Are you getting the most out of your workout session, even if you're not training with a personal trainer? Your time is precious, and you have to know that what you do at the gym is effective and is optimizing that time and effort you invest. Work smarter, not harder, to achieve the stronger, leaner and more flexible body you want. And you can only do this by completing these 5 things before you work out. Each tip is designed to get you burning more calories, increase your capacity to build muscle and improve cardiovascular fitness.
1) Be hydrated. Drink sufficient water at 2-3 hours before you exercise. Of course you should always keep your body well-hydrated no matter if you exercise or not, but consume a little more a couple of hours before hitting the gym. This will help your body improve the circulation of nutrients, which can have a positive affect on your ability to maximize your physical state and decrease your recovery.
2) Eat well the day before, specifically if you have low blood pressure. The last thing you need to happen is to experience that crash during your work out. You know, when you just hit that brick wall and simply cannot move any longer. Eating well prevents this from happening, so you can remain at peak performance.
3) Don't eat right before your workout. Food that's just been delivered to your stomach needs energy to digest, meaning you'll be diverting precious energy to your stomach instead of your game. It's bad for gastro-intestinal health and makes it harder to workout, plus the valsalva maneuver is compromised. If you eat anything, keep it to a light snack (e.g. banana) and eat it an hour minimum beforehand.
4) De-stress and mentally get yourself ready. Take time to relax, particularly if you're emerging from a busy or stressful environment. A positive frame of mind is crucial, especially because a negative one can tap energy from your nerves-- it should be used on your workout!
5) A little coffee won't hurt, and it may even help you to perform better. Charles Poliquin, an Olympic Strength Trainer, recommends taking a caffeine supplement about 45 minutes before you start exercising. Research has found that it may also help you burn fat better.
While every one has their things they do to get driven to work out, these tips have all been provided as a way to optimize the results you achieve from your workout.
Now what are you waiting for? Get your sweats on and hit the gym!
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Mike Landon is a personal trainer who writes for Personal Trainer Toronto. He has been a certified fitness professional for 10 years and he’s an avid runner, tennis player and martial artist.
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