It’s great that you’ve made the decision to be active and live a healthy lifestyle. It’s even better that you have been able to stick with your decision for some time. Unfortunately after some time you’ve hit a plateau and you’re likely not seeing the same improvement you had from the outset. While there are a lot of ways to improve on your workout regimen, it may not be your regimen that’s kept you static. It could be what you’re doing (or not doing) before you hit the gym that has hurt you in achieving the fitness levels you set out for.
Lose Your Accountabilibuddy
You may have found early on that you needed to be accountable to someone in order to work out. When you’re body is still sore from the last workout, it’s really easy to talk yourself out of showing up for today’s. Having to be accountable is a great way to stay motivated and it is nice to have someone there to push you. However, now that working out is as much a part of your weekly routine as the job and time with friends and family, it’s time to cut the cord. This doesn’t mean you need to cut ties with your partner or avoid going to the gym with a friend. It only means that it’s time to focus on your workout and keep distractions away. It’s unlikely your workout partner should be on the exact same regimen as you. Not lifting the appropriate weight or spending too long changing weights is a good way to waste time and effort. I suggest going a step further by leaving the cell phone in the car as well. That may sound sacrilegious in today’s tech savvy world, but making your workout about you and eliminating distractions is a great first step in breaking through new barriers. You’ll be able to eliminate unnecessary down time during your workout and avoid being a gym rat who lingers too long.
Quit Driving on Empty
The next step in improving your results by altering your routine also takes place outside the gym. I am always perplexed when I speak to people (ladies more than men) that head to the gym without having eaten anything in quite some time. They complain of being hungry and tired early on in their workout. Everyone knows you can’t drive a car without fuel, yet they believe their bodies can perform on empty. Sports drinks can give you a quick boost but these are designed for long athletic contests in hot and humid conditions. Eating a healthy snack 45 minutes to an hour before your workout is a great way to give you the extra energy to push through. This also allows you to stick with water and avoid sports drinks which are high in sugars and unwanted calories.
Ditch the Lengthy Cardio and Stretching
Now that you’re at the gym there are still a couple more ways to keep your pre workout from diminishing your actual workout. Most novice and experience gym members tend to do too much stretching or cardio before their workout. For those who feel that stretching is essential to a good session of strength training, should consider that static stretching causes joint instability which actually hinders your performance. Now if your workout includes sprinting or high intensity interval training (HIIT), then dynamic stretching is imperative to avoid serious injury.
Nothing pains me more in the gym then seeing a patron waste away on a piece of cardio equipment for an hour after arriving and then begin strength training. If you’re looking at cardio to loosened up before weightlifting, look instead to a dynamic stretching routine. There are many routines online that you can test out. Just remember 5-7 minutes is all you need to break a small sweat, which is all you need in a warm-up activity.
Only you, your physician, or personal trainer know your body best and what you’re looking to accomplish in the gym. It’s important to remember that there isn’t a cookie cutter approach to fitness. What works for others may not work for you and that’s okay. However, eliminating these bad habits during your pre-workout should provide a nice leg up in the race to your personal fitness goals.
This article was written by Brian Levesque, a content writer for Rejuve Health Clinic which is based in Orlando, Florida. Rejuve is Central Florida’s premier testosterone therapy replacement clinic.
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