Training with weights is a grueling endeavor and takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice. To achieve the maximum results from your workouts, you must adhere to a specific regimen and stick with it. Depending on your objectives, follow these key tips for packing on heaps of muscle or enhancing your athletic performance.
1. Know your Training Goals
Select the training style that best fits your goals. For example, if you want to put on mass, you will need to perform more exercises per body part and lift heavier weights. For endurance sports like tennis and basketball, do higher reps. Write down your goals and find solutions to make sure you are successful.
2. Get Mentally Prepared
Psyche yourself up before your workout, regardless of the type of day you’ve had. Try to envision your muscles growing as you perform each movement. Don’t let anything distract you. Save the chatter for before and after your workouts.
3. Use Proper Form
Make sure you’re performing each exercise in the correct manner. Otherwise, your body will grow proportionally larger in certain areas. You also risk injuring muscles and tendons by executing the movements improperly. Ask a trainer if you are in doubt about specific movements. Use a mirror to better gauge correct form.
4. Hydrate your Body
Drink plenty of fluids while you’re working out. Your muscles are 75 percent water. At 2 percent hydration, you reduce performance 10 to 20 percent, according to Bodybuilding.com. You also risk getting headaches, digestive problems and fatigue.
5. Increase Food Intake and Rest
Eat five to eight small meals per day instead of the regular three. Your body needs more calories and protein when you work out. Eat lean proteins, fibrous and complex carbohydrates (i.e. green beans, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, potatoes) and healthy fats. Avoid empty-calorie foods like potato chips and cookies. Plan on getting eight or nine hours of sleep per night. Muscles grow during your rest periods, not at the gym.
6. Take Supplements
Drink an energy or carbohydrate supplement before you train to boost your stamina. Also, allow your body to recover after you work out. Start by drinking a protein shake or bar within 45 minutes of a training session. This stimulates insulin in your body, sending amino acids straight to the muscles. For peak results, consider taking muscle-building supplements from SDI Labs.
If you follow these basic guidelines, you will start seeing more results from your training. Track your results if you desire with a scale and measuring tape. Record your gains each month.