Tried-and-true principles to help you to improve your strength, determination, and physique-SHOCK YOUR MUSCLES!
The Best Way to Continually Improve Throughout the Year
Divide it up: Challenge yourself with a variety of goals
When thinking about the upcoming year, make a list of athletic challenges that not only inspire you but also tie into the exercise and nutrition lifestyle you desire. Everything should be goal-oriented. Strive for something that gets you going—it’s a great way to give what you’re doing in the gym both energy and purpose. Goals like performing 25 pull-ups by winter’s end. Or biking at a certain heart rate for 20 minutes. Avoid getting stuck in a rut with your training. Develop a plan for your one-year fitness goals. Do not think you’re going to do the same thing every week for the entire year. It’s never going to last.
The Most Powerful Principle for Fueling Progress
Periodically shock your muscles with new exercises, new routines, and new schedules
The training principle when discussing the art and science of body development is the concept of “shocking the body”. Aside from burnout, one problem with doing the same routine all the time is that results will begin to wither as your body adapts to the routine. Your body gets programmed if you don’t switch your pattern up.
For example, if you do the same exercise routine-or even work the same muscle group-every Monday. After a month your body will stop responding because it has adapted to this specific stress. Plus you’ll do a sub-par routine because of burnout. This problem—a root cause of long plateaus despite continued hard training. You must keep in mind when looking at your one-year goals. You have to shock your muscles. Changing your routine, you can shock them.
The Best Way to Avoid Being Discouraged
Set intelligent goals by thinking big-yet be specific and realistic, too
Establish a schedule within the time frame we have to work with. Often this goal-writing consultation includes a reality check. Know that adding 30 lbs of muscle mass doesn’t happen in seven days. What’s the bottom line? The key words to bear in mind when planning your one-year goals are variety, consistency, and persistence. Draw a detailed picture of what you wish to achieve. Then set goals that are just out of reach—but not out of range.
The Most Effective Cardio Strategy for the Long Term
Make it effective by making it fun
Cardio doesn’t have to be a big bore. The best thing you can do to help yourself be consistent throughout the year is make cardio fun. Structuring a wide variety of cardio activities into your yearlong plan is also a great way to avoid burnout and injury. Not to getting trapped into thinking that your cardio workouts are doomed to drudgery and endless repetition. Not only boring, but also an injury risk. Instead of enduring cardio workouts like you would cough medicine, commit to finding ways to make your cardio training both fun and effective.
The Most Valuable “Extra Credit” Discipline You Can Add
Develop a thirst for knowledge
One mistake that many people make in the first few weeks of a new program is overzealous training. Spending three hours a day lifting weights does one thing: It breaks down muscle tissue without giving the body a chance to recover. The end result is no results.
It is possible, however, to channel motivational overflow into something that will enhance your training rather than undermine it. Training is an ongoing education. Constantly reading books and articles to gain new ideas and talking to people. Also one of the great advantages about Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, California, is that someone’s always putting to use a new technique or trying out a new exercise. Basically, be on the lookout for ways to give training a boost.
The Most Overlooked Opportunity to “Shock” Muscles During a Workout
Strategically vary specific rests between sets of exercise
A stopwatch is one of the greatest tools you can use during a gym workout. Using a stopwatch, you can keep yourself moving and can limit the amount of time for the entire workout. A good use of a stopwatch is controlling rest periods between sets. One week you could limit the amount of rest between sets to 30 seconds. Your heart rate will be flying, you’ll achieve maximum intensity in a minimum amount of time, and you’ll exhaust the muscles in a new way.
Performing weight sessions like this for a period of your overall training schedule. After four weeks opening up your rest periods to a full minute. You’ll feel stronger and you’ll be able to perform at a higher level strength-wise. It all comes back to the core principle: To get results, you have to continually find different ways to shock your muscles.
The Most Effective Principle in Body Development
Master the small, concentrated effort
Training to develop your body takes time. The science of body development is unlike any other sport. Small, concentrated efforts in the gym, keeping your focus and intensity high and giving your body plenty of rest between workouts.
Seeing people coming into the gym, wanting to lift as much as they can, spending six hours a day, seven days a week weight training, It doesn’t work like that. It’s not like golf, where you can spend four hours on the driving range perfecting your drive. If you spend four hours lifting in a gym, it’s going to have an adverse effect. Your muscles will just keep breaking down.
All you need is 45 minutes for a weight workout, once a day, three to four times a week. This sort of focused workout, combined with rest, proper nutrition, and cardio (40 minutes of intense cardio six times per week) will do the job well.
The Most Important (and Insidious) Bad Habit to Avoid
The most common mistake in gyms? Training form. Go to any gym and I guarantee you that nine out of 10 people will be using poor form. Not many people seem to grasp the true concept behind weight training. They think, ‘The more I lift, the bigger I’ll get.’ Then they run into an ego problem: they’re using 20 lbs, and the guy next to them is using 50 lbs for the same exercise. When their ego gets to them, they start using more weight than they can use properly and effectively. When form goes to hell, so do the results.
