What's more magical than watching professional athletes in action? Their level of commitment and stamina can help inspire and motivate your own fitness game (yes, even when you're watching from your couch). That awestruck spectating begs the question: Where do they get all their strength?
The truth is, much of it is fostered in the pre-workout routines that aren't broadcast on television. According to Maggie Voisin, Monster Energy athlete, professional freeskier, X-Games medalist and Olympian, the effectiveness of a workout is totally dependent on the way you prepare and care for your body before exertion. And establishing a pre-exercise routine for yourself could benefit your own workouts in ways you might not expect.
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When she's in full training mode, Voisin relies on simple steps to help her feel energized and strong. Her pre-workout formula includes a mind-body scan, quality food and a mobility practice. And for a bubbly energy burst before she hits the gym or the slopes, she keeps Monster Ultra on hand for a zero-sugar, full-flavor way to help her make the most of her workout.
Voisin's pre-workout checklist is critical — but it's not complicated. In fact, despite her Olympic achievements, her three-step regimen is attainable for gym newcomers and professional competitors alike. So if you're ready to fuel up your own fitness routine, give these steps a try.
1. Take a Body Scan
"In my opinion, it's super crucial to have a pre-workout routine because it sets you up for a successful workout," Voisin says. For her, that process starts with a full-body scan. Taking a moment to pause and assess how her body feels — physically, mentally and emotionally — prepares her for training that's effective, fulfilling and safe.
Tapping into her wellbeing in a holistic way helps her identify and track her specific needs. Some days, that might mean a more strenuous workout. Other days, it's all about taking it easy. "I definitely eat and sleep a lot more when I am in the heat of my season," she says. To refine your own sense of physical and emotional awareness, begin your pre-workout routine with a personal check-in from head to toe.
2. Eat (and Drink) Your Fuel
Once she has centered herself, Voisin can turn her attention to nutritious, energizing snacks and meals. "The quality of food I put in my body is non-negotiable," she says. "Fueling for a workout is super important no matter … how high the intensity of your workout is going to be. I focus on meals that will stabilize my blood sugar throughout the day." She sticks to a combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat at every meal — which she prefers to cook herself, whenever possible.
Voisin's pre-workout plate often looks like plain Greek yogurt with collagen protein, fruit and almond butter. And between training sessions, she boosts her energy with a bit of caffeine. "Monster Ultra fits into my routine when I am needing an extra kick during the long winter days of training," she says. In varieties like Watermelon, Peachy Keen and Fiesta Mango, the energy drink packs flavor without any sugar.
She ends each day the way she begins, prioritizing her diet and fueling up with high-quality whole foods. Take Voisin's advice and craft a nutrient-rich plan to help energize your fitness goals.
And while you're getting inspired, don't forget that balance is key. For Voisin, that means a stash of dark chocolate is never far away.
3. Practice Mobility
After assessing her physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and fueling up with nutrients, Voisin devotes some time to mobility. The goal of mobility training is to warm up the tissue surrounding your joints, which allows for unrestricted movement, improves circulation and can help prevent injury.
Voisin's commitment to restorative practices extends to her post-workout routine, too. After training and competing, she always carves out time for her physical recovery, "which is equally as important as the workout itself," she says. Ultimately, her pre-workout steps play a major role in her daily recovery and allow her to get back on the mountain, morning after morning.