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3 min read

3 Secrets to Enhance Your Training Results Outside the Gym

3 Secrets to Enhance Your Training Results Outside the Gym

Did you know that the secret to amplifying your strength gains lies not only in what you do inside the gym but also in how you lead your life outside of it? Stepping outside the gym shouldn’t mean stepping away from your fitness goals, especially considering that many people will spend only 3-5 hours training throughout the week, compared to the other 160+ hours remaining. The foods you eat, the quality of your sleep, even your stress levels, all play a pivotal role in your body's ability to build muscle and increase strength. As we explore the symbiotic relationship between lifestyle habits and strength enhancement, unlock actionable insights to help you get the most from your limited time inside the gym.

#1: Warm Up for Sleep

The first secret to strategic refueling is the art of the sleep optimization. It's no secret that a good night's sleep is integral for a healthy body. But did you know that the quality of your sleep can significantly impact your training results? Studies show that a well-rested body can enhance your muscle recovery rate and overall performance— it's like having a turbo button for fitness! So, gear up and warm-up for that deep, rejuvenating sleep with the following:

  • Unplug an hour before bed: Turn off all electronics, like the TV, computer, and tablet, and put your phone away. These radiate blue light, which tells your pineal gland that it’s light outside and you need to wake up. Replace these with activities that will calm you down instead of stimulating you.
  • 60-second brain dump: Sometime during your sleep warm up, take 60 seconds to write down the 3 most important things you must accomplish the next day. Simply writing these things down settles your brain down. It’s amazing how much energy is wasted trying to remember important things. Writing important points down allows your brain to settle down, knowing you won’t forget. It’s a simple, yet very powerful, solution.
  • Write in a “grateful journal”: Leave a notebook next to your bed so each night before going to sleep you can write down 3-5 things you are grateful for in your life. It’s amazing the power this holds in relaxing and calming your subconscious mind, allowing for more restful sleep.

#2: Use Carbs to Your Advantage

Remembering that food is your body's fuel illustrates how energy-rich compounds can boost your training productivity. Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not the enemy- quite the contrary, they can be a powerful ally in your fitness journey. By consuming carbs strategically, you can significantly enhance your energy levels at the right time, optimize you body composition, and amp up your resistance against fatigue. Remember, it's not about eliminating carbs, it's about smart carb consumption:

  • Post workout meal: To get the most out of carbohydrates, you want to use them for what they do best: reduce stress and replenish glycogen storage (preferably in the muscles). The carbs trigger a refueling response, which drives carbs to your muscle tissue to aid in recovery and puts you into an anabolic (muscle-building) state.
  • Eat carbs at night for better sleep: Incorporating carbs into evening meals can help reduce stress and calm the brain down to improve sleep. 
  • Less in not always better: Avoid carbs completely as a high achiever and your metabolism will slow down, making all your hard work meaningless. The key is prioritizing whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and beans, while minimizing over-processed carbs like mass produced baked goods, breakfast cereals, and snack bars.

#3: Train Smarter AND Harder

This concept gets down to the bedrock of strategic refueling. If you are planning to strength train, it’s all about neural drive. You read that correctly. Your brain drives performance, not food. As already stated, nutrition plays a pivotal role in managing fatigue and bolstering your workout intensity. Just like your post workout meal, being intentional with your workout can unlock the zenith of your training efficacy. 

  • Stimulate your workout: Many people like to take a preworkout supplement, drink coffee, or even sip on some green tea before a heavy lifting day, and for good reason. Caffeine enhances arousal and allows for better neurological performance.
  • Prep your body AND your brain: Take a few minutes to get into the right headspace for your workout. Spend time activating the muscle group you want to work, setting a micro goal for that workout or a specific exercise, and focus on the quality of each movement instead of "just getting it done".

Bringing it all together, strategic refueling is a trifecta of sleep, nutrition, and proper preparation. It's an instrumental approach that introduces a sustainable and effective pathway to achieving your training goals. So, ignite your fitness journey to new heights, combat fatigue, and pave the way for a healthier body composition by integrating these golden secrets into your routine. Remember, it’s rarely the person that works the hardest who wins- it’s the person who is most prepared.