When you hear the words High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Tabata Inferno your first reaction is probably, “this is going to hurt afterward.”
Whether you are worried about recovery, hitting your rep goal, or just hoping to survive the intensity of the workout there are a few tips to help get you through that grueling session.
Eat Enough Before the Workout
Imagine taking your car on a 200-mile road trip using gas that is made of half water and half fuel. Do you think the car will run well for you? Probably not (and you won’t get very far!).
The same goes for your body when entering into a workout that requires an increase in reps, intensity, and/or duration. We want to fuel you before that workout so that you can perform optimally and help with recovery.
Eating “enough” can mean fueling just before your intense workout or preparing throughout the week with scheduled meals every 3 to 4 hours consisting of lean protein, whole-grain rich starch, and vitamin-packed vegetable prepared in a little fat.
If you’re looking to give your muscles a little energy boost before your workout, look for a high-carbohydrate snack with a little protein at no more than 120-150 calories. A great example is eating half a banana and a quarter cup of greek yogurt.
This will provide immediate energy for your muscles and also leave you with minimal digestive discomfort during your intense workout.
Did you know that water is the most abundant molecule within the human body? Being properly hydrated is necessary for helping your body regulate temperature, assist in the energy transfer of nutrients, and in cushioning your joints.
Research suggests that if one is dehydrated by 2-3% of their body weight, decreases in performance can take place, especially in extremely heated conditions. Plus, when you’re well hydrated you’ll have a better mood entering into that workout you might be dreading!
If you are wondering about your hydration status the best way is to check your urine color. You want it to be light yellow almost like the color of lemonade.
The current fluid recommendation is dividing your body weight in pounds by half which will give you the amount to drink in ounces per day. When entering your workout you want to be fully hydrated.
During your workout, and as tolerated, you can sip on 7-10 fluid ounces every 10 to 20 minutes to slowly replace sweat losses.
Take an Amino Acid Supplement
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. As we know, protein helps to build muscle, repair tissue damage, and aids in delivering oxygen to your muscles. Out of the twenty, there are nine that are considered essential amino acids.
This means that the body cannot make it on its own and is needed as part of the diet or in supplement form. The names of those amino acids are Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine.
From that list, there are certain amino acids that are considered beneficial to improving your performance.
You might have heard of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) and how they can help in muscle recovery according to research. The BCAA’s include leucine, valine, and isoleucine and do not have to go through the whole metabolism process.
What this means is that they provide immediate fuel to the muscles working therefore enhancing performance. That is why when taking a supplement, consuming it about 15-minutes before or during your workout is recommended.
If you are looking to speed up recovery so that you can head into that intense workout with optimal energy and reduced muscle fatigue, look for an essential amino acids supplement that contains all 9 essential amino acids, including the BCAA’s, such as Naked EAAS.
Now Creatine is another amino acid that is found standing on the shelf of your local fitness supplement store and there is a reason why. If you’re looking to bulk up faster and increase your strength, this should be considered part of your routine.
Creatine has been shown to improve lean muscle mass along with your training schedule. The key to supplementing with creatine is sticking through with it over a period of time so that you can improve muscle stores and increase lean body mass.
One study showed an increase of 60% in muscle mass compared to a group that conducted strength training alone!
Listen to Music that Pumps You Up
The “Rock” Dwayne Johnson has a playlist that pumps him up. Why not create your own playlist that keeps you moving forward toward your performance goals!?
As a matter of fact, research showed performance runners ran faster when listening to music. The kind of music can also help with intensity and perceived effort in your workout. Go ahead and plug in your favorite tunes!