Simple ideas from trainers, athletes and fitness experts to help you get the results you’re striving for. Knowledge is power – please enjoy these great tips.
1. Exercise In Order
Use dumbells, barbells and then machines. Exactly in that order. Free weights require smaller stabilizer muscles that will fatigue before the larger muscle groups. By progressing from free weights to machines, you will be able to engage all muscle groups and get the most out of your workout.
2. Test Yourself Often
Test yourself every 30 days to take a measure of your progress. Measure your waist, body fat and don’t be afraid to max out. You’ll be able to see all the tangible results getting you closer and closer to your goals.
3. Hit Your Legs
Work your legs in multiple areas. Do standing and seated calf raises. Do leg press and single-leg press. Front and back squats. Neglecting your legs can lead to a slower increase in size and power.
4. Grow Muscle – Don’t Waste Time
By keeping workouts under an hour, you can avoid stress hormones that block testosterone and create a muscle wasting effect. You should listen to your body too – if you’re too sore to workout, you can take a day off.
5. Overcome Your Injuries, Build Big Arms
So your right arm is hurt? Don’t stop exercising your left. Researchers at the University of Oklahoma found that people who trained with one arm for 2 weeks managed to increase arm strength in the other, non-exercised, arm up to 10 percent. Working with one arm stimulates the muscle nerve fibers in the other.
6. Drop The Pills
Don’t use post-workout pain relievers. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences found that taking an acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) was equal to receiving a placebo to relieve soreness. They concluded that drugs may further suppress muscle growth when taken post-workout.
7. Hit Biceps Harder
Bend your wrist backward and inside slightly. Hold, release and repeat.
8. Pick Up The Speed
Increase the speed of your running strides to get faster. Be sure your foot lands under your body and never in front of it – you should push off your toes and use the rear leg for propulsion.
9. Dress Better (Dress Down)
Buy workout clothes that are black, white or gray. You won’t be wasting any more of your time deciding on what goes with what. Now you don’t need to look for your neon yellow T-shirt.
10. Repair Muscles Faster
Increase recovery time by lightly exercising your sore muscles the following day. Use about 20% of your max and do three sets of 15 repetitions. Doing this will increase blood flow and help supply nutrients to the muscles in need.
11. Take A Break From Abs
You shouldn’t do only abdominal exercises if you’re trying to cut your gut. The University of Virginia found that to burn 1 pound of fat it would take 250,000 crunches. Only 100 crunches a day… for 7 years.
12. Strengthen Your Grip
Wrap a towel around the bar when doing curls. By making the bar thicker, it forces your forearm muscles to work harder. Get your hands on a grip strengthener.
13. Come Clean
Put all your dirty workout clothes into a mesh bag during the week. At the end of the week, wash them all at once. This way you never waste time looking for your favorite shirt.
14. Run Longer, Easier
Breathe so that your belly rises with each inhale. You can ensure your lungs inflate fully with oxygen, so you’ll be able to run for longer periods. To practice: Lie on your back and place a book on my stomach. Every time you breathe in the book should rise.
15. Quads of Quality
Increase the amount of work you put on your quadriceps – push from your toes when you do leg press.
16. Sit Back, Squat More
Squat using a bench to achieve perfect form. Stand in front of the bench when you squat. Lower yourself onto the bench as if you were sitting down. As soon as your butt touches the bench, push yourself back up. Be sure to do a few practice reps with a lighter bar.
17. Bench More
Look at your dominant hand during your lift – not your weak hand. This will increase your focus and help you with your lift.
18. Testing Your Bench
Press your thumb against the bench before you lift. If you can press through the padding, find another bench. Hard benches can cause a misalignment of your thoracic spine that affects the nerve function of your arm. This can cause your arms to weaken.
19. Heal Faster
Don’t exercise when you’re sick. Your body is focusing most of its nutrients on healing itself – it won’t be able to focus on muscles and endurance. Take a few days off to get your strength back, and then hit the gym.
20. Meat Is The Master
Eat more meat! Consuming 4 to 8 ounces a day can help muscle growth significantly. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared two groups of older male lifters: One ate meat and the other didn’t. Both increased strength, but only the carnivores gained sizable muscle.
21. Cut Gym Time
Fixed rest periods are old news. Take rest as needed – rest more as you become more fatigued. You should be able to cut your workout time by about 15 to 20 percent and get on with the rest of your day.
Other articles you might like: