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Maximise your workout

We spoke to some top personal trainers to find out how to get the most out of your workout and stick to your fitness goals

Define your reasons
“If you’re struggling to keep motivated when it comes to keeping fit, it can help to define the reason why you’re actually embarking on your new routine,” says Peter J Dudley, a motivational coach and trainer ( “Is it fat loss, muscle gain, running a race? It’s easier to stick to a routine if you know exactly why you’re doing it. Once you know why, then you can add specifics. For example, how much fat loss, muscle gain or how long you want to run for.”

Don’t hang about!
“Fitting in a workout can be tricky, so be sure to make the most of the time you’ve got,” says Katharine Busby, a personal trainer based in Newcastle upon Tyne and founder of Yes Please Fitness. “Plan your workout before you go to the gym – then get in there and do it, no hanging about. Time your rest periods – it’s easy for a one-minute break between sets to turn into a 10-minute Facebook check. And, speaking of Facebook, switch your phone to Airplane mode. Or leave it in a locker/at home.” Follow Katharine on Instagram: @misskbusby

Utilise your fat stores
“It’s hard to fit in a workout sometimes when you’re a busy mum or have a demanding career,” says Nilufer Atik, a fitness and weight loss expert. “But there are ways to cut down your exercise time and still reap the rewards. Performing moderate cardiovascular exercise on an empty stomach first thing in the morning for example, burns more fat because your body uses its fat stores for energy instead of fuel from food. So half an hour on a stepper or just power walking first thing can help you burn 20 per cent more fat than if you ate beforehand.”
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Make yourself accountable
“Being accountable to someone else can really help, so hire a trainer or work out with a friend,” says Peter. “Talk to friends and family about your new exercise routine. Putting it out there helps you stick to it.”

Do what you love
“In order to stay motivated you need to do something you will love,” says Peter. “There’s no point in joining a gym if you ‘think’ it’s what you should do. There are plenty of fun alternative ways to enjoy exercise.”

Stay open minded
“Be open to change,” says Peter. “If you don’t like what you’re doing then change it. You don’t have to love the thing you thought you would. Don’t plough on getting demotivated.”

Increase the intensity
“HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is based on working harder, not longer, to get results,” says Nilufer. “It involves exerting maximum effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods (for example sprinting then jogging). These intervals get your heart rate up and burn more fat and calories in less time – and more effectively – than long bouts of steady state cardio because they boost post exercise energy expenditure, meaning you continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours afterwards. The good news is you only have to do it for 15-20 minutes a day.”

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