Workout articles, healthy lifestyle tips, and fitness advice.

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

woman lifting weights with a trainer at Planet Fitness
Don't let sluggishness or crowded gyms hold you back. Here's how to get the most out of your workout!

by Catherine Santino


On some days, the hardest part of going to the gym is just putting on your clothes and physically getting there. Then, once you make it to the gym, your comfortable couch and remote control quickly become a distant memory!

But on other days, staying focused throughout your workout can be equally challenging. You're busy, so you want to get the most out of your workout, but you may hit roadblocks. Maybe you're feeling especially tired or frustrated, or the machine you want is taken, or you're distracted by all the work you have to do after your gym session.

Don't let those things hold you back! There are several steps you can take to get the most out of your workout, and there are tons of resources available to you. Here are some tips to keep you motivated so you can exercise effectively.

Consult Fitness Experts

Gyms provide great resources for their guests — not just equipment, but guidance as well. Don't be afraid to ask staff about speaking with a trainer for machine instructions or advice for new workouts.

These experts are there to help you get the most out of your workout, so reach out to them if you're feeling stuck!

Try Multipurpose Cardio Machines

Cardio machines that incorporate upper body movement, such as the rowing machine or the elliptical, can target multiple muscle groups at the same time. By developing your aerobic endurance and muscular strength simultaneously, you can get more bang for your buck!

Add Some Weights

Adding weights to your workouts can help build your muscles and burn more calories. Making movements a bit more difficult than they otherwise would be is a great way to boost your strength. It can even help reduce the chance of overuse injuries!

Love glute bridges as a low-impact exercise? Try placing weights on your hips to enhance the move. Doing a set of squats? Grab some light dumbbells. Incorporating strength training exercises into your regular routine is a great way to enhance your overall fitness.

Stretch It Out

Gym time doesn't have to be about just cardio or weights. Flexibility is a crucial element of fitness; stretching and foam-rolling can help prevent injuries and keep you feeling your best. Stretching can also improve your range of motion, helping you perform exercises even more effectively.

It's best to perform some light exercise before stretching, so your muscles are warmed up. If the machine you want is unavailable or you're just feeling a bit sluggish at the gym, grab a mat and do some stretches or foam-rolling to get the blood flowing! Aside from its advantages during your exercise routine, stretching can be super beneficial for your overall fitness.

Get a Post-Workout Massage

Consider this your reward for a job well done. After a hard workout, head over to the massage chair at the gym for a little post-workout TLC. Not only can this feel great, a massage can also aid muscle recovery and circulation.

Of course, we want to be as time-efficient at the gym as possible, but be sure to always take things at your own pace and listen to what your body needs. That way, you can get the most out of your gym time and get back to your busy life — or some relaxation!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.