Some days, just getting to the gym takes serious dedication — and on those days (especially on those days!) I want my sweat sesh to count. The last thing my workout needs is to be derailed before I even hit the spin bike/yoga mat/elliptical. Unfortunately, what we do before and after the gym can sneakily sabotage our workouts.

These behaviors are easily justified in our heads. You might hit the gym on the way home from work with an empty stomach, or give up a few extra hours of sleep for an a.m. workout — things that can actually do more harm than good. Unfortunately, there's no denying science, so we recommend you take advantage of recent findings.

Researchers' experiments show how the ten habits below affect our workout performance. If you're guilty of any of them, you might want to rethink how you're exercising. You'll be surprised by how much better you feel the next time you're at the gym.


No one wants to work out on a full stomach, but fasting pre-sweat sesh won't help your performance, either. In fact, if you don't eat, any calories you burn will come from muscle instead, according to research published in Strength and Conditioning Journal. So, not only will you lose muscle, you won't be able to go as hard or long as you would, if you had some real fuel to burn — which basically means the entire point of going to the gym is moot. Source

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