You can keep doing the basic exercises over and over, but don’t expect your psyche and strength to get close to your goal. Professional development requires a conscious decision to increase your training efforts. Therefore, you should change your approach to training.
Here are the three most essential tips you need to learn – and start practicing – as an advanced athlete looking to lift more weight.
Tip 1: Add Volume, Reduce Reps
Many beginner programs focus on repeating basic exercises continuously. After a while, your body will get used to the exercise and adapt to it, first through motor training as you improve coordination, and then through increased muscle and strength. However, if you want to know about your progress, you should focus on the appropriate exercises for each muscle group.
As a beginner, you have several chest exercises. However, as a seasoned lifter, you need to raise the bar a little higher, and one way to do this is to add more exercises that engage your muscles at different angles. If the mid-pect press is part of your workout, we recommend adding a positive incline bench load for the best upper pectoral workout. The extra volume allows you to work your muscles, allowing you to develop better fully.
Adding sets of multiple exercises increases your volume (a factor that is directly related to muscle growth) and lengthens your workout. If you double the amount of exercise you do, you also double your time at the gym. We must not forget that additional exercise will increase muscle growth, so it will take you a little longer to recover.
Decision? Add volume, reduce reps. Instead of training your entire body three times a week, try splitting your workout into upper and lower body workouts or according to the muscle groups themselves. You can even separate your workouts into muscles that “push” (shoulders, chest, and triceps) and muscles that “pull” (back and biceps) and the legs themselves.
This way, you can train each part of your body twice a week or every fourth day, which gives you enough time to train each muscle group without dragging out your workout, although you may need to go to the gym more often.
Tip 2. Explore different variations of your favorite exercises
Beginners practice basic movements that build muscle and strength. As you progress, you will learn how to use various devices and machines to help you build more muscle. Maybe you’ve learned how to do standing biceps curls with an EZ barbell or even a biceps curl with a massive barbell. Small changes (maximum grip and bottom grip) and placement (inside or outside of the shoulders) can affect your muscles and their growth.
Like many exercises, lifts can be done with one-arm dumbbells, which provide more freedom in the shoulder joint. In turn, the pulley allows you to change the angle of the muscle’s tension, depending on where it is installed. You can do this exercise while standing or sitting with one hand in one hand instead of both.
Certain types of lifts can also be performed on machine tools. That’s where the controlled path is. Since some equipment has its advantages, you can use several of them.
Since each type of equipment has its unique advantages and disadvantages, you must find a way to incorporate all the equipment available to you in your workouts. Learning to do the exercises in different ways can improve overall muscle development. You will appreciate it if you come to a crowded gym and cannot get to the equipment because it is always loaded. Try one of the alternatives, and you never have to wait again
Tip 3. Take on new challenges
Do you remember all those heavy exercises and weights that you quickly lifted when you were a beginner? As you may have noticed, the more you exercise, the harder it is to master size and strength. Don’t worry; everything is going according to plan – the plan of nature. When you load your body in the gym, the muscles get bigger and stronger, and the tasks you set for yourself are suddenly easy to overcome. The growth of muscle fibers will help you meet this challenge faster in the future.
However, if you want to increase muscle mass and strength, you must continue to adhere to progressive overload principles. The point of progressive overload is never to get used to training.
If you no longer see your progress, it might be time to change your workout. Start by changing the order of the exercises you perform. You can also control volume, load, rest periods, intensity methods, or even adjust training intervals. Typically, changing your workout every six weeks helps maintain muscle growth, strength, and endurance. It will also help you maintain a fresh attitude towards exercise and exciting workouts.
We are confident that you will be able to make progress in your athletic performance and fully enjoy your success with the help of this article. If you liked the article, please support it by sharing it so other athletes can learn to stay fit.
CAN YOU GAIN MUSCLE FASTER OR LOSE WEIGHT BY SHOCKING YOUR MUSCLES?
You will probably experience a real shock when you find yourself in a cold shower in the morning, encounter a bear in the woods, or find yourself in front of a New York subway map, although you have lived alone until now. Is it possible to “shock and confuse
The idea was quite popular with the P90X high-intensity exercise programs and fitness trainer Tony Horton. For faster and more noticeable results with this method, it is enough to continually load the muscles or otherwise shock and carry out an ever-changing training program. These can be strength training, karate, yoga, sprint training, and other sports from various fields of activity. In English, this term is known as Muscle Confusion.
Simply put, it’s about continually shocking your muscles with different types of workouts so that your muscles don’t get used to a particular type of exercise, so you continuously push your boundaries towards maximum productivity and prevent stagnation. Imagine you have strength training on Monday, CrossFit on Wednesday, running on Friday, and circuit training on Sunday.
I’m sure you’ve heard this idea several times from athletes who have been training for a year. But like everything, not all gold that glitters, and things are a little more complicated.
What drives successful training, and isn’t constant training changes and muscle shock necessary?
