If you are already working out congrats. Maybe you have been doing so for a few weeks already or even months, but I am certain that you can already feel the positive changes in your strength, body composition and health.
You started with various exercises and training, and now it is the time to implement some new techniques into your workout program. We will give you 9 ways to improve your workout and get the best possible results.
Continuity in the process of learning and knowledge, considering the changes you want to implement to your training, is essential for constant stimulation of muscle growth and prevention of boredom.
The following techniques include some old and tried out principles as well as those that you probably never heard of. Each of them will raise your training to a higher level.
Of course, you do not have to use them all the time (especially not more than one at the time). Use them wisely at the time when the change is needed.
1) Functional Circular Training
You are worried about possible loss of hardly gained muscle mass during cardio workouts? If that is the case, get off the treadmill, stationary bike or stepper and start doing interval or circular workouts.
For the start, chose one basic exercise for the lower part of your body (squats or lunges), one for chest and shoulders (bench press or pushups), one for the back (rowing or lateral pull) and one for the abs (crunches or planking).
Chose the weights that you can lift ten times but do only five reps in each set. Go from exercise to exercise with no rest period resting for a minute between each cycle and do five of these cycles for the start in time try to make it to ten.
These kinds of exercises have great cardiovascular effects and at the same time they are preserving your muscle mass.
2) Shorter Rest Period Between The Sets
Weight lifters know that in order to maximize your strength you need longer rest periods between sets. On the other hand, in order to gain muscle mass the most productive rest period is between 30 and 60 seconds.
Short rest periods stimulate the excretion of growth hormone more than longer rest periods do at the same time they increase the muscle growth and fat burn.
Use the 30-60 technique or try to have the rest periods the same length as the duration of an exercise set.
3) Mix Weights In Sets
If you are having difficulties in lifting a certain weight or you are trying to lift heavier weights, you need to try this technique.
Let’s say that you can do five reps of squats with 100kg but you can’t do the same with 110kg. Try doing this mix 70×5, 85×5 and 100×5 with 3 to 5 mins of rest between the sets. Even though you can do more than 5 reps, do not, stop at 5.
After 3 to 5 mins of rest do next mix 80×5, 95×5 and 110×5. Reason why this works- improved neuromuscular efficiency. Mix any exercise you want and say goodbye to your top scores.
4) Change The Pace
When the time comes to reactivate muscles and entice the growth instead of changing the weights, change the pace of the exercises.
Do the same exercises that you are already doing but do them either very fast or very slow. use the breaks during the negative part of the movement and change the duration and the number of the breaks.
For example, during the negative movement in a bench press have 3 breaks in the duration of 5 seconds. Or you can hold the bar on the chest for 3 to 5 seconds and explosively push it up (also in a bench press).
5) Explosive Exercises
To increase strength, speed and power you need to do explosive exercises. Consult a qualified coach who will teach you the proper form of these very useful exercises.
Chose one exercise and do it at the beginning of your workout while you are still fresh. Do 5 reps in 3 to 5 sets. At first your goal should be learning the proper form of the exercise, not the weight you can lift.
You will easily increase the weights once you learn to do the exercises in perfect form.
6) Do Sets Of Double Stimulation
In the goal of true diversity and a really top quality workout chose a method of double stimulation. This is a method that puts high demands on neuromuscular system and leads to an above average increase of strength, speed and explosivity.
Do two sets of warmups in the first exercise for single muscle group. After that do the segments of the exercise in the following manner: Do first segment by doing one set of five reps, rest, then do a set of only one rep but using heavier weights. Do this two more times.
If you know what weight you can lift in one rep, use the following scheme of percentage and reps:
60% X 5 reps, rest, 70% X 5 reps, rest (optional- third set of warmup: 75% X 3 reps, rest)
80% X 5 reps, rest, 90% X 1 rep, rest
80% X 5 eps, rest, 90% X 1 rep, rest
80% X 5 reps, rest 90% X 1 rep
Rest period should last from 3 to 5 minutes. Focus on lifting as fast as you can.
7) Ballance Training
In case you are missing all the fun games you used to play when you were a kid like jumping and games with the ball include the balance training into your workout program.
Not only that it will give your body the sense of liveliness, it will help you lift heavier weights, which means you will gain more muscle mass.
Try doing squats on one leg without holding on to anything. Change the position of the free leg in each set keeping it in front of you in the first set, on the side in second set and behind you in third set. Challenge the upper body by doing pushups with your hands balancing on the pilates ball.
8) Do Super Sets For Opposite Muscle Groups
You want to decrease the duration of the training and at the same time increase its volume? You can do that if you do super sets of exercises for opposite muscle groups.
For example, combine bench press with rowing. This way of combining exercises for opposite muscle groups will allow the first muscle group to rest while you are doing the exercises for the second muscle group. This way of training increases the stability of the risks and prevents the injuries.
Rest is the irreplaceable part of muscle growth and it should be planed on each workout. However, the rest is the least understood factor that has a really big influence on muscle growth.
Passive rest (sleeping, laying down, eating) gives muscles the time for growth and recovery after hard training. On the other hand active rest (walking or playing basketball) prevents or diminishes stress and fatigue.
Rest optimally and you will have the strength and energy to successfully use the methods we wrote about and that will help you raise your workouts to a higher level.