A portrait of man working out with a dumbbell at the gym.

A solid gym workout begins long before you step foot into the studio. How you prepare mentally and physically can determine how much gains you’re going to make. Of course, you want to get 100% out of every bead of sweat. To make the most out of your exercise, do these pre-workout rituals that will help set the stage for success.

Catch Enough Zs

is the bedrock of any wellness routine, including a gym workout. During sleep, your body rebalances neurotransmitters, like dopamine, serotonin, and cortisol, that play a critical role in regulating mood, motivation, and stress levels.

Additionally, getting less rest than your body needs negatively affects your heart rate variability (HRV) – a key biomarker that influences how hard your muscles can work during exercise and how quickly they can recover.

Getting seven hours of sleep every night when you’re already juggling other responsibilities (Work! Chores! Exercise!) seems like a tall order. That’s why it’s good – necessary, actually – to schedule before calling it a night. Doing a “,” turning off your electronics, taking a warm shower, and reading a book are all great options.

Fuel Up on Carbs and Proteins

There are conflicting opinions on whether you should eat before working out. The sweet spot? You should have a light meal containing 30 to 60 minutes prior to your exercise. This helps push your body to put forth a better effort for longer. If you’re short on time, snack on an energy bar or a protein shake. You don’t want to hit the gym on an empty stomach (acid reflux is no fun), but you don’t want to feel too full, either.

What about fitness supplements? The same rule applies: take them 30 minutes before you head out. That way, they’re at the peak of effectiveness by the time you arrive at the gym.

Go Number Two

Whether you’re a runner or not, a mid-workout potty trip sucks. No explanations are needed. Turns out, science says emptying your bowels before exercise can help you hit your planned PRs.

A study published in the reveals that those who “logged out” before doing a cycling time trial performed better than those who didn’t. Based on the findings, pre-workout pooping enhances performance in endurance exercises, mainly because it decreases fatigue and pumps more oxygen to the brain. 

Review Your Gym Workout Plan

Time lost is money lost. Save your precious minutes by creating your in advance. Write down each exercise, the number of sets and repetitions, and rest periods. Knowing what to expect helps take away the guesswork, which keeps your training moving at an efficient pace. Consult with a trainer if you’re not sure where to start.

Do a Dynamic Warm-Up

A pre-exercise warm-up usually involves a series of . But you might want to add a dynamic warm-up to your gym workout menu, which are moves that mimic the type of workout you’re about to perform. For example, do some and dumbbell chest flies on your gym chest workout day. Research suggests that eight minutes of these boosts speed and agility, as well as reduces the by 30 percent.

Once you’ve reached the finish line, hit the shower and turn the temperature down. Rinse off all the sweat and dirt on your skin with Lifebuoy Antibacterial Body Wash with Multivitamins+ Total 10, which boasts 50x stronger germ protection. It’s also infused with vitamins B3, C, and E that help clear up . Or, try Dove Men+Care Extra Fresh Body & Face Bar to cleanse and protect your skin against dryness.

Focus on proper form, listen to your body, stay hydrated, and follow these tips for a more productive gym workout.