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Training fundamentals

People ask me in the gym how I train my back.

“What workouts build the V-taper?”

What widens the lats?

“I’m building traps. What to do?”

Many people forget to consider aspects other than workout choice. “Other variables” means… Calories, carbs, training volume and frequency, intensity, rest outside the gym, etc.

People overlook basic training principles and other things that can affect growth. In this piece, I’ll examine these ideas so you may alter your workouts.

1. Progressive Intensity Builds Muscle – This is THE most important training principle: exercises must progress. Four ways assess intensity:

(a) weight

(b) your reps

(c) set count

(c) rest between sets

Each workout should try to raise intensity by doing one of four things (while keeping all other variables constant). Progressive overload (increasing weight over time) is what most people aim for.

Adding weight to your lifts every workout is challenging, so it’s crucial to be consistent and record your workouts. If you look at your logbook and notice that you’ve been using the same weight for weeks, you’re not doing things correctly.

Progressive overload provides me better outcomes than volume exercise.

2. Control negatives – More muscle injury occurs during the negative (eccentric) portion of the exercise. Negative or eccentric means dropping. Barbell curls are beneficial exercises. You’re executing the static component of the workout when you hold your peak contraction. When you lower the barbell, you’re doing the negative.

Many people focus on “lifting weights” and forget about the drawbacks. Negatives must be controlled to grow muscle. Don’t bench press explosively and let the weight fall back on you (or even worse, bounce the weight upwards when you are at the bottom of the movement). If you rip a pec or rotator cuff, you’ll have to stop training. Staying injury-free is sometimes forgotten because people are too busy. Injury prevents training.

3. Rest! Rest! Rest! You must rest between workouts. This means you shouldn’t overwork the just-trained muscles. Every night, get quality sleep. Rest your muscles for 72 hours and get 8 to 9 hours of sleep. Again, it varies. Light cardio between workouts speeds recuperation.

4. Customize your calories to your goals – To gain muscle, consume more calories than you burn daily. To lose fat, consume less calories than you burn everyday. These are the most common training methods. You must also balance your diet’s proteins, carbs, and fats. Can I grow muscle while losing fat? Yes, you can cycle carbs or calories. One objective at a time is my advice. It’s easier if you’re a beginning or in college with restricted food. Advanced athletes should carb cycle (in this case, the trainee will be aiming to retain maximum amount of muscle while losing maximum amount of fat, or basically losing fat without losing muscle.)

5. Focus on strong compound motions – Compound movements involve moving 2 or more joints at once. Bench, military, and deadlifts are examples. Big, complicated actions build the most muscles because you can utilize heavier weights. Leg extensions and curls never helped my lagging legs. When I was squatting my own bodyweight for reps, I added more than an inch to my thigh. I increased my squat weight by 5 lbs per week, but I could only add 10 lbs to my leg extensions after 4 weeks. Because I could increase the intensity of squats more quickly than leg extensions, my thighs grew. This doesn’t imply you should disregard isolation exercises (like bicep curls or leg extensions). Isolation exercises “learn” the mind-to-muscle relationship and correct muscular imbalances (if your left bicep is bigger than your right bicep, you probably want to throw in some dumbbell curls).

If you want a high intensity workout, do fewer sets. High volume can be used for low-to-moderate intensity workouts. If you train heavy in the 4-6 rep range, don’t go past 7-9 working sets for most bodyparts (4 – 6 sets for smaller bodyparts like biceps). If you’re doing 10-12 reps, you can do more than 10 sets.

7. Train seldom – High intensity workouts can’t be done every day. Every day you work different muscle groups and your CNS. High-intensity workouts stress the CNS. If you train to failure and complete forced reps on every session, you’ll overtrain. Overtraining causes… I remember training for 9 weeks straight, 1 hour a day, with 1 day off. Every workout, I pushed myself to lift higher weights. I felt exhausted and plateaued after 9 weeks. I stopped improving and got unwell. Be sensible about your training – relaxation is a must.

Advice for beginners and pros

Beginners should focus on compound movement strength. Focus on muscle contraction and form. Barbell rows should contract your back (particularly your lats); squats should contract your quads, hips, and hamstrings, etc. After complex motions, do isolations.

If you’ve been lifting for 3-4 years, do what works for YOU. 45-degree incline bench better than 30 degree for upper chest? Do lying triceps extensions with dumbbells or barbells feel better? Fit your workouts to your needs. Still train heavy (a stronger muscle is a bigger muscle). As you gain experience, train smarter. You have less recovery time, so keep things simple and intense. Muscle-up in the gym, then depart. Unless you do anabolic steroids, it’s foolish to workout for 3 hours. If you are interested in steroids, check out steroids for sale in the uk.

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