The Wag Doll Protocol: Perfect Pre-Workout Routine
Pre-workout routines exist to help you prepare for what lies ahead. Most people assume that this is your warmup, but it goes beyond just this. A warmup is an essential part of a pre-workout routine, but consider these other points too to get the maximum effect from your fitness regime. The benefit of following a routine like this is that it primes your body for work ahead and in turn, you can tackle it with more intensity and get better results!
So, what does the perfect pre-workout routine look like?
Start by fuelling yourself
Your body needs fuel to exercise without getting tired or passing out. If you starve yourself before workouts, you'll never hit them with the same energy as someone that's properly fuelled. Eating low GI carbs about an hour or two before a workout is a great place to start. Then, think about having a cup of coffee about 15 minutes before you begin. Loads of places, like Two Chimps Coffee, offer subscription services nowadays. For me, this is a more affordable and healthier alternative to all of the pre-workout drinks on the market. You don't stuff your body full of potentially dangerous ingredients, but you still get the energised effect!
Begin your warmup
Next, you move onto the warmup - which is basically a way of raising your pulse. Do some light cardio to get the blood flowing and elevate your heart rate. This warms up your muscles and switches your brain on. You'll be amazed at the difference this makes to your mindset; you instantly feel more motivated when your pulse has risen.
Do some mobility work
The warmup should last around 5 minutes, after which you can move into some stretching/mobility. Do this after the pulse raiser as it's never a good idea to stretch cold muscles. When your muscles are warm, you can do a mix of dynamic and static stretches. Dynamic stretches can be more functional and get more blood flowing to the different muscles. Static stretches should only be held for around 10-15 seconds before a workout. At this point, your body will be warm, your muscles will be loose, and you're almost ready for the workout.
Start with some practice sets
Lastly, you should have a few practice sets to get your body ready for the exercises you're doing. Now, if you're doing a cardio workout, you've basically covered this in the initial warmup. So, hop on that treadmill and get started! However, suppose you're doing a resistance-based workout. In that case, you should do one or two sets with light resistance, gradually building it up to the working sets. A good example is to do push-ups for a set or two, then move into a dumbbell chest press. Or, do bodyweight squats, then add some weight, then move into working sets of squats. This gets your body used to the specific movements while oiling up your joints - so to speak.
Follow this simple plan to get ready for your next workout and feel more energised and alive. Preparation is key, and you'll see the results when you attack your session with more intensity, burning more calories and achieving new PBs.