You start naive, then resolve to commit. Once you start, you only see the positive aspects but there is more to it “the process”. It takes time, however we achieved effective training – train twice a week, get fit. Finally we can close this concept and focus on new projects.
If you decide to get fit, you should do it right as you invest in your health which is a long-term investment and will affect your quality of living. The best reasonable way is to incline to lifting weights as you can both build lean muscles and conditioning, thus get stronger and more productive with instant feedback and it is safe as well (the more you lift on big five while keep intensity up, the better). Although, lifting weights is not everything as there is the food and lifestyle but the more you lift with intense training the more muscles you build, so the more glycogen you can store up from food and burn more calories you consume. Also, you get much more active which results in more calories burnt off for more muscles, the more energy you got.
There are two ways to stimulate muscle hypertrophy (the growth). You either get stronger (increase the weights) or improve your conditioning through pump (go to failure with lower weights). You decide, whether it is better for you to focus more on conditioning (pump) or strength (weights). I recommend to focus on both, especially when interested in new project “complete athlete”, as both strength and conditioning are detrimental factor to perform well. It will also affect how fast you get fit efficiently.
Anyway, you create stress on your body which is in line with homeostasis (train twice a week for one hour session). You need to recover from it and it takes time for your body to get fit and strong so you will logically keep on increasing the weight. There is another point worth mentioning, to make effective fitness work, you need to train predominantly with 75% of your maximal weight on each exercise so if you imagine it, there are 5 exercises and 4 sets with heavy enough weight and 30s-60s intensity, which could be enriched by other exercises that makes you stronger on big five exercises.
There are always milestones you need to reach. Your body and your mind is a tool that needs to keep on developing. The same thing will not work too long. Always look for ways to improve: be it lifestyle, food or workout. If you have been progressive on all these spheres, you wonder what could be done next. There we go, your promised tactics on progression while training twice a week.
Keep increasing the weights: You look different and do much more when you can step up your workout game. Lifting 100 kg and 150 kg in same intensity and reps count will get you closer towards your goals. Starting with big five exercises (check the previous post) will get you to a point where it is hard to find a motivation as your progress stumbles (cannot lift more or do the same reps count when weight increased). As Jay Cutler (4x Mr. Olympia) said, “progress is motivating factor“, you need to find a way how to stay motivated and the increased weight is definitely the motivating factor because you get closer to your goal. However, if the weights do not go up, what then?
So, the real question is, how to keep on lifting more while keep intensity up to benefit from two types of hypertrophy (pump, raised weights)? The more you lift, especially when intense the less work you need to execute to maintain your fitness. Now it is hard to stay motivated as all you need to do is few heavy-intense sets once or twice a week and you still fit – set new goals, make variations.
Add complementary exercises/isolations: Doing so, you should choose them wisely so you can get stronger on big five. Start light, get heavier. Check the attachments on the bottom with the exercises and workouts I have been through and benefited from. Your body is growing stronger with time, doing 5 exercises might not be enough and you find yourself finishing your workout in 30-40 minutes. Leaving you up to 15 minutes extra time for exercising plus you are already warmed up so take advantage of it. These exercises should be always placed in the end to sustain safer and effective workout. The reason for that is simple, you got more strength in the beginning, use it for what matters the most (big 5) plus when starting with isolations you can overpower it and get injured.
Reps and sets: To lift more, sometimes you need to decrease the pressure. It is good to remind that hypertrophy is achieved from at least 60% of your maximal weight and from 6 reps up. You simply increase the weight where you could do 6 reps until you can reach 10 or 12 so you can raise it again or add more sets. The same thing you can do with number of sets. There should be at least 3 sets. I often find it as a mental breakdown. if you can overcome it and lift that increased weight you return to 4 sets and more reps. Why this works? you save up more strength to decrease the tension and you will feel it and you will do it. The other option could be going to failure with lighter weight (60% of RM).
Change everything: There are two ways to it: change the order of exercises or supplement them with similar ones. Machines are safer, especially when beginner or when increasing the weight. Also, you do not need anyone backing you up – not that it is a bad decision. Recently, started to substitute big five exercises with own-weight exercises but using the weights like pull up for pull down with weights on the belt or just stay with fitness do seated leg press instead of squats. Changing the order is another great solution, as your body gets used to same stress, same routine. Usually, start the workout with one exercise I want to improve on (more strength in beginning). Check once again in the bottom the attachment on supplementary exercises. You could also use dips belt to add some weights and focus more on motion instead of machines or other triceps exercises.
Supersets/drop sets: As mentioned earlier, muscle fatigue is important (mostly pump). Resolving to super sets is, especially effective when you want to cut out. You might get frustrated that, you get weaker, therefore would suggest more “drop set and focus more on food”. If supersets, you need to decrease the weights and do 3-4 sets straightaway no pauses, except for the weight change. When on drop set, you could do 3 heavy sets and the last one with lower weight. It depends on your strength & working capacity, usually go with 60% of RM (repetition maximum) and less. You basically take advantage of both tactics with drop set.
Compression: Training in tight jeans is bit more strange but got it tried out just once and made a new PR (personal record). Wraps, tight clothes and even hoodie on keeps you warm and flexed which is needed to avoid injuries, get more strength and energy through keeping muscles and joints warm. Having tight clothes keep you warm and avoid excessive perspiration to keep you hydrated, thus keep performance high. I find it also very useful when injured even though it sounds dumb to train when injured but pushing to limits sometimes bring slight injuries on the way – cannot lie to you it is not for everyone cause it becomes your lifestyle. If you want to get fit, you need results and to have results, you need to be committed. When wrist, shoulder or knee was amiss, wraps helped a great deal even, there was a case when hit my PR. For example, lifting belt is normal bodybuilding accessory that will help you a great deal in squats and deadlifts. To be effective, it also means to make smart purchases. The belt and two octopus wraps (how I call it) for knee holds not just fine but also could be easily used for elbows and wrists – sometimes, even do ankles just before sleep to pump more blood after releasing from pressure.
