27 rules for effective workouts
Do you want to gain muscle mass? Maximize your training with these simple and effective tips!
Author: Bill Geiger
Every year thousands of debutants start their way in power training with one of the bodybuilding training programs, but most of them fail. There is nothing surprising. As soon as they cross the threshold of the gym, they grab the neck and start lifting the weights. It seems to them that this is the shortest and best way to a set of muscle mass, although in fact such a strategy takes them away from the intended goal.
People who succeed, as a rule, adhere to a well-written plan. We guarantee that if you take into consideration the mass-recruitment tips developed together with the IFBB (International Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation) professional Craig Kapourso, you will be on the right path to uncontrollable muscle growth.
So what are we waiting for? Let's get started!
If you plan to work with a serious working weight, start with a warm-up, otherwise you will do yourself a disservice. It is important to understand that the more you become, the more warm-up approaches you need.
The warm-up is needed not only for the muscles, but also for tendons and ligaments, which must successfully withstand high loads. A good 5-10 minute run on a stationary bike before the first approach to lifting weights is an effective way to incorporate the body into the training process and to increase blood circulation in the muscles.
Remember, warmed muscles are better suited to lifting the maximum weight and are less prone to injury.
Each novice asks the same question: "What working weight should I use?" The answer depends on the goals. After warm-up approaches, if your priority goal is the development of strength indicators, your basic sets should consist of no more than six repetitions.
If your main task is to gain muscle mass, choose a weight with which you can perform a maximum of 8-12 repetitions without violating the technique. To develop muscular endurance, put a working weight that will allow you to complete more than 15 repetitions.
3. Decide on the number of approaches
Some guys spend several hours a day training one part of the body. Others insist that the target group has only one approach in the exercise. On whose side is the truth? There is no universal solution to the problem, but it is believed that newcomers should follow the 2-3 approach to each muscle group, but veterans should stop at 3-4 sets.
The key point here is the amount of training load – the total number of approaches and repetitions for each muscle group. Bodybuilding programs aimed at muscle growth are based on a sufficiently high training volume, although the risk of overtraining is very high.
Begin with 12 approaches – 4 exercises for the 3 approach – for the main muscle groups, including the chest, back and legs, and 6-8 approaches for small muscle groups. Having gained experience, you will cope with a large number of approaches, and at the same time begin to increase the number of rest days between training for a certain part of the body.
Taking the starting position in the exercises performed standing, do what all the sportsmen do: take the sports stand. Your feet should be on the width of the shoulders, the big toes look slightly to the sides, the legs are slightly bent, the spine is straightened (chest forward, shoulders back, waist a little arched), and the look is directed forward.
This is a natural, stable and strong position of the body, which should be your starting position in almost all exercises performed standing.
"Be sure to let your muscles rest between the approaches in the work phase to the mass," says Craig Kapurso, an IFBB professional. "I'm not even trying to cut pauses between approaches, when the maximum muscle growth is at stake. So that I can lift the weight as many times as I can, I should be sufficiently rested, otherwise I will be stopped by muscles that did not have time to recover from the previous set. You need a good rest between approaches, so that you are able to raise the maximum weight. "
In your attempts to boost muscle growth, you must be extremely aggressive. Muscle fibers adapt quickly enough, and the effectiveness of a once-exhausting workout can quickly come to naught. This means that you must constantly increase your requirements – while you are in the optimal form – and never stay in the comfort zone.
Progressively increasing the load, you will continue to increase the mass and increase the strength indicators. To the majority of sportsmen, changes in the training program help to maintain the productivity of training.
We continue the conversation about the changes. A simple and effective way to introduce newness into training is simply to change the habitual grasp. You can change the wide grip to narrow or from the grip from above to switch to grip from below. This approach among other things can be used in bench press, the pull of the upper block on the lat, during rod rod pulling in the slope, in lifting the bar to the biceps, in the upper block press on the triceps and many other exercises.
We all saw this guy – the poor fellow, who does the bench press with his feet on the bench. An important aspect of strength training is the ability to maintain balance, but do not learn this when you are trying to increase muscle mass. Forget about raised legs, press of dumbbells on the fitball or on the rack on one leg during lifting weights.
In addition to the fact that you will look silly, you can not work out either the muscles of the corps as a whole, or the target group in particular. The best option is to devote one day to a certain type of activity, and on other tasks to concentrate on another workout. In addition, you can lift more weight, firmly standing on your feet.
Few of us from birth have a low percentage of body fat, which gives our body a V-shape. How to create the illusion of a narrow waist, if you differ in a dense physique? Shift the emphasis of training on the upper back and middle deltas.
