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9 Worst Things to Do Before a Workout

Make sure you are not doing any of these things.

There are a number of ways to improve your workout, but some can also hinder your performance. Here are the 9 worst things to do before a workout.

You probably know the basics of muscle building by now – eat protein, rest enough, drink water, apply progressive overload – but maybe there are things you are doing right now that can also disrupt your fitness trajectory. That is what Max Posternak talked about recently.

Max Posternak is the founder of Gravity Transformation, a website focused on giving tips and training guidance for people looking to improve their fitness and lose weight. His YouTube channel has over 5 million subscribers.

In a video, Posternak shared the 9 worst things to do before a workout. Check it out.

9 Worst Things to Do Before a Workout

1. Big Meal Too Close to Workout

Source: Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

After eating, your body directs blood flow to your digestive organs and when you work out the body tries to send blood to the muscles you are working out. This puts digesting and exercise at competing odds.

This way, neither parts get the necessary blood flow for optimal digestion or performance. This can make you feel bloated and nauseous and even throw up. Regardless, you won’t be training at your best if you have a big meal too close to your workout. Aim to finish a meal 2-3 hours before you hit the weightlifting room.

2. Too Much Coffee or Pre-Workout

Caffeine is a common supplement to take before a workout, but having too much caffeine can lead to contractions in your colon and induce more bile production increasing bowel movements.

Besides having to go to the toilet between your sets, too much caffeine can lead to restlessness, insomnia, rapid or abnormal heartbeat, anxiety, heartburn and increased blood pressure.

3. Stretching

unusual stretches for better flexibilitySource: Elina Fairytale / Pexels
Static stretching is one of the worst things to do before a workout.

Not all stretching is bad before workouts, but most people do static stretching and that is something you should only do after working out.

Dynamic stretching on the other hand is best as you move through a full range of motion rather than just holding a position. Studies show that runners do not run as fast, athletes do not jump as high and weightlifters can’t lift as heavy after they engage in static stretching.

You don’t have to stretch at all before a workout, but if you do, choose the dynamic stretching.

4. Cardio Before Weightlifting

When it comes to building muscle, you should perform exercises in priority of your goals. Doing cardio will tax your body and if you plan on lifting weights after a cardio session, you likely won’t be able to lift as heavy as you could if you chose the barbell before the treadmill.

Know that a light walk for a few minutes to warm up your body won’t have a negative effect if done before your workout, but a heavier session of cardio will definitely hinder your performance.

5. Drinking Too Much Water

This is similar to having a big meal or too much caffeine. It is good to stay hydrated, but you shouldn’t drink too much water before or even during your workout.

Again, your blood flow will be directed to your stomach if you drink too much water and when you work out, the blood tends to go to the extremities of your body.

6. Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol will slow down your reaction time, coordination and balance. Not only does this make your workout less effective, but it will also make it more dangerous when you are in the gym.

Drinking alcohol is already bad for people trying to get fitter and this is why it is in this list of 9 worst things to do before a workout.

two bottles of beer cheersSource: Wil Stewart
Worst things to do before a workout – drinking alcohol.

7. Abs Workout Before Weight Training

Posternak says you should never train your core before a weight training workout. That is because your core is involved in almost any weightlifting exercise.

If you train your core before a workout, when it comes to other exercises, even those that are seated or laying down, will be negatively affected in their performance.

Leave your core and abs workouts for after your training session or simply reserve a day especially for this type of training.

8. Pain Reliever

Tylenol, advil, or just muscle relaxers. None of these are a good idea to take before a workout, regardless of how sore you are or how sore you think you’ll be. It can lead to gut problems or intestinal injuries.

If you feel so sore that you believe you should take a pain reliever to be able to work out, then it’s probably best you skip that training day and rest.

9. Long Nap

Lastly on Posternak’s list of 9 worst things to do before a workout is to take a long nap before hitting the weightlifting room. Short naps are ok, though – something between 20-30 minutes can actually make you feel more energised and refreshed.

Sleeping for longer than that can make you feel more lethargic and tired than before taking the nap.

Worst Things to Do Before a Workout

And that was the 9 worst things to do before a workout according to Max Posternak. Click on the video below to see a deeper explanation of each argument he presented.

VIDEO – 9 Worst Things to Do Before a Workout

Now that you’ve seen the worst things to do before a workout, continue improving your knowledge by clicking below.

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