- Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
- Eat carbs and protein before hitting the gym (at the very least be sure to drink a whey protein shake).
- Block out any distractions and avoid any temptation to socialize in the gym--your mind should be clear and totally focused on strength training.
- Listen to your own workout music to help keep you focused and motivated.
- Execute each and every exercise movement correctly and strive for perfect form in order to feel the targeted muscle do the work for each contraction and stretch of every repetition. Remember: the purpose of gym equipment (e.g., dumbbells, barbells, kettle balls, machines, etc.) is to stimulate your muscles to get stronger and bigger--the equipment is merely a means to an end.
- Incorporate variety in your workout to shock your body into getting stronger and more muscular (i.e., new exercises, change the number of reps and/or sets, different workout split, introduce supersets, giant sets or drop sets, etc.).
- Avoid rushing through your workout. Be sure to give yourself at least five minutes to warm up and cool down. You will inevitably shortchange your workout by speeding through it.
- Listen to your body. Pay attention to your energy levels and either back off or add more weight accordingly. Your body tells the story--all you have to do is listen to what it has to say.
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."