Do you know why your car needs summer tires in the summer and winter tires in the winter? Because the other way around would make no sense, right? Well, yes, but not only that – if you switched your tires and used the wrong kind, you would endanger your car and life. The same goes for pre- and post-workout routines: all gym enthusiast have their own and they are not to be mixed under any circumstances. Once you determine what helps you prepare for a workout and what assists you to recover from it, that is not to be messed with.
Motivation vs. Relaxation
Whether you are a novice or a pro gym member, you want to make the best out of your time spent there and prepare for a workout properly. That means being mentally ready and highly motivated for hard work. Some people watch motivational videos, while others make a great playlist that pumps you up and gets you going.
On the other hand, you do not need this after you leave the gym. A post-workout routine is all about relaxing and healing broken muscle tissues. You need to feel the effects of your training and turn all that work into muscles. That is why most people apply relaxation techniques, go to a sauna or even choose to relax by smoking cannabis. These things loosen you up, so there is no point in doing them before the workout.
Fueling vs. Recovering
When it comes to pre- and post-workout nutrition routines, things are very easy to understand: some foods boost your energy, give you focus and allow you to lift more weights at the gym, while others ensure that you recover properly and are able to attend another training session in a day or two.
Some of the things you might want to eat and drink before working out are caffeine, amino acids, supplements, fruits, oats and water, as these will improve your performance. Moreover, they will prevent muscle tissue breakdown and help you burn more calories. On the other hand, things to eat after a workout should be rich in protein – eggs, meat, protein bars/shakes/smoothies, etc. – that allow you to recover.
Warm-Up vs. Cool-Down
As soon as you get your gym membership, you need to learn how to begin and finish every training session. Most people love starting their workouts with a set of cardio exercises – treadmills, stationary bicycles, stair-climbers, steppers, spinning machines or other exercises you prefer will do wonders, especially if you are trying to burn fat and lose weight. Ultimately, cardio will pump up your heart beat and make you more prepared for intense physical activities to come.
On the contrary, stretching is the best post-workout activity you should definitely not miss. It may be boring, but it cools you down and enhances the effects of your workout. There are different kinds of stretches, so you need to find the one that suits you the most. It will not take more than fifteen minutes, but will prove to be irreplaceable. You should stretch before working out as well, but remember to do it afterwards, too.
Pre- and post-workout routines were not invented by accident and by people who have never stepped a foot in a gym. They were carefully prepared by specialists, dietitians, nutritionists and personal trainers and are not interchangeable. Designed to make a huge difference in your gym performance, these specific routines will help you only if you respect and follow them closely.