Grip: it is all about tighter grip so you make more tension in order to safely lift more. You could use either liquid chalk (cheap, 2 pieces and working its magic) or some weightlifting gloves as raising weights is all about this small details. If you know that, all preparation has been done, the more focused you get and more likely succeed on that lift.
Empty stomach: When you get to the point you cannot progress, recommend you empty stomach training. Was really hard to imagine, less harder to perform – if you have a decent bodybuilding lifestyle preferably sleep early and wake up early you can accelerate metabolism even more when training in the morning and help you fall asleep earlier if that is your goal that does not come along. Most people forget how muscles work, you need to create more stress and recover from it in order to build muscles, conditioning and strength. This might sound like a suicide but that is why, it is called a long-term process, first your body needs to recover from it and adjust to new stress (more demanding). Got surprised that, could actually train more focused and execute the whole training even though recommend start with lighter weights and intensity plus I would not really do it as a beginner type of training (it is a big stress after all, first thing in the morning, no food and you expect a lot). My favorite athlete who does so or did so is Rich Froning who was fittest man on Earth many times. He did not even eat after that training. Recommend his book, very inspiring and nice insight into what it takes to be the fittest man. To add up, what does not kill you makes you stronger or the more you can actually perform or lift on empty, the logically more you can do after meal.
Focus: train whole body once a week – The biggest breakthrough in strength training happened when, decided to train whole body not twice a week but once instead, although splitted that one workout into two workouts to make it progressive enough and all that because you can focus more as it gets harder with increasing weights while intensity up. It was also possible because you could add some more assisting exercises with that empty space after whole workout got split in two. You can also return to old trainings, variation is important as your body gets used to old stress. It is relevant to sustain the main principles that makes it all work and that are big five exercises and their improvement while maintaining 30-60s intensity where 60% of your RM and up. Everything other should only complement. Another great point is that, you do not seem to fall behind as you lift more and conditioning is still there for you still train twice a week but just whole body once a week.
Hard decisions: You probably have different dreams or values but whether you resolve to effective training or any type of training to get your deep desires (to get fit) come true, you need to sacrifice some things in the process but you can still make it enjoyable and more fun. You cannot be the same, it takes more to stay progressive, every decision matters. The biggest issue is definitely the focus – you need to make your surrounding revolve around you in some way. You also think differently, when in the beginning of the process and years later. If you get so far, when you start lifting 200% of your body weight, you can either decide to maintain or top that. So, if you get to this point of effective fitness, you need to make everything revolve around your training, eating which does not take much as you know but you cannot stay long up (best regeneration between 10 P.M. and 2 A.M.), when drinking alcohol only during a day, not after your training or on training day and you need to invest more in regeneration process as you find yourself more hurt after those trainings. So, your life is simple, you live for the progress but that is not so easy in reality for life does not revolve around you. You need to decide what you exactly want and how much you want it because it will determine the scale of your decisions. To me, the whole concept of effective training is finished but want to use it to a new goal “complete athlete” for these two years not much to do just school, trainings and competitions. Competing definitely requires giving 100 % which means things have to be done differently (decided to give it two years even if, it is hard and feel like in the beginning of the process where you analyze everything because you must open your mind to new strategies).
Rituals: Used to smoke and drink a lot years ago like any other normal teeneger or young adults, find it alright to use snus before gym not for the energy it goes well with a good pre-workout and music. Sometimes, you need to become a beast in order to get your workout done. Snus helps me to calm down and increase the focus, thus you get most out of your preworkout and music. Find something that makes you train more heavy & intense so you have a great workout all the time as training twice a week is kind of best solution for reaching your goals, if you train twice a week, you have no other choice than get the job done. One wasted training you lost whole week. Simply, there is no other way – you start naive but then you realize all it takes is to get committed.
Supplements: Tried herbalife but find it too expensive and ineffective for effective training. Would only dedicate to transparentlabs for their transparency policy to save you trouble with anti-doping on competitions and also got very great knowledge in the field. You can just see it based on what they offer not much only the most important goods for bodybuilders and athletes, thus you do not spend money on irrelevant supps. They also have a great affiliate program with lots of discounts, the only downsides are duties when living outside of USA – cannot wait to move there next year and make my next purchase to get all the supps needed to achieve big progress. I also take best peanut butter so far from GymBeam which is fast growing fitness brand in Europe. You can also get lots of quality stuffs affordably there. Usually get 1 kg of peanut butter under 10 euros which is awesome – so keep updated there on discounts.
Train 3 times a week? There is a lot of information and options to process and consider, you really feel like in the beginning. It is going to take a time to process and decide what to keep and what to forget for the rest of your life. You would go crazy to keep all that flow and information in your head. Sooner or later, you are going to know it. However, seriously has been considering 3 trainings a week to fit the needs of becoming a complete athlete to be competitive enough. you need to raise your standards even though you remain effective. As mentioned earlier, there is only school to attend to so 3 training days could be possible and lot more changes needs to be undertaken which you will find out later. there is also a great book in attachments on how to successfully undertake the change which is needed to become more serious about your training and life goals.
Check the attachments and make the difference. The next post will be revealing more about the goals in 2020 so stay tuned and lots of luck, cheers!
check new video on youtube for insight in my training – more diverse and fun 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjOrQyv6lz4