Things You Should Do Before a Workout for Better Results

As more and more people are stepping into the wild and intense world of working out and fitness, there are numerous interesting things that have been shown to affect the way we train. There are several different fitness modalities and approaches, and most of them involve going to the gym. What most people usually consider a good workout is based solely off of their perception of how exhausted and sweaty they are. However, this is not the only indicator of a good workout. A quality workout session starts before you pick up the weights. Here are a few things you should do before a workout to ensure the best possible results. 

Pre-workout nutrition and supplements 

A good workout starts way before you enter the gym. In fact, it starts in your kitchen. In order to ensure that you have a good workout and perform at your best, you should make sure to carefully choose what you eat before you go to the gym. This means that not every type of meal will suit you during your session. Ideally, you should avoid food which is high in fat because it will be much more difficult to digest and it could upset your stomach during activity. Instead, you should focus on getting in plenty of complex carbohydrates and lean-meat protein. You should avoid eating simple carbohydrates from sweets as much as possible as it will cause an insulin spike and it will catch up with you during you workout, as you start to witness your energy suddenly crashing. In order to prevent energy crashes, you should definitely consider using pre workout supplements, which have been shown to considerably boost your performance and energy during your training session. 

Dynamic stretching

Most people who have a basic understanding of working out think that they should perform some sort of a stretch before starting any physical activity, and they are usually seen performing static stretch holds for their hamstrings. The reality is that not only does this not help you, but it can actually hinder performance. This is not to say that static stretching does not have its time and place, but that time is not before a heavy and intense workout, because holding a muscle in a stretched position for more than 30 seconds has been shown to loosen the muscle to the point that it reduces muscle activation and force production. A good alternative to this is performing dynamic stretches which means that the muscle fiber goes into a lengthened state trough an active movement. A good example of a dynamic stretch for hamstrings would be the elephant walk or leg swings. This is a surefire way to prevent hamstring strains while also keeping your potential force production unhindered. Now your stretching routine can be much more fun to perform and take less time. 

Don’t underestimate sleeping

In addition to getting a good post-workout massage, there is nothing better for your recovery than getting some good sleep. Sleeping is one of the most important factors for minimizing fatigue accumulated by past workout sessions. If you get a good night of sleep your recovery is guaranteed and you will be able to head into the next workout with no fear of getting injured and you can expect great performance. 

The power of potentiation

Potentiation is a recent method of warming up for intense workout sessions, where an athlete is given a relatively heavy barbell movement (5RM or 80% of your one rep max) before performing an intense activity, such as sprinting. This is essentially a weighted preactivation of the muscles that are going to be used during the sprint. It yields instant performance results and it mentally prepares you for the task. 

Hydrate 

Getting in enough water is key for regulating your temperature as well as keeping your muscles filled with proper nutrients necessary to perform well. Getting hydrated half an hour before your workout will ensure that you are performing optimally. 

A big part of getting good results from your workouts stems from having a solid pre-workout routine; getting good nutrition, performing dynamic stretching, getting good sleep, leveraging potentiation, and staying hydrated.