5 secrets to the best training session ever!
These are my personal thoughts on what makes a great training session. Notice I say training session and not workout. To me, a workout implies little thought, while a training session is moving you towards a goal. So on that note, the first Secret to the best training session.
Sleep, sleep, sleep.
The night before your training session you should be sleeping. Sleep is the single most important thing you can do for yourself, and getting enough sleep the night before a session is of the utmost importance. Having plenty of rest allows your brain to better assimilate new activities and changes. It allows you to fully focus on your tasks and not be bogged down by mental weights. Even harder than lifting a heavy weight is lifting a tired mind.
Know what you are in for.
This should take place well before your training session. Pull up your plan and take a look at the exercises, reps, stretches, etc. This information gives you all you need to start priming your system. Are you familiar with every exercise? If not, look up the ones you need to. If they are familiar then look up some tips and tricks to mastering the movements. Walkthrough the session mentally. Imagining each warm-up set, each exercise, even the stretches. Let your brain prepare your body for what's to come.
Yes, consume caffeine. Yes, it is a performance enhancer. Yes, it will help you. The reason why is similar to the sleep argument. It has to do with brain function. During training, your body is not the only thing consuming energy, your brain is too. Not only is your brain trying to make adjustments to your movements as you are doing them, but it’s also trying to assimilate the changes you are doing your best to make. The faster the brain can process these edits and directions, the more anchored your technique will be and the faster it will be ironed into your basal movement pattern.
Your focus for your training session should be wire to wire. Meaning the first warm up exercise you complete should have the same intensity and mental fortitude as the hardest exercise in your session. It should also extend to the last cool down stretch you do. This is one of the most difficult things for a new athlete to master. Instead of coming in to just do the work, come in to be with the work. Understand that every aspect of training is there to make you better. If you begin to trail off or lose focus, take a break and refocus your energy. Be 100%, 100% of the time.
Doing all of these previous tasks supports and anchors the idea that mindset is everything. Not only pre- and post-training, but every rep of every set. Even bringing that mindset to resting between sets can improve your performance greatly. The goal of training is to complete your goal. You can complete your goals faster by utilizing the methods outlined here. When you put in the work, the work puts in for you. Taking the time to make the session at hand the only thing on your mind will further help you accomplish the task at hand. When drinking tea, just drink tea.