Friday, February 18, 2011
Have you ever noticed that some days when you walk into the gym to train, you just don’t feel it. You go through the repetitions, but your head just isn’t in the game. You miss lifts. You feel exhausted. Well, here are some tips to help you improve your workouts:
1. Music. Music has a way of pumping you up and making you want to lift. Listen to the right music and you’ll be ready to attack the iron. When I train, I listen to loud music. The louder the better. So, crank the music and get to work.
2. Training Partners. I trained alone for a couple of years. I didn’t mind it, and I made some gains. However, the past year I’ve had some incredible training partners who have helped push me through plateaus and difficult training sessions. Since I’ve starting training with my training partners, I have made big gains. Also, it’s great to have someone spot you when you’re going for a PR. So, find yourself a training partner. But choose wisely. Make sure it is someone who is reliable, close to the same strength level, and someone who has a killer drive in the gym.
3. Distractions. There are many distractions in a typical gym; people talking to each other, cell phones, the opposite sex, and the skinny guy grunting while doing curls in the squat rack.
When you go to the gym, you go to train. You’re not there to socialize or pick up girls. One of my pet peeves is when I’m getting ready to lift heavy or set a new PR, someone will talk to me or ask me a question. Shut up! So, leave your cell phone in the car. Put your earbuds in and zone out everyone else in the gym. Remember, your in the gym to train, not to socialize.
4. Rest. You are not going to have a killer training session if you only slept a few hours the night before. To continually make gains in your training, you need to rest and recover. Make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. So, turn off the TV and get to bed.
5. Supplements. There are lots of supplements that are designed to give you a boost during your training. You can spend lots of money on such supplements. The primary ingredient in most of these supplements is caffeine. Save your money and buy some caffeine pills, such as NoDoz, Stay-Awake, and Vivarin (or better yet, look for the generic brands). Half-hour before you train, grind up one of these pills (which contain around 200mg of caffeine), mix it in water and drink. When its time to train you’ll be energized and ready to hit a new PR.
6. Follow a Program and Track Your Progress. If you go into the gym with no program or plan, you’ll likely make little or no progress. Plus, chances are that you will get bored and be more likely to miss training sessions. When you have a training program, you know each day you go into the gym what you are going to do, how many sets and reps you have to perform, and whether you are making progress. Each day you go into the gym, you should check your program and see what you did last session and then try to better it. I write my own programs and I also regularly follow other trainer’s programs, such as Joe DeFranco’s, Jim Wendler, and Jason Ferruggia. So, follow a program, track your progress, and enjoy the results.
I left attitude as my last recommendation to guarantee your training. Why? Because it is the most important to your success. Even if you follow all the above recommendations, if you have a bad attitude about training, your workouts will suffer and you will never make the progress you otherwise could.
I’ve trained athletes who have killer potential. But, they come into the gym with a lazy attitude, a better-than-thou mind set, and no work ethic. These individuals make little progress and never last. Also, I’ve trained moms who have wanted to lose their baby-weight, but have accepted being overweight, or lack the determination to eat properly.
Compare this to a couple athletes I currently train. They come each day to the gym ready to “kill it”! They go to war with the iron. They look forward to lifting. These athletes push themselves each workout, and even if they miss a lift, they consider it “practice” and look forward to hitting the lift the next time. They think themselves strong. As a result of their attitude, their strength has improved greatly. Or, the moms who come to train with a strong determination to reach their goal of losing weight, who are dedicated to eating properly, and who have figured out the benefits of being a strong woman.
Bill Pearl, a former leading American bodybuilder, said: “Everything has to be positive, positive, positive. Because . . . as soon as something negative comes into your training you can kiss your goal goodbye.”
So, be positive about your training. Have a killer attitude. An attitude that each time you are in the gym you will give your all. Be positive about reaching your goals. Know that you can accomplish everything you set your mind to if you are willing put in the effort and make the sacrifices needed.
Now, GO TRAIN!!!