Do more approaches in exercises with a wide grip on the day of back training, and a few additional approaches to vertical traction and hand-to-hand training on the day of training the muscles of the shoulder girdle. Bonus: wide shoulders visually reduce the waist.
I'm sure you have a wide range of options when it comes to a specific exercise, but if you are aiming for the maximum load, choose a dumbbell. Unlike the barbell and most simulators that allow you to dominate the strong side, dumbbells require the same work from all muscle groups.
In the evening hours, when the gym is particularly busy, it is always easier to find an opportunity to perform an exercise with dumbbells. If you have a favorite exercise with a barbell, give the muscles a slightly different training stimulus, replacing the bar with a related exercise with dumbbells.
Many guys in the gym use bad technique, which, as a rule, creates an additional load on the joints involved in the movement, but reduces the stress for the target muscles. However, if done properly, the cheating repetitions can cause the target muscle to work with even greater efficiency. The goal of the cheating is to stimulate the muscle fibers with more, not less, intensity of work.
This is best done by executing 6-8 repetitions yourself with the correct technique, and then continue with a little help to overcome the blind spot and finish a few more repetitions. If you start hacking with the first repetitions, then the weight is too heavy.
Drop-sets (performing the exercise to failure with subsequent continuation with less weight) are an excellent way to cause deep muscular stimulation in the last approach to a particular exercise. This principle is especially useful in preparing for bodybuilding competitions, which tend to burn several extra calories. Drop-sets are a time-tested technique that really burns your muscles.
For example, if you perform flexing on the biceps with 20-kg dumbbells, complete the approach, return the dumbbells to the rack and immediately grab the 18-kg shells. Do as many repetitions as you can, then replace the projectile with 16-kg dumbbells and so on.
Continue to perform as many repetitions as you can – they can be quite a bit – until you reach the 8-kg shells, and you will realize that light weight has never seemed so heavy to you!
13. Start the exercises at the lowest point
What makes a craving from the floor a special exercise? You perform it from a complete stop. In other exercises, you accumulate potential energy – energy, which helps you raise the projectile in the initial phases of motion – when you change the direction of the motion vector at the bottom point. When you remove the potential energy, leaving the bar on the floor, your task is dramatically complicated, and the exercise is much more difficult. This is an excellent way to develop strength in the lower phase of the amplitude of motion.
Try the next technique, called Anderson squats: set the fuses in the power frame at the lowest point of the amplitude of the movement, and each repetition starts at the bottom, not at the top. Be sure to put the bar on the fuses after each repetition before the next rise, to level out the contribution of potential energy.
Combining the two exercises into a superset is a common method of accelerating your workout. Studies show that when you use this technique to work out the muscles of antagonists, you get additional benefits. You will be slightly stronger than usual in the second exercise of the superset. Pairs of exercises for the muscles-antagonists: biceps / triceps, back / chest, squats / hamstrings.
Most of the "large" exercises you perform are called complex, or multi-joint movements. These exercises allow you to raise the maximum weight, because they involve more than one muscle group. Carrying out similar movements, you, as a rule, finish the approach when one of the muscle groups refuses.
Pre-fatigue is an approach that allows you to bypass the "weak link in the chain," guilty of premature failure. For example, by performing a bench press on the bench, a weak triceps often surrenders earlier than the large pectoral muscles. To remove this limiting factor, first of all perform an isolating exercise, like dumbbell information, which practically does not load the triceps. Thus, you "pre-tire" the pectoral muscles.
Since the pectoral muscles have already performed a certain amount of work, the triceps are no longer the weakest link in the bench press, and you can perform the exercise before the actual rejection of the pectoral muscles, and not until the triceps failure.
Do you know the easiest way to update the training program? Try to do the exercises in reverse order. You still need to start with a thorough warm-up, but right after it's over, you go to the exercise that was done last. You will be surprised how much you have become stronger in this exercise, because you do it not against the background of fatigue and can raise more weight with a large number of repetitions.
Naturally, when you get to the exercise that was previously performed first, you can not take heavy weight or perform the usual number of repetitions. So you will work out the target group in a way that it is not used to, which is an excellent way to force muscle growth.
17. Finish your workout with a dump
"To maximize the involvement of muscles in work, use a large training volume," says Kapurso. "When I use a very small number of repetitions, I feel that I leave a considerable supply of fuel in the tanks. Therefore, I developed an approach that is complex in the mental and physical sense, designed to load the muscles until complete failure. Most people are content with a muscle failure in sets with a small number of repetitions, but try to test yourself with approaches with a range of 15-18 repetitions. You will find that by the end of the training you are completely depleted. "
Studies prove the correctness of the approach with the addition of one last set with light weight, with which you can perform more repetitions. It fills the muscles with blood and fluid, which increases strength and muscle volume.
