A couple of weeks ago Practicalpaleothic.com brought an article concerning ten ways to improve your training. The article is adressed to crossfitters but some/a lot of the advice applies to all training individuals.
Even though I’m not an athlete or someone special I’ve still learned a lot the last couple of years; especially after joining Performance Gym Aarhus and competing in the 2012 DBFF Newcomers Cup. When it comes to lifting weights many of the points in the article are valuable lessons to be learned that took me years to discover. Let’s go through the ten advice.
This may be obvious to everyone but I still see a lot of people who just work out with no specific goal(s). “Fail to plan – plan to fail”. Setting goals will help you keep the eyes on the prize and give you direction. It will also help keep you motivated over time. It can be body composition, a specific weight on the scale or just becoming strong as f**k. Just be realistic both short and long term.
Add some active recovery training
I’m split into two on this one. While I think it is a good idea to use a foam roller, walk walks or do some GPP (maybe even some interval training – just don’t go all out) I’m not sure I would recommend this to do average trainee who only visits the gym a couple of times a week. I’m aware the article is adressed to athletes and people who work out more than the average trainee though. That being said: If you go all out in your workouts some recovery work would be very beneficial.
Learn and refine a sport
I wouldn’t know since I chose lifting weights over soccer a couple of years ago (before that I played soccer for 17 years) but the author of the article has a valid point: When you focus on a sport your training becomes more specific/oriented towards that sport which usually brings a lot of positive side effects because of the need of constant improvement or the competitive aspect (which there is very little of in bodybuilding – unless you compete). So if you’re not competing in anything taking up a new sport can help you focus your training which is always a good thing. It also relates to the tip about setting a goal.
Periodize your training
This is someone we could all learn from the pro’s; they don’t just work out – they plan their workouts over time (periodizing). You can’t go all out seven times a week, 52 weeks a year. That’s downright impossible. So by periodizing your training you can gain strength and size over time without burning out. Protocols like Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1, Stronglifts 5×5 or Sheiko’s programmes are all prime examples of how to periodize your training. Start know.
Clean up your diet
When I first started learning about nutrition in relation to body composition, strength and bodybuilding I was surprised. Surprised to learn that without proper nutrition you can litterally kill yourself in the gym using the best protocols or programmes and have little or nothing to show for it. What a letdown. But think about: If you workout 5-6 times a week for an hour and you sleep for eight hours you have 15 hours where you don’t focus on your body. That roughly translates to 60-65% of your entire day where you’re not working out or resting. And in this period you eat. So if you’re for over half the day maybe you should think about what you eat. Okay, bad explanation. In short if you eat like crap or eat too little/too much your results will reflect this. Cleaning up your diet doesn’t mean to eat strictly paleo, God forbid. In my world it’s about eating either a caloric deficit or surplus (to lose or gain weight) and choose healthy foods the majority of the time.
That’s the end of part I. Part II will be up in a couple of days.
Find the original article right here: http://bit.ly/improveyourtraining
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