Gaining muscle and stripping off body fat isn’t easy. Here are eight tips to help you along the way.
1) PLAN YOUR ATTACK
Go to the gym with a training plan. Record your reps, sets and weights each workout to ensure your progress week to week. You will not get stronger in every workout, but that does not mean your effort should lessen.
2) MONITOR YOUR OUTPUT
Most people use heart rate monitors to gauge how many calories they burn each workout – unfortunately heart rate monitors are not very accurate and moderately overstate the amount of calories burned. However, a heart rate monitor is an outstanding device to gauge your output from workout to workout. So if you are showing, let’s say 800 over your 60 minute workout, try to build on that number each day by reducing time between sets or adding in intensity techniques like dropsets or supersets. Focus on the increase in output from workout to workout.
3) CHANGE IT UP
We are creatures of habit. We get stuck in our routines of eating the same things, doing the same workouts … and getting the same results. Would you constantly eat the same protein sources? I hope not. Doing the same type of cardio can become a drastic waste of time as the body begins to adapt to the time, duration and function which, over time, reduces its fat-burning component. Change up your lifting workouts by varying rep ranges, using time under tension, static lifts with super-slow, controlled form or do last week’s workout in reverse order. All are great ways to keep your body guessing and growing.
4) GET THERAPY
This is one of the most under-utilized tools for most people. How productive can your workouts be if you are constantly sore and fatigued? Foam roll all your muscles each day, I personally take ice baths after every leg or sprint workout, and I am truly almost never sore – it actually leaves me feeling invigorated and energized, as if I hadn’t just murdered my body. Get deep tissue massages, get those muscle adhesions and fibrous tissue broken up so your muscles can expand and grow.
5) REST AND RECOVER
Every third or fourth day, take a complete day off. This is particularly important for beginners or intermediate lifters. Allow your central nervous system to relax. Training every day overloads the body with stress, which leads your body to overproduce cortisol. This can leave you feeling fatigued, bloated and possibly injured. Remember, we do not grow in the gym, we grow outside of it as we rest and recover.
6) DON’T BE AFRAID TO EAT
You cannot build muscle skimping on carbs and fats. This is the same for fat loss. Any of you who have ever crash dieted know that your fat loss plateaus pretty quickly, which is followed by subsequent rebound weight gain. Train hard and fuel your body like an athlete, not a bird.
7) MAN THE F%$@ UP
Almost everyone I cross paths with, especially fitness model/competitor types, truly believes they train hard. It isn’t until I take them through one of my workouts, at the suicide pace at which I do them, when they are forced to endure the absurd pain from truly pushing your limits that they realize “Wow, I have been working far below my potential”.
8) BE CONSISTENT
You aren’t going to gain 20 pounds or lose 30 overnight, or even in a few weeks. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Trust the process, enjoy the day to day feeling of improving your health and increasing the quality of your life. Before you know it, you will look back and not even recognize your former self.
Take pride in your work. Self motivate. Do not rely on others for motivation. You are setting yourself up for failure