My main focus prior to my workout is centered on preparing my mind and body for total destruction. Getting into the right mindset during the pre-workout window is so important to me.
In fact, now I crave the structure and routines I have established. Even seemingly minor details are of great importance in order for me to arrive at the gym feeling completely prepared.
In this article I'm going to share my top five pre-workout rituals for success.
My 5 Pre-Workout Rituals
1. Visualize Victory
The night before I train I'll already know what clothes I'm going to wear. For hours leading up to my workout I'll visualize myself in these clothes, in the gym I'll be training at, and doing the exercises I'm scheduled to do. This visualization routine enables me to be fully prepared before the physical battle has even begun.
Once my workout commences, I've already visualized it in its entirety and "experienced" victory against the iron successfully completing all the lifts in my plan. This is such an important part of my preparation as it mentally sets me up to achieve my goals for the workout.
2. Remove All Distractions
An hour before the gym I will not check my phone, email, or social media feeds. This helps remove all distractions from my mind. The last thing I want to be thinking about before I train is a work-related stress, or obligations which may cause anxiety.
To achieve my highest state of performance I need to be totally focused on the workout ahead. Training is as much mental as it is physical.
3. Extreme Hydration
Most fatigue is due to dehydration. Amazingly, being just 2% dehydrated can cause performance to suffer by up to 10%! Upon waking I will consume a liter of water with a scoop of Hydra-Charge.
The five natural electrolytes from tender coconut water extract help saturate my body with hydrating properties, ensuring my body is primed to perform to its maximum potential. Without adequate hydration, the perfect diet or supplementation plan can be futile as the nutrients won't be transported throughout the body.
Hydration is an important factor throughout the entire day, not just the pre-workout window. However, in this timeframe, it's essential to prepare your body with the proper electrolyte balance before the sweat starts dripping.
About 30 minutes before my workout I take a serving of Pre-Kaged. This product is dominating the pre-workout category in the supplement world right now, and with good reason.
Rather than skimping on the effective ingredients and relying on stimulants, Pre-Kaged contains carefully calibrated amounts of L-citrulline, taurine, leucine, and BCAAs, just to name a few. In direct comparisons to competing brands, it's obvious that Pre-Kaged offers a more comprehensive combination of ingredients.
A pre-workout's success shouldn't be measured by how much of a "buzz" is experienced. Cheap, synthetic stimulants will give you a short term buzz, however, this usually has an adverse effect on performance, recovery, and sleep. Pre-Kaged delivers performance enhancement, improved fatigue buffering, and better mental focus. These outcomes are what I look for in a pre-workout more than anything else.
Including this in my pre-workout routine ensures I will be mentally and physically ready for the session. Taking it 30 minutes before I start my warm-up sets ensures the product will have had time to hit my blood stream and start to take effect on my neuromuscular system.
5. Motivating Music
On the way to the gym, I'll jack my speaker system right up, listening to music which makes me feel motivated and energized! By this point the Pre-Kaged is getting into my system, waking up my neurological pathways and sharpening my focus for the work ahead.
I make sure to keep my music playlists up to date and full of my favorite songs which block out any distractions and make me want to work as hard as possible. This final factor in my pre-workout ritual gives me that extra surge required to hit the gym with maximum intensity.
All of these steps are things you can easily implement to experience more success in the gym. The causal part-timers will ignore a lot of this advice, but anyone who is committed to their fitness goals and has invested time into it, knows how important all these seemingly small things can be.
You need to head into your workout with an established plan, a clear mind, the necessary energy, and a vision of success. If you're totally serious about maximizing your potential and making as much progress as possible, you'll develop some key pre-workout routines of your own, but feel free to use these five as they work so well for me.