Have you ever felt like you’re spending hours in the gym, but not seeing any results?

Unfortunately, if you don’t plan ahead for your workout, you might find that all the time you’ve invested won’t yield many results.

Here are 6 elements that every effective workout needs, from pre-workout supplements to post-workout snacks.

The biggest mistake most people make is forgetting to plan what happens before their workout.

A good pre-workout supplement can ensure you have the energy you need to dedicate your mind and body to a successful session. There are tons of options to choose from, but any effective supplement should contain caffeine along with some key amino acids such as taurine and creatine.

Next, before you hit the weight room or the treadmill, warm up. This is absolutely essential for avoiding injury. Dedicate between 5 and 10 minutes to dynamic movements that help to prepare your muscles for the stress they’re about to undergo.

Now it’s time for the main event. Combine at least 30 minutes of cardio with strength training to ensure that you’re not only achieving weight loss, but building a better-looking form and stronger muscles.

Finally, end every workout with a cool-down and stretching, essential for avoiding injury.

After every workout, try a high-protein, high-electrolyte post-workout supplement or snack. A good post workout recovery supplement will help your body recover faster, and your muscles repair more efficiently.

Follow these 6 steps and start seeing more results in just a few workouts.

Check out and share our infographic for a step-by-step guide to the optimum workout.

For a more thorough look at an optimized workout routine using intermittent fasting, check out the following guide.

Example Optimized Routine Based on Intermittent Fasting

The following workout optimization plan assumes the following:

– Intermittent fasting has many health benefits beyond weight loss and should be practiced regularly for maximal health
– One of the best benefits of intermittent fasting is autophagy, a process of cellular repair and recycling
– Your schedule is flexible enough to accommodate a 16 hour fast

Note: If you can’t follow the ideal because of scheduling issues, do your best.

Step 1:
Begin a fast the evening before your workout (around 6pm)

Step 2:
Fast for 16 hours straight into a workout (around 11am)

Step 3:
30 minutes before your workout, drink a pre-workout supplement with some creatine to maximize results

Step 4:
Do a strength training workout with minimal rest and try to focus on supersets with drop sets that take you to your limit. Focus on time under tension.

Step 5:
After your workout, take about 40g of protein within 30 minutes. Whey is considered the ideal form. But some people do hemp protein or collagen protein as an alternative.

Step 6:
Eat a big protein heavy meal for early dinner.

Step 7:
If the workout was especially intense and you’re feeling worn out, consider 25g of Casein protein before bed. Casein is a slow acting protein that your body can use while you sleep.

Step 8:
Sleep at least 8 hours. This is when your body will do most of its repair work.

Step 9:
Eat an egg and veggie breakfast. An Omelet or scrambled eggs with veggies works great. If you’re vegan, anything with a lot of protein works.

Step 10:
Take a rest day for maximal muscle repair

Step 11:
On your rest day, start fasting around 6pm

Step 12:
Start all over (fast into your next workout)