It’s common for a lot of people to find themselves on a plateau. Others are having a hard time seeing progress when they follow the training regimen that was supposedly designed to help them gain strength.
Is it time to dump your current regimen? Perhaps, don’t abandon everything just yet. Maybe, there are a few small adjustments that you can do that can yield better results in terms of strength.
Don’t push beyond repetition failure
It’s easy for gym buffs to have a 0 or 100 mentality when they go to the gym. It’s either they hit the gym hard or not at all. However, what if additional reps beyond your body’s capacity are rather useless than productive?
According to a study, repetitions beyond exhaustion don’t produce power gains. This study tested three rep ranges: 4×6, 8×3, and 12×3.
Finding the right workout
A lot of beginners might not have an idea which type of exercise to pick once they enter the gym. Some would even spend the next hour working solely on their arms. If you want to see serious gains in your overall strength, it is important to focus on three important things: pulling power, pushing power, and hip strength.
What makes the hips important when training for strength? When we discuss hips, this involves muscles including your glutes, hamstring, psoas, and inner thigh. Its goal is to promote stability in your movement. With weak hips, it is easy for different muscles to experience aches and poor performance.
Next, let’s talk about pushing and pulling exercises. Of course, some sports will require more pushing than pulling while other sports are the complete opposite. Regardless of the goal, there are a few basic lifts that you should concentrate on.
For pulling, you want to do some pull-ups and rows. You can also use the help of machines such as a lat pull-down machine when you can’t do a pull-up just yet. For pushing, you want to include both your upper body and lower body. Doing bench press, shoulder press, and squats are some of the best things that you can do to develop pushing strength.
Invest in your grip
Aside from having a firm handshake when you meet someone new, having strong grips come in handy for different situations. In one study, grip strength is associated with cardiovascular, respiratory, and even cancer outcomes. In this study, it has been discovered that those with strong grips are less likely to develop cardiovascular conditions. There is also another study that used grips as a way to predict the vulnerability of seniors.
But for someone who is looking to maximize gains, it pays dividends to build grip strength. There are instances when your large muscle groups can still perform, but your grips are already giving out. Having strong grips allows you to carry heavier weights in the gym.
A good way to build grip strength is to do dead hangs for 5 to 10 seconds. From there, you can prolong the duration as you build your grip strength. You can also incorporate forearm curls using a barbell or a dumbbell every after workout.
Concentrate on form than reps
It’s common for a lot of people in the gym to compromise their form just to finish a set. What you want is to lower the weights and focus more on your form. Try to slow down each rep. This will increase the time where your muscles are under tension. This can give better results even if you are going to take out a rep or two from the set.
Take the right amount of cardio
There’s a good reason why professional athletes don’t have a high body fat percentage. Excessive body fat for athletes can hamper their performance. However, you also have to be wise when it comes to your cardiovascular activities.
Running for 30-40 minutes at a time can be a good way to burn body fats and get the right body fat percentage. Running for more than one hour can be unproductive as it can also catabolize the muscles that you’ve developed.
So what should running look like if you want to still see improvement in strength? It should be short and high intensity. It means that there should be more sprints and minimal rest. It is also possible to mix things up. You can combine running with swimming or hop on an elliptical machine if you want to rest your knees while doing cardio
Eat High Protein Meals
You can’t replace a good diet. Muscles need protein to develop. Some experts will suggest that you eat a gram of protein per pound of your body weight. At times, you will need more especially if you are doing high-intensity exercises. Timing your meals is also just as important. Most importantly, you need the right amount of protein after a workout.
That’s where protein supplementation can come in handy. Whey supplement is popular among athletes and non-athletes alike since it’s a high-protein and low caloric supplement that can prevent the muscles from catabolizing. It is easy to absorb, plus there are a variety of flavors to choose from nowadays.
Developing strength can be difficult. If you feel that you’re not making any progress, it might be a good idea to use these tips. You will be surprised how you can make incremental improvements even if you don’t make a huge adjustment in your workout.
If you’re ready to lift weights with confidence, increase speed, and earn more playing time.
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