Naturally, going to the gym is not a matter of life and death. However, the same rules apply to the effectiveness of your workout: getting ready in advance will pay big dividends.
This is why your pre workout plan is so important. It sets the ground for a truly effective workout. Without it, your workout won’t have a strong foundation and, like a building, it will not be as steady as it could have been.
So, let’s talk about how you pre workout routine should look. Follow these tips and you’ll have more energy at the gym and you will get better results with your workouts.
Start Your Day Right
I make it a habit to eat a good breakfast each day. I find that it gives me more energy and greater focus in my work. On days in which I have a workout planned, I give my breakfast even greater thought. I usually have a good portion of protein and I make sure to drink plenty of water as well. Then, I know that I’m ready for the rest of my day. At least, as ready as I can be.
Have a Pre Workout Meal
There is a lot of talk about pre workout supplements that are supposed to give you more energy. I’ve never used any so I can’t really comment on them. What I do recommend doing is to have a good pre-workout meal about 2 – 3 hours before your workout begins. When I do so, I am stronger and able to do more intense exercises during the workout itself.
Eating too close to when you workout can make you feel uncomfortable and stuffed. So, eat a few hours before your workout and you will feel the difference it makes.
If you’re wondering what to eat before a workout, here’s what I do: I try to get a good sized portion of complex carbs and I make sure to drink a lot of water. The carbs are for energy and the water is to keep myself hydrated. If you do a good workout you will sweat a lot. You need to get your fluids.
Plan Your Workout
Do you know what you’re going to do when you step into the gym? If you don’t it’s time to write down a complete workout plan with all the exercises that you want to perform. I don’t want you to start thinking about what to do next when you’re in the middle of your workout or, even worse, remember that you forgot to do an exercise when you’re already in your car driving back from your workout.
You need a plan. You need to know where all the equipment is. You want your workout to run as smoothly as it can. So, take a moment and write down your plan. It is worth the time.
Get Your Gear Ready
Before you go to the gym, take a moment and make sure you have everything ready. Each person has different things he or she uses in their workouts. Some of the common ones include: music player, towel, workout gloves, water bottle, your written workout plan (see above), you washing gear, and a change of clothes. I’ve had many instances when I’ve forgotten one of these items… sometimes a few of them.
It simply sucks to go into the shower room after a really intense (and wet) workout only to discover that you haven’t any clothes to change into. In addition, driving in a car with a drenched shirt is not a pleasant experience.
Do a Warm Up
Once you’re already in the gym, the first thing you need to do is a warm up. I’ve been guilty of skipping warm ups myself, and I urge you not to do so. A proper warm up is very important. It reduces the risk of you suffering from sports injuries. Take 10 minutes and walk on a treadmill, use the elliptical or ride a recumbent bike. Get your body warmed up and you will not only do a better workout, but a safer one too.
Stretch Before Your Lift
I won’t go into the many benefits of stretching. I’ll just say that I do more stretches than most people. I don’t just stretch after the workout. I do so before the workout and even between sets and circuits. It’s one of the best ways to reduce muscle soreness (or prevent it altogether) and to lower the risk of injury. There’s a reason why athletes spend so much time doing stretches. They know how important it is.
What you do before a workout can have a dramatic effect on how it will be. Make sure to go through all the pre workout steps I’ve outlined and you will enjoy more effective and productive workouts.