With a busy schedule and a standard workout routine, it’s important to find new ways to improve your time at the gym. Your new best workout buddy? Adrenaline. While you are most familiar with this hormone in exciting or scary situations, it’s invaluable to your fitness routine. Raise your oxygen levels and heart rate slowly for a sustainable, energy packed workout. Read on to find out why it works and how you can take advantage, too.

The Science

Adrenaline is stored up in your adrenal glands and released when you experience something that your body perceives as stress. When released, your body goes into fight or flight mode. When this happens your heart rate and breathing increases while senses become heightened. At this point, blood flow moves to your most important organs to prepare for “fight,” which sustains muscular activity. But how can you make this work for your next gym session?

4 Steps to Using Adrenaline at the Gym

In order to take full advantage of adrenaline you have to build and maintain it from the beginning of your workout all the way until the end. When you build your adrenaline levels slowly, you will sustain the energy throughout your entire workout. Never have a dull workout again with these four simple steps.

–  Start with a short, but intense cardio session. This should last 10 to 15 minutes and can be done on any cardio machine: treadmill, stairs, elliptical, etc. This is needed to raise your heart rate and start the release of adrenaline.

–  From there you want to increase your breathing rate and build upon that slowly throughout the workout. For weight lifting, increase the weight 5 to 10 pounds at a time. A steady build of adrenaline will allow you to sustain the energy.

–  Take a break from weight lifting for more cardio. Another short, interval will be enough. Instead of hopping back on the treadmill, however, consider jumping jacks, jump rope or hill sprints. You want this to be different from your first cardio sprint to maintain the changes in workout intensity.

–  Finally, try something new, whether it’s a weight you never lifted or a machine you never used. This will final push of adrenaline is what you need to sail through the end of your workout.

Finishing Your Workout

As with any workout you do, the cool down is integral to making the most of the work you just did. Standard endorphin release will allow your body to overcome the high adrenaline levels and come down from the stress your body is undergoing. A simple stretching routine will be enough to get back to average levels.

A lack of energy can be the difference between a good workout and a bad one. With this interval workout, meant to slowly increase your oxygen levels and heart rate, you’ll never get bored with your time at the gym again. Taking advantage of natural adrenaline release is all you need to take your workouts to the next level.