How To Get Real Results In The Gym

Whether you’re new to the gym or have been going for a while but not seeing the results that you want then something definitely needs to change.

I’ve seen it at every gym that I have been to. People on the cardio equipment or lifting weights for hours, sweating and working hard but they all have the same thing in common. They are not seeing results!

Does this sound familiar?

what to do in the gym

When I first started going to the gym I thought that if I lifted weights and did cardio I would transform and look exactly how I wanted.


I span my wheels for a long time with no results. I began blaming my genetics or thinking other people were just born the way they looked, or I was the exception. Only I couldn’t get in shape and look the way I dreamed of. I began to accept I was never going to look the way I wanted.

Just when I was about to give up I thankfully I stumbled onto the right information at the right time.

With this information, I began to rethink what I was doing in the gym. I was stubborn at first because I thought I knew what to do. I’ve always been a very stubborn person. When I finally gave in and trusted the processes that’s when it all changed.

I realized it wasn’t my genetics and that I was not the exception to getting fit.

I realized I was doing it all wrong. I was working hard and putting a lot of energy into my fitness but just in the wrong direction.

When I finally had the right trajectory, I took off!

So what does a perfect workout consist of?

A perfect workout consists of 4 things.

the perfect workout
  1. Warm-up

  2. Goal oriented resistance training

  3. Cardio / HIIT (High-intensity interval training)

  4. Cool Down


A proper warm-up prepares you for what you are going to be doing. This helps prevents injuries which can lead to taking time off and delaying your goal body. If you are working out your legs and butt then the warm-up should focus on those muscle groups. Likewise, if you are training your back and arms.

The warm-up should include:

  • Light cardio for no more than 5 minutes to get your body temperature up and blood flowing

  • Needed foam rolling for self-myofascial release

  • Dynamic warm-up to prep the muscles for what they are going to be doing

  • Muscle activations to prime the muscles for the workout.

All of this should last no longer than 15 minutes. The goal of the warm-up is to set yourself up for the best possible workout. If you warm-up with too much intensity or for too long you will fatigue yourself and that will take away from your workout. Holding you back from your true potential.

Goal oriented resistance training

Goal oriented resistance training, known as lifting weights, means everything you do has a purpose. You are not lifting weights just to lift weights but for a desired outcome. If you want to build a bigger butt or tone up your back and arms then specific exercises have to be done in a specific order with a specific intensity.

When we don’t have a plan then we leave success up to chance. Having a plan ensures the desired outcome, your desired body.

The resistance training is the bulk of the workout as it is the highest priority when it comes to toning up, getting fit and staying fit.

With lifting weights being so important you may spend anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes on this.


Depending on your goals dictates how much you need to accomplish in the workout which dictates the length of the workout. However, if the workout is too short you won’t get what’s needed to be done and if the workout is too long it could hinder your progress.

Lifting weights typically begins with the hardest / heaviest exercise and progresses to the easiest / lightest exercise.

Similar to the warm-up we want to avoid injury. If we lift weights for 45 minutes fatiguing ourselves and then do a very heavy technical exercise, that could lead to an injury.

The resistance training portion of your workout includes lifting weights as well as strengthening the core.

Cardio / HIIT

Cardio and HIIT is optional based on your goals or where you are at in your training.


Cardio should always follow your resistance training. If your goal is to tone up, get fit and look sexy this is the most efficient order to get that assuming we know resistance training is the most important to tone, build lean muscle, and improve our figure. So if we do a ton of exhausting cardio prior to lifting weights we will be fatigued and not able to get the most out of our workout.

We always want to prioritize what is important to us and do those things first.

There are two purposes of cardio / HIIT.

  1. Improve cardiovascular strength and health

  2. Burn more calories to accelerate/continue desired weight loss

If you are lifting weights and not as consistent with your diet or consuming a higher caloric intake adding in cardio can get you to shed the unwanted body fat. This could be done anywhere from 3-7 days a week.

When and how much cardio comes down to your overall goal, fitness program, and how you respond to it all. Typically the cardio / HIIT can last anywhere from 10-60 minutes a day.

However, the HIIT won’t last much longer than 15 to 18 minutes max due to its intensity. The steady state cardio can range from 20-60 minutes and can be as simple as walking on the treadmill on an incline.

Cool Down

Cool down

The cool down consists of letting your heart rate return back closer to a resting rate and stretching the muscles used during the workout to aide in recovery. During the cool down is an ideal time to look to increase flexibility if needed through static stretching.

If you noticed static stretching was not mentioned in the warm-up because that is not the most optimal way to prepare the muscles for the workout. There are some exceptions to the rules but that comes down to each individual.

The cool down can last anywhere from 5-15 minutes.


The ideal workout should contain a warm-up, goal oriented resistance training, cardio / HIIT, and a cool down. When no cardio is done the workout should last between 45 to 60 minutes. When HIIT is performed the workout should last anywhere from 55-70 minutes. If steady state cardio is performed the workout should last between 75-105 minutes.

This is all for one workout. Depending on your goals and experience this should be done between 3 to 6 days a week.


A great fitness coach will write an effective customized program containing the above-mentioned workouts that work synergistically to ensure you reach your goal in a safe, fun and timely manner. This saves you ample time and energy in having to figure out how to do it on your own. Then all of your energy is spent kicking ass in the gym and getting that sexy body you deserve!

click here learn how to get toned like my clients

Jamari Jackson