Peak performance in the gym means you can lift more weights or complete more reps, and that’s when we make serious gains.

Whether you want to add more muscle or increase your strength, implement these 3 tips to boost your performance in the gym.

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1. Warm up properly

We’re all strapped for time in our hectic modern lives, which means we often skip a proper warm up before a weight training session. However, when we do we compromise our performance.

A 10-minute warm-up that consists of light aerobic activity, followed by some dynamic stretching and mobility work helps to increase blood flow to muscles and activates the neuromuscular system, which delivers increased strength when it comes time to lift.

Ditch the static stretching, though. There is sufficient research available to suggest that it negatively influences muscle strength and power output in subsequent workouts, which is why a dynamic warm-up is the best approach.

A solid warm-up also increases blood flow to your arms and legs and raises skin temperature, which has a direct effect on your strength, according to research. And a good warmup reduces our injury risk, especially when training with heavy loads.

READ MORE | Is A Warm-Up Before Training Essential?

2. Think strong

Your mental approach may be just as important as your programme when it comes to your performance. Visualisation and mental imagery are powerful yet often underutilised tools, particularly where strength is concerned.

For instance, a study conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation compared people who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their heads.

The gym-goers experienced a 30% increase in strength, while the virtual training group increased bicep muscle strength by 13.4% by merely visualising the workout. They also maintained those gains for three months following the mental training.

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3. Get a pre-workout boost

Pre-workout supplements are specifically formulated to give you a boost before a tough session.

Effective pre-workout products contain a potent blend of ingredients that increase energy, boost strength and increase performance, while also supporting endurance and mental focus.

Look for reliable and renowned ingredients such as beta alanine, L-arginine, creatine, BCAAs and caffeine in your pre-workout of choice.

Highly effective ingredients such as creatine and caffeine are vital as they’ve been shown to provide strength benefits when used in the correct dosage.

Caffeine, for example, works as a performance-enhancing aid through a number of mechanisms according to available research. Evidence suggests that caffeine helps to increase strength through its effects on the central nervous system and by improving a muscle’s mechanical response to the contraction impulse.

Caffeine can also improve strength endurance and our pain perception and fatigue tolerance during training by stimulating the production of the neurotransmitter beta-endorphin.