5 Ways to Make Your Workouts More Effective

You’re dissatisfied with your workouts.

Or at the very least, you’d like them to be better. Luckily, you, or someone you know, is friends with me on Facebook. Here are some ideas to nudge forward your progress in the gym. Hopefully after implementing these going to the gym will make you feel just like it makes Arnold feel.

You can thank me later.

Add weight to the bar

Getting stronger makes everything easier, whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, or just reach the damn cat food without this happening:

Building a foundation of strength makes the body more resilient. This sets the stage for more intense workouts. This can mean burning more calories or putting more tension on your muscles, giving them reason to get bigger.

If you aren’t seeing results from your workouts, try adding some weight to the big, multi joint moves in your routine(squats, deadlifts, bench press, rows etc.).

Start thinking about your future

Start viewing of workouts in a long term context. Rather than focusing on the number of reps you get in a single workout, think about how many reps you get in a week, a month, a year etc. A super hard workout isn’t going to be too effective if it’s not sustainable.

Here’s a quick primer on volume. Volume is one of the most important factors contributing to a workout program’s success and is represented by the formula:

Volume=reps x weight lifted

We don’t want to sacrifice total volume in the long term for higher volume sessions. For example, I will be better off doing 3 moderate sessions with 40,000 lbs of total volume, than one really killer session with 20,000 lbs of volume where I’m so beat up I can barely train during my other two sessions.

Think of it like you think of nutrition. Eating super healthy for one day isn’t going to yield results if it can’t be done consistently.

Take weight off the bar

If your big lifts have stalled, stop maxing out every damn workout. Sometimes getting stronger means lowering the weight, working on technique, and increasing the amount of reps you can do.

Lifting max weights with bad form will only get you so far. Good technique is easier to recover from, is safer, and will allow for more consistency and consequently *drum roll please* volume. This will yield continued progress in the long term.

Most of the time should be spent working on technique with a heavy, but submaximal load. When it feels light, add some weight and repeat the process.

Fill in the gaps

The fundamental movements are the following:

Push

Pull

Squat

Hinge

Carry

Core/ground work

These movements should be the meat and potatoes of your workouts. A good program will strike a balance between these movements. Filling in training gaps will build a more complete lifter and will catalyse PR’s in seemingly unrelated lifts. You are only as strong as your weakest link. A “fill in the gaps” approach is how you iron out those weak links.

Because of an existing imbalance, “balance” might look imbalanced at a glance. For example, if Bro has been benching 5 days a week for a year with absolutely zero pulling, balance would mean a shit ton of pulls and almost no pushing.

As always, progress boils down to consistency and balance. Yin and yang yo.

Remember when I said thank me later? I lied.

arnold, commando

Did you like this article? Want to learn how to train and reach your fitness goals from me personally? Starting in February I will be accepting clients for online training and I would love to help you bust through your plateaus. So yes, the 5th way to improve your workouts is a shameless plug for online training. You love it 😉

Check out http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ to apply for a consultation or get more information about online or in person training.

 

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