7 Elite Workout Tips to out Perform Your Gym Nemesis With the Help of Science!
Use Slow Negatives
When performing any weighted exercise, one of the BEST techniques to build muscle is to slow down the lowering (or eccentric) part of the movement. This will tear muscle fibres, which will ultimately have to be repaired and grown back bigger and stronger.
This is mainly the reason you're sore the next day. You know what i'm talking about, a little touch which comes with satisfying discomfort (i can't be the only one who likes it)
This is the result of the break down of your muscle fibres, these eventually heal up and get stronger as your body adapts to the new stresses you're placing on it. This is why it is important to constantly deliver new stresses to your muscles - keep 'em guessing on what's to come, forcing them to grow.
Be careful when doing your slow negatives. Try not to do it to failure on heavy exercises such as the Bench press & Squat. If you get stuck without a spotter, then ... well ... Bad situation.
Provide a shock every workout
I touched upon this concept 15 seconds ago. Each week deliver new stimuli to your muscles and don't always do the same workout twice. As the muscles have already adapted from that workout already. There is no need to change it up dramatically, a slight change can be all that is needed.
There are a multitude of ways to do this:
- Increase the weight
- Increase the volume and/or decrease rest times
- Change up exercise variety
Each one of these works. Change it up. See what works for you!
Through my years of personal experience, it is best to mix up all three & try not to do the same workout you're used to week after week.
Aim for 40s - 60s of tension
When pairing up with tip number 1, this fits perfectly. A slow negative (lowering down) of 3 seconds and a 1 second positive (lift up) is great when paired with a weight in which you fail in the 10 - 12 rep range. With my amazing maths, this is the cherry on top when it comes to muscle building (and of course being extremely sore the next day :)
It is a no brainer that many studies reveal this rep range as well as the intensity technique to be an important factor in muscle growth. It brings both tension and overload to the table. Causing it to be the most optimal range in regards to hypertrophy.
Use this proven technique for a 10-12 rep exercise:
- 1s up 3s down
Yes you've heard this many times, but its so incredibly important, in fact many people don't reach their 7-9 sleep period & don't even realise. 1 in 3 adults don't sleep enough. Don't be part of that statistic!
One thing i always do which has helped me A LOT is making sure the room is pitch black (if you're scared of the dark, forget it)
This should be one of your main focuses. Aim to increase the weight you use in the compound "big" exercises each week. Along with STRENGTH changes you should also expect SIZE changes as well.
The best way to fit this in is to put these "big" exercises first, where your energy is at its highest. Perform 4 - 5 sets of these strength exercises, & rest 90 - 120 seconds in between (You need more? try 3 - 5 minutes). When training strictly for strength aim to fail in the 4 - 6 rep range.
When training for strength your best bet is something in which you'll fail within the 4 - 6 rep range
Try to eat your HIGH protein post workout meal within 45 mins
This may be new to you, it most definitely is to me. Many sources and trainers tend to recommend a good post workout meal usually within 45 mins, allowing a quick aid to the muscles which were broken down, speeding recovery & ultimately allowing you to grow.
If you were to "mess up" and get it in at 46 minutes after your workout, would all your muscle building and recovery be gone? Nope. At an hour late you'll be fine, however you should always aim to be within the 45 - 60 minute range.
As always, it's advisable to bring your post workout with you or within close proximity allowing you to fuel your body quickly
Train to failure & through failure
When it comes to hypertrophy, training to failure and through failure is best advised mainly due to the continued stress and shock it delivers to the muscles. With the additional tension and overload it allows much more damage, in which the muscle repairs from. Leading to growth.
However, this can be quite mentally challenging, as you're pushing through discomfort into a realm of ALL NEW MUSCLE GAINS.
Its best to keep you're favourite music playlist on during this time. Especially that song that pumps you up to your limits, allowing you to keep pushing and pushing. Which ultimately leads to the results YOU want to see.
A few ways to train through failure is...
- Lowering the weight in a "dropset"
- Doing another exercise straight after in a "mechanical dropset" (on the same muscle group e.g. Bench press to pushups)
OR just lower your overall stress. You see, considering testosterone plays an important role in muscle growth, increasing your cortisol will lower your T levels, impacting the gains you want to see. So calm down, relax & take a break - you'll thank me later.
Just meditate for 10 mins a day. Not that hard? Seriously.
There you go. 7 tips. 7 ways to completely change and create new muscle on that well-deserved body of yours.
Most importantly. Remember. Consistency and high amounts of effort are required, without it, you won't see what you want - which is (i hope) a body which you can own and be extremely proud of... like a dream come true :)