Nobody wants to drag their broken body out of the gym, week in, week out for nothing. Following is a 10 step essential checklist to help you get the gains you want.
How many are you neglecting?
How many people simply stroll out of their front door and head down the street without knowing where they’re going?
Nobody. So don’t do it in the gym.
Setting goals is vitally important for progress in bodybuilding for multiple reasons.
The best way to set goals is in small, achievable chunks. Setting unrealistic goals will almost certainly cause you to fall short, which is an absolute killer for motivation. Keeping an accurate diet and training diary can help you monitor progress, and see where changes may be needed.
Training with intensity is a must if you want to see fast gains. There’s no point heading to the gym to sit about, chat, or play with your phone. You are at the gym to train and train hard. Do not allow yourself large amounts of time between sets so your muscles begin to cool down. Keep them hot and continue working them until they fail.
It is intensity that gives you that pump, and it is intense training that sets up a potent anabolic environment by boosting natural testosterone and growth hormone levels. Some of the greatest bodybuilders ever, including six-time winning Mr. O, Dorian Yates, have built their training routines and success around one word: INTENSITY!
Of course, maintaining intensity isn’t easy – or everyone could do it. Fortunately, the right supplements can help increase your energy levels and promote incredible pumps. Sheer Strength Labs Pre-Workout Powder, combined with their Nitric Oxide Boosters provide that added jolt of energy that you need in order to finish a killer set. More energy with the added benefit of being able to lift more weight will dramatically increase the intensity you walk into any session with, and it makes the difference for how you finish.
Using the correct form is vitally important not only for ensuring adequate muscular stimulation through a complete range of motion, but also to avoid injury. Injuries due to bad form cause a huge percentage of lengthy gym layoffs each year. Don’t be the next on the list.
Always use a weight that allows you to perform the lift with good form. Check your ego at the door. Don’t swing the weight with momentum. This is just cheating and means that the working muscle is feeling far less of the work. The eccentric phase of your lift should be smooth but powerful. Hold for a squeeze at peak contraction. If you can’t hold the weight for 0.5-1 second at the top, you got the weight there using momentum. Lastly, never neglect the negative phase of your lifting. This is the strongest phase. Your muscles can lower 50% more than the weight they can lift. Make use of the negative and feel the burn.
The mind-muscle connection can take some people many years to attain. It is the connection that allows you to focus the work directly into the target muscle, in order to potentiate your lifting. It can be harder to attain a good mind-muscle connection for certain body parts and lifts. The most obvious example is the delts and the lateral raise.
Here are some tips for building a good mind-muscle connection:
Leading on from intensity, form, and the mind-muscle connection, we get to the issue of the amount of time spent in the gym. In bodybuilding, less can really be more. If you hit your muscles intensely, and with proper form and concentration, you can adequately stimulate your muscles in a short amount of time. You should aim to lift in the gym for no longer than one hour at a time, with 45 minutes being the optimum time in which to finish your workout and be heading for the showers. The reason for this is that after one hour your energy supplies will be running very low, so your body will turn to breaking down muscle proteins in order to keep working.
By taking Sheer Strength Labs BCAA’s before and during training you can avoid the breakdown of muscle proteins to keep them working. Take a look at BCAA’s to see how they can help you avoid the breakdown of muscle proteins.
Weight training also causes an elevation in blood levels of the catabolic hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is the bodybuilders enemy, and after one hour cortisol levels really begin to spike.
Over-training can be worse than not training at all. When you train, you knock your body down, so you can rebuild it bigger and stronger. When you over-train, your body can’t recover enough to rebuild stronger, and in the worst cases, can’t even rebuild back to baseline. This means you are not making any gains, but, in fact, could be creating losses. If you are over-training, the only remedy is to take a week or two away from the gym, maybe even longer.
Don’t just keep with the same training routines, mix it up a little, and keep your body guessing. Often, when we hit a training plateau, we need a little tweak to get things rolling again. Try using periods of heavy compound lifting only, followed by using higher reps and throwing in techniques like pre-exhausting and using pyramids. Also change the order of exercises and body parts in a session. If you have a body part that is flagging, train it at the start of the workout while it is still fresh. If this still doesn’t kick start new gains, try changing your workouts completely. For example, instead of training triceps with chest, train arms on a separate day, and train chest with delts. Always keep your body guessing.
To keep your body in peak performance, cycling Testosterone Boosters, like those available from Sheer Strength, is one excellent way of keeping your body in the condition that you want to keep it in. Extra testosterone in the body gives you more muscle and helps you keep off fat. Besides the enhancement to performance, this also allows you to sculpt your body to show off all the hard work you’ve been putting in.
Now that we’ve covered all of the important factors concerning training, it’s time to look at nutrition. Nutrition becomes the building blocks in your body. You train hard and lay the foundations, now you need to give your body all of the materials it needs to grow bigger and stronger.
When you first start lifting you can be a little lax with your diet. As long as you throw enough calories in and get a good amount of protein, you will grow. When you become more experienced at bodybuilding, you need to be far more strict with what you eat. It is a good idea to write out detailed diet plans with time tables, then make sure you stick to it. Try to spread your protein evenly throughout the day, and taper carbs down as the day goes on while making sure you take in enough carbs both pre and post workout.
There are so many great supplements out there — take advantage of them to fully enjoy life.
High-quality supplements, such as Sheer Strength Labs Creatine and Testosterone boosters can take your results to another level. Higher testosterone has many benefits including more energy, focus, and strength. Creatine improves your pumps and enhances recovery and workouts. Research creatine and testosterone boosters to see how they can help you with your workouts.
Ensuring adequate rest is vital to getting ahead in bodybuilding because it is when you rest that you grow. While you sleep, anabolic hormones peak, and you should be aiming for between 8 and 10 hours of good quality, unbroken sleep per night. Every time you wake your cortisol levels spike. Remember that cortisol is the catabolic enemy, so avoid that tempting snooze button. Taking naps during the day is also a great way to increase testosterone and boost recovery. Studies have shown that naps of 10-20 minutes in length or longer than 90 minutes are the best. Anything in between can leave you with that groggy, hungover feeling.
To get an amazing night’s sleep, look at Sheer Strength Testosterone Boosters to sleep like a baby. It is scientifically proven that low testosterone actually does help you sleep better. Low testosterone could be causing you toss and turn at night. Taking testosterone boosters are scientifically proven to help you sleep if low T is the cause.
Bodybuilding is a hard, hard sport that pushes your body to extreme levels. Therefore, it is essential that you take a break now and then. In fact, it is recommended that you take a week off every three months. That may sound excessive to the hardened bodybuilder, but if you train intensely, your body needs it. Forget about that feeling of shrinking as soon as you miss one gym session, it’s all in your head. Take regular rest weeks and you will feel the benefit. It could be exactly what you need to springboard off that plateau.
Jonathan Warren is a national level physique competitor and personal trainer with multiple certifications including NASM, NCCPT, and IKFF. His specializations include mobility training and corrective exercise as well as contest preparation.
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