We all want to get stronger, fitter and leaner and of course look good!
But that is only possible if you maximise your workout time.
Now, I am not saying that you spend hours at the gym, but did you know that training hard at 3 x per week can help bring great results (with healthy nutrition). But, only if those workout times are used effectively.
First, you should always get a doctor’s approval if you are going to start a new workout plan. These plans are intense, so if you have a heart condition or any other condition that might be effected with intense training, get medical approval.
Even after getting checked out, it is important that you start an exercise plan slowly, so it will give your body time to adjust, or you will face burn out.
These tips are for people who have been training for an appropriate amount of time.
1. Increase the intensity of your workouts.
Make them harder!!
Pay attention to the protein that your body needs to rebuild. If you don’t, you will get very little out of your workouts. Either way, with cardio or resistance workouts, it will require protein to build these muscles. So, whey protein or a vegetarian source is a huge recommendation.
Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Low-carb does have its place, but carbs are our main source of bodies energy. If you are doing intense workouts then you will need carbs. If you’re doing a post-workout shake, then some dark fruits or a banana is a great source of low fiber/high glycemic carbohydrates needed for exercise.
5. Amino Acids during your workout.
Taking Amino Acids during your workout will increase delivery to your muscles, giving them the building blocks that they need during training.
6. Slow Tempo.
A great training method is moving the concentration part slowly for 4 seconds.
Use this for both the concentric and eccentric, so the tempo will look like this ‘4040.’
If this was a BB Bench press, 4 seconds down and 4 seconds up.
7. Go heavy.
When you first start you will want to keep the reps higher, and focus on good form. But, as you progress you will need to increase the weights, but still focus on good form, don’t sacrifice the form for heavier loads as it’s ineffective. Heavier weights with good form will get you better results and HEAVIER WEIGHTS WILL NOT MAKE YOU BULKY- ThIs is a common misconception.
8. Drop sets.
Once you have performed your exercise, for example 8-10 reps on a DB Bicep curl, you will then, decrease the load, let’s say 20% and then perform another 8-10 reps of the same exercise.
9. Compound Exercises.
Instead of isolating the muscle with exercises like the Tricep Pressdown, you can maximise the time you spend training by exercising more muscles at once. You will get more of a metabolic burn within your training time scheduled. Also, another benefit is that your muscles are working together, just like they do in the real world. Great compound exercises are squats, deadlifts, good mornings, lunges, bench press, military presses, rows, pull-ups, dips and more.
10. Cardio? Pick something that you enjoy.
Exercise is not fun if you hate it, and I can probably guess you won’t keep up with it for long.
Running, walking, swimming, cycling, rowing, x-trainer, stair master, etc.
After that first phase of starting your training, you will grow to look forward to it.
11. Change it up.
Do not stick to the same plan for so long, or, your body will adjust to the stress level and won’t make a change. For weight training, change your training roughly every 6 weeks. With your cardio, mix it up, rather than run every time.
12. Good form.
When your training with weights in the gym, form is important. But, this relates to any type of exercise. If you’re starting out, start with lighter weights so you can work on your form. That’s why it’s always advisable to get some knowledgeable help when you first start. Never sacrifice form for heavier weight.
13. Intervals up hills
Do this once you have incorporated flat hills, and an easier pace into your running program.
This will make an intense training session into shorter time, so your workout can be more effective. Start easy, and once you get used to the hills, you can increase the intensity. Either use a hilly route or repeats on one hill.
These are just a tiny amount of tips to an ideal workout plan, you can get 3 x a week of high-intensity strength training and the same with cardio. You can even get 4 x a week, if you really want to push it!
Your training program should be a majority of compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, etc. You should aim to increase things such as weight/reps during the training sessions, or even playing with the tempo like going 4 seconds up and 4 seconds down, work to exhaustion but remember to keep good form.
You should have an intra-workout drink during your workout and a whey/veg protein shake after. Then roughly 60-90 mins later a meal with protein/fats or carbs (depending on your nutrition program). Water is important for all times.
Remember, if you’re just starting out, make sure you build up training time before you start anything high-intensity. Start the weights lighter with good form.