Arguably more important than what you do in the gym, is what you do to prepare for the gym.
Here are 5 tips that will help you avoid screwing over your progress in the gym before you even touch the weights:
1) Get A Good Nights Rest
This one is blatantly obvious. Yet, so many people completely neglect it.
The most powerful Growth Hormone spikes your body releases are in your deepest state of REM sleep overnight.
The more you deprive yourself of sleep, the more you are depriving yourself of much needed mental rest, sapping yourself of essential energy, and throwing your hormones out of wack.
Not to mention increasing how much fat you will store and decreasing the amount of muscle you will pack on by reducing the amount of time your body is in an anabolic state.
Do yourself a favor; make it a priority to get 6-8 hours of sleep each night if you want to perform optimally in the gym the next day.
2) Have A Complete Pre-Workout Meal That Digests Easily
The last thing you need pre-workout is a meal comprised of foods that will bog you down and make you feel like crap during your workout.
Lifting with a stomach distending from gas and feeling like garbage in general is never a good mix when it comes to maximizing your performance during a workout.
For your pre-workout meal, you should have an easily digestible carbohydrate, a complete source of protein, and a small amount of healthy fats to slow down the digestion of the carbohydrates, allowing for a slower and more sustained utilization of glycogen throughout your workout, as opposed to having a sharp spike in blood sugar levels all at once.
A perfect meal example would be some cream of wheat, a helping of chicken or fish, and a tablespoon of natural peanut butter.
Quantities would be relative to your own individual body weight of course.
Typically, allocating the majority of your day’s carbohydrate allotment around your workout (pre-workout and post-workout) will lead to the highest level of performance in the gym.
Another great, quick, pre-workout meal option is a cup of oatmeal with a scoop of whey protein stirred into it, as well as a tablespoon of natural peanut butter stirred in too.
3) Always Ensure You Have A Strong Source Of Motivation Going Into Each Workout
By this we mean that you need to have something that will motivate you to bust your ass and really train like an animal.
If you want to maximize your results, you need to put in a decent effort.
Doing that day in and day out can get tiresome, so having a source of motivation going into the gym each workout is a great way to kick your lazy ass back into top gear and get down to business when you need to.
For example, it could be building the body of your dreams, winning a competition, or something as simple as pushing yourself a little bit harder every day.
A great way to keep up the motivation is to always ensure that you take some time once per week to download new songs onto your “gym playlist.”
By having constantly having new songs that get you hyped up to throw weights around and go train hard, you always have a strong source of motivation when you walk through the gym doors, even if you're not feeling it that day.
Just turn on your tunes, turn the world off, and get after it.
4) Schedule Workouts With A Training Partner
We cannot state how overlooked this is and how helpful it can really be to your workouts to train with a likeminded person who has similar goals.
When you go to the gym with someone, there is not only an extra sense of urgency to not waste time fiddling with your phone and texting, but you also have someone who can push you through those extra intensely difficult reps that you would normally not be able to complete alone.
It’s always good to have someone to shoot the sh*t with and bounce training and diet ideas off each other during your workout as well.
Sometimes training alone and staring at a wall between sets quietly can get rather boring to say the least, and it’s easy to make excuses and half ass your exercises when you don’t have someone there egging you on when you want to quit.
5) Keep A Detailed Workout Journal
This is another no brainer, yet so many people don’t do this.
Without tracking what you're doing, it’s nearly impossible to remember exactly what weights you lifted and for how many reps on each individual exercise week to week.
If you don’t keep a workout log with you, you are shooting yourself in the foot as you will never remember what you did the week prior, and progressively overloading your muscle won’t be possible.
Slowly and steadily increasing your weights is the only way to effectively build strength, and if you aren’t keeping track of what you’re lifting, forget about making substantial progress anytime soon.
Even adding a rep each week, or 2.5 pounds each week to an exercise will add up over time, and eventually will equate to a huge increase in strength and muscle.
Not keeping track of your lifts is a surefire way to slow down your progress.
BONUS TIP: How To Maximize Your Performance In The Gym
When it comes to lifting weights and building the body of your dreams nutrition and training are of the utmost importance.
Without a proper diet and a proper training program where you are effectively hitting all of your target muscles you will only ever go in a circle from A right back to A.
Once you have a proper diet and training program down though, there are things that you can do to help speed up the process.
If you're looking to cut down some fat, RED BURNER can help you with that.
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It helps both in the gym, giving you energy to go hard, and at the dinning table, helping to reduce your appetite so that you can stick to your diet easier.
It's an all-around great product to help you burn fat and not hate yourself while cutting hard.
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