Have you been working out for a while now, or are you thinking about starting a workout routine and wondering how to GET THE MOST from your workouts?
Achieving the exact results you want is a little more challenging than you might think, but it’s also simpler than you probably think; how could that be?
The truth is, it’s simpler than you think because getting results doesn’t require the perfect gym, the perfect schedule, the perfect outfit, the best supplements, the greatest playlist, or anything like that.
And, it’s more challenging than you think because nearly all the factors that produce the results you want are already within you – motivation, willingness, and fortitude; and to tap into those intrinsic factors can be challenging when you’re overly focused on all the extrinsic factors like the perfect outfit or the perfect time/schedule.
DO THIS TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR WORKOUTS
To start, you must begin mentally preparing for your workouts at least 90 minutes prior; which means if you work out at 5:00 a.m., you’ll be best served by waking up around 3:30 a.m.
This is because it takes a little time for the metabolic and physiological pathways to open and for the neurological connections to form which program your mind and body for optimal performance output.
Starting your workout just 30 minutes after you’ve woken up is like racing a car that you started 30 seconds ago – it’s not primed, it’s cold, and the battery hasn’t had a chance to fully charge the car’s functions.
And, to be fair, your body is far more complex than any car – it takes time to activate. Your neural circuitry needs to come online and form connections throughout your brain & nervous system. Your brain and nervous system need to charge signals and send them through the neuro-muscular pathways which contract and relax your muscles. And your muscles need to get warm and expand at the cellular level to begin processing energy and information for effective movement.
Now, you may be thinking, “3:30 a.m. is a stupid time to wake up”. And yeah, as someone who wakes up at 3:30 knows, it is a stupid time to wake up. Then that makes 5:00 a.m. a stupid time to work out (it is); but if that’s the ONLY time you can train then your day probably starts early, too.
And, if your day starts early then you can likely end your day earlier, thus getting to sleep earlier; which means you likely have the capacity to wake up around 3:30 a.m. You may not want to wake up that early, but that’s what’s gonna help get you the results you do want.
If it’s important to you, then you’ll do it – plain and simple.
And, even if you train later in the day, setting your mind on your workout at least 90 minutes prior to when it begins will improve your total work output during your workout. Here’s why…
Have you ever noticed that you “all of a sudden” have to go to the bathroom just before your workout begins? Or, do you feel a sense of the “nerves” kick-in as you know you’re about to start your workout?
This is your nervous system shifting from a “rest & digest” phase into more of a “fight or flight” phase, and so it’s off-loading everything it doesn’t need – namely waste products. This is why some athletes will even throw-up before a sporting event.
It’s important to realize that these nervous system “shifts” take some time to fully “click over” into a new setting; and most people spend the first half of their workout just getting their nervous system online, which actually makes the workout “feel harder” when it’s not.
And this could be why people are “just trying to get through” their workout and aren’t really “getting at” their workout – there is a difference.
Again, this is about optimizing your workout to produce the results you want; not optimizing your workout to “feel good” or “easy” for you – that just won’t ever happen.
But, by accepting early on that your workout is going to be challenging and committing to do it anyway you can reorganize your neuro, metabolic, and physiological systems to be more prepared for the hard work, which won’t make it any easier, but it will make you more in ‘flow’ and more likely to push higher on the output scale.