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All about Pre-Workout

Are you new to the gym? Are you a first timer? If yes, then you must have encountered more than a few ‘bro science’ theorems about what to do and how to train to attain your fitness goals. Hearsays and ‘must-do’s relating to workouts, warm ups, diet, and supplements?

But not everything that the seemingly-wise ‘bro science’ tells you can be taken at face value! As a newbie, you must be wise enough to filter such pseudo science and baseless advice from the real truths, and focus on right approach. So, here’s a little help to separate the grains from all the chaff when it comes to Pre-Workout – Warm-up myths: “You need to do 20-30 mins of cardio or run on a treadmill for warm-up” “You need to do multiple numbers of pushups and pull-ups in order to warm up every day” It is often a very common scene to see people running on the treadmill for prolonged time, or doing exhaustive sets of pushup and pull ups in the name of warm-up. Pushups and Pull-ups are undoubtedly very effective and good workouts for the upper body. But performing them every day till failure in the name of warm-up is not the right approach of warming up before a workout. A warm-up should always be done with the sole purpose of increasing the range of motion (ROM) and to heat up the muscle groups which are going to be trained; it should also help in avoiding exercise induced injury and increase flexibility. There are different kinds of warm-up routines one can perform before a workout. As a beginner one should always focus on the right approach, especially for a warm-up workout. A dynamic form of warming-up has shown good results on strength and performance during the workout. Proper stretching should also be performed in order to avoid injuries and allow proper blood flow to the target muscle groups. There are various kinds of stretching like static, active, dynamic, and PNF stretching, which can help the individual to perform better in a safer way. Dietary myths: “You need to eat something before workout.” “One should not workout empty stomach.” “You must take a fruit juice before workout.” Well, these are some of the common statements we all have heard, or in fact, things we are actually used to doing in our own lives! Some may say if you do not eat before workout, you cannot perform well or you cannot lift to your potential. Well, I can safely tell you that is a complete myth. The food we ingest before workout is not going to be processed any faster than normal. In fact, working out on an empty stomach does give better results compared to the filled stomach. Some may argue that having glucose or a banana will help to perform well and will stop muscle breakdown. Undoubtedly it will provide you energy and will restrict muscle catabolism, but not having that banana (or any other food) is not going to cause any harm, and in fact if your goal is fat loss along with building muscles, then keeping bananas at bay would be the right choice. Some research has also shown that working in a fasted state increases the whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. If your diet is good enough to provide you the right amount of nutrition, then there is no need to gulp down food or drink up shakes before workout. Instead, try working out in a fasted state to improve your lipid and hormonal profile. Read more about fasted state training in the Fitmag article “Training in Fasted State – Healthy or Hazardous?” Supplements myths: “Pre-workout supplements are going to increase your muscle size and make you stronger” A prevailing myth regarding supplements is the use of the “Pre-Workout Supplement.” Most of us do not enquire much and sometimes have wrong expectations from a product. A pre-workout supplement is never going to increase your muscle size directly. It may give a good energy boost, reduce fatigue due to the presence of caffeine, and provide some endurance due to the amino acids. However, it is never going to make your muscles big or help you lose weight. For constructing a physique, one should follow a proper diet and workout plan along with proper rest to allow for recovery. While strength is a skill, it is only acquired by practice; no supplement can increase your strength to lift weights. So here’s to a journey guided by truths and experience, and hope this helps you steer clear of fads and fitness faux-pas! Article Credits – Suraj Ray



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