Thinking about how to have a good workout made me evaluate my own current training principles.
It would be ideal to tick all of these off the box but sometimes it isn’t possible.
Aiming for as much of them as possible will put you in a much better standing than most.
We all have good workouts and bad ones.
It is an inevitable part of the fitness game.
There are too many variables involved for it to go perfect every time.
The more resources that you have available to you means that you can control most of these.
By doing so you will increase your chances of having a good workout.
For example, if you are a professional athlete then your full time job revolves around working out.
Then you can pick closer to perfect circumstances to workout out in every time.
Whereas if you are working in an office with 3 kids at home, working out will have to be fitted in somewhere down the list.
Remember to refer to this post before a workout if you ever have any doubts.
By doing so you will understand how to have a good workout.
That is much more than a lot of people can say.
Let us begin.
1 Relaxation – How to have a good workout? Relax.
The opposite of relaxation is stress. When you feel in danger your body will kick into flight of fight mode.
This is all well and good when it serves a purpose to protect you. It helps to keep us alert and paying attention.
Too much stress can cause cortisol levels to spike which is a catabolic hormone. This results in leaving us fatigued and our performance in the gym suffering.
What is stressful to one person isn’t to the other. Some life circumstances are out of our control and some are not.
To reduce stress we should try and minimise the factors which we have control over. Tense relationships at home and work is one that can be solved with the right communication.
2 Caffeine – Our good friend caffeine. Being the worlds most popular drug, it is not hard to see why.
It can be found in either coffee, energy drinks or in some toxic preworkout.
Coffee is the best choice as it cuts out all the nasty additives that were scrapped from the bottom of a sewer.
Try it for yourself next time before you exercise and feel the effects first hand. A higher quality coffee will give you a better focus and less fogginess.
Be careful not to take too much at the beginning as you do not know your limits yet.
3 Carbs – Some may call carbs the enemy. One thing is for sure, they are great if consumed pre workout.
Eating carbs will replenish your glycogen stores and raise your blood sugar levels. A slow digesting source of carbs such as oatmeal or brown rice will sustain your energy levels for longer and keep you full.
This will give you enough fuel to power through your workout no problem. The pump ain’t bad either.
4 Protein – Consuming protein before a workout will ensure a positive nitrogen balance is maintained and protein synthesis is increased.
It will also help with rest and recovery to prepare you for your next workout.
5 Motivational music – This is one of those things you may not notice until you have experimented a bit. Being forced to listen to whatever the local radio station is blasting isn’t the best of fun.
Everyone has their own musical preferences so it’s important to select what is best for you. Some prefer heavy hitting metal and others prefer upbeat dance music. I’m not judging.
Listening to the right tracks can release those feel good chemicals such as dopamine as well and help minimise any pain you may feel during your workout.
6 Good environment – There is a noticeable difference between training at a commercial gym with no barbells and a dedicated muscle building one.
Even noticing little details like motivational quotes and pictures on the wall can be enough to get that last rep.
Gyms which discourage grunting are stating that they don’t want anyone pushing their limits.
7 Good training partner – Training partners should be there to motivate you not bring you down. If you go to the gym with someone who is constantly on their phone and not interested then you will suffer.
Having somebody that you cannot count on to spot your reps isn’t the best way to make progress. On the other hand, having a partner who motivates you to hit your goals will lead to more strength and muscle gains.
The perfect training partnership should have some competition as well. The result it that everyone is constantly striving for more.
8 Hit PRs – Scheduling to hit Personal records is a sure fire way to pump yourself up. When you have nothing to aim for it is easy to ‘go through the motions’ and simply make little progress.
Having goals will make you focus from the very first rep to the last. Hitting a PR is also a great indicator to know how to have a good workout.
Making strength gains will lead to muscle gains. Those added reps or weight on the bar will show as rock solid muscle soon enough.
9 Stretch – Correct stretching and warming up will put your body in the best circumstances to perform. By getting your blood pumping and your muscles loose they will be ready to stretch and contract much better.
Risk of injury is also reduced when stretching and mobility is done. Taking joints through the full range or motion beforehand will reduce risk of pain.
As so many live their lives at the desk it is essential not to rush into moving heavy loads.
10 Enough time – Don’t rush things. This is not something that all of us can do. As mentioned before we cannot all workout under optimal conditions every day.
This list is for what is optimal but that is not necessary to make progress. Of course it is ideal but you must prioritise tasks.
Those who want to know how to have a good workout should remember that rushing can lead to a lack of rest and thus less opportunity for strength gains.
Getting in a 30-45 minute workout 3x a week is great and enough to make gains. One thing is for sure and that is that a short workout is better than no workout.
11 Sleep – Sleep is vitally important for our bodies functioning. Some can perform just fine on 5 hours while others will need a full 9 hours.
With proper sleep our nervous system will be fully recovered and ready to fire on all cylinders. Being sleep deprived is similar to that of consuming some alcohol.
Our decision making skills and coordination is reduced and we become irritable and drowsy. Getting enough sleep is a must if you are looking to progress in the gym and build muscle.
12 Routine – Having a routine gives a sense of order to our lives. With working out it is no different.
Before we step foot in the gym we should know exactly what we are going to do. Visualisation is a powerful tool which can aid us in conquering our lifts and coming home happy.
Always make sure to leave room for adjustment however. Some days you may feel extra powerful. Don’t be afraid of getting an extra rep in if you are capable of it. Unless you are on a strict schedule then this shouldn’t be an issue.
If you were wondering how to have a good workout well then here was your answer. Following this post will lead you on the path to success in the gym.
Thanks for reading,
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