5 ways to get more out of your workouts

You've committed to a workout schedule and have been giving it your all for weeks now - so why are you so tired and irritable? If you're doing too much cardio, not eating right, or just doing workouts that aren't challenging enough, you won't get any results from all of that hard work. Training hard doesn't always get you results. You need to do the right types of workouts consistently and make sure you're eating right.

Here are five ways to get more out of each and every workout:

#1: Weights first, cardio second. If you like to hit the weights a few times per week, make sure you're doing your weight and strength training routine before any cardio. You still need to do a short cardio warm up before lifting but plan on exhausting your muscles with your weight routine before you tire yourself out with a cardio routine.

#2: Make your diet count. What you eat before and after your workouts plays an important role in performance and your energy level. Skipping meals in order to save calories, forcing yourself to work out on an empty stomach, or just eating too few calories throughout the day can set you up for binge eating and make it impossible for your body to recover. If you're really training hard, you need a sound nutrition plan to complement your workout regimen.

#3: Exercise good form. It's too easy to forget about your posture and holding your core in tight when you do the same routines over and over again. Work out in front of a mirror whenever you can so you can monitor your form. Practicing good form will engage all of the key muscle groups during each activity, prevent injury, and also help you get more out of your routine.

#4: Switch it up. If you've become a cardio addict - or only do strength training routines - it's time to switch things up. Your body adapts to any type of workout fairly quickly. If you're working out every day and doing the same type of workout, you'll probably adapt as quickly as a couple of weeks. Rotate your workouts so you're working different muscle groups and challenging your body with different styles of workouts. Join a group fitness class to try something completely new or just switch to a different machine at the gym. Remember your goal is to always be challenging your body as you push ahead.

#5: Set realistic goals. If you haven't gone running in months and suddenly decide to hit the treadmill every day this week, you're going to burn out fast. You might also set yourself up for some serious injuries. Set realistic goals and make sure you have an accurate idea of your endurance and strength level. You need to work with what you've got and push yourself just a little further week after week. Too much too soon won't get you any results.

More content from this contributor:

6 foods that make you fuller, faster

7 habits that pack on the pounds over winter

5 stress-busting snacks for any difficult day