Doing certain things before a workout can help increase energy, improve focus and boost overall athletic performance.
And a high-performance workout leads to more impressive progress in muscle growth and fat loss.
So, here I will give the nine best things to do before a workout to maximize your performance and make progress faster towards your desired goal.
9 BEST Things to Do Before a Workout
Here’re the nine best things you can do before a workout to enhance your performance.
1. Have a Snack
Let’s begin with one of the most important things you can do before a workout, the pre-workout meal.
Eating a healthy snack about 45-60 minutes before training is a great way to enhance your performance in the gym.
Related: 10 Best Foods to Eat Before a Tough Workout
Because working out on an empty stomach reduces our strength level, we will not give our 100% while feeling hungry, which leads to a less effective workout.
So, you must make sure that you’re consuming about 20-40 grams of both protein and carbs before your workout to perform challenging exercises efficiently.
Related: The 50 Delicious Pre-Workout Snack Ideas
2. Take a Nap
The next thing you can do is take a nap before your workout. Although it might sound simple, but studies show that taking a nap can impressively boost our performance.
For example, a 2019 study shows that taking 25 minutes nap before a workout leads to significant improvements in performance than taking no nap at all.
And also, if you’re an evening guy and have tried enough, just taking 20-30 minutes of nap is an excellent way to restart your day.
3. Drink Water
One of the most crucial but easy things you can do is keep your body hydrated.
Whether we’re trying to build muscle or lose fat, creating a hydrated environment in the body is critical in order to get our desired results fast.
Drinking enough water before a workout is essential to maintain a proper flow of the nutrients and supplements we’ve taken and keep our muscles hydrated and ready for an intense workout.
So, make sure you drink about 500 ml of water in the 60 minutes before a workout and 500-700 ml during training.
4. Have at Least 25g Protein
If your goal is to maximize muscle growth, you should have at least 25 grams of protein before your training.
But, you can still build muscle without doing this as long as you take enough protein throughout the day.
However, even if you already get enough protein throughout the day, you can increase the benefits slightly by taking in protein close to your workouts both before and after workouts.
For example, multiple studies show that eating protein alone or with carbs before and after exercise increases muscle protein synthesis, leading to muscle growth. (1, 2, 3)
Related: How Much Protein Do You Need to Build Muscle?
5. Take a Supplement
Another way to improve your performance is by taking a supplement, and beta-alanine can be a good one.
Beta-alanine is a great supplement that reduces the lactic acids in the body and increases energy production and your muscles’ ability to contract, which results in better performance.
Although beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid, it works pretty similarly to squeeze out a few extra reps when you would normally fail.
When you take 2-5 grams of beta-alanine, you may feel pins and needles on your hands and a tingling sensation on the lips. Still, you shouldn’t worry because beta-alanine is a natural amino acid, and it’s considered a very safe supplement.
However, if you don’t want to take beta-alanine, you can take a caffeine supplement, but instead of using them daily, you can use it on the days you need a little extra boost.
Related: 5 Best Supplements to Build Muscle FAST
6. Keep a Workout Plan
The next and most critical thing about getting results is to have a clear plan, which is more crucial when we’re trying to build muscle and lose fat.
And it’s a very common mistake for people to go to the gym without knowing what they’re going to do, which can make workouts longer and less effective.
So, instead, what you should do is follow a proper workout plan according to your goal, whether it’s muscle building or fat loss.
You can follow our most popular workout programs:
- The Perfect Beginners Guide to Gym: 3-Month Workout Plan
- How to Build Muscle Without Any Equipment (2-Month Plan)
- How to Build 12-15 Pounds of Muscle Mass in 12 Weeks on a Budget
7. Setup Performance Tracker
Setting up a performance tracker is a great way to consistently increase your strength and add more muscles around your bones.
You should make sure you’re using something (like a notepad or your phone) that allows you to track your performance on the key lifts each day.
The most important things you can track are:
- How much weight did you use?
- How many reps have you done?
- How many sets you’ve performed?
Now, here in the gym, your phone can be a huge distraction. So instead, you can use a physical workout log to stay focused throughout your entire session.
8. Drink Coffee
The next thing you can do to boost your focus and energy, drink a cup of (black) coffee.
Taking a dose of 3 mg/kg of body weight of caffeine (roughly 250 mg) consumed in the morning raises neuromuscular readiness close to afternoon levels. (4)
So, if you’re a morning guy drinking coffee can help to improve your performance. However, you can take coffee on the days you need a little extra psychological boost to hit the tough workouts.
9. Perform a Proper Warm-up
The last and one of the most important things you should definitively do before your every workout is warm up.
A proper warm-up will improve your performance and reduce the risk of injury and make sure you’re doing it in the right way.
An effective warm-up routine should contain three things:
- Raising body temperature:
- Burpees – 2 x 12 reps
- Cycling or treadmill jogging – 2-3 minutes
- Dynamic stretching:
- Cat and cow stretch – 10-12 reps
- Hip external rotation – 10-12 reps
- Shoulder rotation – 10-12 reps
- Wrist circle – 10-12 reps
- Muscle activation with light weights: Perform 1-2 sets of 12-15 reps (with lighter weights) for the muscle groups you’re going to train that day.
Remember, when you’re doing this, it shouldn’t be a mini workout that causes you to fatigue before the main training and should be completed within 5-10 minutes.
Okayyy, we have crashed it.
Follow these nine things before your workout session to enhance your performance and make progress faster.
What is your goal? Putting on athletic muscles or smashing fat?
Let me know in the comments!