Have you ever wondered why you’re not shedding those kilos or not building those biceps despite rigorously and regularly working out in the gym? If you’re doing everything your trainer tells you and following a regulated diet, you should be seeing results often and fast. However, that is not always the case. The reason can be as simple as not doing the correct before and after workout routines.
A pre workout routine begins long before you enter the gym. Not prepping your body for the exertion ahead can lead to uninspired sessions and injuries that inhibit strength and reduce the rate of muscle gain. You’ve probably been told time and again not to eat too close to a workout but in reality, the timing of your pre-workout snack depends entirely on your digestive tendencies. Munching on a carb and protein filled snack an hour or so before going to a gym is ideal.
While you’re probably aware that warm-ups are an absolute must, it’s important to have a structured routine and not just do some aimless stretches and cardio. A well designed warm-up strengthens your core, regulates muscle temperature and improves blood fl ow. A good warm-up routine should have a few minutes of cardio on a treadmill or rowing machine, a few stretches mainly of the areas you intend to work out on later and compound body weight or light weight movements of the muscle groups you’re going to use during your workout.
The intake of water or liquids typically depends on the intensity of the workout you’re going to do. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 20 ounces of water prior to an exercise.
Now that you’re done with your grueling hour of exercise, it’s time to hit the shower and feel good about all the great work you’ve done in the gym. But your workout doesn’t end after your last set. For optimal results and quicker achievements of your fitness goals, it’s important to devote as much time to your post-workout routine as you do while leading up to your first set.
A cool down routine is as important as the warm up. Giving your body time to cool down prevents blood from pooling in the veins. Ideally, you should do some light cardio for five to seven minutes before heading for the shower. Keep your cool-down routine specific to what you exercised in your last set so the body can set out to repair the area it just damaged.
According to the ACSM, because hydration needs can vary considerably between individuals, and for the same individual under different environmental conditions and different physical activities, it’s important for athletes to develop a personalized hydration plan. Chances are that post a workout you’ll be drenched in sweat and would have lost enough body fluids to begin feeling dehydrated and dizzy.
Rehydrate with water within a few minutes of completing your last set, but its a good idea to consume fluids in regulated amount. You’re probably feeling mighty good with yourself for burning those 700 calories during your workout today, but if there is anything that can render all that effort useless, it’s the wrong post-work out snack. Among the most popular post-workout indulgences are the protein shakes and while they can help rebuild muscles, it’s better to use them as a supplement and get most of your protein through natural meats, cottage-cheese and Greek yoghurt. Heed these tips and you’ll be surprised at how much faster you get desired results.
(In arrangement with THE MAN)