12 Hacks Personal Trainers Always Do (That You Don't)
When it comes to healthy lifestyle tips, who better to turn to than the professionals—the personal trainers who devote their lives to fitness? They essentially know how to train for the best results. They also have a ton of workout tips and tricks up their sleeves that we're totally not doing (but absolutely should be).
Thankfully for us, some of London's best trainers are sharing the trade secrets that will help us reach our fitness goals, whether that's which supplement will maximise your rest time or the one exercise you should do every single day for your best abs ever. These are the life hacks that personal trainers do on the daily to help make the most of their workouts but that we have never even considered doing. Get your notepads at the ready, and prepare to unlock the secret healthy lifestyle tips that will help transform your body.
Keep scrolling for the 12 tips and tricks London's personal trainers swear by.
Drink Plenty of Water
"Bring a glass of water to bed with you every night, and leave it there. When you wake up in the morning, before you put a foot outside the covers, drink the whole glass," says Shane Collins, founder of London boxing studio Kobox. "The health benefits are huge. Water is the key to everything in the body: your energy levels, your metabolism, your organ function, and whilst you were asleep you've had none of it. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps rehydrate your body; the real life hack is that it can boost your metabolism by up to 25%. Who doesn't need that in their lives?"
Kick-Start Your Day With Protein
"I like to add at least 25 to 30 grams of protein to my breakfast as part of my morning routine. It will help kick-start muscle protein synthesis for the day," explains Martyn Sklayne, personal trainer at FitMiBody. "I like a slower-releasing protein that is rich in casein such as Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese or casein protein powder which will keep you fuller for longer compared to whey."
Plank Every Day!
"It's not fancy; it's not clever; it just works to strengthen your core and abs, and you don't need to do it for long," says Collins. "Here's my five-minute plank workout: Start your stopwatch; let it run for five minutes; hold a plank; that's it! You won't last five minutes, but log how long you last before you have to drop out; try to beat that tomorrow. Whilst you are building up to doing a five-minute plank (and yes, eventually you will be able to hold a five-minute plank) take breaks in between. When you have to drop, rest for 10 seconds, and get back in until the five minutes are up. If you do it every day, you will take fewer breaks, and you'll be bragging about your impressive five-minute plank in no time."
Eat This Fruit Before a Workout
"An apple is a great snack to have before a workout because the high fructose levels make it low-glycaemic, and the high fibre content makes it slow-digesting too. Also, research shows the polyphenols in apples help to increase strength and endurance as well as decreasing body fat," says Mark Reigate at Power of Boxing.
Do Cardio Between Weights
"Instead of sitting down and resting between sets at the gym, do some cardio such as step-ups or skipping between your weights," advises Reigate. "This really ramps up the intensity of the workout and is a total time-saver, as it means you don't have to do any cardio at the end of your session either. Give it a go."
Learn a Skill
Personal trainers are so fit because they're lucky enough to have found a career they love that also keeps them active. While you may not want an active career, how about an active hobby? "One of the reasons people get bored of their fitness routines is that there is no real purpose, except to look good naked!" jokes Collins. "When we're kids, we spend our lives learning new skills and trying to improve. Embrace your inner kid and take up an activity that has you learning a new skill. Never did tae kwon do as a kid? Take it up now. The same principle applies to yoga, golf, boxing, running. If you find a discipline that is fun, focus on training like that type of athlete. The improvements you see will keep you coming back."
Yep, you read that right. "Eating a handful of Haribo, along with some protein, after your gym session will help you recover and restore your energy. These fast-digesting, high-glycaemic carbs are just what your body needs to help replenish your glycogen stores. They might also help satisfy a craving for sugar and help you get through your diet," says Reigate.
Plan for Success
"Don't go to the gym then walk around thinking what to do—go in with a plan, and you'll be out of there within 60 minutes," says Steve Mellor at Freedom2Train. "I always start my clock as soon as I walk through the door; this means minimal faffing around, and I get straight onto my warm-up."
Move Every Day
"You have to move every single day, even on 'rest days.' It sounds boring, but you need blood flow to recover from exercise, so walking or gentle exericse, like yoga, are all useful to help you and your body feel good. I actually feel shocking after a total day off—I prefer to do something light than nothing at all," says Mellor.
Drink Mint Tea After Dinner
"This is my life hack for not wanting cheesecake after dinner!" says Collins. "Mint tea has lots of health benefits, especially when drunk at night. It helps ease bloating, aids digestion and relaxes the body. That's all great, but the best benefit of all is that it tastes really good. Lots of us crave a treat after dinner, and this hits the spot."
Stretch Before Bed
"Stretching regularly helps you become more efficient with your movements during your 'gym time.' It also helps you relax and switch off after a hectic day, and stretching can improve your sleep quality," says Felix Ma, personal trainer at FitMiBody.