Health & Fitness

How To Make The Most Of Your Workout

Fitness wise, we’re a mixed bunch here at Grazia HQ. While some run their commute, spin every other day and box their way to the weekend, others have never so much as looked at a gym kit. It was with this in mind, that Grazia teamed up with fitness giants Nike, to embark upon an exlusive and all-encompassing training programme.

The programme focussed on two different types of training. One, with master trainer Joslyn Thompson-Rule using the new Nike Training Club App, (which we told you all about here) and the other, with hip new Covent Garden gym, Another_Space, switching between their HIIT, yoga and cycle classes. For eight weeks – under mild militant rule – alarms were set at 6am on Tuesdays, and on Thursday’s, all-important going-to-press deadline responsibilities were (reluctantly) relinquished in pursuit of greater fitness (and the prospect of abs).

To keep our fitness spirits alive (and to hopefully motivate yours), we asked Joslyn how you can break your habits to incorporate working out into your daily routine – from what you should eat and when, to debunking fitness myths.

Should you eat before your 7am workout class?

Ideally you should get some form of energy in to help fuel your workout, but it also depends on whether you can stomach food that early. I would keep it light like a banana or some berries with yoghurt and see how you go. Definitely experiment with what works for you. For some people just a coffee will suffice and may be beneficial before your workout anyway.

Would a protein shake be more beneficial before or after your workout?

A protein shake is more beneficial after your workout. In shake form it is quick to drink and easier to digest, helping you replenish immediately after your workout.

What protein would you recommend for women that want to get lean and not muscular?

Possibly the most popular question I get asked! Women have less testosterone than men and so it is difficult for us to get the ever-feared "muscular" look. However protein is protein, the process for women to get "lean" is the same as required by men to get "muscular" and that is to lift heavy weight, using large compound movements like squats, lunges and deadlifts. This smart training, coupled with a well balanced diet will do wonders to move you towards the "lean" look.

Do short workouts really make a difference - even those that are just 15 mins?

Yes, if they are done at the correct intensity. This will usually be done on an interval type basis where a period of high intensity is followed by a period of lower intensity (to recover) repeated several times throughout the workout. It is not physically possible to go all-out for 15 minutes, but this interval-style training will allow for the required work/"rest" ratio to get results.

How soon before a workout should you have your coffee to help give you a kick start?

It really depends on the individual. I sometimes might have a double espresso before a tough workout but only if it is before 2pm as I am a little caffeine-sensitive and would be up all night! So I would say experiment with it and see what works for you.

How would you determine if you’re beginner, intermediate or advance candidate for the app?

If you are new to exercise or returning to exercise after an extended period of not exercising, choose 'beginner' workouts. If you train 2-3 times per week and have been consistent for 8-12 months, choose 'intermediate' workouts. If you train 5-6 days a week and have been doing so for more than a year, choose 'advanced' workouts. The NTC app records your workout data intelligently and will suggest workouts and levels for you, according to your fitness, once you are using it regularly.

Drinking water throughout a workout is important - but is too much unbeneficial for you?

There is such a thing as hyponatremia which is when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. This can happen due to drinking too much water over the course of an endurance race like a marathon. There are very low chances of it happening during a regular workout unless there is some underlying medical condition present. Hydration is extremely important however so make sure you are hydrated before your workout, and top up as necessary during your workout.

Are workouts with no weights or equipment just as beneficial as those with? Or should you limit them to a certain amount weekly?

It's important to get a good balance of workouts during the week. On the NTC app, we have three equally important components: strength, mobility and endurance. Ensuring that you are doing at least one of each during the week will keep your programme balanced.

If you’re struggling to fit a workout into your busy day is there anything you can do at your desk or in the office?

This may surprise you, but I would just suggest taking time out to breathe using the following count: breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, exhale for 6 seconds. Repeat this ten times. It's likely that if you haven't had time to fit in a workout due to being busy, your stress levels are a little high and you just need to breathe. It really will be more beneficial to you than stressing about not working out. Oh and take the stairs instead of the lift too, you know the drill

SEE MORE: Yoga might not count as exercise

SEE MORE: Fitness trackers might make you fatter

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