Are you failing to get the strength training results you are looking for? If so, you could be trying too hard and it’s time to go ‘back to basics’. From keeping a training log to taking to the hills, check out the following five simple but effective training strategies designed to garner maximum results.
Add weights slowly
It can be tempting to try and outdo the guy lifting weights next to you at the gym but going too heavy for too long can have a negative effect on your training programme, resulting in your strength gain reaching an optimum that you struggle to improve.
Instead, add weights gradually. The general rule of thumb, is to do main lifts using 10% less than the maximum weight you can lift for the given rep range.
Eat the right diet
If you’re serious about strength training and improving your strength, you’ll need to think long and hard about your diet. Failing to eat the right foods can result in recovery between training sessions being slower, negatively impacting your muscle mass, energy levels and ultimately strength.
Protein, carbohydrates and fats are all vital elements in the diet of those partaking in high volume, high intensity strength training.
Many deliberately opt for a diet that is low in carbs, high in fat and has medium protein to help preserve muscle mass, reduce hunger and aid weight loss. However, there are also some potential drawbacks of such a diet, namely negatively affecting mood and cognitive functions, the immune system, energy levels and hydration, to mention just several.
Anyone serious about strength training should eat a sensible diet that is rich in carbs, protein and with some fats. They should stick to high-quality, preferably non-processed food and seek medical advice before they embark on any specific diet.
Keep a training log
If you’re striving for more noticeable results, it’s time to start making a training log. This easy and inexpensive training tool shows you, at a glance, whether you’re making progress.
Keep the training log simple, noting the date, exercises performed, weight lifted, details of sets and reps and rest intervals between sets. Jotting down what hurt is also useful, as if when you are experiencing pain on a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being maximum pain.
On each entry, aim to beat the last entry in terms of weight lifted, the numbers of sets and rests and the pain threshold. This way, you will have detailed evidence of your training progress.
Make hill running is part of your regime
Cardio exercise is important for being lean and fit but overdoing the cardio can increase the hormones that break down muscle tissue, doing little in your quest for strength gain. Taking to the hills and doing short bursts of hill training will make your stronger whilst getting fitter and leaner.
Avoid overdoing it
For maximum results on the weights, avoid overdoing it and keep workouts short. Sticking to the optimum three or four lifts per workout will mean you take advantage of hormonal surges and carry out optimum workouts without running the risk of overdoing it.
Follow these five simple yet effective strength training strategies and you’ll be on your way to garnering maximum results.
This blog post was written by Hadyn Luke, Director of CMS Fitness Courses. CMS Fitness Course is recognised as a premium provider of health and fitness courses that offer a variety of commercial and government-funded training programmes for people of varying ages and backgrounds across Yorkshire.