The day we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. UK gyms are back open and so we can get back to working out and doing what’s best for our mind and bodies (yay!). Your TALA set prepared for the morning and workout plan ready to go, but how do you know you’re getting the best from your time exercising? In this edit of TALA Talks, we’re giving you 5 key things to remember when you get back to the gym. It’s so important to use your workout time efficiently to make sure your body benefits from times where you’re more active than usual. The smarter you work out, the healthier and happier you’ll be - and let’s not even get started on the results you’ll start to notice! 

FORM - Look the part, play the part, be the part. 

The greatest thing about having the correct form is that once it’s mastered, you’re set for life!. When learning new exercises, before chucking on lots of weight, make sure you’ve been shown the correct form of an exercise and perfect it bodyweight. So, why is form so important, surely it should be about the number of reps right? Not necessarily. Proper form whilst working out has several game changing benefits. Firstly (and possibly most importantly) it massively reduces the risk of injury, especially once you’ve added some weight! Moving correctly, keeping your back flat when needed, bracing your core and being aware of what your knees are going in a squat, puts you on the right track to avoiding injury and getting the most out of your workout. With great form comes great….. muscle gains. What we mean by this is when you complete an exercise using the right form, you ensure that you’ve used all the muscles required for a movement ultimately giving you better results! 

PROCESS - The before and after is more important than you think.

Whatever you’re training, be it your upper body, lower body or a full-body workout, your pre and post-workout training is key to bringing the best out of every session. Including a warm-up and cool-down on either side of your training allows your body to make the necessary adjustments to prepare for the activity. Warm-ups improve blood flow to your muscles which allow them to function properly. Your muscles demand more oxygen during exercise and easing yourself into each workout allows your stored oxygen to be distributed more efficiently. Alike to your form, the cooldown supports injury prevention by releasing the build of lactic acid to speed up your body’s recovery period. Trust the process, don’t rush it. 

STRETCH - Loosen and repair those muscles.

Stretching is the best way to cool down your muscles and wrap your workout up like a pro. Firstly, endorphins are released once your body starts to cool down which creates that proud feeling once you’ve finished a workout. After many laps of repetition in different exercises, your muscles build up tension which needs to be removed so that they can repair into new, redefined muscles. This, in turn, can benefit your flexibility and improves your general posture as well as reducing soreness the following day.

PACE - Faster isn’t always necessarily better.

You may have heard the word ‘burnout’ in recent times - a feeling of complete exhaustion that isn’t very pleasant. Whatever your goal is when it comes to exercise, it’s difficult to keep a high level of excitement going in the long run because your body needs time to adjust and recover from the change in activity. When you’re in the gym, pace each exercise and don’t cram too many exercises in.. It’s better to do 10 squats with good form than 20 with poor form! The rest period between exercises is crucial for your body to repair itself whilst storing enough energy to perform efficiently when you resume. Listen to your body, you’re both in this together. 

LIMITS - Push yourself but don’t hurt yourself.

With every workout session, challenge yourself to do that little bit better next time, but be reasonable with each increment to avoid doing your body more harm than good. When planning your workout schedule, be realistic with your goals, leaving yourself enough room to grow and reach that goal with a routine in place to sustain it. Slow and steady will always win the race, so give yourself time to enjoy the journey. Even if that means starting small, the most important thing to remember is consistency is key. Don’t allow yourself to be disappointed if you can’t work out 5 times a week, celebrate the fact that you exercised 3 times and build from there! 

Exercising is a wonderful way to relieve stress, elevate your mood and keep your body healthy to live life to the fullest. In your next gym session, remember these 5 points and create your own workout flow! If you still haven’t got your gym fit ready, have a little browse on-site to find the perfect fit for you. Follow us on @wearetala for inspiration and connect with the #TEAMTALA community. 

Written by Elizabeth Alli 

Credits: Personal Trainer - Lianna Swan