I have seen so much more people in the gym lately and its truly great to see but unfortunately I see equally as many people leaving the gym because they simply don’t know what to do when they are there. My mission is to educate you on some simple strategies to help you better understand what to do and why you should do it.
Lets get straight into it;
Where the majority of people are going wrong is from mixing strength training (weights training) with cardio training because one takes from the other. Strength training focuses on building new muscle to the body while cardio based training generally breaks down muscle fibres so that your body carries less weight. Getting clear on what you are trying to achieve in the gym is the most important aspect of your training. If you are trying to build some muscle to your body and to generally get a leaner build, then you should be focusing on some proper weights training. If your goals is to simply get fitter or lose a few pounds, then cardio will be you best go to.
If you fell into the category of building some muscle and getting leaner, you should know exactly how to do just that. There is one major mistake that I see most commonly, it is that you are working too many different muscle groups in one training session. I see people moving from the bench press, to a seated row and then moving on a cross trainer or something in that kind of format. In order to build new muscle you need to break down and tear the muscle fibres of the muscles that you are trying to grow, in order for you to do so you need to perform at least 4 different exercises using the same muscle group.
Before you go to the gym you should know what muscle groups that you are going to be working and you should focus on only two muscle groups in each session, one primary muscle and one secondary muscle. The primary muscle should be the main focus of your workout and you should perform at least 4 exercises on this muscle group, while the secondary muscle should be the secondary focus of your workout as the secondary muscle will have already been used to burn out the primary muscle. Take for example a chest workout, your chest muscles will be the primary focus of your workout and when you are performing the exercises in working your chest muscles you will also be using your triceps to push the load up and down. In this case you would structure your workout on working only your chest and triceps. Pick 4 exercises to work your chest muscles and perform 3 – 4 sets of 10 reps on each exercise and then move onto working your triceps, choosing a further 3 – 4 exercises that you will perform for the same amount of sets and reps. This way you will properly burn out each muscle group and with the correct amount of protein in your diet you will start building new muscle.
Knowing the different methods of weights training
There are 4 different types of weights training; Hypertrophy, Strength, Power and Endurance but Hypertrophy should be your go to for building new muscle and burning body fat. The other 3 methods are more commonly used in athletes who are looking to improve their performance. They focus on either less or more repetitions on each exercise which makes them stronger, faster or more athletic. Muscle Hypertrophy focuses on the growth of new muscle in body with a middle ground rep range. The target rep range of Muscle Hypertrophy training is 10 reps and the required amount of sets is as mentioned above, three to four. The target rep and set range is what is scientifically based to create the most amount of trauma in your muscle fibres to tear them effectively and to help grow new muscle. If you currently find yourself in the gym doing 5 – 6 reps on each exercise then you are not effectively building muscle but rather, building strength and that wont help you lean up.
Nailing your rest time is also vital during your training in order to avail of the scientific element of this form of training. Be very strict with your rest times. Your rest time should be no more and no less than 60 – 90 seconds. This is what provides enough recovery for your muscles to perform another set but also the least amount of recovery needed to keep constant pressure on your muscles and your heart rate up through your workout. If your rest times start to go over or under this rest period you will not benefit from it as you should. Your sets, reps and rest times for your workout should look something like this:
- Sets and Reps: 3 – 4 working sets on each exercise. Aiming for 10 reps in each set.
- Weight range: 50 – 75% of the maximum weight that you could lift on each exercise for your working sets.
- Rest Time: 60 – 90 seconds maximum.
- Rest time while changing exercises: 2 mins
Here is a chest and tricep workout to try out that will guarantee that you burn out both muscles groups;
- Incline bench press
- Flat bench press
- Decline bench press
- Seated chest fly
- Bodyweight dips
- Cable tricep push down
- Ez bar skull crushers
- Bench dips
Make sure that you do the exercises in this order and ensure that you perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each exercise.
I hope that you found this blog helpful and if you want to find some more Hypertrophy workouts you can follow facebook or instagram accounts below. Thank you for reading.