5 Simple Rules For Successful Fitness

5 Simple Rules For Successful Fitness

Seeing your physique change before your eyes is the ultimate motivation. But not seeing a transformation when you're making an effort is about as deflating as it gets. You'll get the variety you need to rev things up with our 5 ways to kick-start a stalled workout.

Raphael Calzadilla Fitness Expert

Weight training can be both incredibly fulfilling and frustrating.

A great deal of mystery surrounds effective weight training methods, but it is essential to try to decipher truly effective tips amongst all the information on this topic. You need to be open to change and create specific goals for yourself to better understand how to approach your own fitness programme. Throughout 24 years of training, I've observed people’s resistance to change. Every Monday in most health clubs, hundreds of people are performing the same routine, exercises and repetitions.

Change is one of the best tactics for stimulating muscle growth, increasing strength and endurance, losing body fat and enjoying your routine.

Think of the body from the inside out. When you lift weights, the body senses stress and its job is to adapt as quickly as possible. When it begins to adapt, you stop seeing results. However, once the training parameters change, the body must re-adapt, thereby accelerating your progress.

Strategic, well thought out change in your weight training routine is pivotal to ongoing progress and consistency. There are several essentials to weight training. The following five tips will help you get started by simplifying key essentials and have you on your way to physical change, increased strength and ultimately, a more enjoyable fitness regime.

1. DEVELOP A SPECIFIC GOAL This is where you truly begin. Knowing what you're working towards and creating a mental picture of your goal will determine your weight training parameters and programme, as well as increase your focus and dedication.

Is your goal to reduce body fat, increase muscle mass, train for a competitive event or increase energy? Different training parameters apply for a person who wants to increase muscle versus someone who is training for a marathon. The more specific your goal, the more effective your programme. Write them down! Make them measurable and realistic (i.e. lose 5lbs, increase a lift by 5%, etc.). This is where your eFitness journal becomes invaluable!

2. CHANGE YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE EVERY 3-4 WEEKS Periodically change the order of your routine. For example, instead of doing barbell bench presses at the start of your chest exercises, begin with dumbbell incline presses, or possibly dumbbell chest presses. There are many ways to restructure a training session, and switching the order is an effective catalyst for progress.

3. VARY THE VOLUME AND REPETITIONS OF YOUR SETS Stop performing the same amount of sets and reps each workout. Vary the volume of your sets and reps for three weeks. For example, if your arms are a weaker body part, perform three additional sets of biceps and triceps for 10-12 reps. For the next three weeks, reduce the number of sets for biceps and triceps exercises, but work with 5% heavier weight for eight reps and more intensity, maintaining precise form. Your muscles will recognise the change and see the results.

4. VARY THE TEMPO OF YOUR REPS When it comes to tempo, slow reps are a popular method but incorporating various tempos, from slow to medium speed in your routine can enhance your physique. For example, when working shoulders, take seated dumbbell presses and work at a moderate tempo (one second pushing the weight up and two seconds on the lowering). Then, for your next shoulder exercise, take a pair of dumbbells and perform lateral raises with a four count on the eccentric part of the movement (the downward movement). This provides different rates of tension on the muscle, leading to further progress.

5. VARY THE TIME BETWEEN SETS For muscle and strength gains, many people wait anywhere from 1-3 minutes between sets. A more efficient way is to vary rest time between exercises. If you’re working the chest, perform barbell incline chest press with a weight that allows you to lift eight reps per set, taking two minutes between sets. Then, go to a dumbbell chest press and use a rep scheme of 10-12 - waiting one minute between sets.

If you are an advanced trainee and add a third chest exercise, perform a dumbbell fly for 12 reps waiting only 30-45 seconds between sets. You’ll experience a great burn in your chest muscles at this point, as you are stimulating as many muscle fibres as possible.

Whether you're an amateur or advanced, these points will guide you towards effective change and will ultimately keep you enthusiastic, stimulated and most importantly... consistent!

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