5 Tips to Improve Your Workout
Bodybuilding doesn’t mean you have 20-inch arms or look like the Incredible Hulk busting out of your khakis. It means you train to affect your physical form. That includes you! Through exercise, diet, and lifestyle you’re attempting to “build” it as you desire.
Below are 5 tips to improve your workout, for the novice and intermediate “bodybuilder.” These tips will fast track your progress and you can listen now or listen later, but eventually, you will give in to these premises. So save yourself some time and listen to a pro.
1. Use Lighter Weights.
Ok you heard me but you’re still not going to hold to that advice. But it’s the BEST advice I could give you. You don’t learn to ride a motorcycle on the most suped up, powerful bike. You also don’t learn calculus before arithmetic. The thing is, you need to learn how to control weights. The goal is to recruit certain muscles, right? Let’s be honest, it’s going to be easier to learn this muscle recruitment with lighter weights than heavier weights. Using lighter weights will keep you in control of the weights instead of vice versa.
2. Repetitions Are Your Friend.
When you first learn a new dance, are you nailing it the first time you try? Of course not. It’s perfectly natural with movement to use repetitions (“practice”) to promote improvement. So embrace repetitions! To get good at ANY physical movement whether it’s dance, martial arts, or weightlifting, repetition is key. Or as my influential high school football coach put it, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” Practice doing something right, over and over.
If you’re new to a movement, embrace the higher rep ranges 10-50. Yes, 50. If you can do something 50 plus times, that’s fine, because if you’re doing so with control and technique that many times, it’s not that hard. What repetitions do is they will assist you in putting your body on “autopilot” during a movement and think less.
3. Control Is Preferred to “Moving” Weight.
There are plenty of ways to “move” weight, but controlling weight is preferred in most cases. Why? Assume two physically similar individuals both deadlift 315lb. One completes the lift by any horrible form and any technique necessary. The other is in complete control from start to finish, balanced, and shifting workload appropriately among muscles. The second individual’s control is safer and more effective.
4. Build Mind-muscle Connection From Day 1.
What’s a mind-muscle connection? It’s the connection between your brain and body; think of your body as a machine. You instantly communicate multiple messages during your lift such as: contract, relax, tighten abs, posture up, tighten up back, grip needs tightening, the wrist is fatiguing and breaking form. When the mind-muscle connection is greater, you will be better able to balance, recruit, and shift load appropriately to muscles…instantly.
You will know what form feels like, what tension is required, and the greater you develop this connection, the greater a lifter or bodybuilder you will become. Talk to your muscles mentally or even verbally, but practice mastering your body from Day 1. Can you flex your chest or bicep muscles? That’s a mind-muscle connection. But if you can’t control other muscles you aren’t practicing them enough! Practice flexing and controlling your muscles, it pays off in your lifts!
5. Use Mind-muscle Connection to Burn More Calories!
Sure mind-muscle connection will take your lifts to greater heights, but it will also increase the efficiency of your workouts. The deadlift is considered one of the best exercises for the entire body. Why? Because from fingertips down to your toes…EVERYTHING should be engaged and participating, performing its part. Ever notice how fast it breaks out a sweat or takes your breath after deadlifting? Tons of muscles recruited and participating equals large energy output!
Learn to apply this focus on the details of total body engagement not just for your deadlift, but for ALL your lifts. Take a barbell curl, for example, brace those abs, lock that posture in with contracted muscles in the upper and lower body, in essence…REMOVE EXCESS VARIABLES.
If you are training biceps, attempt to keep your body in such control that the only muscles working to move the weight are bicep related. Such connection will recruit even greater muscle involvement, and result in more “bang for your buck” from your workout. If you do struggle with mind-muscle connection, refer to tip #1!!!!
Work on these 5 tips to improve your workout and save yourself time towards progress. Work smarter not harder!!