10 tips. Is that enough? I consider the topic of weight training and doing it properly and I think of volumes of material, but I will do my best to condense what I consider the most important things into one article. Here goes.
1. Have A Plan.
Why do most people fail? They do not set goals and write out detailed designs on how they will attain the goals that they set for themselves. You can go to the bookstore and pick up numerous books on how to train and all of them say something different.
So which one is correct? All of them are! Everything works not forever. This is where planning comes in. I set up a training cycle in 12 week blocks. I further break the blocks down in to 2-3 week mini blocks.
Each mini block changes so that different types of training are incorporated and the trainee gets exposed to the maximum amount of variation which will cause the most significant changes in their physique. Within the 12 week cycle they are always taking a look at bettering our own personal records for a given movement.
2. Keep A Journal.
By keeping an correct journal you will guarantee that you are making progress, and in the event you are not then the journal itself will have the answers to why you are not making progress.
The journal is the ” facts” of your training and it cannot misinform you unless you write down the information incorrectly! It is simple… if last week you did 100lbs for 8 reps then this week you either need to do 9 reps or up the weight by 1-5 pounds. I do know it sounds simple, but in the event you do this long you will attain whatever goals you set for yourself. (Set realistic goals)
3. Large Movements.
Concentrate on doing the large multi joint movements like:
Squats Deadlifts Bench press Shoulder press Chin ups Dips Rows Curls Situps (yes I did say sit ups!) Calf raises. Single joint movements are great at isolating a specific muscle group, but I prefer my clients to do the harder multi joint exercises because they are more productive at stimulating the muscles!
4. Pay Attention To The Tempo.
Tempo is the speed at which you lift the weight. In the event you go to most gyms around the globe the majority lift at a fast tempo, say a 1 second eccentric (negative or lowering) and a 1 second concentric (positive or raising).
You ought to vary the tempo at which you train and this can be worked in to the “plan” in the mini blocks. A few examples of how to modify the tempo are slowing down both the eccentric and concentric pausing in the top or the bottom of the movement.
I personally like to do a 5 second eccentric and the pause in the bottom of the exercise for 2 seconds and then explode up for a total of 7 second rep. This is significantly different than the 2 seconds most people do. By changing the tempo you will increase the time under tension and thus force the muscles to modify to a different stress. This is something that ought to be part of your plan and it ought to be recorded in each session.
5. Rest Between Sets.
The amount of time that you rest between sets is dependent on the intensity at which you lift (how close to your maximum). In the event you are doing higher reps (12-15) then you rest periods will be shorter (45-75 seconds), but in the event you are doing only a few reps (1-5) then you will need longer periods (2-5minutes) between each set.
I do know it sounds backward, but it’s to do with energy. The more reps you do the lighter the weight and the faster your body will bounce back for the next set. The heavier the weight lifted the longer it takes to recover the energy for another bout of the same movement. This again ought to be in the “plan”.
6. Prevent Imbalances.
Have you ever seen a man that trains nothing but bench? His shoulders are pulled forward and rounded in. He will have trouble in the finish because he’s an imbalance between his horizontal pushing and pulling muscles.
When designing a program make positive that the program trains both the agonist and antagonist muscle groups. A few examples would be bench press and rowing, shoulder press with pull downs, curls with tricep extensions.
By giving the proper amount of work to all the muscles it is possible for you to to prevent imbalances and the potential for self induced injuries from improper training!
7. Preworkout Cardio & Stretching.
I start every training session with 5-15 minutes of cardio. By doing the cardio before you train it is possible for you to to increase your core temperature and thus be less likely to get injured while training.
When I do the cardio I usually do it interval style, going simple for 1 minute and the hard for one minute. This won’t only raise your core temperature, but it will burn a few calories.
Before leg training I do 5 minutes (I don’t need to do much or it could effect my weights!) and before upper body training I do 10- 15 minutes.
I follow my cardio with stretching the body part that I am going to train. Never stretch a chilled muscle! The stretching ought to take 5-10 minutes and then you will be prepared to train the weights.
8. Grip Work & Finishers.
Most people think why grip and what the heck are finishers? I focus all my clients on actual world strength or functional strength.
By training the grip you will have more wrist control (less injuries) and also it is possible for you to to focus more and that will let you recruit more muscle fibers thus making you stronger. Finishers are stuff that is functional.
After a hard leg session go out and push your automobile around the block. I have my clients do plate neat and press, over sand bags either in front of them or on there shoulder, or do the dreaded Drill Instructor special (this consists of 5-10 minutes of push ups, situps, leaping jacks, deep knee bends, and jogging in place).
These will be functional muscle and not the to look at kind.
9. Post Workout Nutrition.
I do know it is meant to be about weight training. The most common mistake most people make is not eating after they train or not eating the right thing. This meal ought to contain a mix of different types of carbohydrates such as a high glycemic carbohydrate like glucose, a medium gylcemic carb like maltodextrin as well as a limited amount of a low glycemic carbohydrate like fructose.
The glucose will cause an insulin spike to drive the nutrients in to the muscle. The maltodextrin will be used to fill up the muscles with glycogen. Fructose ought to be included to replenish liver glycogen that has been used in the coursework of training. The post workout meal ought to have at least 20% of the athletes every day protein needs and the best source of protein for the post workout meal is Whey.
To calculate your post workout protein needs take .20 times your body weight. (For example I would take 260 x .20 = 52 grams.)
This meal could be further enhanced by containing BCAA’S , Glutamine and ribose. My post workout shake consists 1 serving of Pro Blend 55, 12 BCAA blend caps, 20 grams of Glutamine, 5 grams of ribose mixed with 8oz grape juice, 1/2 cup maltodextrin, and 1/8 cup fructose. I make this from ingredients that someone could get at any health food store.
10. Take Time Off.
Like I said before I set up programs that last 12 weeks and at the finish of the 12 weeks (if not sooner) I put in a full week of rest. I do know what you are thinking, but I will lose much in a weeks time? No you won’t and in the event you are like 99% of the remainder of the population you will probably get stronger.
Recover takes plenty of energy and since most of us have actual stress in our lives like jobs, relatives, etc. They give up a ton of energy to other things than training. This week will refresh you mentally as well as physically and set you up for great gains in the next 12 week cycle of training.