Your short checklist of what to do and not to do before a Workout

So focused are we on the magic of workouts that we tend to forget that preparation is just as crucial as the act itself. We gave you a hint of this when we said in the tips for burning more fat guide that exercising on an empty stomach is a good idea. Below we shall explore the entire gamut of do’s and don’ts that one should follow to ensure that the workout is easy, efficient and allows the body to derive the maximum benefits from it. Granted that what should and shouldn’t do before every workout varies with the type of workout, but this general guide can be applied to a wide range of circumstances.
Workout with a rowing machine

Eat Properly If You Must eat before workout

What you SHOULD eat:

Some of the greatest benefits of using a rowing machine or any other fitness instrument derive from working out on an empty stomach. However, if you suffer from gastric ulcers or would like to undergo a power training session for longer than an hour, it is advisable that you put something in your belly before setting out.

Pre-workout eating should be confined to fruits, protein shakes and caffeine. Ensure that these are foods with low glycemic index and contain a modicum of protein in addition to carbohydrates.

What you SHOULDN’T eat:

Avoid eating foods with high calorific value, especially if the calories come from fructose or any polysaccharides. Even foods like bread, potatoes and their derivatives should be avoided. Consuming fats and starches requires the body to work harder, and this leaves lesser amounts of oxygen for the muscles which are working hard during the workout session. This leads to increased chances of exhaustion and retardation of benefits, even if you are on a product bought by following the rowing machine buying guide or a similar guide for another fitness gadget.

Warm-up is vital to workout efficacy

Workout SHOULD Do’s:

Warm-up is a means of informing the body that it is time to get into workout-mode. One of the vital points in what should and shouldn’t do before every workout is related to the intensity and duration of warm-up. Keep the warm-up time limited to around 15 minutes at most, and ensure that the exercises are different from the workout ones, so that the body can differentiate between the warm-up and the workout. Further, while it is okay to take pauses in the middle of the actual workout, warm-ups are best done in a single stretch.

What you SHOULDN’T do during warm-up:

Many people skip warm-up or prolong it since it is easier to do that the actual workout. Others tend to turn the warm-up into a mini-workout, trying to force the body to make effort that it is not yet ready for. These follies can persuade the body that it is either carrying out the actual workout. This can cause the body to shut-down during the actual workout, leading to sprains and injuries.

Clothing For Comfortable Workout

What you SHOULD have in your wardrobe:

Keep a lot of loose clothes, one size larger than your normal size probably, in your workout wardrobe. These can be of cotton or polyester, but must be able to dry quickly and breathe properly. By breathing we mean that air must pass through the small pores in the cloth adequately. This helps in drying out the body quickly.

Secondly, though you may have your favorites when it comes to fitness clothing, choose the ones that are most appropriate for the type of workout you’re planning to do. If you’re not sure what workout regimen you would follow even in the hour preceding your workout, you should don clothing meant for a medium intensity workout.

Thirdly, if you wish to follow what should and shouldn’t do before every workout points given by experts strictly, we’d say measure yourself every two weeks just before heading into a workout to see if your body’s statistics have changed.

Lastly, like the maintenance and tips for rowing machines, your clothing also requires maintenance in the form of regular cleaning and alternating between different clothes on consecutive days. This is vital because body sweat and heat have been found to degrade elastane and spandex, which are vital to keep the clothing “in place” during a workout. Further, deposition of sweat and grime on the clothing blocks the “breathing” pores, making subsequent drying of the clothing harder. To ensure maximum longevity for your clothing, prepare the washing/drying apparatus prior to heading out and wash the clothing just after you return.

Why you SHOULDN’T succumb to workout fashion trends:

As we reap the benefits of regular exercise, we wish to show it off by wearing tighter and trendier clothing, aping the fitness stars and sportsmen who smile at us from every Nike, Adidas or Reebok ad. This is fine in moderate amounts, but if you are steadily moving towards tighter and tighter clothing just to show off your new physique before every successive workout, the body is being deprived of “breathing” space in which to dry the sweat. This can cause sweat to accumulate on the body, causing bad odor, discomfort and rashes, which in turn undermine your ability to give 100% focus and effort during a workout.

Further, if you must wear special workout undergarments (ie sports vests/bras that differ from ordinary underwear), ensure that you are buying the right size. This is because while normal garments come in measurements of inches (40 inch chest, 34 inch waist, etc) sports garments have sizes in between XS and XXL. Figure out which size corresponds to your ordinary clothing.

You SHOULD check your vitals

Before every workout, make sure that you have a handheld blood pressure measurement tool. Use it to see if any body metrics are unnaturally high/low or whether any instability can be detected. If any have been detected, you should avoid working out that day, or at least lower the intensity of the workout so as to give the body adequate time to recover and fix whatever is causing the anomalies. Include visiting a medical specialist a few days before an upcoming super workout among your what should and shouldn’t do before every workout if necessary.


While some of the points in what should and shouldn’t do before a workout guide may seem like common sense applied to a workout scenario, these are nevertheless vital to ensuring that your body receives workout benefits to the fullest. Indeed, what all of these pre-workout tips have in common is that they help the body work like it would like to. Modified according to the needs of the body, these tips can definitely help you get the maximum out of your workout on a long term basis.