'Admittedly, as a 'hot blooded creature', I've always struggled lifting in cold weather and much prefer training in a sweaty, hot, stuffy gym with no 'air con', a few opened windows and in an atmosphere of pure heat.....that's my ideal environment, however as the winter time settles in, it's time to be smart, protect my muscles from the chill, get those layers on and devise my training sessions with extended warm up phases, extra sets and pre and post workout stretching.
'Summer bodies are built in the winter' they say, that statement definitely has truth to it. So, to plough through a tough session in freezing gym temperatures, here's how I tackle it.
Food: I need to be 'fuelled up' properly so getting in at least two meals prior to a serious session works for me. I feel ready and energised to lift.
Clothing: I wear layers, I get those thermals out and layer the hell up. No exposing of the skin unless I'm really warm. The more heat I can produce through reps and staying warm helps to increase blood flow to the muscles and that's exactly what I want.
Training: Warming up is essential. A cardio warm up isn't enough, it may make you feel warm but the muscles need to be stimulated properly so I aim for 3 to 4 warm up sets with a light weight, focusing on technique before setting up my working weight which is around 70% of my 1RM and can flow between 4 to 6 additional sets. Compound work will always take precedent over anything else hence taking the heart rate up and making me sweat lots, so that's what I focus on before tackling anything else.
Post Workout: Food plays a big part once again helping me to stay fuelled, warm and feel satisfied. Post workout protein is a must then a good serving of real food within 60 minutes keeps everything feeling sweet.
So, there's nothing to fear if like me, you can't stand the cold.... however I can guarantee, you will feel amazing after a winter blitzing session.