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25 Ways to Improve Your Workout

You never have to endure a bad workout again. Inject these 25 tips into your daily routine to start supercharging your gym sessions.

By Jim Stoppani, PhD, and Eric Velazquez
25 Ways to Improve Your Workout

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Immediately Before Your Workout

Whether you train before work or in the evening after work, there are certain things you can and should do to gear up for the battle ahead. Again, nutrition plays a part, but your supplements are what will put you over the top. Taking the right supps during this crucial window helps get your body in a position to grow from today's session.

4. Eat buckwheat as part of your preworkout carb intake

>> Buckwheat, found in buckwheat pancakes and soba noodles, is a fruit seed that's often used as a substitute for grains. It digests slowly, which helps increase endurance and fat-burning. Buckwheat also contains a flavonoid called chiroinositol, which mimics insulin. A cup of cooked soba noodles before workouts can help get more preworkout creatine (see tip No. 5) into your muscle cells without blunting fat loss, which can occur from high insulin spikes.

5. Take 20 grams of whey protein and 3-5 grams of a creatine supplement

>> Researchers from Victoria University (Australia) reported that subjects who consumed a protein and creatine supplement immediately before and after workouts over a 10-week period increased muscle mass by 87%, bench press strength by 36%, squat strength by 27% and deadlift strength by 25%, and decreased bodyfat by 3%, more than a group taking the supplement before breakfast and before bed.

6. Take 200-400 mg of caffeine 1-2 hours before your workout

>> Research shows that caffeine taken preworkout increases fat-burning and endurance and blunts muscle pain during training, which means you can do more reps. A more recent study, from the University of Nebraska (Lincoln), indicates that subjects who took a caffeine supplement before their workouts immediately increased their one-rep max (1RM) on the bench press by about 5 pounds. Studies show caffeine supplements work better than caffeine from coffee.

7. Take 3-5 grams of arginine 30-45 minutes before workouts

>> One study reported in the journal Nutrition that trained subjects who took arginine supplements for eight weeks increased their 1RMs for the bench press by almost 20 pounds more than those who took a placebo.

8. Add 2 teaspoons of cocoa extract to your preworkout protein shake

>> University of California, Davis, scientists discovered that a flavonol called epicathechin in cocoa boosts NO levels and blood vessel dilation. If you've taken your NO and had a preworkout salad, this will keep NO levels higher longer.

NEXT: During Your Workout >>

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