There’s nothing worse than getting to the gym, warming up, then going into your routine and finding everything suddenly feels like it weighs ten tons! If you go in without thoroughly preparing your body, you set yourself up for these kinds of gym disappointments. But never fear, we have 5 simple ways for you to make sure your next workout is your best workout!
There’s a reason why almost every pre-workout supplement on the planet contains caffeine; because it works! Caffeine has been shown to increase performance in athletes significantly, and is even banned in some sports. A cup of black coffee contains approximately 200 milligrams of caffeine, more than enough to get you going. Don’t like coffee? You can buy caffeine tablets, caffeinated energy drinks (depending on your goals), plus those pre-workouts I already mentioned.
Let’s face it, you can’t beat food. Some people cannot train on an empty stomach, some find it impossible to get results unless they get a solid meal in an hour before. This is highly individual, but the important thing is to figure out what works for your body, then do it! Need food beforehand? Make sure you’ve always got a shake and/or snack in the car. Can’t eat before but don’t have time for a meal afterwards? Again, pack up your food and take it with you. Better to have a cold meal sitting in the parking lot than to eat at home and have an awful workout.
This one may seem obvious, but many people just do not drink enough water. And given that a measly 2% of dehydration can lead to significant losses in performance, it’s fairly important you get this one right. If this is something you struggle with, try this: drink 0.5l before your workout, 0.5l during and 0.5l afterwards. This pretty much guaranteed you’ll hit your daily requirements, helping you to perform and recover properly.
Creatine is one of the most studied, safest supplements on the market today. And, just like caffeine, it’s found in almost every pre-workout supplement. The reason is that your body’s energy systems deplete creatine storage during your workout, meaning that having a little extra just might get you those extra sets and reps you need to grow! You don’t even actually need to take this pre-workout. Just take 5g per day, taking a break every 8 weeks if you feel you need to.
Another obvious one that’s surprisingly easy to overlook! There’s a saying that you don’t get strong by lifting, you get strong by recovering from lifting. If you’re not recovering properly, you’re going to have a bad time next time you get under the weights. So get a good night’s sleep and reap the benefits.
A lot of this might seem like common sense, but I bet a lot of you reading this are missing out on one or more of these key factors and sabotaging your workouts. Try implementing all 5 for your sessions this week and I guarantee you’ll see a big difference!
Pic by: www.flickr.com/photos/68711844@N07