The Gym Preparation Checklist

Posted July 15, 2008 in Healthy Lifestyle, Motivation 2 Comments »

Home gymWhen going to the gym to train, you can develop a tradition that will help you stay focused on your goals. By sticking to the same regimen each day you will also be assured that nothing is changing in your training or preparation. This will make it easier to diagnose a problem or to pin point the result of a specific planned change in your training, nutrition, or lifestyle.

Consistency is one of the prime factors in your training progress. Following the basic outline below will ensure that you have some consistency in the factors that surround your training. After that, it’s your responsibility to actually get to the gym and train. Now let’s investigate how we can maintain consistency around training.

Examples of some changes you might want to track and diagnose:

  • Noticeably weaker than last week/workout.
  • Noticeably stronger than last week/workout.
  • Unplanned weight gain.
  • Unplanned weight loss.
  • Unexpected changes in energy, endurance, intensity, or aggression.

Step #1: Pre-workout Preparation

You want to start by eating your pre-workout meal, making sure you are hydrated, take all of your supplements, and pack all your gear.

Things to remember:

  1. Depending on your current diet, consume your pre-workout drink 30 minutes before you start warm-ups, or consume a small meal 45-60 minutes before you start warm-ups.
  2. Take all pre-workout supplements you wish to take. There are a number of caffeine-free pre-workout supplements that you could choose, but studies have shown numerous times that caffeine does boost performance. Some pre-workout supplements that you can choose from might include:
    • Creatine
    • Amino Acids
    • A neuro-stimulator like Biotest Powerdrive
    • An energy booster like Biotest Hot Rox Extreme
    • Glutamine
  3. Gather your gym clothes. You might prefer to lift in:
    • Shorts and a tank top
    • Sweat pants and a sweatshirt
    • Or my personal favorite, wind pants and a t-shirt
  4. Gather your equipment. You might need:
    • Your workout log/notebook.
    • Wrist straps.
    • Lifting belt.
    • Belt with a chain for weighted pull-ups and dips.
    • Chalk
    • Heart rate monitor.
    • Stopwatch
    • Ironmind grippers for forearm training.
  5. Prepare your workout drink. You might choose to sip on:
    • Gatorade
    • Biotest Surge
    • Propel
    • an energy drink like Monster or Red Bull
    • plain old water
  6. Listen to some motivational tunes on the way to the gym. You might choose Pantera, Metallica, Slipknot, Linkin Park, Fiddy Cent, Lil Wayne, or (God help you) some country music like Alan Jackson or something.

Step #2: The Workout Process

This step is simple, and also the most beneficial. It’s all about psyching yourself up and visualizing success. This is not the time to get into conversation with friends or random people. This is not the time to focus on anything other than training.

When you get into the gym, warm up for 5-10 minutes. At this time you want to review what is in store for the next hour. Visualize yourself setting a PR on each exercise. Know in advance what you plan to accomplish today.

Step #3: Post-Workout Damage Control

  1. Post workout, you want to cool down and stretch for a solid 15 minutes each time. Keeping this consistent will also help to keep your recovery consistent.
  2. Immediately drink your post-workout drink. Either do your research to figure out how to make a proper post-workout drink, or just use Biotest Surge. Once again, I don’t get paid for recommending Surge. It just works best.
  3. Take any post-workout supplements that you normally take. This could include anything mentioned in the pre-workout supplements and any other special supps you deem useful.
  4. Take a moment to reflect on your performance. Try to figure out why you did better or worse and make notes.
  5. Try to relax a bit and get your 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  6. Make sure to eat your 4-6 small meals each day for continuous nutrition.


So, that about sums it up. You might have a different way to prepare than I do. In fact I don’t always follow all these steps, nor have I necessarily mentioned all the prep work I have ever done before, during, and after lifting. The point is to keep your workout preparation and post-workout routine consistent.

The less you change on a regular basis, the easier it will be to determine cause and reaction with respect to changes in your training performance. Now it’s time for you to do your part; it’s time for you to be consistent by going to train. So go. NOW!

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2 Responses to “The Gym Preparation Checklist”

  1. This is a really old post and I can’t believe you found it and commented on it. Anyway, water is great, but something with electrolytes is usually a little better if you’re going to be burning up glucose for energy during your workouts.

  2. Very helpful website, Steve! Why do you recommend against water for a workout drink? I steer clear Red Bull and Gatorade (especially Red Bull!) due to the high sugar content. And since I already include a pre and post workout drink, water seems to make the most sense to have during my workouts.

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