I finally decided to summarize the best workout tips that I learned during the past few years.
Some of these things will probably sound familiar to you, I am sure you've heard them many times before, but I am positive that you will learn something new too.
At least I hope so. Otherwise...well, it doesn't hurt to do a small recap.
16 Workout Tips to Remember
There could be any number of tips to help you get better results, but the following 16 are the very basics because they are somehow critical.
You can be an expert or a beginner, these tips apply to everybody.
1. How Many Times per Week
Often (especially young) people believe that "the more the better" is a rule for getting bigger faster. Going to the gym every day is not a good idea.
As I said before in this website, our body grows during sleep and rest. If we don't get enough sleep and rest our muscles are always in an "inflamed" state where fibres are broken, and we never get a chance to actually recover and repair the muscles.
It is true that when you are 18 you can train much more often than when you are 40, but still there is a risk of overtraining and all the bad consequences that come with it.
I currently train twice per week, three times when I have time and I can dedicate a day to do just legs.
I think three times a week gives you the best results, generally speaking. Your body will tell you though, you will feel after a few weeks if it's the right workout for you.
The first of my workout tips is that if you feel tired and are losing motivation, change! It's better to go two times a week and looking forward to it, rather than being unenthusiastic when it's time to go to the gym.
2. Compound Exercises
Whether you are an expert or a beginner, place some good old compound exercises in your routine.
These are exercises that work more muscle groups at the same time, therefore you stress more muscle fibres than you do with isolation exercises.
They also help you produce more testosterone, which results in bigger muscle gains. This is also one of the workout tips to increase your anabolic hormone...
3. Muscles Balance
This is one of those workout tips that is rare to find on fitness websites. And when I see people at the gym that do random exercises without a logic I feel like there's not much expertise around.
Especially if you are following a "do it yourself" workout routine, don't forget to do exercises to balance your muscles.
What does it mean?
When you train a muscle, train also its opposite (or complementary).
When you do a movement, do its opposite.
Here are some examples of muscles that should be trained in the same routine:
- Anterior deltoids & rear deltoids
- Chest & upper back
- Biceps & triceps
- Abs & lower back
- Quadriceps & hamstrings
In my experience I've seen that rear deltoid is a muscle that is often forgotten, while anterior deltoid is almost always trained.
If you do that, you create a muscle imbalance, where the front part of a muscle is very developed and the back part is weak.
If you do lots of chest exercises and no upper back, you may end up looking hunched forwards.
Same thing happens if you kill yourself with abs hoping to get a six pack fast and forget lower back extensions.
Here are some examples of exercises that do the opposite movement:
- Chest press & rows
- Shoulder press & lat machine (or pull ups)
- Bicep curls & tricep extension
- Ab crunches & lumbar extension
- Leg extension & leg curls
- Chest flys & pec deck
Please follow this muscle balance workout tips to build a proportioned body look!
4. Stretch Before and After Workout
Of all the workout tips in this page, this is probably the one where I need to improve.
Stretching before and after exercise is not only recommended by very necessary.
Before, to prepare your muscles and reduce the risk of sprains or to just pull a muscle.
After, to help reduce the recovery time by releasing more lactic acid immediately after exercise. It also helps keep the muscles more elastic after workout (and avoid that feeling of contracted muscles for a couple of days).
5. Cardio After Workout
Very often people want workout tips to maximize muscle building and weight loss, but not always they take advantage of what they're told.
Some do cardio before workout, thinking that it's the best way to warm up and be ready for the lifts.
I suggest the opposite instead: leave cardio last.
Because you're going to spend lots of energy by doing cardio, and you want all the energy for your workout instead.
If you do cardio after workout you ensure that all your energy is available for the lifts, and all the remaining calories will be burned with cardio.
This is the best compromise and one of those workout tips that many are unaware of.
Are you thinking "So how do I warm up then?", my answer is: do one or two sets with light weights before you start the real set.
6. Slow Negative Phase
Doing explosive lifts is a good idea, many do so and see the difference.
We hear it all the time..."when you do bench press, push hard, be explosive!".
But what about the negative phase? I am here to tell you that the descending phase is as much important as the active phase.
Try to control your movement and lower the barbell slowly. It should take you at least the same seconds that it takes you to lift it.
Of course these workout tips apply to every exercise.
Think it won't make a difference? Ha ha, try it then, you'll see how much tired you'll be at the end!
7. Use a Spotter
8. Try Muscle Confusion
Did you read about muscle confusion? It's one of the workout tips that need to be applied every 2 months or so.
Don't be stuck with the same exercises all the time, change, rotate. Don't let your body get used to the same movements but maintain your exercises effective all the time.
9. Go to Failure Once in a While
Not all the time, but usually going to muscle failure is very useful. It means that you need to load weights that allow you to do a certain number of reps and not one more than that.
you can go to failure with 5 reps but also with 20 reps. In the first case if you try to do the 6th you wouldn't be able to, same thing if you try the 21st in the second case.
10. Pre Workout and Post Workout Shakes
Basically you need good amount of energy before workout, and something to recover fast after.
I drink a weight gainer shake before workout (lots of calories), or an energy drink (that I take with me during workout as well).
After workout it's recommended to take protein shake. It's proven that taking whey protein within one hour from your workout is much more effective than taking it after two or more hours.
The purpose is to avoid catabolism. Amino acids (BCAA) are also recommended after workout.
11. Drink Lots of Water
Our body is made mainly of water. Muscles do not develop well without enough water either.
Especially on workout days, one of the workout tips is to drink plenty of water to help get rid of the toxins in the body (lactic acid for example).
12. Lift Heavy Weights
It is better to do low reps and lift heavy weights rather than high reps and lower weights if you want to build muscle mass.
Strength and muscle mass are directly related, you don't build big muscles if you don't lift heavy weights, period.
This is also one of those workout tips that will benefit your testosterone production, since it's recommended to lift heavy weights to boost testosterone.
13. Prefer Free Weights if You Can
A bodybuilding master would also tell you to use free weights only for bench press, squats, deadlifts, shoulder press etc.
The reason is that when you use free weights you need to use more secondary muscles to balance your movements.
With machines you target only specific muscles, but they are safer.
I personally like machines too, but I agree that free weights give you better results faster.
14. Keep the Tension in Your Muscles During Workout
Two more things to know:
- When you compress the muscles during exercise, stop when you're 95% done
- When you lower the weights, stop when you're 5%
Example: when you do bench press and lift the barbell, don't extend your arms completely (avoid locking your elbows), and when you lower it, don't go so low that you touch your chest with it.
Did you know these workout tips? I didn't, at the beginning. I thought the wider the range, the better.
But after I learned that keeping muscle tension is very important because you should never relax your muscles during exercise.
It's also safer because you avoid the risk of pulling some muscles and injuring the joints.
15. Healthy Diet and No Alcohol
More than workout tips, these are good sense tips to preserving your body and avoid wasting hours and hours of hard work at the gym.
If you workout hard and then go eat garbage, what's the point?
If you try to boost testosterone and then get drunk, well there's something wrong with you.
16. Get Some Good Sleep and Rest
Last but not least of my workout tips, is rest.
Training well is super important, and resting is as much as important.
Our body recovers during sleep, and that's when the muscles repair and grow stronger and bigger.
If you train the same muscle before it's completely healed you don't do anything good to yourself because you don't let it repair and grow.
If you're not doing it yet, try following these simple workout tips and take before and after pictures, and see the difference.
Like the header of this websites says: train hard, eat right, sleep well!
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