If your water bottle always ends up being unpleasantly lukewarm, put a handful of frozen berries in it. It will keep your water refreshingly cool as well as adding some flavour and a healthy sugar boost.

3) Don’t watch the clock

You don’t have to stay hours to make the most of your workout, watching the clock will only make it seem like a chore. Don’t wear a watch and keep going until you feel you’ve come to a natural stop.

4) Have a plan and stick to it for the first month

Going to the gym with no structure is never going to get you motivated. Most gyms offer a free session with an instructor to create the right work out for you for the time you have. Write down each set you want to do and take this with you when you workout. You’ll feel a great satisfaction ticking off each set as you go.

5) Don’t take your phone

Exercising is a brilliant stress reliever; so don’t add to it by checking your work emails every five minutes. Phones are also a huge distraction so leave it in your locker; you can live without Twitter for an hour.

6) Mix it up

If you’re bored of your workout it’s time to make some changes. Try going to some classes or going for a swim. Ask a member of staff about a piece of equipment you haven’t used before and give it go.

7) Don’t just do cardio

It can be very tempting to jump straight on the treadmill, set it for 45 minutes and stay there for the duration. Whilst cardio is great, mixing it with weight training will maximise your workout to make you leaner, fitter and stronger

8) Wear nice workout gear

If you go to the gym in an old baggy T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, you’re going to feel just as grotty. Treat yourself to some new gear and you’ll notice the difference not only in your confidence but also in your workout. Most decent workout gear is sweat-wicking so it will keep you fresh and cool.

9) Visit during off peak

The peak times for most gyms are around 8am before work and 5.30-7pm after work. Try and squeeze half an hour in during your lunch break, go later in the evening or on a Sunday.

10) Get a good playlist

The oldest trick in the book but it really helps. Gym radio stations can get monotonous so create a playlist that really gets you moving. So you don’t get bored of the playlist, try making different ones for different stations.

11) Try and go with friends

Get a close friend to come with you when you go to the gym and don’t flake on them. They’ll act as motivator and as well as helping with your workout. If you can talk to someone whilst running it will regulate your breath to make sure you’re not overexerting yourself.

12) Listen to an audiobook

If you’re not a fan of the top 40, download an addictive audiobook or podcast and only allow yourself to listen to it when you’re at the gym.

13) Always keep a gym bag packed

Even if you’re not planning on working out, take a packed gym bag to work or leave one in your car. That way if the mood takes you, you don’t have to go home first and give yourself the option to decide against it.

14) Don’t sit between sets

It’s common knowledge that standing burns a lot more calories than sitting down. It will also benefit you psychologically as it will let you focus on your work out instead of sitting down and allowing your mind to wander.

15) Make friends with the exercise ball

Incorporating exercise balls into your workout is simple but extremely effective. Use them for crunches to improve your balance and raising and lowering one when squatting works your arms too.

The information on this website is intended for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis, and may not be used as such.


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This article was last updated on November 11, 2018.
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