Andy Cullen's True Strength training plan: Pre and post-workout routines
In the fourth piece of a series exploring his True Strength training regime, Optimum Nutrition athlete Andy Cullen explains what he does before and after a workout and how he spends his days off.
Before I work out I make sure I get a solid meal in about an hour before I train. I also have a scoop of Optimum Nutrition Platinum PRE about 30 minutes prior to my workout. When in the gym, I’ll warm up for five minutes on the cross trainer at a low tempo just to warm my body up.
If I’m doing a legs workout, I’ll also warm up with light squats (pausing at the end) and light walking lunges just to warm up my joints and muscles before loading them with heavier weights. Before training my upper body, I’ll use light dumbbells and resistance bands to ensure my elbows, shoulders and upper body muscles are adequately warmed up before adding any heavy resistance. I’ll warm up for as long as I feel I need to in order to prevent any injuries and maximise my workout.
After every workout I make sure I have my post-workout shake as soon as possible to optimise recovery. I’ll also stretch and use a foam roller on my muscles after a workout and before bed to limit the tightness in my muscles for the next day. I make sure to get a nice big meal in after I train, again to aid in my recovery and replenish any energy I've lost throughout the workout.
Sleep is also a massive factor in recovery and I try to get 7-8 hours a night of sleep to allow my body the necessary time to recover. We recover faster in our sleep so it is essential we make the most of this opportunity to refresh ourselves.
I normally take one or two days off training a week during an off-season. I usually go for a dry needling session or spend some time with the physio every Wednesday to address any minor problems with my muscles and joints and to maximise my muscle symmetry by loosening any tight muscles.
I generally will take Sundays off as well and spend time with my friends and family as it’s important to have balance in your life and maintain an active social life as well. Sunday is usually the day I’ll go out for a 'cheat meal'. Just once a week, I’ll break away from my diet and indulge for one meal. Cheat meals are something to look forward to and they also provide the chance to go out for a meal with my friends.
That said, when I’m getting ready for a show, I avoid having cheat meals, but most of the time it's great to have a break in routine and let loose a little before focusing on returning to a disciplined diet and training regime again at the start of the following week.
You can follow Andy on Twitter here.