Training to optimize your progress
Covered in this article:
- Everyone will benefit from different training. Work with your genetics
- Listen to how your body responds to training. Intuition is actually a really good way of picking what will work best for you
- Perform all movements through a full range of motion
- Train your muscles through various angles.
We all know that in order to get the most gains from your training, you need to find what works for you. But the big question that many people need answered is ‘how do you find what will work for you?’ In this article I’m going to cover how to select the training method which will suit you. I will then take you guys through some of the most essential parts of training that everyone should follow.
1. Working with your genetics
As we all know, you need to follow a program that suits yourself. We all have different muscle fibers, different central nervous system constructs, and different goals. Usain Bolt, for example, is built completely differently to Patrick Makau, the world marathon record holder. If you gave both of these guys the same program, they would both respond completely differently.
To find out what training is best for you, I suggest you think logically about your genetics. To do this try answering the following questions;
- Were you a sprinter or marathon runner at school?
- Do you stay quite lean or do you put on fat easily?
- Do you naturally hold muscle well or are you a ‘skinny guy’?
If you are a sprinter, stay quite lean, and naturally hold muscle well there is a fair chance you are going to respond really well to the lower reps with higher sets. If you are a marathon runner, stay quite lean, and are a ‘skinny guy’ you will most likely benefit from slightly higher reps with fewer sets. If you are a mix between the two then try sticking to the 8-10 rep range for 4-5 sets, and incorporate both low and high reps to see which you prefer!
2. Intuitive training
If you ‘feel good’ from training a certain way, then I suggest you train that way more often! This is called intuitive training. I, for instance, really enjoy training with lower reps and lots of sets but feel rubbish with 8-15 reps and 3-5 sets. In fact, as long as I perform only a 3-6 reps with 40-50 sets in a workout, I can train twice a day every day without any trouble! However, if I were to train with 8-12 reps for 25 sets in a workout I wouldn’t be able to train more than 5 times per week. If your body feels good from a certain type of training, listen to it!
3. Train your muscles to the fullest
To maximize fat loss and muscle gain, you need to train your muscles properly. To do this, start training to full range and failure. No, half rep squats with 50% of your maximal intensity isn’t going to cut it! Also, start using different training angles to target the muscle in different ways. Here I am referring to performing different exercises throughout your workout. A good chest training session, for example, should consist of a pressing movement, a fly movement, and a variety of inclines and declines. By doing this, you will recruit more muscle fibers, burn more calories, and have a much more favourable hormonal response to training.
In summary, you are going to make way more gains and lose much more fat if you train to your genetics, use intuition, and train your muscles to the fullest. No matter how hard you train, if you’re doing it wrong you won’t get optimal growth! Start thinking smart about how you train to optimize your progress and to hit your goals.