How to Prepare For A Workout
If you’re a person who takes their workouts seriously, and are in the gym every week to get stronger, build muscle, or lose fat, you’ll know that once in a while crappy gym sessions will happen. It’s inevitable.
You guys know what I’m talking about. You load up the bench press with 220 lbs, perform 5 HARD reps, and then look at your training log for last week, and saw that you pulled off the same weight, but performed 7 reps instead. It can be mentally defeating, and can throw off your workout completely.
There is nothing worse than going to the gym, and not being able to lift the same number of reps with the weight you used last week, and we all know that building muscle and strength is all about progression. Lifting less than you did the week before can be devastating to your progress. Not having the mental focus can be devastating to your progress. I’ve been there, and I’m sure many of you can relate as well.
In today’s article I’m going to be giving you some tips on how to prepare for a workout, to make sure you go into your workout 100% prepared to bust through those strength plateaus and continue to make progress in the gym.
1) Hydrate your body
This is the main reason why people crappy workout sessions. Dehydration. Going into the gym with your body dehydrated, or on the brink of dehydration can have a huge impact on your workout. Dehydration can leave you feeling lethargic, and can have a huge impact on mental state. Your muscles are also roughly 75% water, and having a properly hydrated body going into the workout session is crucial if you want to maximize your strength in the gym. Not only does water help with strength, it also works as a lubricant for your joints (synovial fluid is comprised mainly of water) that prevents injuries on those heavy lifts. It is recommended that you start hydrating your body a few hours before the gym session. Click here for my article on proper hydration and workouts.
2) Fuel Up
Food works as fuel for the body. You wouldn’t go on a road trip with a tank that’s almost empty without fueling up would you? So why would you go into a workout hungry? There are many who make the mistake of going to the gym on an empty stomach, thinking that it will help them burn more fat. This is a horrible way to go about it. Going to the gym hungry, and feeling tired, will definitely have an impact on your workout, especially if you are performing a long cardio session. It’s better to eat a small meal consisting of fast acting carbohydrates, protein and fats to provide you with the energy you need to power through the workout session at MAXIMUM intensity and effort. Heavy lifters will definitely need a meal 1 or 2 hours before hand to help with those heavy lifts.
3) Review your workout log
If you’re serious about your goals in the gym, you’d better be keeping a workout log to track your progress. Before your gym session, go over your previous weeks lifts to make sure you know what you need to beat in the current workout session. This is the ONLY way you will prevent plateaus in the gym and keep consistent progress. It’s a great way to prepare mentally, and gives you a good idea of what you need to do to before you do it. Mind over matter.
4) Warm up!
Many guys I see in the gym, don’t properly warm up the muscles before packing on the workload. This is a huge mistake, and you will be sacrificing a few reps if you don’t properly perform a warm up. A warm up is meant for increasing muscle temperature, core temperature and blood circulation throughout the body. This will help muscles work at optimum strength. Recommended 15 minutes of light cardio and dynamic stretching before hitting the weights.
That’s about it guys. The 4 things that I usually do to help me prepare for a vigorous workout. I hope that you guys take these 4 points in serious consideration and spend some time doing them as well. See you in the next article.