I know time is tight, and schedules are full. But when it comes to training, you must understand how to maximize your results effectively without injuring yourself. So don’t forget to do these six things in your workout.
Never skip your warm-up
The greatest of greats make mistakes. And it only takes one time to get injured. Bruce Lee made a huge mistake skipping his warm-up, which cost him an injury. He put too much weight on the bar doing an exercise called the Good Morning and injured the sacral nerve in his back. He was bedridden for months.
The moral of the story is never to dismiss your warm-up. Ensure the lungs, muscles, and nerves are prepared to handle the intensity. If you are going to handle heavy weights or do an intense workout, don’t just do some 10-minute leisurely warm-up. You must get to the base level of that workout.
For example, if it requires 85% intensity, you must do a 10-minute warm-up to build up to that level. If you are doing resistance training, warm up the movement patterns and specific muscles first. For example, do 5 minutes of cardio and do muscle-specific isometric holds at around 80 percent to get the blood flowing.
Make sure you rest properly between sets
Depending on your exercise routine, rest between your sets is essential. Beginners think they must crush, obliterate, and annihilate to be the best. And advanced people believe the opposite about how to maximize sets and reps using recovery.
With training, in about 1 minute, you have half your energy back. And in 3 minutes, you will have a full recovery. This is important to understand because if you rest properly, you can maximize your sets. More sets and more reps equal more strength. For example, you can do more sets and reps by taking a full recovery of 3 minutes. Strength is developed through multiple sets.
And if you are doing HIIT, understand if a program says to rest for 10 seconds, and you need 20 seconds, take the 20. This way, if you rest appropriately, you can do more training. But, on the other hand, if your rest is too short, you will not finish the sets properly and terminate the routine earlier than you should.
Over time your body will acclimate from 20 seconds to 10 seconds. But if the rest is insufficient, you will never acclimate and keep training fatigue.
Don’t think about what you must do at home. When in the gym, stay focused. Use this time to connect your mind and body. If you start thinking about other thoughts, ideas, and tasks, it will disrupt your flow of strength and possibly shorten your workout because you may feel stressed and rushed. For example, focus on your breathing during the lift to avoid injury. If you are thinking about something else, there’s a good chance you may lift incorrectly or cut the flow of strength to a muscle and strain it. Instead, stay focused and connect your mind to your muscle. It will make you stronger in your lifts.
Throw in sets of unilateral training
You can do squats and single-leg deadlifts on the same day. Or just throw some single-leg squats into the mix. Squat power is excellent. But single-leg squat strength keeps you balanced and strong on both sides. So don’t forget, after a few sets of squats, do some alternating single-leg squats. Or, after squats, do single-leg deadlifts. And in the next workout, reverse it by doing deadlifts and single-leg squats. It is up to you how you want to do it. Just don’t forget to put it into your workout.
Make sure you eat
Make sure you eat about an hour before your workout. Keep it simple. I like to eat a bowl of chocolate granola with milk mixed with 20g of whey protein. The last thing you want is your energy to bottom out on you. As a result, you will push yourself to finish, which can lead to strain, injury, fatigue, and tiredness after your training.
Complex carbs are great for longer strenuous workouts. And having some protein before will start and prepare the muscle-building process rather than waiting till after your training. Complex carbs will be used as energy to drive the body, and protein will start preparing the rebuilding process.
Being unfunctional first is a very common mistake made in all categories of exercise, from beginners to advanced. Your body must develop a functional foundation before you add more weight, speed, explosiveness, or advanced movements.
Learn how to squat, deadlift, lunge, horizontal pull and press, and vertical pull and press.
After mastering the functional exercises then, you can adjust them. But if you are trying to do the TikTok handstand, jump, kick, and hold your breath challenge from the start, you will get injured. Those cool, challenging exercises you see on TicTok and YouTube that you think is a good idea are an accident waiting to happen. They do require basic strength training before attempting them. So, don’t say ouch! Prepare.
There is no need to overcomplicate your workout. But, unfortunately, complexity in your training does just that, creates confusion and diminished results.
Check out the YouTube channel BALANCED BODY for more info about strength, speed, power, and sports training.
Also, check out the book INSTANT STRENGTH, to take your speed, endurance, and explosiveness to the next level.