Most, if not all males love the idea of being the Alpha of their pack or Bro God of his gym but how about being the most effective? Stretching, warm-ups, progressive overload and so much more gets overlooked by the modern day macho man in his conquest to show off how much weight he can pull or push. Today we’re going to discuss a smarter approach to training.
Stretching, although this method of prepping a muscle for activity has been much debated by the masses as being either optimal or detrimental, I would say it’s more about the person practicing it and not so much generalization. Personally, I find stretching to be a great addition to my pre-workout ritual; it helps get me into the right frame of mind and loosens up injured/tight muscles within the body at the same time.
Science claims, through studies of course, that stretching temporarily weakens the fibers of your muscles and diminishes performance. Although I am a firm believer in implementing the research science provides, I do not allow science to limit me or my protocol. I will not sit here and tell you to stretch or not stretch but if you find this method aids you in having an effective workout, by all means practice it.
Warm–ups, in my opinion, are absolutely necessary for a thorough and injury free training session. For a muscle to perform optimally, it must first be warmed up literally, thus I’d suggest light warm-up sets that eventually build into heavy working sets. For example, I warm up with about 3 sets of quad curls (leg extensions to some) and 2 sets of back squats for a total of 66 reps including a typical rest period of 35 seconds in-between sets using formidably light weight.
A warm-up doesn’t just warm up a muscle for easier movement, it also lubricates the joints, increases endurance, aids in the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to working muscles and preps you mentally. Don’t be in such a rush to workout ladies and gents, warm up THEN slaughter the weights.
On to our next topic, progressive overload; you want to get bigger? Progressively overload, you want to get stronger? Progressively overload. Success in the weight room is really that simple guys, not only is progressive overload a clever way to induce progress but it’s also safe. Adding bits upon bits of weight every few weeks in pursuit of your magic PR (personal record) number is a lot more reasonable than slapping on a pair of 45lbs in-between sets that you’ve never tried performing with, just because you feel like going “beast mode” that day.
Trust me, after you’ve torn a labrum, thrashed a rotator cuff, pulled a groin AND mangled a wrist, that desire to want to ooze your ego all over the gym dies out and you become an extremely smarter version of your once blockhead self. Too many individuals worry more about what supplements they’re taking as opposed to the work that’s being done in the gym, stop it. That pre-workout won’t get you strong and those protein shakes won’t get you big without effective training which will tear apart your muscle fibers only to come back together through proper recovery for positive growth and adaptation. Always remember that the main goals in the gym is being effective, performing optimally and reducing the chances of injury so be wise about your lifts and the procedure that surrounds them.