After a few discussions with some of you fine gentlemen in the comments sections of previous Facebook post, I’ve decided to deviate away from my normal ridiculous articles and be slightly more informative. But only slightly. I am just another gym bro after all.
I’m not a master in the study of human physiology nor am I am expert in sports science. I can only give you advice on things in which I have tried myself. This article isn’t focusing on powerlifting, crossfit, aerobic work, or sports specific type of stuff. This is aimed towards bodybuilding workouts and getting the most out of your gym sessions to improve your physique. Some entries may seem to contradict other ones but that is because these are things to incorporate into a workout, not be in every workout.
So based on my personal experiences in the gym, here are some tips on how to really maximize your performance during training sessions and truly get the most out of your time.
In no particular order:
Explosive pause reps
A good way to switch things up is by changing the technique in which you lift. I’m going to use bench pressing as an example but you can incorporate this method with most lifts. After unracking the weight bring the bar down to your chest very slowly. Once it’s on your chest pause and hold it for a few seconds. Then, as hard as you can, push the weight up with more explosive power than your ass after a midnight taco bell binge. I recommend using a light weight for this but using heavy weight is great if you have a spotter.
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Building explosive strength is a great way to improve how much weight you can ultimately lift. The one main thing you must focus on though is keeping complete control throughout the lift.
This is why I recommend lifting light for such movements. Once you are more experienced you can apply this method to heavy lifting. Make sure to switch things up and use this technique from time to time rather than on a regular basis. If you lift like this every session your body will quickly adapt and yield less positive results from it
Other great explosive lifts worth incorporating into your training would be jump squats, snatches, the clean and jerk, and muscle ups. Be careful though as there is more risk of injury in explosive training. Just watch the Crossfit Games if you don’t believe me
If you go to the gym enough chances are pretty good you may have experienced chafing during your workout. Whether it’s your thighs rubbing together, your balls sticking to your legs, or just severe swamp ass, it can be really distracting. If you have to constantly adjust yourself or you find yourself thinking more about your moist nutsack instead of your set, you probably aren’t getting the best focus needed for your workout.
I apologize to the few ladies reading this in that I don’t have much advice for you in this regard. I don’t know if you women even have the chafing problem. Maybe some find their beef curtains rub together and cause irritation, but what could you do about that? I imagine you couldn’t use any powders down there. Probably would clump up and be like baking a loaf of sourdough bread in the ol’ hot box. Sorry, I’m getting a bit off topic
I recommend for the fellas to use some simple baby powder or something similar. Can make a world of difference in comfort. No need going through a workout with a raw taint.
We all know we are suppose to stretch, but damn it all to hell if stretching doesn’t suck more members than a groupie at a Wu-Tang Clan reunion show. Before a workout you should use a dynamic stretching routine. It’s very important to get blood flowing to all of your muscles and loosen your joints up. A good dynamic stretch session should be 10-15 minutes long. Just enough to get thoroughly warmed up. Focus more on the muscle groups you plan on working that day, but don’t ignore the rest of your body. I prefer this type of warmup over pre lifting cardio.
After your workout you should do a lengthy static stretching session. I’m talking like 45 minutes minimum of hardcore stretching. You may not have time, and you probably won’t do it, but if you do, you are sure to reap massive benefits. Most of you would rather tongue kiss Dan Aykroyd one time than stretch for an hour every single day. I don’t blame you. You are reading this because you are interested in getting the most out of yourself though. It’s not going to be easy. It’s amazing how much better you will perform with increased flexibility. And I’m not just talking about in the gym. *Creepy wink and mustache stroke.*
Much like powdering your danger zone, wearing the right underwear is very important for comfort. I’m sure these entries come off as weird but trust me, you can train much better if you wear the right attire. I prefer wearing compression shorts when I train.
Nothing more bothersome than accidently doing helicopter dick on the treadmill or catching your man giblets with the bar during deadlifts. Side note: Helicopter dick should only be performed in specific social settings and the proper romantic situations.
Okay, back to the topic of the actual act of lifting weights. I constantly switch up my lifting routine. Whether it be using drop sets, split sets, or changing around exercises, I find as a drug free athlete that pyramid lifting really helps to maximize my gains.
