This is a subject I've wanted to touch on before. How do you plan your day so that you set yourself up to have a great training session? Powerlifting, just like bodybuilding can be thought of as a 24 hour sport. Everything you do with your day effects how prepared you are to train effectively. Just because a majority of powerlifters prefer to train at night, and so do I, I am going to write this with training time 5-8pm in mind. However, these tips still apply to the morning trainee, the time frames just need to be shifted correctly to accommodate a 7-9 am start time
- Get Plenty Of Sleep - Don't start the day off tired, you'll end up dragging ass all day and it will make it hard for you to get yourself in the right mind to train hard later. You will end up relying on stimulants which will become a bad cycle if you never sleep and training that late on stimulants is a recipe to be up all night. The best way to wake up ready to go isn't with coffee, it's with a good nights sleep. Consistent good nights sleep
- Get Up Early - Allow yourself time so you don't start your day in a rush. Eat a quality breakfast and do a quick stretching routine focusing on the hips, maybe even go for a brief walk to get the blood flowing and loosen up the body. These things can be done quickly, especially if your breakfast is quick to prepare or was prepared the night before. They make a huge difference. If I don't do some quick stretching after getting up I feel tight all day and it actually becomes painful. Nip tightness in the butt early and get moving!
- Drink Water Frequently - Hydration is huge for performance. Start your morning with 2 cups full of water and every time you are near the sink drink another cup of water. If you are out and about make sure you keep a big gallon jug with you or multiple water bottles. Your hydration now will effect your performance later that night. You can't go all day dehydrated and expect to properly hydrate your body an hour before you train. Going to the bathroom so frequently sucks but I'll take that in a heartbeat if it means I will have a great training session later
- Eat Good Food - Pretty simple, don't eat shitty things that you already know won't help you feel good later. You probably have a good idea of what foods leave you with plenty of energy and which foods crash you hard after. Plenty of protein, limit sugars, eat good fiberful carbs. Chicken and rice is boring but everyone eats it for a reason. Add a little spice and get that sucker down, you'll bench more!
- Listen to Music - Music meditates the mind. When a training session is approaching I turn on some hard rock and think about the weights I'm about to lift later. The mind is your most powerful tool. I cannot stress enough how big of a difference it makes if you take the time to use mental imagery of your training session before it happens. Music puts your mind in that place, give yourself a moment to visualize
- Get to the Gym Early - If you are stuck to a scheduled time, get in the gym early and make sure you have time to do your soft tissue and warm ups. If you go to the gym whenever you want, give yourself the time to warm up properly. You never want to rush into working sets. Take your time to loosen up and get properly warmed up. Don't leave your best sets on the table because you didn't do enough before your main sets
These tips will help you accomplish the perfect training session. Your body and mind will be fully prepped and ready to go. Of course not everyday can go perfectly as planned but if you are able to string together multiple days where you are able to accomplish all these checkpoints before your lift, you can bet you'll be crushing workouts and getting stronger
- Coach Ben