Instead of performing the good old three approaches with 10 repetitions in all exercises, try building a pyramid of working weights in full-fledged approaches, slightly increasing the working weight in each set. Of course, the number of repetitions that you will be able to complete will inevitably decrease as the load increases, but you will get better growth of power indicators with the help of low repetition approaches. Just try not to burn the muscles in sets with a comparatively light weight and do not work until muscle failure until you reach really hard approaches.
What is the best way to continue to progress? Find a partner who is pushing you, preferably someone who is stronger and more than you. In addition to safety and assistance in forced and partial repetitions that allow you to exercise after a muscle failure, it will help you find motivation to go to the gym on those days when you really want to stay on the couch.
If you are used to practicing alone, you can still find a way to continue training after failure; try selective high-intensity training techniques that are ideal for single-player athletes.
We are seeing less often in the gym a weightlifting belt, but it should be in the arsenal of every serious lifter. Although you do not have to wear it in every approach – you need to strengthen the lower back muscles – you should use it in extremely heavy sets, when your lower back needs additional support.
I'm talking about deadlifts, sit-ups, tilting in the slope and army bench presses. Put the belt aside in approaches with small working weights, so that your waist can work and become stronger.
The use of harnesses and expanders may seem optional and uncomfortable, but it will help you achieve remarkable success, especially when the muscles are not yet accustomed to their application. The uniqueness of these tools is that they create resistance, constantly changing during one repetition.
At the bottom point, the expander or the tourniquet removes part of the load, and the weight seems to be more light, and as the projectile rises, the load on the target muscle increases. Using an expander is an excellent technique for overcoming a blind spot.
Have you ever been told not to use wrist straps so that you can work on the grip on the back training days? Nonsense! As soon as your hands are tired, put on webbing. You will find that you can perform an additional repetition or two in each approach, which is equivalent to more muscle growth.
Do not worry about the development of forearms or grip strength; do it on the day of training your hands. On the day of training your backs, concentrate on lifting the maximum possible weight as many times as possible, and for this use the wrist straps.
This in no way refers to "training techniques", but in their pursuit of muscle growth, many athletes are desperate to train hard. In the end, they negate their efforts, leaving in the training split too few days of rest. Do not worry about skipping a workout and do not do it until you are exhausted, because you are depriving the body of the time necessary for recovery and growth.
During the training session, the body quickly rises the level of catabolic hormones, for example, cortisol. You should strive to finish the training expeditiously. Work on increasing the intensity of classes, rather than their duration.
24. Choose the optimal frequency of training
The frequency with which you must train a particular muscle group depends on the amount of work you do (volume). Beginners who do not make too many sets on each part of the body can train target groups more often (say, every 2-3 days). Experienced athletes who perform 15-20 approaches to each muscle group can adhere to a split in which each muscle group gets its one time in 5-6 days.
Competitive bodybuilders often train to complete exhaustion, but because they can allow the muscles to rest on 7 and more days. In these cases, the muscles literally need more time for complete recovery after training.
If you are looking for the best exercise to start a training session, start with a multi-joint exercise; you will be able to raise the maximum weight at the beginning of the workout, when the energy reserves are still high. Such exercises are called multiarticular, or compound, because they involve more than one joint, which involves the work of additional muscle groups.
For example, bench press on the bench includes triceps and front deltas in addition to the pectoral muscles. Squats, tilts in the slope, bench press and bench press are the best builders of muscles for the legs, back, shoulders and chest, respectively. Add other exercises with different angles of movement to fully develop the target muscle.
Additional advice: really load yourself with a weight with which you can perform 6-8 repetitions at the beginning of the workout; When fatigue begins to accumulate, stop working with the maximum working weight.
When designing a training program, be careful when choosing a muscle group for training the next day. Muscle growth occurs during rest, provided proper nutrition. If you train pectoral muscles on Mondays, shoulders – on Tuesdays, and triceps – on Wednesdays, your split does not leave the muscles enough time for a full recovery. Training back and biceps for two consecutive days is another example of an unsuccessful split. Use rest days and leg training days for time-based workouts for the upper body.
For mass gain, you must receive more calories than your body spends, and follow the specific training tips listed above. However, if you are the king of parties and a lover of harmful calories from alcohol from fat fast food, your efforts in the hall can be in vain.
Make sure that your life outside the gym is synchronized with your diet and training program for maximum results in the shortest possible way!
Well, I do not know, everything is subjective. A subjective opinion is far from the truth. And many "rules" of each other refute. Somewhere said about the mandatory isolation before a heavy base, in order to teduce the target muscle or muscle group. And in another paragraph the beginning of work with multipurpose, multi-joint heavy exercises is indicated.