Getting started when it comes weight lifting is difficult, but once you are over the initial hump getting complacent can be easy. Many people continue to do the same exercises over and over again, yet wonder why they aren’t seeing progress.
If you want to take it to the next level, you are going to have to change up your routine, it is that simple. This means not only incorporating new exercises in to your routine, but also kicking up the intensity a notch as well.
Here is some essential advice that every weightlifter who wants to keep progressing needs to know:
New Takes On Old Exercises
The easiest way to see progress when it comes to your routine is to include some variation in to the old familiar exercises you usually do. Beginners are just looking to get the basic movement patterns down so that they can get a start on building muscle and strength.
As you progress further, you need to incorporate new equipment and techniques in to your routine to work the same muscle groups you’re used to working, just differently.
One important simple tool that every advanced fitness fanatic needs to know how to use is the dumbbell. Most everyone has used this piece of equipment but are unaware of how versatile it can be.
For example, the first exercise that comes to mind when most people think of the dumbbell are dumbbell curls. This is an exercise where you hold the weight with your palms facing outward, and you curl the weight upwards pivoting at the elbow.
This exercise is great for working the bicep but focuses more on the inner head than the outside head of the biceps. You can easily change this in to a new exercise by simply rotating your wrist 90 degrees to where the dumbbells are perpendicular to the floor.
The new exercise commonly referred to as hammer curls, works the outside head more and will help you to achieve that bigger more developed bicep everyone wants to have.
Dumbbells are a great alternative to both machines and the straight bar for other reasons as well. Machines control your range of motion not working the muscle to the full potential. Using straight bars usually leads to one arm or shoulder being stronger than the other due to favoritism of the dominant arm.
If you go to a gym, the next time you are looking to use a machine or piece of a equipment and it is occupied use the opportunity to try a new exercise or variation.
Learning new exercises and variations can help you eliminate all that downtime you have between exercises when you are just waiting to use a machines.
Isolate Each Muscle Group and Focus on One or Two Daily
Another good strategy to employ when it comes to increasing your results is to focus on one muscle group per day, but keep the duration of the exercise the same. What we mean by that is instead of doing say 2 chest exercises and 2 leg exercises for your routine, you should do 4 chest exercises instead.
Hit one muscle group extremely hard, yet only do so once a week instead of probably every other day like you did when you first started out.
If your chest exercise routine consisted of flat bench and flys, make sure to vary it up if you want to progress to the next level. The next time it is chest day try doing incline bench press, decline bench press, weighted pushups and bent over flys to switch things up.
When you really get the hang of things you can really start to maximize your efficiency when it comes to gains and time as well by incorporating combination exercises in to your routine.
This allows you to hit each muscle group twice a week which means more time spent on each group with less overall time spent at the gym.
The Number One Thing to Keep in Mind When it Comes to Gains-Challenge Yourself
The main idea here is to always keep challenging yourself. Your body is designed to adapt to change over time so exercises should become easier over time, it is a sign of your body becoming more efficient.
You need to change up your routine once you feel that you are becoming acclimated to the exercise. Keep challenging your body and you will continue to see change.