3 Ways to Optimize Weightlifting Performance
1. Correct form and listening to your body:
It’s not about lifting insanely heavy right away, it is about lifting correctly.
Adapt each movement to your physical capacity, it is highly recommended that you listen to your body.
Every exercise can be made to fit your needs.
2. Pre-workout nutrition:
As for pre-workout nutrition, a fast-digesting carb and possibly caffeine can be helpful. It is best to have some sort of pre-workout snack and avoid fasted workouts, unless you are a competitor or fit pro and have experience with fasted workouts.
Please do not forget to hydrate as well!
Aside from a balanced diet that is high in protein and other essential nutrients, a protein supplement in addition to all of that (but not to replace high protein meals) is recommended for optimal muscle building, retention, and recovery.
As long as you do not have pre-existing kidney issues, a general recommendation is 2 scoops of 25-50 grams of protein powder (or ready-made shakes) per day as a snack mixed with milk, water, or a smoothie. Protein choices include vegan/ plant-based, whey isolate, or casein.
Continue with the added protein on rest days.
Taking it before vs. after workouts depends on your preferences and practicality, although aiming to get protein every 4-5 hours does optimize muscle gain (muscle-protein synthesis).
That being said, in addition to main meals, the first protein shake can be a snack at any point in the day or added to breakfast, and the second shake can be post-workout.