Training Tips to Build Muscle!
- Be clear about what you really want!
“A man who chases two rabbits catches neither” – Confucious.
Trying to diet down to 6% bodyfat, whilst simultaneously trying to put on muscle size, will not give you good results in either goal.
- Focus on improving your overall athletic ability – your strength, power, flexibility and explosiveness, rather than fixating on the size of your pecs and biceps, (or on how ripped you look) from week to week.
- Include explosive, power exercises – such as jump squats, the clean, hang clean, push press, push jerk and snatch. Large muscle mass exercises (aka compound lifts) should be performed first in your routine when you’re still fresh (after you have warmed up)to maximise a significant natural testosterone response. Get a coach to train you on good technique. These compound exercises should never be rushed and you should not do many of these!
- Challenge yourself with “Boot Camp” at least one or twice a week. Ensure authentic strength and power – are you really as strong as what you look? Flip some tractor tyres, toss some kettlebells, carry sand bags, swing on monkey bars, include some wind sprints and end off with burpees! Warm-up thoroughly first.
- Use our EnduraPower for energy before and during your sessions so that you don’t deplete your body.
- Select the most productive functional exercises and limit those many time-consuming “sculpting” ones. For instance, choose parallel bar dips over tricep pushdowns and pull-ups over lat pull-downs.
- Wherever possible, do the majority of your exercises in a standing position. To get maximal gains, you need to load the skeleton vertically. Sitting and lying down is for relaxing – not training. Choose compound exercises that load the body vertically through several joints: In other words, choose the barbell squat over a seated leg press.
- With traditional weights, always squeeze the bar as hard when performing compound exercises, as you can as this engages your core and the supporting synergists and stabilisers. With all heavy, compound lifts, keep a good posture – Shoulders back and down, lower back supported by abs, head in a neutral position.
- Work on perfecting your technique – Good technique not only reduces your risk of injury, it also enables you to develop more strength and power. Get an experienced coach!
- Build up strength and stability of your shoulders – Practice handstands against the wall, partner assisted wheel barrow walks and do more push-ups. If you are beyond the beginner level, there are loads of ways to make push-ups harder: Do clap push-ups, one arm push-ups, “Rocky” push-ups, Evil Wheel, Alligator push-ups, add weight vests to make them challenging and include plyometric moves.
- Decrease your rest periods. How long should you rest? This depends on what your goal is, the load you’re shifting and the number of reps – but short is best for optimal testosterone release to gain size. Longer rests are needed for strength gains.
- Change things up: Einstein’s famous definition of insanity – “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Keep the compound exercises, but include progressive and structured overload.
- Do a bridge (plank) in every workout – no compromise. Your strength is not worth 2 cents if your core is weak: Tip: Increase your bridge time by 5 seconds every workout and you’ll soon be up to 7 minutes! Your core will thank you. Remember to include side bridges!
- Heaving lifting results in an acute natural elevation of testosterone after training and men have a natural boost of testosterone every morning. So if you wish to capitalise on getting 2 natural “boosts” within a 24-hour period, do your strength training later in the day. Plus your spine is more stable later on in the day, so there is less chance of injury: So save your heavy lifting for then!
Remember to consult your physician or health practitioner before starting an exercise programme.
And get yourself a registered biokineticists or a certified, experienced coach.