If you are natural you most likely will respond better to lifting heavier weights at a lower rep range. You will build better strength and muscle density. Many pro bodybuilders on the other hand tend to use light weight and high reps in developing muscle size as that creates better hypertrophy for them.
Everyone responds differently to certain types of training and that’s why pyramid lifting can be so useful. You start off lifting light weight for high reps then after every set you raise the weight until you eventually near your max. After you reach your max you lower the weight every set until you reach the point in which you started from.
You not only get in a high volume of reps to burn the muscle out, but you do not sacrifice gaining strength in doing so. I can’t say this method will work for everyone, but I believe it’s worth a shot. After you find the weight to rep ranges that work for you, you can customize this style to make the most of your workout. (Such as starting with slightly heavier and only working up to 80% of your max before going back down.)
A quick example from one of my squat sessions would be starting off squatting 225 lbs for 15 reps. Doing 245 for 10 reps. 265 for 6-10. 285 for 5-8 reps. 315 for 5. Then start back down at 285 for 5, 265 for 8, 245 for 10, 225 for 10, then finish with 135 lbs for 20 reps.
In this example I didn’t go near my max and went well below my starting weight. This used enough strength and volume to thoroughly work my legs though. The next week I switch it all up again so my legs don’t get use to the same routine. (By the way those squats are my first leg exercise. Try dropping some heat in the bathroom after one of those workouts. It’s not pleasant trying to sit on the toilet when you have young Forrest Gump legs going on.)
. One thing I see most in the gym is ego lifting. Guys more focused on lifting heavy weight than they are with building up their physique. That’s fine if you are a powerlifter or strength/sports specific athlete. If you are a bodybuilder though you need to check your ego at the door and drop that weight dramatically. I watched a few Kai Greene videos on his method of training and he is a firm believer in using light weight high rep training. His focus is more about form and muscle contraction. You can lift heavy but if you want to really isolate a specific muscle or muscle group, you need to change the way you train
I’m just as guilty as anyone else when it comes to lifting heavy. I feel like if I’m not throwing up at least 225 lbs on the bench then I’m not really working hard. Well recently I have finally decided to suck it up and try some “light” training. I might not love grapefruits as much as Kai Greene, but I do share the same passion in improving my physique.
My last chest day I worked with 95 lbs on the incline bench and never raised it higher. Flat bench I used 115 lbs no more no less. I really thought this was going to be a huge fail because that is petite grandma weight. I stuck it out though to fully give this method a chance.
I focused on lowering the weight slowly, pausing at the bottom, using a slow controlled pace to push it up, and squeezing the muscle as hard as I could at the top. I topped out at 15 reps for each set and holy shit, my man tits were sore as fuck the next day. My pecs were more sore than Justin Biebers face would be after a redneck gun bash.
I’m not going to lift like this every training session, but I will definitely throw this kind of workout in once every few weeks. I think I’m going to try this light weight, high rep, muscle contraction style as my first and last set of each exercise in my pyramid sessions. Also you should obviously focus on muscle contraction no matter what kind of bodybuilding workout you are doing. That’s the whole point of lifting weights. It’s just easier to focus on a single muscle or muscle group when you go light. Also you need to remember, most normal people can’t workout like an elite pro bodybuilder. Natural athletes build muscle better by constantly increasing strength through heavy weight training. It’s just good to focus on light lifting occasionally.
Cardio after your workout.
I find that even if I’m completely exhausted after a hardcore lifting session, I can still manage to hop on the treadmill for 20 minutes. It’s very important to keep your conditioning up and avoid gaining too much fat.
A lot of guys do their cardio before they lift. If that works for you great, but it hurts my performance. I’ve read a few studies that state doing strenuous cardio can inhibit muscle growth and make you lift less. You just gotta see what works for you. If you want to have a great physique though, don’t skip the cardio. Even just a little is better than none.
When i use the treadmill I prefer starting off with a fast paced jog. Every 30 seconds I raise the speed on the treadmill one mph. Once I reach the highest speed of a full on sprint, I work my way back down every 30 seconds until I’m at my starting speed. Then I just finish the run at a fast paced jog. I feel this burns a lot more calories and shortens the time needed on cardio.
Reduce the frequency of your training.
