There’s no point in messing around when it comes to exercise—it’s crucial to create (and stick to!) a fitness regime that maximizes the time you spend at the gym. The good news is, when it comes to a weight training program, there are lots of tips, tricks and techniques that you can implement to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

  1. Stick to a schedule

While training once a week is better than not training at all, if you really want to reap the rewards of resistance training, then you’re going to have to make enough time for a workout at least two to three days per week. Keep in mind that you should also build in rest days. This is crucial for proper recovery.

  1. Quality over quantity

If you are making time to workout, it is important that it is time well spent. Don’t put too much pressure on the actual weight that you might be lifting, but more on the response of your muscles and the quality of your lifting. I like to never go to failure, so make sure you have one or two reps left in the tank at the end of a set.

  1. Slow and steady wins the race

Moving too quickly through your sets can have detrimental results. Not only are you at risk of injury, but you can also be at risk of losing momentum within your workout. Move at a steady pace that your body feels comfortable with. This will ensure you are targeting the correct muscle areas, and being safe while doing so.

  1. Compound lifts

Compound lifts are king. Get good at the basics, like squats and presses, before focusing on isolating moves to a certain muscle.

  1. Don’t stop

Avoid resting for too long when completing multiple sets. If you power through each set without stopping, you will really feel the burn and get the most from your resistance-training program. It is vital not compromise your form though. Form must win out over speed every time. If you work for pure strength or power, rest needs to be longer.

  1. Use more equipment

When attempting to maximize your resistance workouts, the more equipment the merrier. Experienced gym-goers can utilize various apparatus’ to create a challenge for themselves. Holding a medicine ball while squatting, or using a resistance band while lifting weights can be a simple way to work a number of different muscles during your workout.

  1. Mix it up, but not too often

Adding variety to your resistance training program will keep your body from getting injured. However you need to stick to a program for a while before changing it. 4-6 weeks is a good time before it’s time to change it up. The big lifts should always be in there in some way however.