5 Things Not to Do Before a Workout

Shoaib Siddiq Feb 17 2016

As opposed to our previous article on things to do before a workout. This time we are highlighting things that should be avoided before a workout. Little attention is given to things that are to be avoided but do note that just as some things can increase your gym performance, there are things most people do that renders their workout ineffective.

1.Long Naps

Sleep is crucial for muscle recovery. But by sleep we mean sleeping at night. Quick naps during day will not help. Make sure your muscles are fully recovered before a workout.

Furthermore, it is believed that some rest before a workout is great to perform at your 100% at the gym, but oversleeping and taking longer nap will leave you lethargic resulting in a significant decrease in gym performance.

2.Pre-workout Meal

Without a doubt, pre-workout meal is important. It ensures that you have enough energy to perform. But what most people do not know is that while your gastrointestinal tract is busy digesting, blood flow to the muscles is reduced. Post meal absorptive state activates the parasympathetic system in the body which, in simple words, makes you lazy.

So to ensure that you have enough nutrition in you whilst staying active, make sure to take a solid pre-workout meal no later than 2 hours before a workout. Semi-solids such as smoothies can be taken an hour before the workout, while pre-workout drinks such as creatine should be taken 30min before the workout.

Do not take energy drinks as they give you more calories than you can burn.

And remember not to overdo stimulants, as this may result in palpitations, nausea etc which may kill your workout instead of igniting it.

3.Hydrating when You Shouldn’t

Staying hydrated is crucial for a good workout. But drinking a little too much water a little too close to your workout will leave you feeling bloated and may increase visits to the washroom. Both will decrease your gym performance.

It is recommended to drink no more than 500ml of water 30min before a workout. And only a few sips before and in during the workout.


Cardio definitely has a place in your workout schedule. But a cardio session pre workout is a not a good idea. You burn away energy in the cardio session, sweat away the water and salts leaving yourself drained of energy and nutrition for a good gym session.

A smarter option is to allot a separate day for cardio session. Or perform cardio in the morning and gym in the evening so that there is at least 4 hour break in between the two sessions.


It is very common to see people performing pre-workout stretches to ‘open up’ their muscles and get them ready for the workout ahead. It may seem to make sense but consider this; your body is out cold, the muscles not ready to work out yet and by performing stretches will just add extra strain on the muscles and tendons which may lead to injury. Stretching should always be confined to post workout only, this way it will increase the blood supply, maintain the pump and increase the flexibility.

There you go. You know things to do before a workout, and now you know things NOT to do before a workout. Now all you have to do is follow what is advised and execute a killer workout..


Shoaib Siddiq

Shoaib Siddiq:

Shoaib is currently a 3rd year MBBS student. Apart from studying, you can often find him in gym either resistance training or practising mixed martial arts. With his love for fitness training and knowledge that comes along with it, he writes various fitness related articles for HTV.