A productive workout, quite simply means faster results. The behaviours we adopt in the lead up to a workout can drastically influence the productivity of the session. I’ve gathered 4 common behaviours, that for whatever reason commonly appear in our routines in the lead up to a workout. Despite what common dogma says, they need to stop if you want a better, more productive workout.
A big meal before a workout is obviously a no no. It could give you stomach cramps and make you feel sick. Typically a higher carb meal is eaten before a workout as fuel for your muscles. On the surface this sounds like a good plan, but when you start to dig deeper there’s a lot more going on. A high carb dose may not set up an optimal hormonal environment for a workout. This is down to carbs stimulating the release of serotonin. This calming neurotransmitter will make you feel calm, and sleepy. Not the ideal way to feel right before a workout I think you’ll agree. Ever heard of the phrase “carb coma”? This is what it is. Instead opt for a light meal made from protein and fats. Salmon and nuts are one of my favourite things to eat before a workout.
For a long time stretching before a workout was deemed proper protocol for a warm-up. However in recent years studies have shown it to actually be counter productive. Stretching a cold muscle into deep end-range can lead to minor pulls and tears. In addition it can effect the contractile properties of a muscle, temporarily decreasing strength. Save stretching for after, instead begin with some foam rolling of tight spots plus some dynamic movements.
Sinking gallons of water before a session may seem like a good idea, but actually it’s not. You’ll feel bloated and could experience cramping. Make sure you’re sipping water throughout the day at regular intervals. This will keep you hydrated and there will be no need to “make up for lost time” right before a session.
You may think “Who would do that!?” But you’d be surprised how often this happens. Especially during the summer months. Even one glass of booze could put you out of tune with your central nervous system and leave you open to risk of injury. Alcohol can also dehydrate you, as can exercise. Combine the two and you’ll be at higher risk of becoming dehydrated faster.