Preparing for the Ultimate Workout
Health and fitness goals are achieved one workout at a time, and a better workout will produce faster results. So it makes sense to attack each training session with maximum attention and effort. Having a great workout depends on more than just a positive attitude or chants of "I will have a great workout today" while looking in the mirror. Your actions during the hours leading up to your training session will have a direct impact on your biochemistry, which is directly linked to motivation and performance.
Here are a few tips that will help you achieve your personal best every time you train.
Tip #1 : Get 7-9 hours of deep uninterrupted sleep. Sleep deprivation has a negative effect on hormones(dhea, testosterone, Growth Hormone), blood sugar, and neurotransmitters(dopamine, acetylcholine). According to Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, Matthew Walker, PhD, "Sleep is not just a pillar of good health, it is the foundation upon which mental and physical health are cultivated." All psychological or physiological functions are enhanced when sleep is optimal, and vice versa, all psychological or physiological functions are impaired when sleep is deprived.
Take the following actions for a better nights sleep:
-Make sure your bedroom is pitch black, use blackout curtains if necessary.
-Turn off electrical devices and keep phones at least 3 feet away from bed.
-Keep your room temperature between 62-70 degrees F.
-Avoid caffeine and stimulants at least 6 hours prior to bedtime.
Tip #2: Drink 8-12 oz of water upon rising.
Mild dehydration can significantly decrease your performance and metabolic function. A 1-2% loss of body mass due to moderate dehydration can lead to a reduced level of alertness, concentration, and exercise endurance.
Tip #3: Eat a breakfast that optimizes neurotransmitter production and energy levels.
If you want to start the day motivated and focused, you must consume high quality animal proteins that are rich in the amino acid L-tyrosine which is a precursor to neurotransmitter production. The brain neurotransmitters, dopamine and acetylcholine, are chemical messengers that influence mood and motivation. Motivation is not just about will-power and positive thinking, chemistry plays a big role. According to the research of John Salamone, a Professor of psychology at UConn, “Low levels of dopamine make people and other animals less likely to work for things, so it has more to do with motivation and cost/benefit analyses than pleasure itself...”
You also want to consume complex carbohydrates and good fats that will keep your energy levels high. The amount of carbohydrates you consume is dependent on your fitness goals and your current body-fat level. Women with less than 22% body-fat and men with less than 14% body-fat should consume more carbohydrates at breakfast than those with higher body fat levels.
Option #1 (low Carbohydrate Breakfast)
Beef or Bison, 4-8 oz grilled
Raw Nuts(Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, Pistachios) 1/3 cup
Black Coffee or Green Tea
Option #2 (Moderate Carbohydrate)
Lean Beef or Bison(visible fat trimmed), 3-5 oz grilled
Eggs(2 whole + 2 whites), Scrambled in 1 tsp butter
Orange(1 small) or Organic Strawberries(4-5)
Black coffee or Green Tea
Option #3 (High Carbohydrate)
Lean Beef or Bison (visible fat trimmed) 3-6 oz grilled
Old-Fashioned Oatmeal, 1/2 cup dry cooked in water
Raisins(1/4 cup) and cinnamon added to Oatmeal
Orange, 1 small
Black Coffee or Green Tea
Optional Supplements taken with first meal
Nicotinamide Riboside, 250-500 mg
Tip #4: Have a Plan
Success is cultivated when efficient use of resources are maximized. If you have an exact plan of attack, you can focus your mental energy towards that specific task. Wherever your mind goes, the body will follow. If you are a serious trainee, your workout should be planned ahead of time and include goals and progressions.
If you follow each of these suggestions you will experience a noticeable increase in your training motivation.