We consulted Men’s Health fitness advisor Gideon Akande, a motivator and movement specialist, on his must-do pre-workout essentials. These sound tips will help anyone prepare to excel.
Preparation – A Plan
Heading into your next workout with a game plan allows you to stick to a time schedule, get an efficient workout and have time for life’s other pleasures. Beforehand, jot down your exercises, weights/reps and anything else you plan to do. Also, prepare backup exercises in case a popular piece of equipment is unavailable. Utilize a timer to keep you on-task and avoid unnecessary distractions. Keeping to timed workouts or preset rest durations will provide a regular reminder when it’s time to get to work. Music is great for motivation, but scrolling to find the “right song” is a time suck. Pre-establish your jams, press play and GO!
Mobilization – Wedge
The foam wedge is THE tool for increasing range of motion and mobility through the calves and ankles. This unassuming triangular device allows you to dynamically and statically warm up and stretch your lower extremities. To perform, simply place your foot on the wedge and comfortably lean forward to a point just before the heel elevates (feel free to use a supporting structure for balance). Maintain the stretch for :30 to :60 seconds. To make the movement dynamic, continually lean in and out of the stretch. Using the wedge will result in better athletic movement as the ankle joint is important in most lower-body movements—especially acceleration and deceleration, and jumping and landing.
Activation — Mini Band
In squatting and lunging patterns your glutes are the primary movers. Lateral walks with a mini band are a great way to prime those muscles for proper activation. Here’s how it’s done: Place a mini band just above your knees. Start in an athletic position (feet straight and shoulder width apart, knees softly bent, hips back, back flat). With your right foot, expand the band with a side step to your right. Move your left foot to the right and return to an athletic position. Alternate steps to the right and left for 20 to 30 total reps. The burn in the buns means you’re doing it right.
Stack Your Supplements
The supplement market is filled with products that are hyper-focused on one attribute, such as pump factor, performance, recovery or energy. Mike McCandless, owner of Scivation, set out to fill the gaps with products that could address all of these things at once, while also being stackable.
No matter what goal you are trying to reach, Scivation’s Quake 10.0 formula offers a unique combination of ingredients that will help you have the workout of your life. Taken like you would any other pre-workout—20-30 minutes before you begin and in a small amount of liquid—Quake is designed to complement an intra-workout, like the market-leading Xtend BCAA, to give you a full 14g of BCAA’s*. This additional layer of supplements has been shown to offset delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). For a full list of ingredients—and inspiration for your next workout—check out Scivation’s complete line of products.