Most of us are slaves to the grind. We go to work or school, punch in the time and head home to our families. This all has a huge bearing on how we approach our workouts. Sometimes, we simply cannot devote the necessary time to plan because things change on a daily basis. Work commitments can interfere with meal and workout plans. This is understandable.
However, if there is one thing that I always try and advise people is to avoid going into your workouts flat. By that, I mean heading into your workouts in starvation mode. If you haven't eaten in 5 hours and you decide to hit the gym, your performance is going to be subpar. Firstly, your body is low on fuel (simple and complex) carbohydrates. If your body doesn't have access to its number one preferred fuel source (carbs), it may turn to protein. This is a worst case scenario because it'll breakdown your muscle tissue in order convert into glucose (muscle fuel).
Our ultimate goal is to build muscle, not break it down to be used as fuel. Just ask a marathon runner.
Secondly, you don't have the physical and mental energy to effectively hit the big compound movements such as the squat or dead lift. Trying to squat maximum poundage's for high repetitions requires a high degree of mental concentration. This can actually be dangerous. If your mind and body are weak from lack of nutrition, your workout is going to be lacking in a big way.
With a bit of planning, you can avoid this situation. Here's what I suggest. Try and take a small, pre-workout meal with you to work or school. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just something with a bit of protein and carbohydrates in it. When I was going to university, I'd pack a banana, apple, and two litres of 2% milk in my pack sack as my pre-workout meal. I'd have this meal about an hour and a half prior to working out. It provided me the energy and protein I needed to tackle my heavy compound movements.
If you have the funds, try taking a protein drink and piece of fruit with you to work or school. This will provide you with the necessary energy to hit the weights hard. If you don't have the funds, try taking some chocolate milk, banana and some nuts with you.
However, no need to totally stuff yourself immediately before a workout. This will bloat you up and you will be too tired to do anything. My point is to have something light in your stomach prior to working out (nothing too heavy!). This way, you have the necessary fuel to blast through a gruelling workout.
Remember, don't go into a workout flat!
All the best,
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