There are literally dozens of different ways to make your workouts more powerful and effective, and they all depend on what your goals may be. Whether you are looking to build muscle, get shredded, or just improve your overall endurance and stamina, every athlete knows that your body adapts to all the challenges you introduce. So, even if you do choose to add these tweaks into your routine, do expect that they will run their course, and soon you’ll need to think of new ways to challenge your body.
9 Part Guide to Bigger CHEST (if clicking doesn't work- right click and hit "Save link As")
Remember, the number of hours you spend in the gym say absolutely nothing of your potential results, hence the need to make the most of the time you spend bending that bar. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top five ways to make your lifting efforts more productive!Follow @AboutLifting
Think unilateral thoughts
We all know that true, raw strength is built only when you utilize your entire body, which means that bilateral movements definitely remain on the throne in that aspect of your training. However, significant muscular imbalances caused by our natural asymmetry and consistent preference for your “stronger” side can pose a risk for your health and slow down your progress.
Try to introduce both bilateral and unilateral movements into your routine, to create a better balance in your strength and muscle use throughout training. Excellent examples include lunges, Bulgarian split squats, the single arm bench press, dumbbell rows, and single arm dumbbell snatches.Follow @AboutLifting
Max out on free weights
Machines are every gym bro’s best friend in an attempt to impress the ladies, but in reality, they eliminate a significant portion of effort from your workout. When you focus on using free weights, you involve more stabilizing muscles, improve your core strength, and work with a greater challenge as opposed to using machines.
Don’t be that ego-driven dude who stacks extra weights on the smith machine to do the seated shoulder press. Start with fewer plates on the barbell and learn to do a perfect military press with free weights and slowly work your way up. Your entire body will be working throughout each rep, as opposed to working your shoulders with dumbbell flies, making your entire session infinitely more effective.
Pick the right gear
What’s the use of a perfectly designed training program if you never perform the movements correctly or utilize your muscles optimally? The aspect of training so many lifters tend to neglect is actually one of the defining moments in your routine, and that is choosing the right workout gear.
Comfort, safety, and optimal performance enable you to chase after that deadlift PR without worrying about a herniated disc, and wearing compression clothing paired with protective belts, wraps, and straps creates the right conditions to achieve that goal. Every ambitious lifter needs full range of motion, breathable clothes, and muscle support that can help even during the recovery process. Talk about improving your workouts even after you’re finished with your daily lifts!
Giant sets rule
Time is the one commodity you cannot afford to lose, and the era of single exercise sessions is long gone, replaced by merging as many movements as possible. For those working on gaining strength, combine your main lift with two complementary moves and an explosive core exercise before your rest period. This will help you add more volume to your workout and cut your time at the gym.
An entire training session created around giant sets is also beneficial for fat loss and hypertrophy, so you can target multiple goals in a single workout. Remember, the only rest you have between each exercise is only a few seconds, or just enough time to get ready to safely perform your next move.
Focus on compounds
Too many gym enthusiasts waste their precious time and energy on performing endless bicep curls, and no matter how mighty they make you feel, they have little purpose in a time-bound regime. If you have limited time to devote to your training, why not train several muscle groups, or better yet, your entire body with compound movements? We all know the golden four of strength, the squat, deadlift, bench, and shoulder press, which are pivotal for any fitness goal you have.
However, many gym-goers don’t think in compounds outside of these essential four. Yet, even bodyweight exercises such as pushups, pullups, and dips can have a more significant impact on your muscle building, fat loss, and strength gains than working on one muscle at a time. Of course, isolation exercises do have their place in a well-designed program, but compounds remain the supreme overlords of powerful routines.