Hey Guys, listen up if you want to get stronger!
Hi Guys, answer these questions for me….
1. Are you a male aged 16-40
2. Are you trying to get stronger?
3. Are you trying to add lean muscle to your frame?
4. Are you trying to build a physique to be more athletic and / or turn heads? (be honest)
If you answered yes to 2 or more of these questions then this article is directed at you….read on, its very important.
If this is not you, read on anyway, you will hopefully still pick up some tips.
Ok, firstly, close your eyes and imagine a strong athlete / bodybuilder. You will have an image in your mind of a weightlifter, sprinter, maybe a rugby type, or a bodybuilder. Fine, now let me tell you the basics behind how they train and why they train that way. The keys to their training include…..
1. Lift heavy and lift often. Strength athletes and bodybuilders train almost daily, 5-6 sessions a week, and they train hard. Their motto is simple, “find something heavy and lift it. When it is no longer heavy, find something that is heavier and lift that!” Simple yes, effective? YES. You have to get uncomfortable. Provided your technique is correct and safe, go hard my friends.
2. Big muscles from big movements. Their key exercises are Squats, Bench Press, Dips, Rows, Chins, Deadlifts. They stick to this as their CORE exercises and these exercises are always in their training at some point. Compound movements, we call them, they utilise more than 1 joint, sometimes up to 3 joints and they have a massive amount of muscles recruited. This means high levels of force are produced, large amounts of motor units and fast twitch muscle fibres are recruited.
3. Eat lean and eat well. You need to be in an anabolic state to grow lean muscle tissue. Plenty of protein, fresh vegetables and fruit, some low GI carbs and a good protein supplement. If you are trying to add lean muscle tissue you can’t eat empty calories, yes their are more calories in a donut than a chicken breast, but no nutritional value at all. Choose well, but eat often.
4. Training intensity - perhaps the key to nearly all physical responses. If it isn’t hard, then it isn’t working. Lift heavy and rest 90sec to 2mins (as a guide) between sets. If you are going really heavy (reps less than 4) you may need around 3 minutes between sets. Generally keep your reps around 4-8 for most exercises, sometimes pushing out to 12.
5. Isolation exercises (using 1 joint only) provide limited results. If you want to grow, you have to lift the big ones. Tricep press, bicep curls, side raise, rear raise, pec flyes etc, will have very little impact. I see way too much of this being done in the gym, I call them “Beach weights”. Real gains of quality muscle and strength come from the following combination:
a. Large compound exercises b. Train 5-6 times per week c. Eat clean, lean and often d. Train hard, lift heavy.
Good luck with the training!