Are you looking to have the perfect workout? There is almost nothing better than being on top of your game in training. Picture this scenario: You are on your way to the gym. Last night you were able to get some solid sleep and you now feel stronger than ever. You are excited to begin training. Your confidence level is through the roof and you can almost see yourself pushing through your previous workout plateaus. Knowing that preparation is essential, you have in one hand a bag containing your pre-workout snack and water bottle. In the other hand you are holding a small booklet with your training logs. You are physically and mentally prepared for the battle you are about to put your body through!
When I began training I had no idea that there were certain steps I should follow when getting ready to exercise. I would wonder why on some days I would be full of energy and on others I would feel lethargic. Once I had begun to properly prepare for workouts I was able to feel better in the gym and easily increase the intensity of my training. The following article will examine some of the physical preparations you can make to help you ensure that you have an awesome workout. A sample meal guideline is also provided.
Making sure you have gotten good quality sleep will do wonders for your training. How much sleep will you need? Well, if you are looking to maximize your results, a minimum of 8 hours of sleep will be necessary. If you find yourself not getting enough sleep during the night, a short nap of 20-30min will often help to rejuvenate the body. Everybody has a busy life and it may take a some sacrifices in your daily schedule to make time to rest, but your body and your mind will thank you for it.
If you do not plan to succeed, you are planning to fail. Going to gym without a workout plan is one of the WORST training mistakes you can make. In order to maximize your results, you are going to have to know exactly what to do, all the time. Prepare a sheet that tracks your goals, the week’s workouts, total work performed in sets and reps, and a comment for each workout.
General Pre-workout Nutrition Guidelines
Before training you must make sure you are putting the optimal fuels in your body to succeed. Pre-workout nutrition is crucial for sustaining a high energy level during exercise as well as maximizing your results.
Water is absolutely essential pre-workout and during exercise. You must make sure you are well hydrated in order to perform at your best. Drinking water pre-workout will help to increase fatty acid metabolism, protect your joints, and help to transport nutrients to the muscles. Another benefit is that drinking water consistently will help to prevent dehydration. A 2% dehydration level of the body can cause physical performance loss of up to 10%. Aim to drink a water bottle an hour before exercise and another 10-15 minutes before you begin your workout.
Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of fuel during intense exercise. In order to keep your energy levels up you can choose complex carbohydrates, especially those of the low glycemic index variety. These foods are best for pre-workout as the sugars in them are slowly released into the bloodstream. The effect is a gradual, but long lasting rise in energy levels. Some of these foods include oatmeal, brown rice, berries, green vegetables, beans, cooked potatoes and cooked sweet potatoes. Simple carbohydrates and high GI foods have sugars that are quickly released in the bloodstream, causing an insulin surge. This can signal your body to store more fat as well as leave you feeling sluggish towards the end of your workout. Aim to have 50-75g of complex carbs 60-90min before your workout.
Protein helps to repair and rebuild muscle tissue after training. Don’t miss out on it! The best way to get your protein is to include it in a small meal before training as well as a shake after. Some good food choices are protein shakes, chicken breast, eggs, fish, or lean cut beef. Aim to have a small meal containing 20-50g of protein 60-90min before exercise as well as a shake with 20-50g of protein after exercise.
Sample Workout Nutritional Guideline
90 min before exercise- Pre-workout meal. Chicken breast and green beans. Handful of berries of your choice.
60 min before exercise- 1 bottle of water.
10 min before exercise- 1 bottle of water.
10 min after exercise- Protein shake.
Follow the directions above and you will be physically primed for your workout!