Extracting every ounce of potential from each workout is paramount to continued evolution. Training stimulus is where change starts to happen. Diet and supplements support and enhance the improvements. With so much hinging on your workout, it's essential to prepare beforehand so that you enter the gym feeling fired up rather than lethargic.
Here are six powerful pre-workout rituals that can help you maximize every training session!
Ritual 1: Eat the Right Meal
Nutrition is pivotal to exercise performance, recovery, and overall progress. People's exact needs may vary, but I always recommend consuming a high-protein meal 90-120 minutes before training. I prefer easy-digesting protein sources such as fish or Micropure Whey Protein Isolate. It's also a great idea to include complex carbohydrates such as rice or oats because resistance training largely relies on the body's glycolytic energy system, which is fueled by stored carbohydrates. Your performance in the gym will usually benefit when you eat adequate carbs before training. Unless you are on a ketogenic diet, keep your fats low before training while carbs are present. Fats slow digestion, which is not what you want here.
Ritual 2: Hydrate Yourself
Make sure you are hydrated before training by drinking lots of water. Being even slightly dehydrated can have negative effects on your performance. You should already be hydrated, but as you're going to be training soon, you will experience fluid loss, so hydrate yourself before you arrive at the gym. Start doing it 90 minutes before the workout. If you drink too much too close to the workout, you may feel nauseated.
Ritual 3: Prime the Pump
With your pre-workout meal taken care of, prime your body by taking a pre-workout such as PRE-KAGED 30-40 minutes before your workout. You should notice an increase in focus and mental alertness. By using this ritual as an anchor to prep your mind, you will become more focused on training the mind-muscle connection over time.
Ritual 4: Eliminate Distractions
Don't allow things that could potentially detract from your focus! Spend time watching something motivational, such as training videos, or just sitting and thinking through the workout you're about to begin. Visualize each movement, each rep, each set, and walk onto the gym floor fully prepared to maximize your training.
Ritual 5: Use Music for Motivation
Driving to the gym is a time to become focused on the workout. Nothing else should enter your mind at this point. Select music that makes you feel euphoric and ready to crush any obstacle in front of you. Simultaneously, make sure you don't take calls, respond to messages, or check emails, all of which can quickly change your mood.
Here's my own Spotify pre-workout playlist.
Ritual 6: Get Prepared
Prior to training, it's normal to feel anxious energy. After all, you're excited to get started yet at the same time anticipating the pain. Nervous energy is fine in small doses, but too much can make you lose focus. Make sure you are prepared before training so you're not panicking about things when you get there. This includes having your water bottle, any supplements, and any equipment, like straps, you may require for your workout.
That goes for every training session. I strongly recommend keeping a gym bag containing all of the items you need in your car. That way, you minimize preparation time, which helps reduce the stress beforehand, enabling you to focus on the workout.
Time to Get Serious
For people who don't take their training and nutrition seriously, having pre-workout rituals may seem excessive. But anybody who craves the absolute best results needs to have them. Just as any professional athlete will spend time preparing before the game, you must prepare yourself to work out so that when the first set begins, everything feels right.