Always warm up prior to working out and stretch your muscles. Warming up will increase your core temperature and force more blood therefore oxygen around your body to your extremities.
Continue to stretch during your workout. Why? Because as you lift weights your muscle fibres tighten and shorten. Stretching your muscles increases the ability to build bigger muscles and more impressive physique. Stretching also keeps your body flexible and helps release acid build up during training.
Isolate your muscles when working out. Having steady controlled movements are key to learning and understanding what it is to work a specific muscle or muscle group. Being able to isolate your muscles ad groups during training will increase your results. Similarly to isolating your muscles, you should try and keep “good form” when working out. You should pay close attention to form; this will help you achieve maximum benefits with minimum risk of injury. You should always avoid short, sharp jerky movements and using momentum to lift heavier weights. This will not help you get bigger, or stronger any faster.
Train your muscles fatigues. If you want to get the best results then it goes without saying that you need to get the maximum possible from your muscles. Many people (or rather most people) approach a workout out with “I need to do 3 sets of 10 reps”. By doing this you’ll never reach your potential. You should stay within a certain range or repetitions, because if you can just keep going then you really should consider upping your weight. When working out you should also lift a weight until you physically can’t any more. Rest, then approach the exercise again. You’ll soon reap the benefits!
Break up your training. If you haven’t attempted weight training before or have had a significant break between your training it’s not recommended to start training at maximum intensity straight away. Doing this can cause incredible muscle soreness (much more than just DOMS ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’) from which you may never fully recover. It’s best to start slowly and build up progressively, you’ll soon be at a point where you’re pushing yourself in training and your muscles will have adapted correctly so you’ve reduced the potential for risk.
Make sure to train each muscle group once a week. With the exception of your abs, high intensity training on one body part more than once a week can be seen as over training as you need to give each muscle group the chance to recover correctly after training before ripping the muscle fibres again. Continually training one muscle group over and over again can lead to injury. If you’re looking for maximum gains in strength, power and muscle mass growth, concentrate your high intensity training on a lower number of weights but a much heavier weight (remember to keep good form). 3 or 4 reps of again 3 or 4 exercises is optimal for good results.
Your training program should be designed to match or benefit your needs, there’s no point concentrating on your biceps or chest if you’re training for a squat competition or are sprinter. Most successful athletes use training cycles and supplement cycles according to the event or competition they’re training for. Even if you’re not training for anything in particular, it’s always a good idea to introduce cycles into your training, its shows different results and keeps you fresh.
To maximise your results and your body’s response you need to introduce new challenges and again, stay fresh. Even the best designed workout plan can lose its effectiveness over time, so mix it up a little. Your body believe it or not is a very smart tool and it will learn how you train, so add new challenges to “surprise” your muscles and force them to react. It’s good to do this every two or three weeks so you don’t plateau.
Over training is something that we can all fall foul of but you need to listen to your body, continually pushing when you’re not fully recovered will only hurt you further. After bad form, over training can be the most common mistake made in the gym. If you’re constantly tired, losing enthusiasm for your workouts or have noticed the results and gains are slowing down, then it’s time to take a break. There’s nothing wrong with having a break or a rest day, in fact you’re probably notice how effect it can be. It’s recommended to take a break of 3-4 days every 2-3 months. You’ll be re-energised and motivated to increase your training intensity again.
Be patient! The odd saying of “Rome wasn’t built in day” couldn’t resonate more here. You won’t get the results you want straight away so be patient and you will progress. Continue to pan your workouts, mix it up from time to time and introduce cycles. Also remember that your body is unique and no two physiques are the same so there’s no point measuring yourself against someone else. Use your own results as motivation to progress further. Most important tip of all….you have to enjoy it!