5 Things to Avoid Before a Workout
Unless you’re brand new to the weightlifting scene, you know how to prep for a workout in a way that works for you. But it can be surprising as to what behaviors or well-known practices can hinder your best performance, and our team at HomeGrown Lifting wants to share some of them with you.
#1- Too Much Stress
Ok, we know this one may seem silly, but hear us out. Of course, nobody enjoys being stressed out, but stress is a part of life. Chronic stress is the most problematic type. When you’re stressed, more often than not, your cortisol levels are consistently elevated. Cortisol is responsible for many things, but most importantly, it’s the culprit behind destroying muscle tissue and stimulating fat storage. Nobody wants to head into the gym at a disadvantage. If you can’t get your stress under control overall, try to keep your cool a few hours before you hit the gym.
#2- Overdoing It with Food or Supplements
Lifting on an empty stomach is never ideal, but neither is the other end of the spectrum. You should make reasonable portion choices when considering your food intake. Overeating can lead to discomfort and nausea and slow you down overall. This brings us to our next point: make smart decisions with supplements. A recommended dose of a stimulant supplement can give you an extra boost to power through a challenging workout after a long day. However, you can have too much of a good thing, which can lead to an elevated heart rate, nausea, and anxiety attacks.
#3- Getting Too Much Sleep
You might be thinking we’re crazy at this point. “So, now I’m not supposed to rest OR eat before I work out?” Again, the primary thing to remember here is not to overdo anything. If you need a power nap after a strenuous day at work, take one. But make sure not to sleep more than 30 minutes because you’ll wake up feeling even more worn out than you did pre-nap.
#4- Stretching Yourself to the Limit
“Be sure to stretch before you lift” is such standard advice and it’s so incorrect. A proper warmup is a must to take on a killer session, but performing static stretches will do more harm than good. Your muscles will still be cold, and your heart rate won’t be even close to where it needs to be when you start lifting. You also put yourself at a higher risk of injury by overstretching. Excessive stretching tightens muscles instead of relaxing them, inhibiting your range of motion, making you more vulnerable to injuries.
#5- Going Crazy with Cardio
You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by squeezing in some high-impact cardio before you lift, but we’re here to tell you otherwise. The purpose of weight training is to build muscle and that’s much harder to do if you use all your glycogen stores on cardio before you begin lifting. When you’re at the rack, fatigue will keep you from performing adequate lifts. If you make a habit of this, we can guarantee you that your muscle growth will plateau. We understand that cardio is essential for fat loss, and if that’s part of your fitness journey, we’re with you. If you have no option but to squeeze it in before lifting, stick with steady-state cardio instead.
Do you feel better equipped to knock your next training session out of the park? HomeGrown Lifting has everything you need to begin or continue a weightlifting regimen. Contact us online or give us a call at (502) 771-0530. Our home base is in Lexington, KY, and we ship to the lower 48 states and look forward to helping you develop your dream home gym system.