Now and again, a high-intensity workout can be good for you. When you are training for an event or have a countdown to a holiday or special occasion, then you may need to schedule a gym session that you know will be harder work than usual. Here’s how you can get your mind and body prepared for a gruelling day at the gym.
- Focus on nutrition
It’s important to eat well before you go to the gym. A meal with lean protein is good, and you may also want to look for some supplements on https://vitahealth.co.nz/ to help you achieve your goals. For example, adding some whey protein to your morning smoothie can help you gain muscle and burn fat more efficiently, so it’s great for a pre-workout boost.
- Get a good night’s sleep
Turning up to the gym is a bad idea if you haven’t had a decent sleep for many reasons:
- It can leave you feeling unmotivated, so you may not get through your workout
- Tiredness increases hunger hormones, so when you combine that with a tough workout, you’re more likely to overeat junk food
- You’re more likely to make mistakes and injure yourself
You should also make sure you have a decent sleep on the night of your gym session, as this is when your muscles recover.
- Drink plenty of water
Hydration is essential when it comes to a tough workout, so don’t wait until midway through your routine to start drinking water. Make sure you get plenty of fluids before you even begin, and then top up your water bottle at regular intervals.
- Warm up properly
Not warming up is one of the main causes of injuries at the gym or when playing sports. You don’t need to spend a long time warming up, just 10 minutes on the cross trainer or a similar machine that works all your muscle groups. Although it can be tedious, it means you’re less likely to need weeks off from exercise because you’ve pulled or sprained something.
- Have some motivating music downloaded
Fiddling with your phone mid-workout will distract you from what you’re doing, so download your playlist in advance to last throughout your session. You may want to consider switching between music and podcasts, or even audiobooks, to keep your mind active when you work out.
- Get the right clothing and trainers
If you are uncomfortable, hot or have sore feet, then you’re more likely to quit halfway through your session. Make sure you have suitable clothing, from a sports bra to t-shirts that have mesh for ventilation, so you can stay comfortable throughout. If you’re going to be doing outdoor activities, pack light layers and spare clothing in case you end up getting caught out in the weather.
It feels great to push yourself now and again to achieve your workout goals. But intense workouts require preparation, and by having a few pre-workout rituals, you have a better chance of reaching your full potential.