To avoid bad form, plot out your one-year game plan with the intention of having routine spot checks on your training form. If you aren’t working with a trainer on a weekly basis. Try to schedule a session with a good trainer at least once every 12 weeks. Giving your weight training techniques a checkup. Adhering to quality technique has another important value on top of yielding solid results: you’ll avoid injuring yourself.
The Nutrition Principle That is Hard to Believe Yet Absolutely Critical
To be lean, you have to eat often throughout the day
The toughest principle to convey is the necessity of eating every three hours. A battle to get this into your head, not realizing that to lose fat you need to eat. Especially after you get into a training program. Nutrition and fueling are critical.
Try eating five to six small, healthy meals throughout the day. Raise daily intake of protein. You’ll start looking better and feeling better. Your energy doubled!
There’s usually a learning curve involved for those who doubt this process but give it a solid try, but progress and increased energy create confidence. It usually takes about two weeks of eating five to six healthy meals a day. High in protein, contain good carbs, and are low in fat. While along with doing the proper training at the proper time-for them to start to believe it. You’ll feel better while start seeing results.
Sometimes simply adding a bodybuilding supplement, muscle building supplement or weight loss pills helps with your goals. Weight loss pills and pre workout supplements help with energy and burning fat. Giving you the extra push you need to get one more rep in. While muscle building supplements or even legal steroids, help build muscles and help with muscle recovery if your stuck in a rut and not getting your gains.
Make the Jump You’re Looking For
Attack your weaknesses. It’s easy to slip into a pattern where you emphasize working muscle groups you’ve had the most success in training and ignore groups that lag behind. Why? Because we like to do things that we know we do well and we know we get results from. By the same token, we limp through parts of our workouts where we haven’t had as much success, using poor form fueled with low amounts of energy. We can use this problem to our advantage in our training plan for the New Year by looking at our weaknesses as challenges to be undertaken.
Take an honest look at your present condition, and think about the parts of your training program and body development that you feel are weaknesses. Plan a set of goals and prepare to vigorously transform weaknesses into strengths. Here’s a few ideas on how you might approach this:
Identify the body parts you wish to improve. For example, let’s say you aren’t happy with the way your abdominal muscles have developed. Take a “before” photo of them, and plot out a 12-week program to turn things around.
Study up. Read up on how to master training and nutrition techniques and strategies that target your weakness. Consult a personal trainer, Success Coach, or someone at the gym who is an expert in the area of body development you wish to target. Attack your goal with the confidence that preparation provides.
Get a specific image of your goal. Find specific photographs that detail the image that you want to make your own. Attach them to your training journal so that you’re exposed to them often, and use this visual as a source of power to amp up your focus and intensity during workouts.
More Goal Setting Tips
Attack with a sense of purpose and fun. Think of the targeted area not as a weakness, but as an opportunity to have some fun by taking on a challenge. Make it a positive experience from the first workout to the last.
Measure your progress in small increments. Don’t be looking for the big result at the end of the first week. It won’t happen. Instead, using a tape measure, a scale and/or a bodyfat measurement device, keep track of the smallest improvements during your program, especially when focusing on a weakness. As the positive results begin to flow in, your confidence will spiral upward and so will your momentum.
Follow through. Be wary of letting up on your intensity after you reach the halfway point in your weakness-into-strength training project. Rather than letting your energy wane in the middle or latter half of the project, make a commitment to maintain a good, hard pace through the finish line.
Establish sport-specific goals. When was the last time you kicked it up in an athletic competition? It’s a great way to burn away any boredom that’s seeped into your overall fitness regimen, which can happen if you’ve been at it a while. Having a competition goal at the end of a multi-week or month training program is an elixir. Below are a few activities that can not only be fun to participate in, but will add additional purpose to your strength and cardio training.
Flag football league
Push-up or pull-up contest with your training partner
10K running race
A short-distance triathlon
State soccer league
Inline skating race
Mountain biking competition
Masters swimming competition
Amateur hockey league
Martial arts classes
Recreational basketball league
Natural bodybuilding competition
Get a change of scenery. Scout other gyms and fitness centers and look for one that has a fresh appeal-possibly one with a more high-energy atmosphere that you can tap into to jumpstart your training.
Take some time off. While this may sound like the absolute wrong thing to do if you’re stuck on a plateau, a week or two away from the weight room might be just what your body needs. Take some time to do those recreational activities that you’ve been sacrificing for your training, like reading a good book, going for long, slow hikes in the park, spending extra time with family and friends, or taking up a new hobby. Let both your muscles and your mind take a vacation from high-intensity exercise. After your well-deserved break, return to your training with a vengeance.