Not all workouts are created equal. Some are heroic feats, the stuff of legend, spoken about in hushed tones for years after. Others are as weak and inconsequential as a baby’s fart. In your long training career you’ll have both. The trick is to ensure that the majority are in the first category. But how? Here’s a quick and easy breakdown of what goes into a perfect workout.
1 – Rested, Fed and Hydrated
The perfect workout doesn’t start when you pick up the barbell. It doesn’t even start with you giving yourself a Rocky-like pump-up speech in the changing room while staring intensely at your own reflection, which we definitely don’t do. It starts the night before with you getting to bed at a reasonable hour, or at least not necking six pints. It continues with you having a proper breakfast, lunch or however many meals are appropriate for the time you’re training at.
A good workout is fuelled by the food and liquid you’ve had over the last 24 hours: A paint-stripper espresso won’t cut it.
For a little more on workout nutrition, read our post on supplements that actually work.
2 – No Distractions
Don’t be that person supersetting everything with two minutes of scrolling twitter, posting to Instagram, or sending banter vids of people falling off sheds to the whatsapp group.
You’re not Kim Kardashian. Even if you are, leave your phone in your locker, Kim. And tell Kylie congratulations on the baby.
For more on this, read our post on why Instagram is ruining fitness.
3 – A Proper Warm Up
The warm up is your chance to address imbalances, mobilise stiff joints, ‘wake up’ any lazy muscles and – y’know – actually get warm. Most people, (okay, most guys) treat it like a race to see how fast they can get to their one rep max. These same guys will be struggling to put their socks on in about 20 years time. It’s dumb and it’s dangerous. Take ten minutes and warm up properly.
4 – Use The ‘Fire Alarm’ Rule
What’s the fire alarm rule? It goes like this: Let’s say you start you workout, get 20-25 minutes in, and the fire alarm goes off. You have to evacuate the building. Have you had a good workout? Clearly it won’t be the full session you’d planned for the day, but did you acquit yourself respectably? Achieve something? Get closer to your goals?
Ask yourself this question and you’ll quickly realise the importance of front loading your session with the most important exercises. These will typically be heavy, multi joint exercises like the squat, deadlift, press or chin up. Hit them hard, make progress on your last session. If you do that right that’s 75% of the battle already won.
For info on our Warrior Workout program, which puts together every aspect of a perfect workout, and then does it 45 more times over 12 weeks until you look like a demigod, click here.