These are 10 terrible things to do before a workout. Make sure you are avoiding to keep progressing in your fitness goals.
By now, you likely have a grasp of the fundamental principles of muscle building: consuming adequate protein, ensuring proper rest, staying hydrated, and incorporating progressive overload. However, it’s possible that your current actions might inadvertently hinder your fitness progress.
Are there terrible things you should be avoiding before working out? I mean, as long as you work out, you should be getting benefits, right? Not exactly. That is what Sean Nalewanyj, a fitness coach and author, tried to answer. He is known for not wasting time in his videos, which can range from training techniques to fitness misinformation.
10 Terrible Things To Do Before a Workout
If you stop doing these 10 things before weight training workouts, you will likely have higher quality sessions that lead to a better muscle-building stimulus and ultimately more growth from week to week and month to month.
To maximize his results, Sean explain these are the things you should pay attention and avoid pre-workout.
- Cardio Before Workouts: Performing full-on cardio sessions, especially higher intensity variations, immediately pre-workout can lead to extra systemic fatigue, reducing his ability to train at full muscular capacity. If muscle growth is his top priority, he should save cardio for another time.
- Muscle Activation Exercises: Isolation movements or banded glute activation exercises before workouts are unnecessary and can even be counterproductive. Proper exercise selection, technique, and taking sets close to failure effectively activate muscles during the workout.
- Static Stretching: Traditional pre-workout static stretching of muscles to be trained is unnecessary and can negatively impact lifting performance. It’s best to avoid static stretching before workouts to maintain muscle force production and power output.
- Skipping Warm-Up: Skipping warm-up altogether is not recommended. A basic weight acclimation sequence for the exercise being performed can warm up joints, tissues, and the nervous system to enhance performance during the workout.
- Focusing on Abs Before Workouts: Performing high-rep AB routines before weight training is unnecessary. If you want to train your abs directly, you should incorporate it into his actual weight training session rather than doing separate routines.
- Performing Isolation Before Compound: Avoid performing isolation exercises for smaller muscles before compound exercises for larger muscle groups. Pre-fatiguing smaller muscles can create weak links and limit performance during compound lifts.
- Hydration: Optimal hydration is essential for physical and mental performance. You should ensure you are well-hydrated leading up to the workouts to avoid potential negative impacts on performance.
- Excessive Pre-Workout Nutrition: Consuming very high fibre or high-fat meals close to workouts can cause discomfort and affect performance. Opt for a moderate-sized meal before the workout to maintain comfort and focus.
- Excessively Dosed Pre-Workouts: Overloading on pre-workout supplements with excessive ingredients and stimulants can lead to negative effects and crashes. You should aim for a balanced pre-workout with research-backed ingredients and proper doses.
- Lack of Plan: Going to the gym without a structured plan can lead to ineffective workouts. You should have a preset routine, exercise order, volume, and rep ranges planned out, and he should track progress to ensure consistent improvements.
Before your training session, you should review your planned exercises and weights to set clear targets and improve your focus.
And those are 10 terrible things to do before a workout that you should be avoiding at all costs according to Sean Nalewanyj. Watch the video below to get a full explanation from the man himself.
How Many Times a Week Should You Work Out?
So, how many times a week should you work out? As expected the answer is not simply a straight-up number. That is because people are looking for different outcomes when working out and that, alone, can already differ the answer for one person and the other.
The more you train, the more your muscle grows. That is true, to a certain extent. However, there is something called junk volume training in which once you hit a certain point, the more you lift the worse it gets for hypertrophy.
So, in the end, it is all about training volume. If you have time to train 5, 6, or even 7 days a week, you can split your workout into specific muscle groups – chest and back one day, leg another day, and shoulder, arm and abs the next day, take a day off, and repeat. If you can only train three times a week, with a day of rest in between each of them, then train your entire body during every session.
However, if you can only train once a week, you will still get some results, but they will be far inferior compared to people who train three times per week according to different studies.
In one particular study, participants performed the exact same amount of training. One group did the entire thing in one giant session, while the other group performed the movements divided into three days – the latter group saw an increase in lean body mass by 8% while the 1x a week group gained 1% of lean body mass.
If you go to the gym three times a week, but each day you train only one different specific muscle group, you are actually training each muscle group only once a week, which is less than optimal for muscle growth.
Working out more often, between 4 and 7 times a week, can provide additional benefits in terms of recovery if structured correctly. You can go to the gym every day, as long as you leave 48-72 hours of rest to recover from your last workout. This is where the bro split mentality comes from, where you can focus a training session entirely on one muscle and hit the gym the next day because you are training a different part of your body that is well-rested.
You can also try out different ways to divide your workout. It can be an upper-lower body training routine, bro split, or full-body workout. It depends on how much time you have available, just make sure you are hitting the same muscle group more than once a week to get results faster.
So, how many times a week should you work out? At least 3, if you want to see faster results. Depends on how much time you have and, from there, you can choose what kind of workout routine best works for you.
- Stretching Triceps: Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels