How to Prepare for a Workout: 8 Tips for Success
When you hit the gym or complete an exercise, you want to see the best results possible. But to achieve them, you may need to do more work outside of your workout session than you’d expect.
How you prepare for exercise can significantly affect how it goes, so it’s smart to create a routine you use before workouts to take care of your body. Below, we explore how to prepare for exercise effectively so that you can be the champion of any workout plan.
1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Whether you’re aiming for a morning workout or not, make sure you get quality rest the night before. Healthy sleep patterns help you feel energized and motivated when it’s time to move.
They also ensure you give your body plenty of time to heal and recover between workout sessions. Most adults need around six to eight hours of sleep for optimal energy.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
You should be ready to sweat plenty while exercising! Prepare your body for the inevitable loss of hydration you’ll experience by drinking at least a glass of water before you head out.
Proper hydration is essential for energy and maximizing the benefits of your workout. It might help to leave a good amount of time – around 30 minutes or so – between when you drink water and when you start to exercise. This can help you avoid nausea caused by excess fluid moving around in your stomach.
3. Fuel Up with Nutritious Foods
It’s wise to eat something before you work out to give your body the energy it needs to perform at its best. When and what you eat depends on how you prefer to prepare for workouts. Some people might opt for small snacks before and after exercise, while others might schedule full meals around their routine.
What foods are best to eat before workouts?
Experts recommend focusing on foods rich in carbs for maximum energy before a workout.
If you plan to work out in the morning, try to wake up at least an hour before you exercise to eat a well-rounded meal. If you can’t wake up that early or would prefer not to, keep whatever you eat light. Too little food can leave you feeling weak and faint, but too much food might make you feel sluggish.
You are what you eat – fuel up with foods like whole grains, fruits, yogurt, milk, oats, and whatever else helps you feel ready to crush your workout.
Once your workout comes to a close, be sure to follow up with more carbs and protein. Especially after a particularly hard workout, your body needs food to replenish the energy it’s expended.
4. Prep Your Workout Gear
Pack up your gym bag and grab the gear you’ll use for your workout so it’s ready when you need it. If you are headed to the gym, make sure you bring hygiene supplies like deodorant, a small towel, and a change of clothes.
The best way to prepare for a workout is by considering your needs before, during, and after the session takes place. Bring what you need to feel refreshed to end your workout on a positive note.
OffCourt is your one-stop shop for workout-friendly self-care and hygiene products designed to fit your lifestyle. We recommend packing our Performance Body Spray, an aluminum-free formula that squashes bad odors at its source, to freshen up while still allowing your body to sweat as intended.
Performance Body Spray - Fresh Citron + Driftwood
For those who work out on the go, OffCourt’s Gym Bag Kit features all the self-care essentials you need to smell and feel great. It includes our Performance Body Spray, a travel-size Deep Cleansing Body Wash, and our Lightweight Facial Hydrator. Care for your skin, face, and entire body with sweat-friendly formulas in matching scents that are sure to turn heads.
Or, for something more comprehensive, try our All the Way Bundle, complete with our Deep Cleansing Body Wash, Exfoliating Soap, Body Spray, and Fragrance, as well as our Facial Hydrator. No matter what your workout throws your way, you’re sure to score with OffCourt.
All the Way Bundle
5. Use Your Pre-Workout Supplements
If you use any sort of pre-workout supplement or vitamin, now is the time to take it. You certainly don’t need to use a pre-workout mix or supplement to exercise successfully, though.
Popular options like creatine may help boost your workout, but they’re not for everyone. In general, stick with what your body is used to – if you usually drink a cup of coffee in the morning, a workout drink with caffeine probably won’t hurt. But dramatically changing your routine before you exercise isn’t the best idea.
6. Review Your Workout Plan
It helps to make sure you know what you want to achieve while you exercise before you get started. When it’s time for your workout to begin, having a plan in mind can help you stay more focused and engaged.
Setting Goals: How to Mentally Prepare for a Workout
Research suggests that setting specific, clear, and realistic goals helps people feel more motivated to exercise – and actually stick to it. When preparing for a challenging workout or something new, creating some goals for yourself is a good idea. The best workouts are usually those that truly pull you in and push you to new heights, but what that looks like for you can vary between activities and even days.
7. Stretch for Success
Some thorough, deep stretching helps warm up your muscles and loosen them up. Increased blood flow to the muscles can overall help you use their full range of motion more comfortably, potentially boosting your performance as you exercise. Stretches might not help you prevent injuries, but they can help you get ready to move.
8. Warm Up
If necessary, complete a brief cardio warm-up to elevate your heart rate gradually and get into the “zone.” Not all workouts require a warm-up, but you can still do one if you’d like to. Try a few minutes on a treadmill or elliptical, or consider some light exercise like basic yoga.
For more specific activities, a warm-up might be more focused: preparing for a boxing practice session, for example, might include punching and dodging warm-ups that help activate your muscle memory for later.
Invest time and effort into preparing for your workout to see better results when all is said and done. The tips we’ve shared here are a great place to start, but feel free to add steps of your own to your routine. What matters most is that you give yourself the resources, fuel, and energy you need to thrive.
You can always count on OffCourt to have your back. Shop our full inventory to discover more products designed for athletes and those living active lifestyles that are sure to impress.