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5 Ways to Get Rid of The Pre-Workout Nerves

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Call it nerves, jitters, anxiousness, the uncanny ability to have to pee right as a workout starts… Whatever you want to call it we’ve all faced it at some point in our “workout career” and you’ve almost definitely faced it if you’ve ever done a workout in a competition/competitive environment.

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing the CrossFit main site WOD, a brutal chipper, or even just a triplet of rowing, burpees, and double unders. Any workout that you see has a movement or a coupling of movements that will make you nervous and when you leave those nerves to go unchecked it can adversely affect your performance. Think about it, I know I’ve said “Man… I wouldn’t have come out of the gate so fast if I wasn’t so nervous” Ever said that too?

So how do we combat it? Let’s take a look:

1. Have a Plan and Stick To It

Yes I know that I’ve mentioned before that too much strategy is a bad thing, but a little strategy doesn’t hurt. Knowing how you’re going to attack a workout gives you a solid game plan. If you know that you have a plan you can work the plan. Eliminating this bit of the unknown can help you focus on knocking off the pieces of your plan instead of dreading pieces of the workout.

2. Know your Strengths

Maybe your one of those athletes that can move a ton of weight, but when it comes to running, your out of luck. You’ve probably said “I hate running” at least a dozen times this week. If so, focus on the fact that you can move weight and attack that as hard as you can. This can get you moving through the movements that you know best/can perform best faster than anyone else. Then when it comes to the part that you hate…that’s where you just endure. Thinking this through before the workout starts, can give you a small piece of mind, knowing that you’ll accept victories and failures with each of the movements.

3. Acknowledge your Weakness

In the same vein as knowing your strength, you should also acknowledge your weaknesses. For example: Pistols and I just generally don’t get along with each other. In a workout the other day, when I suffered through around 100 of them, I learned that they are truly a weakness for me. But rather than acknowledge this and dread them, acknowledge and try to push through them as best as you can. Knowing where you are weak or what your break points are will help you come up with a game plan prior to a workout. Having a plan can help settle your nerves.

4. Be Careful with Pre-Workout Supplements

Creatine, Protein, BCAAs, these are okay. I’m talking about the Performance Enhancing Pre Workout Mega-Bombs (patent pending) that are loaded with caffeine and do nothing but get you all jittery and borderline nauseous. These jitters can be confused with nerves, you really aren’t nervous, you’ve just got a lot of chemicals running around your body.

The only one that I would suggest that would be okay would be a pre-workout with zero caffeine and uses Beta-Alanine as an energy source. You’ll know it when this one kicks in..it makes your face feel a little tingly, but it won’t give you the jitters like the other caffeine laced pre-workout products. Progenex Force is an example of a good Beta-Alanine based pre-workout, but there are several others available on the market. Do your research or ask around your gym for recommendations.

5. Be Okay with Failure (But Only if You’re Learning)

You know you are supposed to fail right? That’s part of learning and getting better at what we do in the functional fitness world. You know that other people are going to see you fail right? You know that EVERY SINGLE person that’s standing around watching you fail has also FAILED THEMSELVES right? That’s part of the sport. It happens. Embrace failure…but only if you’re learning from your failure. If you’re constantly failing at a snatch attempt, ask yourself why? Is it strength? bar path? shoulder mobility? Once you figure out what it is…attack it as hard as you can. Learn to turn your failures into successes, one step at a time.

What are some tips and tricks that you use to combat pre workout nerves? How about learning from your failures? Let me know in the comments or on the EveryLastRep Facebook Page