Strength training is an important part of an overall fitness/Bodybuilding program. Here’s what strength training can do for you and your muscle — and how to get started.
Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. “Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions”.
Fitness/Bodybuilding is both art and science. If you’re looking to put on muscle mass or gain strength, there are set laws you need to adhere to. These rules are the holy grail of strength and muscle building.
Having a rule-breaking mindset might be a good thing, but it won’t do a lot for you in the gym. Muscle and strength building is like physics where sticking to the laws will get you the best returns.
Warming Up is Important
Most people make the mistake of not warming up their muscles before a workout. It doesn’t matter if you’re running late or you spent five minutes on the treadmill. You need to warm up your muscles with light sets and stretching.
Get the Volume, Reps, and Weights Right
You need to be clear about your goals before lifting weights. If your primary goal is to build strength you should lift heavier weights for fewer reps and do 5-6 sets of every exercise. On the other hand, if you want to build muscle, perform higher reps with lighter weights and keep the volume low.
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The word ‘overtraining’ is thrown around by bioscientists without understanding what it means. We’re using overtraining as a positive word which means training and exhausting your muscles to a whole new level. The negative type of overtraining happens when the CNS and immune system of a person takes a hit and his body fails to recover even after a small workout. Most people don’t have what it takes to even reach this level.
Change Your Routine
When you follow the same training program for a long time, your body will get used to it and will stop responding. You should keep changing your training routine to avoid or break a plateau. Although, make sure you don’t switch your routine way too often.
Try Different Grips
Tweaking your training even in the smallest way possible can bring incredible results. Switch between underhand, overhand or neutral grips. Changing grips will target your muscles a little differently. Using a thicker bar or Fatgripz can also prove effective.
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Use Advanced Training Techniques
Advanced training techniques are a great way of shocking your muscles into growing. Drop sets, supersets, blood flow restriction training (BFR), negatives, intraset stretching are some of the most common types of advanced techniques you should try in your next workout.
Focus on Your Diet
You won’t see the desired results in your body until your diet is on point. You should be clear about your daily macronutrient (protein, carbs, and fats) goals. Eat 6-8 meals in a day at regular intervals to keep your metabolism going.
Recovery is the Key
Sleep is where all the magic happens. No matter how hard you workout in the gym, you won’t see the results until your body is properly rested. 6-8 hours of sleep every night are optimal to trigger the changes in your body.
Train Your Weaker Muscle Groups First
It can be tempting to train and improve your stronger muscle groups by training them before your weaker muscle groups, but you should be approaching it the other way around. Eg- If you train your biceps and triceps on the same day and your tris are lagging as compared to your bis, you should train your tris before your bis. And if your legs are lagging, you should train them after a rest day when your body is rested.
Establish a Mind-Muscle Connection
Mind-muscle connection in bodybuilding is what makes all the difference. Bodybuilding isn’t about going through the motions. Arnold famously said that you need to become your muscle when you train it. Focus on contracting and squeezing the living hell out of your muscles with every rep.
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