Preparing for workout is as important as the workout itself. Without the proper physical as well as mental preparations, your mind and body will be ill-equipped for the demands which successfully performing a workout require. Being physically ill prepared or in the wrong frame of mind will increase your probability of injuring yourself. Preparing for a workout is actually very easy. It involves hydration, having the right mindset, ensuring proper rest, wearing the right clothing, stretching and warming up. By following these pre-workout tips, you will be prepared to enter the gym with confidence and log a solid workout.
1. Rest well before a workout
When a person finishes a workout, he or she often base his or her satisfaction on how thoroughly fatigued his or her body feels. After all, the point of workout is to thoroughly fatigue the muscles so that they are forced to rebuild with greater levels of mass, strength and density. But, this is what is supposed to happen after the training, not before it.
You will face many problems if you are feeling exhausted and tired when you begin your workout. Instead, it is important to ensure a proper amount of rest the night before your workout. This means getting approximately eight hours of solid sleep. Many studies have shown that muscles growth occurs while you sleep. Therefore, a lack of sleep will prevent you from making appropriate gains in muscle strength, density and mass.
2. Avoid distraction and have the proper mindset
The overall productivity of your workout will mostly depend on your ability to focus and your frame of mind. When you start a workout, you should be thinking about the exercises you are about to perform, the muscle groups you are looking to target, and how the exercises will help you make gains in muscular density, strength and mass. If your mind is instead preoccupied by worries related to school, relationships, work and other aspects of life, you will encounter problems.
Consider meditation, if you are having difficulty clearing your mind and focusing on your workout. It is important that you strive to minimize distractions during the training itself. This means telling those who depend on you that you need an hour to yourself, turning off your phone, and disconnecting form services like Facebook and Twitter, if only temporarily. Only you can know the proper procedure for minimizing distractions, since their nature vary so much from person to person.
3. Clothing for strength training
What you will wear during your workout is another important pre-workout consideration. You should strive to wear clothing which is tight enough to not impede your natural range of motion and loose enough to not become caught in the equipment. For many people, this means wearing an outfit akin to a pair of athletic shorts and a tank top. You can examine your existing wardrobe to see if you already have clothing which will fit the bill.
According to many studies, women should consume about 90 ounces of water per day, while men should consume about 125 ounces. However, most men and women receive approximately 20% of their required daily hydration though food. This means that you should drink at least 73 ounces of water per day if you are a woman, or 100 ounces if you are a man. Additionally, if you are losing a high amount of fluids throughout the day, the amount of water which you consume per day should be even higher.
Staying hydrated is of crucial importance to people who exercise. Without proper hydration, your body will have a much harder time transporting water, oxygen and nutrients to your cells, which will reduce the effectiveness of your workout and will diminish your energy levels. You should drink water throughout the day in order to prepare for your workout, rather than waiting until you are thirsty. You may feel sluggish and bloated if you guzzle water immediately before a workout. Instead, it is better to hydrate yourself slowly and continuously in the hours leading up to your training.
5. Warm up before a strength training workout
It is important to warm up before you begin your actual workout. Warming up is not stretching, and should take place before it. The purpose of warm-up is to increase the flow of oxygen and blood throughout your body and raise your body temperature. This will prepare soft tissues in your body for the rigors they will face during your workout. In order to properly warm up, perform a light cardiovascular activity for about 5 to 10 minutes. This may involve riding a stationary bike, jogging on a treadmill, jumping rope or performing some other aerobic activity you enjoy. If possible, make the warm-up which is appropriate to the muscle groups you intend to target with weight lifting.
Stretching is actually a separate component of your pre-workout routine, despite the fact that it is often lumped in with warming up. Perform your stretching after your warm-up. In order to properly perform a stretching routine, spend about 10 to 15 minutes engaging in different stretches, especially ones which target the muscles you intend to work during your training. Stretch your muscles evenly and slowly, and avoid stretching to the point of pain. Take deep breaths as you stretch, and try to prevent your body from making and bouncing movements.