Fitness has become very popular in recent years. There are many people who visit the gym regularly. Most people visit the gym to get results, no matter what the goal is. In general, results are achieved but this is not as fast as you might want. You just have those days when things are not going so well. It is up to you to keep the motivation and discipline to take that extra step to achieving your goal. Below I give 12 fitness tips that have helped me to improve my training.
1. From time to time, vary the training schedule
An important aspect of training is a good plan. Without a preconceived plan, it is very difficult to train in a targeted manner. This plan is also called a periodization. If you never adjust the exercises, work sets and repetitions your muscles can get used to. This will ensure that your muscles no longer get a good training stimulus to grow. On the other hand, it is also not good to change program quickly! Your body has to get used to the new exercise or layout of schedule. I always make sure that the basic exercises remain the same, no matter which schedule I follow. Think of the squat, deadlift, bench press. The more often you perform an exercise, the better you become.
2. Find someone with whom you can train together
Training together can give a lot of positive input. You work together towards a goal and you know how to motivate each other to get a bit more out of your training or even go to the gym. Tip: Find someone of the same level and not someone who just starts if you have been training for 2 years. In addition, it can help to squeeze out just that last repetition. Especially with bench press it can be very stimulating if there is a ‘spotter’ behind you who can provide that extra bit of help and safety. A spotter can also help you with your mind muscle connection by tapping on the muscle you train. Fitness is obviously an individualistic sport but you can also learn a lot from each other.
If you are active on social media, let your buddy shoot some nice photos / movies when you are busy with your set. This can also give good feedback on your attitude.
3. Focus on the muscles you train
Where I am concerned with this question is to make a correct connection between your muscles and your brain (mind muscle connection). This sounds very windy but I advise you to give it a try. You can get more out of your training if you apply this properly. Just think about the muscle during a set with an x number of repetitions and you will see that you feel it better to contract. You can also let your training buddy tap the muscle during the performance, so you can focus better on the muscle you are training.
Personally, I like to apply this to the rear delt dumbbell fly. The back of your shoulders is a zone that you feel difficult to train. By tapping the muscle you bring the thoughts to that part of your body and you will feel it better.
I regularly see that athletes roll up the weights and drop them down again in 1 second. This with the result that you do not load the muscles in the right way (or you have to do this for a special reason). By using a higher ‘Time Under Tension’ or the time you put the muscle to work, you give yourself more time to focus on the muscles you train. For the people who know themselves that this can be done better: Try your muscles but is fully tightened at the end of the range of motion, for example at the top of the incline dumbell press or when pulling the cable row. This is also called ‘squaring’.
4. Tune your diet to your training goal
We are of course talking about fitness tips that can help you to get better lifts. However, I will lie to you if I just throw it over the bow of training. Moving is of course very important, but this only has a small influence on your goal. Most people put their soul and salvation in the training sessions but then things go wrong … In addition to exercising fanatically, healthy food is also essential! It is even so important that it is responsible for 60% to 70% of your result.
If you train, there are small muscle cracks, In order for this recovery to run as smoothly as possible you need to keep enough rest, but nutrition also plays a major role in the recovery process. If you do not eat enough your body will not perform these processes optimally and the body will not recover in time for your next training session. The part of food does not have to be very difficult.
You can split it roughly into 2 parts: If you want to arrive you eat more than you consume one day and if you want to lose weight then you eat less than you consume in a day. If you want to stay the same in weight, then you eat on your maintenance. Of course this is not based on one day but you keep this for a certain period. You will see that you then work towards a goal. Of course there are still some components to play with, but we will not go into that in this blog.
In general, you can continue to train fairly evenly in your bulk or cut. However, it is possible that you have less energy in a cut and therefore you can train less heavily.
5. Do not forget the compound exercises
Another fitness tip is that the compound exercises are the basis of your schedule and therefore you should never delete! Compound exercise are generally somewhat more difficult to perform. I take my leg day as an example. Your lower body contains a large muscle group that you intensively train with compound exercises. As a result, many growth hormones are turned on which then slightly upset the metabolism. In a training session with a number of compound exercises, you burn a lot more calories first. In addition, the exercises also look much more like the actions you perform in daily life. Lifting a heavy shopping bag looks a bit like a deadlift. With a leg curl or extension you will not get it off the floor.
