Are you struggling to make gains at the same rate you used to? Maybe your lifts aren’t increasing nearly as fast (or at all) and now you are blaming your genetics. Before you take steroids, or worse – give up bodybuilding – there are some things you can do to get the momentum going again. Check out the article below for 6 tips on how to crank your training up a notch and make more gains.
1) Incorporate Explosive Movements
Not every exercise you do needs to be slow and controlled. If you have been doing the same routine with the usual rep range and tempo it might be time for you to spice things up a bit. This is where explosive movements such as cleans, box jumps and kettlebell swings can help you. These exercises are likely very different from what your body is used to which will help shock the muscles. Additionally, because these movements help build explosive strength it will help you on other exercises. Just make sure that you don’t pick a weight that is too heavy and leaves you using bad form which will just lead to injury.
2) Train More Often
Performing different exercises isn’t the only way to shock your muscles. If you usually train 3x per week on the same days, try mixing things up a bit. Add in an extra workout per week and change the split. For example, if your current plan involves training each muscle once per week, try training them twice per week combined with another muscle group. Over the course of a year that will result in twice as much attention for the muscle and could be just what you need to get your body growing again. That doesn’t mean you should do twice the number of sets you currently do – simply split the 16 sets you currently do over two workouts instead of one. The exercises you perform later in the workout in particularly will benefit as the muscle will be more fresh when you do it under the new twice per week system.
3) Simplify Your Routine
How many exercises do you perform for each muscle group? If you are like most guys a trip to the gym can involve doing as many as 10 different exercises. Think back to your most recent workout and ask yourself – how many of those exercises were actually effective? For how many of them were you simply going through the motions?
Despite what you might think, quantity doesn’t necessarily equal more growth. Just because you hit your biceps from 7 different angles doesn’t mean they will grow any faster. In fact, you are far better off focusing on the fewer exercises that actually work for you. Obviously over time these exercises will change as your body gets used to them.
For your next workout, try to limit your training to 4-5 exercises per muscle group and focus on performing them with intensity. The added benefit of this style of training is that your workouts will be a lot shorter leaving you with more time in the day to do other things.
4) Take a Testosterone Booster
Most guys know that having high testosterone levels equals faster muscle growth. However, did you know that having high t-levels also means greater strength, more energy and better workouts? Despite the fact that most guys are aware of the benefits, very few put much effort into increasing their testosterone production. Yes, lifting weights and eating a clean diet are a good start, but there is one more step – taking a testosterone booster.
Testosterone boosting products are hitting the market in droves as people are beginning to wake up to their benefits. Obviously there is a lot of crap out there but the high quality products will use natural ingredients that are scientifically proven to boost testosterone production. As a result, they help you build more mass while keeping bodyfat levels to a minimum. These products aren’t cheap, but if they result in faster gains we feel they are well worth the cost. To help you figure out which product is right for you, we have created a guide to choosing the best testosterone booster. Click here to check out our special page on testosterone boosting supplements.
5) Fix Your Form
Lifting heavy weights isn’t done to impress other dudes in the gym – it’s done to build mass. Unfortunately, most guys forget this and are too focused on maxing out every machine in the gym. It’s no surprise that most of them are slow to make gains or even end up injured. The reason? They completely neglect form.
Do a quick YouTube search on “Gym fails” or “bad form” and you will find tons of cringe-worthy videos of guys butchering their form on major lifts. Notice how a lot of these guys don’t even look like they lift? If you are struggling to make gains, take some time to reduce the weight you are lifting and fix up your form. Yes we know, it sucks to lift lighter weights but in the long run it will lead to more gains and reduced risk of injury.
6) Get Plenty of Rest
Do you know when you produce the most testosterone? No, it’s not when you are banging your girlfriend or doing your 1RM bench press. It happens when you are sleeping. If you are frequently getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night you are not giving your body enough time to produce enough of this crucial hormone. In other words, you are robbing your body of gains.
In addition to getting plenty of sleep, make sure you are giving your body time to recover between sets. While some guys might be ready for set # 2 after 30 seconds, others might need longer. If you are reducing your rest periods in order to squeeze in more exercises, or to reduce the length of your workout you are making a huge mistake. Listen to your body – if it’s telling you it needs more recovery time then give yourself some more time.