Over the past few months I’ve been looking at my routine at the gym, trying to make the most of my time there, and to maximize my efforts for the best results possible. While some of these to-dos you may already be done, and forgot about it. When writing this, it was a nice reminder of things that I need to do a better job with as well.
- Music can affect your workout. For the longest time I would list to podcast or an audiobook while working out. I was thinking this was a good time to work my mind and my body at the same time. A two for one type of deal. The only problem is your mind can only focus on one thing at a time. So if I’m focusing on trying to retain what I’m hearing, how was I able to focus on that mind-to-muscle connection?
So what I’ve been doing is going back to music. But not my normal playlist. I’ve been testing out some new playlist, of 80’s, 90’s and 00’s throwbacks that have high energy. While my normal playlist is mostly country, and some hardcore ballads, I do love a good sad song. It doesn’t necessary work for trying to get gains! So find some playlists that are high energy. You’ll see a difference.
- Mind-to-Muscle Connection is a thing. While this took me years of lifting to figure out, you must focus on what you are doing at the gym, and not work issues, dinner, or if your socks matched. You need to be 100% focused on the lift. Once I started this, workouts became so much more productive. I was spending less time working out, and getting more accomplished.
- Warm-Up and Stretch. I’m about as flexible as a bowling ball, but lately I’ve been crushing some warming up and stretching after my lifts, and I’ve notice, my range of motion is improving, and I’m not so tight for the first few lifts either. Back in the day, I also thought stretching and warming up was a waste of time since you must at least do 20-30 minutes of this. And my ignorant mind was thinking, why not just lift for that 20-30 minutes and get more gains.
Nope! I spend maybe a 3-5 minutes before I begin warming up and 5 minutes after stretch. I hold the stretches for 15-20 seconds and move on. Holding the stretch longer really doesn’t do much unless you are a professional athlete. But us Joe’s who are gym warriors that is all you need.
- Maintenance is a thing. While I never was one for getting in sauna ever. There are benefits of utilizing one if you have access to one. I would recommend an infrared one and I wrote an article on this. Check it out
- Post Workout Shakes! You are breaking down your body working out. You don’t get gains at the gym, but with your nutrition and sleeping habits. So, having a protein shake or even better a meal after you work out, and within 15 minutes you are golden, on begging your muscle recovery. Pr Protein by Nirvana Life is my go-to. While I’m sitting in the hot tube post workout, I drink some Chocolate Crisp.
Drink Water! I know I said 5, but I like to give a little extra. I drink some BCAA’s during my workout but before my post workout shake, I pound a bottle of water. Hydrated your broken-down muscles helps minimize your muscle recovery.