What’s the old saying, “Work smarter, not harder“. Well, let’s do both and get maximum results. Here are a few general tips to improve your gym performance, your health and your fitness.
- Enjoy it: Numero Uno for me. If it ain’t fun why bother! Don’t set yourself up for failure by putting demands on yourself. Go out and enjoy it, change the plan, flip the plan, make a new plan, try a new exercise. Make it fun, that’s always been the plan from the beginning!
- FITT: Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type. This should be the structure to your workout and it should be specific to your goals. How frequent will you train, how will you make and monitor the intensity, for how long, and what type of training. Figure these out and your on the right track.
- Train a body part twice a week: this equates to 100+ training sessions a year on that muscle part instead of once a week at 50+ for the year. But if you are just starting or getting back into training work up to this.
- For total body change and strength do the compound exercises: These exercises also have the best names – the Deadlift and the Squat. To a lesser degree, we can split our body into upper and lower.
For upper body, specifically the chin-up is a true test of upper body strength. Military press, the Bench press and Row are also typical.
For lower body, I love the incline leg press and a split leg squat with Dumbbells [pressure off the spine]. However, nothing beats the squat with stance variation IMO.
- Train compound exercises before the minor muscles: The reason being compound takes waaaaay more effort and concentration as opposed to isolation exercises. We will gather the most results via compound exercises taking priority then slowly working onto the isolation exercises like arms and Abs. I would highly advise against training abs first – this can weaken your core and negatively impact the safety of your compound and heavy weighted exercises.
- Use the Priority principle: This is an advanced bodybuilding technique but I believe it should be implemented to every one in the gym as it gives you purpose. Focus the start of your exercise and workout to a specific muscle or area of fitness that you want to improve. You will have the most energy at the start of the session.
- Cardio counts: Your heart is just as important as your looks. Take care of your heart by exercising the cardiovascular system. More cardio work translates to improved and lengthened health, endorphins and even improved weight lifting performance – most people are shocked to find that Arnold used to run 3 miles nearly every day.
- Rest: Your body will generally let you know when it needs rest and relax, best advice is to listen to it.
- Nutrition: Ensure you get plenty of nutrition for optimum recovery, growth and mental performance.
- Sleep: Ensure you get plenty of sleep for optimum recovery, growth and mental performance. 7-9 hours is recommended.
Did the tips help? Let me know with a comment below!