#1 – Do not drive your car to the gym.
Either walk, jog, ride a bike, or take the bus. Jogging or riding your bike is your warm up, as soon as you walk in the door you're pumped up and ready to go, getting home afterwards is your post workout cardio. If you are able to do this then do it!
Also, if more is invested in getting to the gym instead of just sitting in your comfy little car, the harder and more meaningful you will make that workout. We live in a world of comfort and convenience, drop that bullshit and physically get your ass to the gym!
#2 – Train on a light meal.
Your body does not want to go through the effort of digesting food and working out at the same time. You are creating more work for your system. An average sized meal should be consumed at least 90-120 minutes in advance, or no food at all if you train first thing in the morning.
If you have to eat sooner than that, make sure it's at least an hour in advance but a lighter meal, a good example would be something like tuna fish, egg whites, and for your carbs a small bowl of oats or half a potato. You will work out better this way, trust me on this!
#3 – Avoid ejaculation before you train.
I know this sounds funny, but have you ever tried having sex or whacking off before the gym? It totally zaps you. Don't do it.
I don't give a damn who says what, nothing works as well as a good old fashioned cup of black coffee for your workouts. I think black coffee is more effective than mixing anything in it, for some reason it seems to get in your system faster. A couple tabs of ephedrine goes well with it too.
Forget the bullshit pre-workout ephedrine that costs $50, the ephedrine HCL is better and cheaper. The sports supplement products cost more because of the way they market it, that same ephedrine sold as a bronchiodialator is cheaper and the same shit. GorillaJack.com is a Canadian site that sells bottles of the shit for a few bucks each. Check em' out! Stay away from some of the ephedrine based products with other stimulants added in, some of them are just overkill and dangerous.
#5 – Pick a new workout time.
Sometimes something as simple as changing your gym time can be extremely effective. For example, I almost always exercise in the mornings simply due to family obligations and things at home. However, on occasion I do train at night. I notice that when I train at night I'm always stronger, probably due to having a little more energy from food in me throughout the day.
This also breaks up some of the monotony of life, sometimes we get into such a routine everyday that the days just start blending together and nothing is new or exciting to us anymore. This is even more so as we get older and older, our time perception changes and goes by faster. Don't be afraid to break up the daily routine a little more and flip flop some things.
Also, sometimes it's nice to get away from those crowded hours at the gym and the distractions. I train at a Gold's gym, and between 4-7 pm the place is ridiculous. I'm talking so packed people are parking their cars across the street and in adjacent business parking lots. But you won't have to worry about that anymore if you're riding your bike or jogging to the gym right?
Fuck these stupid earbud headphones or other cheap ass headphones. I paid $90 for some quality Philips O'Neil headphones that cover my entire ear. You know the ones with the bass boost and padded material that deaden all outside noise? Yeah, the ones the ghetto bangers wear. That's what I wear, minus ghetto banger music.
The reason I will drop $90 on a set of headphones is simple. Bodybuilding is my biggest hobby, I take it seriously, and good music helps pump up energy in the gym. Not to mention, sometimes the cheaper headphones are loud, but the sound quality is piercing and hurts your ears. A good set of quality headphones that covers your ears is a whole different sound. It's still loud, but it's deeper and more of a quality sound, not just noisy.
#7 – LOSE THE GEAR!
By gear I mean weightlifting assistance. This includes wrist wraps, knee wraps, elbow sleeves, a belt, a powerlifting shirt, briefs, and whatever other pantywaist bullshit everyone relies on now just to pick up a weight! I'm not against certain things such as a belt or knee wraps when lifting very heavy weight, but people let this shit become a crutch. Back in the day if you needed wrist wraps then the weight was too heavy for you. So you know how guys fixed this?
THEY ACTUALLY BUILT GIGANTIC FOREARMS TO LIFT THE SHIT!
I do this often, I will leave the gym bag at home and go at it 100% raw. It's nice not toting a stupid bag with you, and it has allowed me to grow more proportionately. Balance and symmetry is key with me, I like every body part to match the others and flow together nicely. I'm satisfied with 28″ quads at the moment, the last thing I want is some 31″ legs and only 18″ arms. Take these next few months to train with no assistance, if you need to lose some ego then lose it now. Just remember that your goal should be big muscles, not just trying to look like some local bad ass who out lifts everyone with his stupid bench shirt or wrist wraps
#8 – LEAVE YOUR FUCKING CELLPHONE AT HOME OR IN THE CAR!
Don't even bring the damn thing in the gym period! This should be your time to clear your mind and train, if you cannot even have this 1 hour by yourself without being bothered (usually by someone with some bullshit anyways) then what kind of life is that? There isn't anything that can't wait an hour. Do it for your own sanity for Christ's sake! Actually, try turning the damn thing off the entire day once in awhile. It feels great not being bothered. Trust me!
#9 – Keep a small logbook.
A small memo book will do fine. This doesn't need to be anything elaborate, just something to look at so you remember what you did in the gym last time. You should be constantly trying to beat it by either weight or reps, if you go 2 workouts in a row without beating your previous best, it's time to change that exercise. If you are not beating your prior training in some way, shape, or form, you're only fooling yourself. Yes you'll stay in shape, but no you are not changing.
The only exception to this is if you are on a very strict diet and your primary goal is to drop body fat. When I'm training for a competition the goal is to try to stay as strong as I can while losing body fat. But the further I go into the diet the weaker I'll get, but hey, even if this is the case a logbook is still good to gauge how strong you are staying or maintaining.
#10 – Drop the rep count and go for feel.
Now, this one can be tough. We are so accustomed to counting things that sometimes this seems damn near impossible to do. But if you can manage to do it then I promise you that you'll have some great sets. When you forget what rep you're on, you're getting into the muscle and the feeling more. That mind muscle connection gets stronger and now you're working out the way your body wants to, strictly by feel! Now I know what you're thinking, this totally contradicts tip #9 with the logbook but these are little things that I rotate out at any given time. Nothing is sealed in blood here. I frequently change tactics.
So give some of these tips a shot if you're bored or looking to change it up a bit. Remember, this takes several years of hard work and dedication! Nobody just wakes up one day like they crawled out of a magazine. This takes more focus and determination than most people will ever have.
Just ask yourself this one question, how many days can you look back on and say that you gave 110% on that given day. Hell I can't. Even workouts that I feel were 110% were probably 80%, because I'm capable of so much more than I realize. We all are. Nobody was put on this earth to rust and rot.
Think of soldiers, do they just go into battle without a plan? That battle plan starts from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep. When you're forcing yourself to eat those eggs, jogging to that gym, leaving that phone at home or in your car, that's all part of the plan. Those other slack fucks in there for social hour have no plan. They will fall victim to life's bullshit. I have no mercy for the weak.
So just remember next time your in there, its not a workout, its a fucking war! Train hard!