Some examples of compound exercises on leg days are: Squats, Lunges, Deadlifts etc. Examples of Isolation exercises are: Lay curls and Leg extensions. Other examples of compound exercises are: Bench press, Overhead press, Dips.
I personally find uplifting music a must in my training sessions. Without music, training is not that good. It may look a little bit antisocial and closed off, but if I train I like this too. I like to play my own music because I can focus better. The music that runs in the gym is first and foremost too soft and not my taste. Various studies have shown that you can improve sport performances with your own chosen music. Music contributes to better concentration and is a good way to divert attention from fatigue and pain. This means you are willing to make more effort and continue for longer.
When I train with a training buddy I make sure that I have headphones during the heavy work sets. In the gym I want to work hard and this I can combine in my rest sets with a nice chat. So do not feel aso if you have your own music. Of course, this also differs in purpose, if you visit the gym for your fun then it is not as fun as you are in your own world.
During the training you have to take into account the stimulus you give the muscles. A good stimulus (overload) causes muscle damage and this eventually leads to (super) compensation and therefore growth. It is important to constantly increase your intensity in order to make progress. If you always train with the same weight, less will happen than if you challenge yourself to the maximum. In the remainder of this blog I explain how you can achieve this with micro loads and tracking your progress.
We have just talked about this subject for a while, if you have already forgotten: Time under tension indicates the time at which a muscle is under tension. The longer the TUT, the heavier the exercise becomes. For example, you can lower the exercise for 1 second in the bench press (eccentric phase), and emit it again in one second (concentric phase). The muscle is actually only under tension for 2 seconds. You could also choose to lower it for 4 seconds and emit 2 seconds again. Your muscle is then under tension for 6 seconds instead of the previous 2 seconds. If your muscle is working longer, you will give another stimulus that can positively benefit from your progress.
Try to vary regularly here. Try to keep the concentric and eccentric phase in any case 2 seconds. Do you really want to give a new training stimulus? Let the repetition last 8 to 16 seconds. Make sure you take a lighter weight and arrange a spotter in case it gets too heavy.
9. Take sufficient rest
A common mistake is that you take too little rest after your training and between your sets. Your muscles need on average 48 – 72 hours to fully recover from a workout. It depends, of course, on the stimulus you have inflicted! When you take too little rest your muscles can not fully recover, so the result can turn out negative. To organize this properly, you actually have to plan a number of rest days. This of course differs per schedule but in my planning I have 2 fixed rest days. In addition, sleep is also an important factor, if you sleep enough this can turn out positive for your recovery. I sleep an average of 8 hours and I notice that I also need this to train nicely.
I also indicated that the peace between the sets is important. If you make 4 reps with 120 kilos, your rest period will have to be longer than if you make 15 reps with 50 kilos. It is very different from your rep range or the number of repetitions within a set.
10. Track progress
Do you want to become stronger on a certain exercise? Make sure that you note the weight every week that you use with the exercise in question. This can be done via a writing pad or via an Excel file where you can load your schedule. You can see exactly what you did the week before and so you can throw the weight up a little bit. If you have no idea what you have done, you will soon regain the same weight as the week before. This really helped me a lot in the past year!
You heard me say above that you have to raise the weight a little bit every week. Of course, not directly with all exercises but controlled on the number of weeks that you follow your training schedule. I recently wrote an extensive blog about it. You can read this by pressing the word microloaden. The idea of microloaden is that you can put the weight up a little bit every week. If you apply this you can see at the end of your training schedule how much extra weight you have been able to take. As a beginner this often goes a bit faster but you will see that it becomes increasingly difficult as you progress. This also has to do with the law of reducing mooring .
12. Have fun with training
One of the most important factors in sports is that you enjoy the training. Without having fun in what you do, it becomes very difficult to keep it full. I really like weight training and that’s why I have no problem keeping it full. You will not see me so fast on a cardio device … If you know yourself that you are not going to keep this both full, a group lesson can be a great outcome. In these lessons you train together with fellow athletes under the guidance of an instructor. You can also alternate well in sports materials such as a TRX. This is just another variation of training within your strength training sessions.
I hope you have had some tips on the fitness tips. Good luck with training and let us know below which you are going to fit into your trainings.