When was the last time you actually made some progression in the gym? Honestly? When was the last time you increased your weights? Tried a new exercise or mixed up your reps and sets scheme?
If you haven’t done any of the above, if you’re finding you’re not getting the results you want…I think it’s time you made some changes.
To help you make these changes and see some serious muscle gain, take a look at these three proven, none BS methods for developing strength and improving body composition.
Do More Sets and Fewer Reps
For anyone who doesn’t work with a trainer, the most common thing to do is performing approximately 10 – 12 reps for 3 sets.
Shake up your training and shock your body into adapting quickly – Instead, change it up to 5-8 sets of 5-8 reps.
If your main goal is to get stronger, choose fewer reps per set and go heavy – Start with 5 sets of 5 reps.
Doing more sets with fewer reps per set allows you to lift more total weight and studies show these training schemes typically produce significantly greater strength and body composition benefits than if you do fewer sets but more reps per set. It’s also a great way to avoid boredom in the gym.
Free Weights vs Machines
Research shows that you get a better hormonal response to training when you lift with free weights instead of machines.
Studies show that men who squat with a barbell produced much more growth hormone and testosterone during the workout than those who did a machine squat.
A better hormonal response will benefit both men and women to gain more strength and improve body composition.
Although there are some great assisted machines out there, when starting out, go for the free weights section.
Chase Compound Gains
Lifts that work multiple muscle groups at once, such as the deadlift, squat, press, row and chin-up, are known as compound lifts that recruit a lot of muscle mass at once making for efficient training. They also cause a big release of hormones, such as testosterone, which again promotes both muscle mass growth and fat loss.
Research shows that for body composition especially, lower body and total body lifts are the way to go.
If you’re never give split squats, squats, or deadlifts a go and only play around with chest and back exercises…you are missing out.
Shaun Estrago, Personal Trainer at UP Marbella