7 Strategies to Make Your Workout Really Work

How to get the results you want

Do you ever find it hard to complete your workout or make your workout work? Maybe both? We’ve all been there at one time or another. What you may not realize is that The FIRM Master Instructors are busy women with jobs — a teacher, a nurse, a speech pathologist, a stylist and, of course, trainers at the studio — and families. We have multiple responsibilities and commitments — just like you — which pull us in every direction. Making time for daily fitness can be challenging. We face the same situations as women and men with lives outside of the fitness world.

To make our workouts work, we focus on getting real results using these seven strategies:

1. Use resistance

Whether it’s dumbbells, a balance ball, tubing or a band, stick or bar, resistance increases the effectiveness of your workout regimen because it increases your total calorie burn and improves your metabolism. Plus, muscles look great!

2. Combine upper and lower body moves

Why squat and then do shoulder presses? Save time, increase your heart rate and burn more calories by combining them.

3. Do your weight training and your cardio in one workout

Again, why make time for both when you can do it all at once? We like to alternate between three-to-five minute segments of cardio and weights. Or, you can do all weights and then cardio, or vice-versa. Either way, keep it simple. Hit every muscle group two to three times, and do about 20-30 minutes of cardio total (including your warm-up), and you’re finished in about 40 minutes.

4. Find a community

Whether you work out at home or at the gym, a group of people who encourage you, commiserate with your struggles and offer advice is extremely helpful. It can mean the difference between success and failure.

5. Prepare

This doesn’t only apply to scheduling your workouts, planning your daily menu, packing your lunch and getting your gym bag organized (though it does mean those things, too).

1. Prepare for the unexpected. For example, pack a “survival kit” — a healthy snack for when you end up skipping lunch or need to distract yourself from the birthday cake in the office break room.

2. Prepare for mistakes. Know that you will on occasion have some of that birthday cake, and know how to get back on track.

6. Don’t be afraid to say “no”

You actually can prioritize yourself and your workout. Whatever your routine, let family and friends know that you are unavailable during that time. You wouldn’t interrupt a visit to the dentist to take a phone call or ditch it to go shopping. Treat your workout time with the same respect.

7. Celebrate your success

Were you able to complete a whole workout? Ten workouts? Are your jeans a bit looser? Do you have more energy? Did you get a better night’s sleep? Be conscious of all the changes you see — big or small — and reward yourself.


Kirsten Palmer juggles teaching Spanish at a local college, training private clients, running a three-acre household with two toddlers, a sculptor husband and too many pets to count, and supporting members in The FIRM Believers Club with her practical, real-world advice.


The Firm

Article courtesy of The FIRM Believers Club, an online community that helps you reach your fitness goals. With maximum-efficiency home workouts, support and motivation from The FIRM Master Instructors, daily tips, personalized workout rotation calendars, and access to other members through discussion boards, The Club provides all the tools you need to get in the shape you want.

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Dorothy422's picture
User offline. Last seen 6 years 9 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 05/16/2010

I am little low in my weight and looking for some good tips, I am really hoping that these strategies will help me.

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