If you’re honest, when someone asks how your workout went, you can’t always say, “Awesome!” Sometimes it’s just “Meh.” Why is that? Why aren’t all your workouts incredibly productive – maybe even exciting? What can you do to make sure your workouts aren’t just “awful” but get you closer to the body you want?
Here are seven things you can start doing without delay to create excellent and productive workouts, an inevitable conclusion every time you go to the gym.
1. Be Well-Fed, Hydrated, And Rested: Everything you’ve done since your last workout sets the tone for the subsequent one. The foods you ate, the remainder you received, the fluids you drank – all of them affect how well you may recover and perform next time. Newborns reception, illness, missing meals, not drinking enough fluids (or an excessive amount of the incorrect sorts of fluids), and other stressors can all make your workouts flat as roadkill. Get these three things right consistently – nutrition, rest and hydration – and you have positioned yourself for fulfillment within the gym. Skimp on each of them and it’ll be an uphill slog all the way.
2. Set Specific Goals: Walking around the gym without specific goals is not a preamble to a successful workout. How can you train hard if you don’t know what you’re training for? Success requires more thought than just going to the gym and doing a few reps.
Next time, before you go to the gym, sit in a quiet place and think about exactly what you want from your workouts. Want to increase your body weight? Okay, cool! How much do you want to weigh and when? Or maybe you’re not happy with the size of your arms or legs. How much bigger would you like them to be? If you want your 16-inch arms to be 20s one day, set a short-term goal of adding an inch at 12 weeks.
The goal is to have a very clear goal of what you are working towards, and when you are going to reach that goal. Having a strong sense of purpose will stimulate you when you hit the weights or hit the wall. With a clear goal, you can attack your workouts with passion.
3. Slug Down A Pre-Workout: If you’re dragging throughout your workout, you might benefit from a little pick-me-up. Past generations relied on coffee to boost energy. These days, a wide variety of powerful pre-workout products are available not only to boost energy levels but also to boost mental focus and muscle pumps. If you’ve never tried them, you don’t know you’re missing out. Most products are designed to give you sustained energy for 60-90 minutes. Personally, I’d like to start sipping mine for about 30 minutes before I start warming up for my first exercise. I drink most of it while I walk to the gym and finish it right before I step through the door. This way, my pre-workout is at peak strength until I’m done training.
4. Change Your Workout Gear (Seriously): When you look good, you feel good. Think about how you feel when you look in the mirror wearing ripped old T-shirts and pajama pants. Now look at yourself in a nice suit and tie, ready for the big night. You feel more confident, don’t you? The same principle applies to how you dress for the gym. Treat yourself to new tops, shorts, leggings, t-shirts, and sneakers. This sounds ridiculous to some people, but study after study concluded that what you wear affects how you perform. There’s just something about buying brand new training gear that gets you pumped up to put it on and train.
5. Train To The Right Music: Music is an effective and powerful way to establish your character. It can make you satisfied, sad, angry, or need to get up and dance. It can also make you want to work out. Most gyms play top-40 tunes that don’t even motivate those 14-year-olds busy taking selfies in the mirror. Create your own playlist of songs that flip that switch in your brain into beast mode. It could be rap, speed metal, classic rock, or whatever makes it for you. If you’re bouncing and banging your head while singing along and not caring who’s looking at you, you’ve found the right music to help you kill your workouts.
6. Have A Rival/Training Partner: It’s not always easy to stay motivated and give every workout 100 percent. We all know how easy it is to slack off, cut corners, and make excuses as to why we didn’t go as hard as we should have or why we stopped recruiting when we had a couple more reps left in us. Finding a training partner, or better yet, finding a partner who can also serve as a friendly opponent, gets you on your game a lot more often. Your pride and ego will probably not allow that other person to show you and make you look weak or lazy. If you know you can bench press 315 for 10 reps pushing yourself, you are less likely to stop at 5-6 reps when your partner is watching you. When you’re alone, who’s watching? Who cares?
7. Attend A Physique Contest: It’s one thing to see pictures of a great physique on your phone or in a magazine; seeing them live and in person, bending and moving in front of you in real life is a completely different animal. No matter what stage of bodybuilding you are in, you can’t help but get psyched seeing so many men and women who are already trained and dieting is hard to imagine the biggest, most shredded physique they can. I’ve been in more contests than I can count on, and I’ve competed in plenty, too, but I still have that electric charge every time I go. It makes me want to run out and tear up the gym! There is just no way you can have anything but killer workouts after at least a week of watching these muscle flexing displays.