For many of us, going to the gym is one of the most important and exciting times of any normal day. If you're a serious bodybuilder and are trying desperately to make your way through the ranks, then everything else you do during the run of the day revolves around this time. Even if you're not and are just adamant about continuous gains, you've always got your workout in mind and are constantly preparing yourself for the best workout possible. In doing so, there are certain 'rituals' that must take place prior to heading off to the gym and even as close to just before stepping out on the gym floor that are extremely important for setting the right Mindset and mood. I'm sure you all have one or two things that you must do before working out and you might even share one of the six pre-workout rituals that are going to be mentioned in this article.
Ritual #1: Gym Bag Check
If you are anything like me, you have lots of training supports stuffed away in your gym bag. A weight belt, wrist wraps, knee wraps, elbow sleeves and knee sleeves just so happen to be a few of those items. Aside from that, you also have to have your pre-workout, intra-workout and post-workout shakes, a towel, a change of clothes and of course your headphones. A quick gym bag check before heading out the door is almost as important as the workout itself.
Ritual #2: Gym Attire On Point
Don't act like you don't do it because to some degree or another, we all take a look at ourselves in the mirror to ensure that our gym attire is on point. There's nothing wrong with wanting to look good because when you look good you feel good and when you feel good you set yourself up for a great workout. Hat, hoodie, tank top, shorts and a fresh pair of Super Shifts and you're ready to go.
Ritual #3: Music Sets the Tone
You all know what type of an effect music can have on our overall motivation and attitude so ensuring that what you're listening to on your way to the gym is of the utmost importance. Whether you're blasting your choice of songs through the car speakers or in your ear buds while on the way to the gym, music can and will set the tone for your attitude going into the workout.
Ritual #4: Same Pre-workout Meal, Same Time
You never want to go into a workout with an upset stomach or a bloated stomach or any other uncomfortable feeling. It just messes with your body and prevents you from training with extreme intensity. The last thing you want to do is put the workout on pause so that you can go and pray to the Porcelain God. So with that said, once you find a pre-workout meal that is conducive to high intensity fuelled training, you stick with it, eat it at the exact same time out from the workout and never change it.
Ritual #5: Youtube
There are many of you out there that love watching hardcore training videos to get you in the right frame of mind to go and smash your workout and tear your gym apart. Watching a few videos on Youtube while eating that pre-workout meal has become common practice for many and aspiring to be like and mimic the workouts of the greats is an awesome way to prepare for training.
Ritual #6: The Swelfie
Ok I know this doesn't fall into the pre-workout ritual category but it has become a ritual for legions of hard training individuals who are proud of their accomplishments so I had to include it. I see this begin to happen usually around the mid-workout point lasting right up until about 10-15 minutes after the workout has been completed and it can occur either on the gym floor or in the locker room. If the swelfie isn't taken with each training session that occurs then the workout and the pump itself was a waste therefore making this phenomena ritual #6.
I'm sure there are many, many more common practices that occur during the pre-workout periods of the day that you could share with us that I've missed and all are important to the individual using them. In my mind, if it helps get you to where you need to be to have a gains fuelled training session, then have at it. Rituals are an integral and imperative part of the process when preparing for the onslaught you're about to inflict on your body and when you fail to prepare, well you know how the rest goes.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.