Grab your cheat sheet
Getting fit for the summer means plenty of advanced planning and preparation for the hotter weather. Whatever you plan, it's important to establish a proper warm-up and the right dietary intake, especially before a tough workout.
The heat can catch you out if you’re not workout-ready, and failure to be adequately prepared could mean heat-related issues such as heat exhaustion or dehydration.
Let’s look at what we can do to try and combat these issues during a workout by getting our summer pre-workout routine in the bag.
Take a cool shower before your exercise routine
Keeping cool is a no-brainer if you’re working out in the heat, even indoors, so taking a cold shower before you work out is a great idea to get your body temperature down. It can also help keep your hair wet after the shower to help keep you cool while performing your fitness routine.
Get plenty of sleep
One of the top rules of quality workouts is ensuring you have energy and focus in abundance; to achieve that, you need to be well-rested.
If you’re planning to get up early to work out, make sure you get to bed early enough to ensure you’re able to get around 8 hours of quality sleep.
You won’t want to sweat yourself to failure during your routine, so keep yourself topped up with water. Energy drinks are great for giving yourself a boost of adrenaline, but water should be your top priority for your drink selection.
Sweat is the body’s way of cooling us down when we exercise, so we must replenish the system as needed, as we tend to lose abundant water from our bodies during the hotter months. Make sure your pre-workout routine includes incorporating plenty of water.
Try to work out during the cooler hours
Warming up when the temperature has peaked means you might feel too hot to exercise, so it’s a good idea to plan your pre-workout and workout during cooler hours. Working out early in the morning is often a good idea, as leaving it too late in the day may disrupt your sleep patterns due to your raised heart rate.
Wear light clothing
Another good idea to keep your body cooler during your pre-workout is to wear lighter clothing.
Wear reflective colors, lightweight cotton clothing, and a cap to keep your head and face shaded from the sun if you're outside.
Choose your workout location wisely
On a hot, sunny day, it’s a good idea to check the temperature in various places to see where it might be best to work out, and it’s not always in the most obvious place. Exercising indoors might seem the obvious answer, but a hot, sweaty gym might not be as attractive as working out in the shade with a cool breeze blowing.
Some folk love to work out in the heat and can power through some of the most challenging workouts, but heat-related injuries are a thing, so play the percentages and use some common sense to stay on track.
Don’t push yourself to exhaustion
If we want to progress and get those rock-solid abs, we need to take ourselves out of our comfort zone but don’t confuse this with your body telling you to stop. Heat exhaustion is real, and it’s much easier to burn out in the hot weather. You know your body; listen to it and respect what it’s telling you. Passing out on the floor at the gym won’t get you where you want to be any more quickly. If you’re doing HIIT workouts, try to break them up to allow your body more time to recover from each set.
Static stretching is an integral part of a pre-workout at any time of the year, but it’s essential when the temperature gauge is high. The good news is that heat will help to warm the muscles, which makes stretching that bit easier in the summer months. Still, it’s essential when it’s warm because your mind can trick you into thinking you’re already sufficiently warmed as your body temperature increases.
Applying sunscreen should be essential to your summer pre-workout ritual if you're outdoors. Go for a high SPF (50+), preferably waterproof, to cope with the sweat. If you don’t take the right measures to protect your skin, you’ll be feeling the wrong kind of burn and being painful, it’ll distract you from your workouts.
Fuel and Refuel with pre-and post-workout nutrition
We’ve already discussed the importance of hydration when working out in the heat, but it’s equally important that you’re adequately fuelled up pre-workout. The general rule of thumb is to eat at least an hour before a workout to allow your food to digest properly, and your summer pre-workout diet should be lighter than your winter diet. It should focus on protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats and should include some fiber. Salads, stir-fries, and smoothies are perfect if you pack in the calories.
Eating too little means, you'll not have the energy to see you through your exercise. Lean protein is ideal before a workout, but it’s essential to get the right balance; not enough, and you’ll have enough energy; too much, and you’ll feel too full and sluggish to do yourself justice. Cold food such as hard-boiled eggs, cooked chicken breast, a turkey sandwich, wholegrains, almond butter, and a Greek yogurt or two are ideal for keeping your protein levels up.
Seasonal fruit and vegetables are perfect both pro- and post-workout and always have healthy snacks to hand in case you need a boost. Your summer post-workout ritual should include light and healthy. Fresh fruit juices, salads, rice, nuts and beans are perfect for reducing post-workout soreness.
The best advice for your summer pre-workout is to control your body temperature to ensure you don’t burn up and burn out. Keep the protein and carbs coming without stuffing your face, and always hydrated.
Crazybulk’s extensive range of supplements is perfect for fueling your pre-workouts without raising your body temperature or leaving you feeling too full. They are ideal for improving strength, enhancing performance and reducing recovery time.
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