Workout preparation has many phases.
Beginning with the night before, ending with your post-workout shake, and everything in between. There are many steps that facilitate how your body develops, or how it doesn't. Has your body remained the same? Has it gone through a series of injuries, set backs, and limitations. Have your changed your routine, and educated yourself in the process? If not, you could very well be holding yourself back, or even setting yourself up for injury. Here are some top tips to get your body ready nutritionally, physically, and mentally for your next workouts. Make these changes, and it could be the key to gaining muscle, having the strength to go for more, or even preventing an injury.
Prepare mentally for your workouts, your game, or your event.
This is by far, the first key.
If you keep your mind in a place of positive visualization, you are more likely to achieve, and succeed. Picture yourself doing another rep. Picture yourself having the body that you dream of. Imagine that you are strong, and are crossing the finish line, or lifting that last set with more weight than the last workout. Visualize taking the trophy, getting "that look" from your partner, being in control of the goal.
A favorite book that changed my life is "10 Minute Toughness" by Jason Selk. The Mental Training program for winning before the game begins.
I never would have been able to get on a stage at nearly 50 year old, in a figure competition, if I hadn't read this book.
If you want to succeed at your "game", READ IT
This is what you live on BEFORE you hit the gym.
Are you living on empty calories, energy drinks, and simple carbs? Or are you feeding your body the necessary fuel to get that last lift, shave off a few seconds of time, or go another round? Do you have a diet rich in complex carbs, high in protein, and low in health fats? Are you eating often, and enough?. Did I mention complex carbs? This is where you will get the energy, the strength, and the stamina to work out with enough intensity to make a difference! Eat for energy, and strength!
Pre workout carbohydrate drinks. Supplemented with Glutamine, and BCAA's.
Necessary for combating fatigue, and keeping muscles fueled for the long haul.
Pre workout warm up.
This is where a lot of people mess up. People that are gym rats, and fitness experts need to spend more time on this. Warming up.
Warming up is key in workout preparation.
Getting your muscles, tendons, and ligaments ready for what they will endure next.
Foam rolling. Roll out the spots that get tight. Slowly and methodically.
Specific warm up sets, geared towards the body parts you will be using.
Planned out in advance. Intervals, or low volume. Circuits, or a heavy day. Plan it in advance. It is much more gratifying when you have accomplished what you set out to do in a measured fashion. Even better when you surpass it!
The Post-Workout cool down.
Stretching, and regulating the heartbeat to a slow, relaxed state.
The Post-Workout Drink.
The golden window of opportunity here. You can really set your body up for healing, and recuperation with this one. Within 30 minutes (keep it in your car) you should drink a mixture of simple sugars and protein, vitamins A,C, and E, to replace your fuel sources for your next workout. Miss this one, and it's almost like you negated a killer workout. Don't waste your hard earned time in the gym. There are already mixed powders with the right ratio's that are easy to transport, and mix with water.
Endurox R4 is my personal favorite. (The orange mixed with vanilla protein powder tastes like a creamsicle!)
Bottom line... PREPARE and Get READY!
PREPARE YOUR MIND, AND YOUR BODY BEFORE YOU GET TO THE GYM, THAT'S HOW YOU WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!