Getting Pumped Up for a Workout

OK, how do you prepare for a hard workout (i.e. heavy lifting, or tough TT supersets, demanding intervals, or a long run)? What music do you play?

What do you eat before your workout? And do you have coffee or even take a caffeine or “energy “supplement? How do you get JACKED UP for a big training session?


Dan Reilly: I usually have a shake with protein and a bunch of fruit in the morning then have jack3d pre workout. I know you think shakes are lame but I love them. And heavy metal to workout too

Emily Bennett Ledford: Approx 2 cups coffee.. MAJOR difference in my energy. Of course, I work out at 5 am,,, About 20 min after I finish my coffee is when I ‎*start*

John J O’Connell IV: I use a technique called V.A.K Ive learned from Dr Larry Iverson. He learned it from a trainer named Steve Andreas. Know him? Its a motivational tool involving visualization that allows you to see, hear and feel success before you start a task.

As soon as I wake up I use whey protein powder and Athletic Greens mixed with water and my vitamins. More water. Coffee and then VAK. Hit the gym with shoulders back, smile on my face, big strides like I was heading into Disney Land!

IPOD has basically seventies rock and then hit it! I believe in charging your physiology up by mentally and physically portraying a positive motivated attitude. That and routine. Man, routine is important for me. BTW Craig, 80 lbs gone…. 14 more to my College weight.

Zach Marcy: I do a less intense, but roughly the same version of what John does. His response was so good I can say my response is, please see above.

Molly Pettigrew Piercy: Water, coffee, The Killers and an “I’m awesome” attitude!

Randy Stark: Glass of skim milk and caffeine pill (don’t drink coffee, but like the boost) 45 min. prior to workout. No food for at least 2 hours prior to workout (or I’ll puke). 70’s & 80’s Rock music…Aerosmith, VanHalen, Motley Crue…

Josh Rutherford: I review the workout, think about going as hard as I can, and how I feel when I’m done and I’ve dominated the workout. I get pumped about it all day!

Mandy Wang: I’ll make sure i get enough sleep, get proper rest the day before, and get enough food into my system so I will not feel hungry during the workout. Make sure i have my ROBBIE WILLIAMS’s songs with me, cracking up the volume. Connect with the music and focus on the exercise and the muscle. it’s all mental, but i am aware of that. Cheers!

Laura Moss: Vital amino (focus zone), hammer gel, jay-z, tribe called quest, old school prince and mj… like magic.

Talia Bensinger:-Colton Coffee and Deadmau5.

Shelley Lidgren: Turk Coffee and Black Sabbath!

Joseph San Juan: Rest the day before, caffeine and water.   A protein shake (quick fix for an a.m. workout).  Dynamic warm up, foam rolling, and of course, some proper MUSIC! 90s hip hop for me.   Time to go workout!

Troy Kennedy: I take a good preworkout as I don’t drink coffee. I like either AEN presurge unleashed or ACG3 from PMD at GNC. Good grief! This may sound dumb, but I have the video of one of my p90x workouts on the tv screen even when I am doing something else. I did P90X so many time I am used to hearing Tony’s voice. LOL.

Also nice to see the folks sweating it out like more of a gym atmosphere. The timer on the screen is helpful as well. I have also found taking my postworkout 2:1 carb protein drink before the workout is helpful. I get a stronger workout this way as I workout pretty much fasted first thing in the morning.

Denise Higginson: I don’t really get jacked up in any way; just going to the gym is good enough for me. Don’t bring music at all. After the workout is when I feel naturally jacked up due to a feeling of accomplishment with the help of some endorphins

Neil Sutton: I workout alone in my basement, so, if I find myself procrastinating getting started, I imagine you are my personal trainer, sitting there waiting for me, charging me $5 a minute until I get started. (Cash is a great motivator). Then I plug in my headphones, crank up the hairbands (to drown out your voice in my head), and focus on knocking down each rep.

Like so many other seemingly big tasks, before you start, it’s like standing at the base of a mountain and staring up the face with trepidation. But once you start the first rep, you just keep on thinking of the next one, and the one after that, and before you know it, you’re covered in sweat, and doing your stretches.

Lesa Kinney Gutenkunst: Ground Fresh coffee beans, my French Press, a few relaxing breaths soaking in the morning. OK now I am getting psyched up for a little “me time.” Crank up the volume let’s get the burn on!!

Cool, suggestions. Thanks everyone.

Train hard but safe,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, M.Sc.
Certified Turbulence Trainer