Many bad and wasted workouts can be prevented if you ask yourself these 3 questions below before every workout. It is time to make every workout session count and get results faster. Perhaps you already ask yourself these 3 questions, but do you really delve into them to get the best out of yourself. Read on to find out if you do.
What is the goal?
Knowing your destination will help you to determine what route you need to take. Otherwise, you will just be doing whatever in the gym going nowhere in terms of progress. You do not want to be busy doing nothing. A goal will determine how many sets and reps to aim for, how long your rest periods should be, what exercises to do, and so forth.
The goal sets the foundation for the workout, giving you the ability to formulate a plan to execute. Doing anything that is not conducive to the goal will be counterproductive. If strength is your goal for a particular workout, taking extremely short breaks will not be best. Take those longer breaks to allow your body to recover for the next set. Stay the course and do not veer off.
Now, it is ok to have a contingency plan to meet your goal but that plan still must be in alignment with your goal. Be mindful not to lose yourself in the process due to any adjustments needing to be made. There is not always one way to reach your goal when it comes to fitness but faulty planning can delay your progress. Keep your goal in mind and always work towards it.
How do I feel?
Examine your energy levels. If you are low on energy, you may need to adjust your workout by lowering the amount of weight you planned to use. You may also, decide to change up the exercises completely. If it is leg day and you have barbell squats planned but you do not the energy to them, do leg press instead. It requires less focus than barbell squats. I have done this plenty of times myself.
Shortening and lengthening your workouts may be in order based on your energy levels. I have had days in which I only had energy for two sets per body part and days in which I had a plethora of energy and did a few more sets on weaker body parts.
Listening to your body is something many do not do but really should do. Every workout will not go as planned. Life happens and you must adjust. Sometimes, you may need to skip a workout completely because your body is not up to the task at hand that day. I have had plenty of days in which I have only gotten about 3 hours of sleep and had to take time off to rest instead of working out.
If you are experiencing any pains or aches do not ignore them. It may feel minor initially but can turn into something major. This could be a sign to hold off on any movements using that joint and/or muscle. Now, of course, if you are coming off an injury and rehabbing, more than likely there will be some pain but there is a line. Hopefully, you have spoken to your doctor or therapists in regards to that.
Learning to listen and respond to your body appropriately, is a major key to you being successful and being active for the long haul.
How much time do I have?
Knowing how much time you have available to workout will help to prioritize what needs to get done. It can help you to determine what type of workout could get done and/or what exercises to focus on.
For example, if you are short on time but have the goal to build muscular endurance, you may need to do a circuit-style workout with short or limited breaks instead of traditional sets with longer breaks. Another example would be if you wanted to focus on strength and were short on time. You could prioritize what exercises are essential and scrap the rest. Instead of doing 5 exercises, only do the main lifts in which you are trying to improve your strength in. Some are better than none.
On the flip side when you have plenty of time to workout; your options are only limited by your energy level and what your body can take. Here, you can structure your workout as needed. Plan it down to the second if you like. All in all, time is your most valuable commodity, use it wisely and make it count.
There you have it, 3 questions to ask yourself before every workout. Asking yourself those 3 questions before every workout will better assist you in having a more effective and purposeful workout session. Kiss those wasted and nonproductive workouts goodbye.
Be Healthy, Be Balanced, Be You