Imagine, if you will, that moment when you look in the mirror after getting back from the gym and not noticing any real difference. Frustration mixes with disappointment to leave a bitter tasting bile in the back of your mouth. You resolve to hit the gym even harder the next day, but you’re faced with the same frustration at the end of the day.
The exercises you do at the gym go a long way in helping you reach your fitness goals, but nearly as important is what you do leading up to each gym session. There’s more to working out than simply doing endless sets of lifts. That’s why it’s important to have a pre-workout routine in place long before you even step foot in the gym. To make sure you’re working out effectively, join Axis Labs as we outline some of the things you should include in your pre-workout routine.
Why Your Pre-Workout Routine Matters
When it comes to getting fit, we’re often quick to attribute our success to the time spent at the gym. It’s the most obvious connection the slimming waistline or developing muscles we see. But for most, a trip to the gym lasts about one to two hours a few times a week. It’s hard to make the argument that all of your fitness success is thanks to the gym alone.
Instead, it’s important to know that reaching your fitness goals is a cumulative process. The decisions you make both in and out of the gym contribute to your overall well being, and your ability to reach your fitness goals. That’s why it’s important to have a routine in place that prepares you for your workout and keeps you healthy and fit between trips.
Your Success at the Gym Starts at Your Pillow
We’ve all had that moment when we finish up at the weight rack after adding on a few extra pounds and smashing out our reps. We feel invincible! But that feeling can be linked back to how much rest you’re offering your body.
The connection between sleep and your performance at the gym is actually well known. While anecdotally, you might feel like you’re not at your peak when you visit the gym after a sleepless night, research has proven this to be true frequently. A study conducted in 1981 tested a group of subjects, having them perform a series of exercises after getting more or less sleep. What it found was that while your body’s response to the lack of sleep may not affect your performance, it’s actually your brain’s response that affects it the most. The study found that after three days of sleep deprivation, the subjects underperformed during the exercises because they felt more tired and couldn’t focus.
So what’s this mean? It means that you owe it to yourself to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
Hydration is Key
Despite having easy access to clean water, some people still aren’t getting enough water every day. Not only is this affecting their health, but it’s also affecting their performance in the gym. Being adequately hydrated is one way to ensure you’ve got the energy you need to complete all your reps and sets.
Water offers your body a host of benefits that matter most when you’re exercising. Being hydrated keeps your body at a normal temperature. It also serves as a cushion for your joints, meaning they can move smoothly. It also protects muscle tissues. So how much water should you be drinking a day? The Mayo Clinic has suggested that males should drink about 3.7 liters of water a day, and females should drink about 2.7 liters each day.
That doesn’t mean you should slam nearly 4 liters of water right before you work out. In fact, quite the opposite. Instead, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you drink about 17 ounces of fluid roughly 2 hours before you start to work out. This is enough to keep you hydrated — without making you want to run to the bathroom after every set.
Time For Snacks and Supplements
There’s been a long-standing line of thought that you should work out on an empty stomach in order to burn more fat. But the reality is that trying to crush your weights on an empty stomach might actually be working against you. Feeding yourself before your workout actually helps to kick start your metabolism, meaning you’ll burn more fat. At the same time, you’ll also have the energy you need to complete your exercises and focus on your fitness regimen.
If you caught our last blog post, you already know that timing is everything when it comes to using your supplements and snacks. You should plan on having a light meal or snack around 30 to 60 minutes prior to your workout. This combination of food and pre-workout supplements is a great way to feel more energetic and alert before you start your routine. You’ll also find that you can work out longer because of the nutrients within the supplement. As an added benefit, the supplements are packed with BCAAs, or Branched Chain Amino Acids, which help you recover more quickly and maintain your gains.
Train With a Purpose
So, you’re well rested, hydrated, fed, and you’ve had your supplements. What’s next? It’s time to battle plan. You might have friends who visit the gym and just kind of wing it, but you might also notice that they aren’t seeing the results that they’d like. That’s because, without an exercise plan, you’re really just wasting your time at the gym.
A fitness plan helps you to keep you from over or under training. Without a plan, you might move from weight rack to machine and back again, unintentionally only ever working the same set of muscles. Nobody wants to look like they’ve skipped leg day, so make sure your training plan calls for it. Your plan also provides a structure so you can target some muscle groups one day, another the next and so on. It keeps you motivated to keep visiting the gym, and also keeps you from burning out when you aren’t seeing results right away.
Your Source For Pre-Workout Supplements
When you make your pre-workout routine a pivotal part of your exercise regimen, you’ll find that you feel better when you get to the gym and that your workout is more effective and thorough. The result? You’ll reach your fitness goals faster.
An easy addition to your pre-workout routine is our lineup of supplements. Axis Labs uses ingredients that are lab-tested and gym-proven to create pre-workout supplements that help you get fit fast. Order your pre-workout products today!