We’re pretty sure you’ve all learned how to get ready for a heavy workout by now, but how much do you know about the preparation steps that could hinder the quality of our training? You see, there are plenty of things you could do wrong before you even hit the gym and almost all of them involve overdoing your favorite pre-workout routines. So just cut down on the zealousness and read the 5 things that you should avoid doing at all costs if you want to make the best of your gym session.
#1. Too much stress
It’s kind of dumb to tell you to avoid stressful life situations in order to make bigger gains – nobody enjoys being stressed, but stress is an unevitable part of life that we have to accept. However, chronic stress is something we should all strive to prevent or overcome as painless as possible, since it causes your levels of cortisol to be in a constantly elevated state, which, among other things, is responsible for destroying muscle tissue and stimulate body fat storage. Anyway, you could at the very least try to keep things cool in the hours before hitting the gym.
#2. Too much food or supplements
Having an adequate pre-workout meal that will provide you with the crucial nutrients for optimal muscle growth is not the same as stuffing yourself with food to the point of blowing up. Even if you’re extremely hungry, make reasonable limits to your portion. Overeating can reduce the effectiveness of your workout, cause stomach discomfort and even nausea, and slow you down in general. On the other hand, make sure you don’t overdose with the stimulant supplements as well. Taking too much of them can lead to a uncomfortably rapid heart beat, nausia and acute anxiety attacks, instead of a useful energy boost.
#3. Too much sleep
We get that you’re often too tired to even walk after a hard day at work so you decide to hit the sack for a power nap before your afternoon training, and it’s all good as long as you don’t overdo it – sleeping more than 30 minutes is not a power nap anymore because it can easily produce the exact opposite effect, i.e. you’ll wake up feeling even more drained than before.
#4. Too much stretching
Have you ever been told to stretch before lifting? Forget about that crappy piece of popular advice. Performing static stretches instead of warming up is always a bad idea, leaving you with cold muscles and a resting heart rate that’s far from ready for the challenging workout that lies ahead of you. Even more, it may increase your risk of injury instead of reducing it. Overstretching will cause the muscles to tighten instead of relax, and this tightness can easily hinder your performance and range of motion, making you more vulnerable to injuries as well.
#5. Too much cardio
Never perform HIIT cardio before lifting weights, period. Your weight training is all about building muscle, so where’s the logic in using up all of your precious glycogen on cardio? By the time you hit the rack, your fatigue will prevent you from performing decent lifts. And if you continue with this routine, your muscle growth is guaranteed to hit a plateau. But if you want to use the fat loss benefits of cardio and you absolutely have to put it before weightlifting, choose a steady state variety.