How to Take Your Workouts to the Next Level
Sticking with the same training program for a long time is a sure shot way of hitting a plateau and stalling your gains. Whether you are training just to stay in shape or become Mr. Olympia, you should want to do the most to achieve your goals. To get the most out of your workouts, your training techniques should develop and advance with you. Changes in training are something that can be extremely beneficial to your gains.
Improving your physique with every passing year is a constant quest for which you’ll have to work hard. As the Godfather of Bodybuilding himself (Arnold Schwarzenegger) said, you have to shock the muscle. Shocking your muscles is the only way to make them grow. If you follow the same training program in every workout, your muscles can get used to them and will refuse to grow.
What is Shocking the Muscle?
Shocking the muscle is a term that essentially means you are hitting it in a way that it is not expecting as a result of changes in training. Muscles adapt to the same training regimens when they are done over and over again. For example, if you hit the same chest exercises every Monday with the same weights, your body becomes used to it, your muscles expect it and won’t adapt and grow.
Instead, you should adopt changes in your training. Hit different exercises each week, different weights, etc. Don’t worry, we are about to dive in.
Advanced Training Techniques
Advanced training techniques are changes in your training that you adopt as you get more into it. Some advanced training techniques are things like the super, drop, giant, rest-pause sets, forces, cheat, 21 reps. Methods like these are a great way to shock your muscles and force them into growing, they have no choice. As you get advanced, you’ll have to be on the lookout for how to incorporate changes in your training and make your workouts harder.
Bodybuilders are always chasing the pump and you should be willing to leave your comfort zone and try new things. Changing the rep tempos and ranges and increasing the time under tension can do wonders for your muscle growth.
New Training Equipment
Use of new training equipment can be instrumental in sparking new muscle growth. Using an arm blaster, fat grips for your arm workouts can make your bicep and triceps blow up like there’s no tomorrow. You can try elastic bands for supersets or adding resistance, or using assistance tools like slingshots, knee sleeves, elbow sleeves can take your workouts to a whole new level.
As stated before, if you have been working out using the same pieces of equipment for awhile, your body might get familiar with the machines and won’t grow as efficiently as you can. Changing gyms can help ignite muscle gains as the ergonomics of the machines will be new for your body. Your body will not be expecting it and muscle fibers will be broken down in a way that they never were before, meaning they will grow back bigger and stronger, thanks to your changes in training.
Change Training Splits
We have heard it all before, “every day is arm day”, “Monday is chest day”, “I don’t do legs“. While this is the gym bro standard, it may not be the best for gaining strength and size, and certainly don’t skip leg day. Switching up your training days can be a good method of throwing some changes into your training.
For example, if you train your chest on the international chest day, i.e. Monday, move it to the end of the week. Doing this can keep your muscles guessing.
You could also train two muscles groups in a single workout. Training two muscles in a single day allow you to train one muscle group twice a week which is a great way of bringing up lagging muscles. There are so many different splits to try, some of the most popular include push, pull, legs and the Arnold split. Let’s look at these real quick.
Day 1: Chest, shoulders, triceps
Day 2: Back, rear delts, biceps
Day 3: Legs
Day 4: Rest
Day 1: Chest and back
Day 2: Shoulders and arms
Day 3: Legs
Repeat this for another 3 days
Day 7: Rest
While these are two popular examples of different training splits, there are so many ways you can mix and match routines to incorporate changes in your training.
Start a New Training Program
You’ll know your body is adapting to your training program when you it gets harder to obtain a good pump and see no positive changes in your muscles. Every training program intends to develop your muscles by following certain principles, but even so throwing in some changes in your training program can be very beneficial to your progress.
You can’t follow the same training program for building muscle, losing fat or toning your muscles and expect to see results. Make sure you don’t jump the gun and start an advanced program if you’re a beginner.
As you advance in your training, the time you spend in the gym shouldn’t increase. Most people think spending more time training will get them better results. Your muscles don’t grow while you’re working out, they develop when you’re resting and are following a good diet.
Incorporate advanced training techniques and make your workouts more intense so you can get a lot done in one hour at the gym. After the one hour mark, the time you spend in the gym will be inversely proportional to the effectiveness of your workout. Most people will do better by keeping their workouts short, intense and explosive.
All in all, there are numerous ways that you can put changes into your training and see some results. These can be changes to your rep ranges/tempos, weights, training equipment, routines, and so on. However, staying stagnant in your training will only lead to you staying stagnant in your results.
How will you adopt some changes into your training?