This may sound counterproductive but if you are a natural, you most likely will benefit from working out less and resting more. I use to be a 5 days a week minimum type of lifter. I gained a good bit of strength that way but after a few years I realized I wasn’t gaining much size.
I’m sure I will get some hate for this from the super “alpha males” with the skinny fat physiques and severe pre-workout addiction, (weed and Mountain Dew.) but hear me out. When I was younger I believed the more you went to the gym the more gains you would get. I also believed spending a lot of money on fancy creatine, pre-workout powders and mass gainers was going to help make me get yoked as fuck. (You don’t need them.) So let me explain why you most likely don’t need to train more than three days a week and why in doing so it does not indeed mean you wear your girlfriends panties.
I’ve cut my training down from five to seven days a week to three days max. Every Saturday is leg day, followed by one or two days off. Then I will do chest and back followed by another one or two days off. All my other workouts follow this with Saturday leg day being the only set day that I won’t take off. Sometimes I will lift friday and Saturday back to back but that’s usually rare. I’ve found that the extra time off to recover has dramatically improved my workouts. Not only are my training sessions much more intense now, but I have gained a significant amount of muscle in a relatively short time period.
When you are constantly going to the gym you are not giving your body the time it needs to heal and actually build up the muscle. As with all things there are (natural) people who can exercise every day without fatigue ever setting in. If you are one of those people consider yourself lucky. There is a reason why the golden age bodybuilders only trained three times a week. It’s one of the best ways to build muscle, help be more strict with your diet, and properly recover.
Don’t listen to the natty YouTube fitness guys that tell you to lift everyday to get huge. Most of those guys do something else entirely to get “huge” and it involves being poked in the ass with more than the occasional shot of PenisCillin These guys can lift every day because they run through more gear than a Tour de France bike. I find it very irresponsible that they preach such garbage to natural athletes when most of them probably don’t bust their ass at a 9-
5 job, have top notch diets that most can’t afford, and have the time to train whenever they want. If you want to get the most out of yourself don’t listen to some of the things these morons preach when they will say you are being lazy for not going to the gym daily. You aren’t lazy, you are working smart. There’s a certain piano player that’s quite popular these days and he lifts daily. He also admits to juicing and does not recommend natural athletes to train like that. So what’s that tell you?
Eat the right foods.
This is pretty self explanatory. If you eat the right foods you will maximize your performance in the gym. Since I started lifting in the evenings I can’t use caffeine before a workout. I rely on the right combination of foods for the energy to get the most out of a training session. I find the right combination of carbohydrates, protein, and sodium eaten during the day can help give an amazing pump in the gym. Just tinker with what combination of food get you the best results.
Also, don’t be that ass clown who eats a big mac and chicken nuggets as a pre workout meal. Sometimes my mouth is open during a lift and nothing ruins a set faster than some nasty fuck face shitting his pants every five seconds in the gym. Your shitty gas causing diet shouldn’t be negatively affecting my workout. Stupid cunt face. I imagine it isn’t doing you any favors in the gym either. As to why I mentioned my mouth being opened: You ever breath in someone else’s ass exhaust? You can practically taste it in the air. Like overcooked meatloaf covered in vomit. That would gag a maggot.
Properly timed rest periods between sets.
If you listen to a maniac like C.T. Fletcher you may believe your rest period between sets shouldn’t last longer than 30 seconds. Well if you follow everything he says you will probably end up in a hospital with torn biceps and a flaming bent dick.
Rest periods really vary on what kind of lifting you do. If you are lifting very heavy I recommend taking up to two minutes between sets to fully regain your strength and muscle composure. If you are lifting light you can get away with much less rest but I still recommend about a minute between sets. You want to get the most out of your session, not stop a few reps short of what you are capable of simply because of exhaustion. If your aim is to keep your heart rate up and burn fat then you may want to adjust your rest to 45 seconds or so. A good rule of thumb for strength training is to wait until your heart rate goes back near normal before starting your next set.
All of these entries are ways to maximize your performance and results in the gym but like I always say, everybody is different. What works for me might not work for you. The best thing to do is experiment with different things and figure out what works and what doesn’t. And for the love of Bill Goldberg, keep your balls dry.
What kind of training do you guys prefer? Are there any things you would add to this list?
Author: Caleb James for BroScience