Strange concept for many but as humans we have routine for every day, work and social situations. Think back to that dinner date you went on, you left work early, you had your hair cut, you went on the sun beds, you went home, you showered, you got changed, you put on your favourite fragrance etc. This is that routine you probably don’t realise you do but you do it. The gym is no different and forming a good pre gym routine; means you get the most from the session. So what does a good pre gym routine look like:
1: Plan Your Gym Time
Plan your gym days around the things you do already. Add the session to the journey to or from work, add it to you going shopping or that client you are meeting in town. The important thing is that the gym session is part of the routine and not a chore.
2: Gym Kit Ready
The biggest excuse (failure) we make is, ‘I don’t have my gym kit.’ Make this a pre workout routine. Before bed put the gym clothes on the airer/chair near the bedroom door. Put the packed gym kit on the kitchen table next to your coffee for the morning or even better have the gym kit boot regime. I thought this was crazy, but it works. Have two gym bags (or shopping bags) in the boot of the car. One has 5 towels, 5 pairs of shorts, 5 vests and two pairs of trainers. The other is empty. You simply pick up a fresh kit put it into your gym bag and go to the gym, afterwards put the dirty gym kit in the other bag. At the end of the week collect both bags, wash, dry and reset.
3: Pre-workout and protein
Have your pre work out already measured out in small cosmetic 100ml jars or have it in your shaker on the kitchen table ready to add the water. Same for protein, I have 5 portions for 5 days measured in jars or in 5 different protein shakers that I can grab and go. Make it effortless and get it prepped. Maximise your gains.
4: Towelling Dilemma
If you work in an office and use your car then why not get the towel out in the car. Put it on the front seat to dry in the sun. An aired towel dries quicker than the one rolled up in your gym bag. A looked after towel can reduce your washing time and your bills. Investing in a lightweight micro fiber towel will also reduce the time it dries and is a good investment for a busy person getting to the gym and working out.
5: Water Bottle
If you are a morning person then filling your bottle up isn’t an issue before you leave the house. But if you are not a morning person then fill it up the night before and put it in the fridge to cool overnight. I have an even better way to ensure you leave the house with your water bottle and reduce time and effort. Find a smoothie maker that works for you. Many today have the flask/cup/beaker is the actual blender and you just change the cap to a water bottle cap. This means that morning shake doesn’t need to be washed up at home, it gets washed in the gym and you use it as a water bottle. One bottle many functions to the point this could also be that protein shaker. It does mean at the end of the long day it’s one thing to wash and not three things.
6: The Food for after the gym
After 6 years in the gym training, I have learnt that is the dinner at home after the gym needs to be quick and prepped. After the gym the last thing you want is to cook, you’re hungry and the idea of even heading into the supermarket is a bad idea. Shopping when hungry is not only bad for the nutrition plan you planned but can be an expensive impulse shop. Be prepared. Have the dinner prepped. Either something that you can put in the oven for dinner and the lunch the next day or a food prepped box you can whack in the microwave. Again this saves time and ensures you eat the right stuff at the right time.
Essentially take 5 minutes the night before to be set up the next day. Whatever works for you. I know that sometimes adapting to form new habits can be hard work, but they are worth it when you want to achieve those long-term fitness goals. As the Phoenix prepares for its rebirth, it makes sure it’s nest is ready and that everything is in order for the end of the cycle. Fitness is a cycle and we need to be prepared.