You need to make the most of every weight training session.
Weight training is all about increasing muscle size, strength, and power. If you’re doing it wrong, you’re going to miss out on results and end up doing more damage than good. We all love the feeling of a great workout, but soreness isn’t the same as progress.
Today, we’re going to take you through the key ways that you can squeeze the most out of a weight-training workout and improve your results.
Weight train more, Cardio less
Good news: you should spend less time on the treadmill and more time in the squat rack!
Whether your goal is muscle gain or fat loss, weight training is the most efficient use of your time. You spend more calories recovering from weight training than you burn on a treadmill, and you’re also going to gain muscle. In case you didn’t know, muscle burns calories even when you’re resting, so it’s going to be a long-term investment in a great physique.
You shouldn’t cut out cardio entirely, but you need to prioritize weight training – especially if you’re on a tight schedule. A good weight-training workout can take as little as 45 minutes if you push yourself and plan well!
Prepare to win
Speaking of planning, it’s essential to prepare for your weight training session properly.
Don’t turn up to the gym on 3 hours sleep, with a hangover, and expect to be a stud in the gym. You’re going to feel those poor choices in your muscles and brain when you work out.
This reminds us of our favorite quote from Paul Bryant:
Most people have the will to win – that’s easy. Few people have the will to prepare to win.
The point is that the quality of your workout depends on what you do to prepare for it, and the effect of your workout depends on how you recover from it. You have to pay attention to your out-of-training factors if you’re stuck on a plateau or you’re not achieving what you want.
Put the time into the bits that aren’t glamorous, and you’ll be able to achieve your goals.
Improve your technique
This is always the most important point: good technique is the basis for any type of progress. You need to make sure you’re performing exercises properly for a few reasons:
- To avoid injury
- To improve performance
- To target the muscle groups you want to develop
- To improve balance, co-ordination and power
There’s nothing worse than an ego-lifter. Spend some time learning and re-learning technique with light weights. It might take a little bit of time now, but you’ll have better long-term results if you invest the time and stop worrying about showing off! Nobody cares anyway!
Choose the right exercises
Smart exercise choices are key to putting together the best results. If you miss out on key exercises, you’re missing out on the corresponding gains. That’s the opposite of what you want.
You need to keep your own goals in mind and be specific. If you want to squat 500lbs, you don’t need to spend 5 days a week on the bench press. Your goals dictate how you train, so make sure every exercise you do is justified by those goals.
Avoid adding loads of exercises to your session just to feel like you got a pump or a burn. These aren’t related to muscle growth, and it’s going to be better to train one exercise hard than 3-4 exercises with mediocre focus and weights.
Stimulating reps are key
This follows on from what we said about junk-exercises. The idea of junk-reps or junk-volume is important.
Muscles only grow maximally under enough weight to challenge them. This iso one of the key principles we’ve seen in recent studies on how muscles grow. You need to be working at 80-85% weight to get the very best results, because this recruits far more muscle fibres with more effective mechanical loading – meaning more growth.
You don’t need to perform 20-rep squats. As many as 15 of these are likely to be useless ‘junk volume’. Think about it: how hard is it to perform those reps? The first 10 reps alone are a warm-up, but you’ve caused a lot of muscle damage.
Stick to 8 reps as an upper-limit or muscle and strength gains. Anything above that is training muscular endurance.
- Reduce Muscle Damage (Compression Clothing and Beyond)
This is our final point. Junk volume is bad because it causes muscle damage.
Reducing muscle damage is about training smart, avoiding these bad habits, and giving yourself the edge. You can use compression clothing to reduce muscle damage, giving yourself more space to grow and develop without worrying too much about these junk reps – but you still have to be careful.
You can also restore muscles after the fact by consuming proper protein and creatine supplements, but the easiest way to solve muscle damage is to train smarter in the first place.
These are 6 tips on how to improve your weight training workout. If you’re ready to make the extra gains and improve your performance, they’re a perfect choice – try them out and get back to us on what you think!
Article Submitted By Community Writer