Factors affecting the effectiveness of your workout

So many people think that a good workout is simply just slapping some exercises together, adjusting the reps, rest time etc. together and soon you will be seeing some changes. However, there are many other factors that will impact your workout and the results. Here are a few areas that may need to be adapted to find see why your workout may not be working for you (as much as it could).


Dehydration causes many problems in the body. Around 60% of our body is water therefore, we need to continuously replenish this to ensure every system runs effectively. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, fainting, poor muscle recovery and potential injury. We lose greater amounts of water when exercising as well as in humid environments, therefore it is crucial to hydrate before during and after exercise. Our body can only take in about 500ml at a time, but typically enough to replace the stores we have lost. This means you need to hydrate regularly rather than glugging because the body is unable to retain it and it will pass through without hydrating the body.

Work-rest ratio

This ratio looks at the amount of time you are performing exercises compared to the amount of time you spend resting/recovering from each exercise in the workout. We have three systems for energy the ATP (and phosphocreatine system) which fuels activity lasting up to 15 seconds and the anaerobic system which is activity lasting up to 90 seconds, then the aerobic system which fuels anything greater than 90 seconds. The recovery period, therefore, depends on which energy system is being used, depending on the length of each bout of exercise. For the ATP system, recovery is around 30-50 seconds, the anaerobic is 1-3 minutes and the aerobic typically go at a ratio of 1:1. Therefore, ensuring you take the correct rest break is important, to ensure the muscles and the body systems are having the opportunity to keep renewing and powering through the workout.


Diet is not a quick fix. Science has proven that quick-fix diets do not work and the majority of people will replace the weight they lost (and if not more) when they end their diet. Therefore, it needs to become a lifestyle changing, incorporating good nutrition throughout every day and every meal, ensuring you correctly fuel the body.

As well as fuelling your body correctly as a lifestyle, it is also important to fuel to body appropriately before and after a workout. If you don’t fuel up properly before a workout, then your body is unable to perform the best in a workout. Around 90 minutes to 120 minutes before a meal, a large meal incorporating protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats will be great fuel for your workout. However, if left later to 30-60 minutes before, then op for a lighter snack or carbohydrates and protein, to fuel the body but without feeling lethargic from the digestion process. Exercise also causes stress on the body, therefore, we need to provide it with energy to help recover. A post-workout snack should include fast-digesting carbohydrates and some protein, which will be the most beneficial to help the body recover.


Rest is vital. During the rest period (particularly sleep) is when the body replenishes and rebuilds. Also, if looking to build muscle, the rest periods allow the muscle to repair but also grow. Overdoing exercise can put your body into a catabolic state, this is when your body takes energy from the muscles, this is contrary to the purpose of exercising. Even elite athletes get rest days. Getting adequate sleep is also important. The benefits of sleep are well known and outstanding.

Even a basic tweak can help improve your current regime. For more information on how I can help you with a current or new regime, contact us here! You can also learn more about the comprehensive ebook programs I have to offer, specifically designed to help a wide variety of clients who want to train the whole body or specific areas or want to workout at home instead of the gym. Get in contact today to find out about the best fitness programs available to you!

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