A well-designed training plan will allow you to achieve better barbell and body results in the long term.
What variables should your training plan follow?
- Workout volume is the work done during a workout, such as the number of sets and reps per workout or over a more extended period. We can also include the number of jagged or elapsed specified intervals here.
- Training intensity can be compared to difficulty. In strength training, we are talking mainly about the weight on the barbell, and in the running, we can talk about speed.
- Training frequency measures how often we train a muscle, run, or do another sport.
Don’t expect drastic results from one or two workouts per week, as if sleeping with a barbell. Simply put, you need to train “just right,” neither less nor more.
Proper training planning leads to a sexy figure and excellent athletic performance.
Performing for a long time, you may want to consider a new type of training. Are you doing the same exercises with the same load and the same number of repetitions over and over? Have you been running the same hour every other day on the same route for a year now?
Then it’s not surprising if your performance doesn’t improve. Any long-term sports activity leads to the adaptation of muscles in your body. Strength will increase, some of the muscles used will grow, you will lose some fat, your overall physical condition, and your circulatory systems’ performance will improve to regulate and slightly increase your endurance.
However, while you are still giving the body the same boost, you cannot expect other adaptation results in chest growth after bench press exercises with the same load. Also, you can’t expect to run a marathon well if you run 10 kilometers every other day.
How to improve athletic performance and overcome stagnation in training and weight loss?
If you want to improve continually, you must also add and achieve progressive overload in your training, which will lead to a more vital training impulse, which will translate into better results in the long term. [five]
Progressive overload can be achieved:
- Large training volume in the form of more repetitions in exercises during training. To start, instead of 3 reps, do 4. You can also use repetitions of one exercise instead of the entire workout.
- Higher training intensity, which you achieve by increasing the load on the bar. Even those small pancakes weighing 1.25 kg make a difference. In particular, we will achieve greater mechanical muscle tension, which is one indicator of muscle growth.
- By shortening the rest intervals between sets, you achieve shorter exercise times and more metabolic stress, which is an indicator of muscle growth.
- As you slow down the exercise, you increase your time under tension (TSR) and increase metabolic stress.
How many repetitions per workout per muscle part is the smartest choice? This is a 40-60 rep range. We can move from the more powerful 4-6 reps in the compound exercise to the 8-12 reps of “bodybuilding” in the next exercise.  If you are not sure how to create a workout plan, our article will help us.
3 mechanisms that stimulate muscle growth, without which there will be no result
Schoenfeld’s (2010) comprehensive work shows that three main factors are responsible for muscle growth from strength training.
- Mechanical stress. You achieve more mechanical stress with more weight on the bar.
- Muscle damage is a manifestation of a training load noted on muscle cells by damage and the formation of microtrauma. Subsequently, they rebuild, and the muscles get bigger and stronger.
- You stimulate metabolic stress with more extended time under tension (STL) or more repetitions, called a “pumping series,” and you can think of this as the long-familiar “muscle burning during exercise.”
Periodization of training: Isn’t “muscle shock” and frequent training changes necessary?
The key to consistently changing athletic performance and overcoming stagnation is a well-designed training plan that considers the underlying mechanisms of muscle growth. Increasing the intensity of your workouts doesn’t go on forever. As part of training planning, increase the load in the mesocycle (mid-term training period) by about 4-8 weeks.
This block should be followed by a roughly weekly unloading training phase, which does not mean coaching Netflix. In doing so, we can imagine reducing the training intensity by about half to fully reflect the training adaptations. Simply put, we can reduce the load on the bar or the number of reps performed. We can also use longer rest breaks between sets.
Muscle shock and constant training will not bring you the best and fastest results. On the contrary, they can extend the path to the goal. Imagine that your goal is to increase leg strength, and your workouts should focus primarily on strenuous, heavy strength exercises such as squats, deadlifts, or lunges. Instead, we will practice one bodyweight workout and replace another, such as HIIT. This will not help us achieve our goal. Paradoxically, performance would rob us of this strategy.
Rather than shock the muscles, sometimes it is better to change the exercises’ order in your workout for more motivation.
In a study by Enek Baz-Vallee and colleagues (2019), researchers found that changing the exercise order of an 8-week training plan based on a computer program results was less tiring for an experimental group of athletes than a classical training program where the control group trained accurately. The training plan is still the same. Both groups trained 4 times a week, went through approximately the same amount of training during the program, and achieved similar results. But this should not be confused with the principles of “muscle shock,” which are based on changing the type of training. [nine]
If you don’t have specific goals, doing each workout for a different sport can also be beneficial.
- Changing the training types during the week can be beneficial, as it does not quickly get boring and does not fit into the training stereotype. You can look forward to new workouts and be more motivated. But this, in turn, is a very individual question.
- By combining different sports (strength training, HIIT, running, Crossfit, etc.), you can work with virtually all athletic performance components, such as maximum strength, strength endurance, speed endurance, or general aerobic endurance to improve overall physical fitness.