As you continuously approach your fitness goals, you eventually hit a plateau, which occurs when you’ve nearly reached your ideal fitness level. At this point, you’re basically stuck at one level, but you can take it to the next level easier than you may think. Everyone who does resistance training―from newbies to professional bodybuilders―will hit this point, but what’s important is knowing how to increase your productivity and enhance your workout, and with these 21 facts, you can definitely reach your fitness goals faster.
1. Are you exactly the same as your neighbor, or for that matter, even your sibling? Since we’ll assume you answered, “No,” you must understand that everyone is different and doesn’t respond to the same muscle building techniques; therefore, you should alternate the speed of your repetitions for optimal results.
2. What your parents gave you doesn’t have to determine your goals. You should achieve your fitness objectives despite any genetic barriers you may have―i.e. a high BMI.
3. Establish your goals on paper. Research indicates that when a person writes down detailed goals with deadlines to meet, that the individual has a specific path to follow and is more likely to be successful at achieving that goal.
4. Age is nothing but a number, so don’t let your age be a factor in achieving your goals, especially since you can’t change this number. Focus on what you can control, such as your sleeping patterns.
5. Find a workout buddy. When you have someone to push you, you’ll work harder than you would alone.
6. Keep in mind the ratio 10:1, because you generally need to gain 10 lbs for every inch of girth you add to your arm size. For instance, a majority of people gaining 50 lbs during the course of five years will also gain five inches in their arms.
7. Prior to increasing speed or resistance, increase the range of motion first, meaning you should fully contract and stretch your muscles. If you don’t, you’ll only receive partial results.
8. You need at least eight hours of sleep per night to build muscles, so aim to get this many winks as much as possible. Remember, a few late nights won’t hurt, but making it a habit will take a toll on your target fitness level.
9. Stay hydrated! Your body needs at least 1 gallon or 16 cups of water per day for proper muscle growth. The composition of your body is 70 percent water, and in order for your body to maintain an anabolic state, water is essential.
10. Consume raw vegetables whenever you can. Cooking veggies removes much of their nutritional value. In fact, boiling these healthy treats removes between 50 to 75 percent of their nutrients. You may steam them, if you can’t eat them raw, but never boil them.
11. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and despite their bad reputation, they’re one of the healthiest foods you can select, especially for bodybuilding.
12. If you don’t have one already, go out and purchase a blender. The amount of calories that you must eat as a bodybuilder are much easier to consume in liquid form. This vital piece of equipment is definitely important if you have a busy lifestyle that doesn’t allow you to eat every three to four hours.
13. When you go grocery stopping, stick to shopping in the outer aisles. These aisles are typically where the fresh dairy and meat are located. The inner portion of the grocery store consists of processed foods and canned goods that should be avoided if you want to build muscle fast.
14. Never use a supplement in place of a meal. You must put food before supplements, so that you’re consuming all the nutrients you need for bodybuilding. The nutrition you receive from foods surpasses that of a supplement.
15. In regards to supplements, creatine stands out as the top bodybuilding supplement. Beginning in the 90s, creatine has been at the top of supplement charts and has not seen a decrease in popularity since. The daily dosage recommendations vary; however, the most common dosage schedule consists of taking 20-30 grams for the first 5-7 days, then reducing the amount to 3-5 grams per day.
16. Maybe you don’t have enough energy to workout, or maybe you want to increase the amount of time you workout. If either of these scenarios are the case, you should choose coffee for a pick-me-up, since it contains a mild stimulant known as caffeine. Caffeine is an inexpensive and safe performance enhancer.
17. You wouldn’t drive your car without warming it up on a cold day, so why would you exercise without getting your body warmed up? Get those muscles warm to avoid injury while working out. Complete at least five to 10 minutes of stretching, in addition to some light cardio before you begin heavy lifting.
18. You’ve heard before that cheaters never prosper, but in certain cases, this isn’t true. Although cheating to finish a set quicker or to lift more weight isn’t positive, cheating on the last few reps makes the weight feel easier. This stimulates more muscle fibers with greater intensity.
19. Play nice and take turns! The you-go, I-go concept leads to an intense workout, because after you do a set, your partner immediately does one after you, then before you know it, it’s your turn again. You both use the same weights, but you take turns without any rests in between, and you see who can do the most reps per set. Try this technique with your workout buddy when you do barbell curls or other simple exercises.
20. During the 1940s and 1950s, Reg Park and Vince Gironda made a super intense technique for bodybuilding popular, which consisted of doing 10 sets of 10. This old-school procedure may have a modern name of “German volume technique;” however, this has been a preferred method to build muscles for quite some time. It causes your muscles to grow rapidly. Basically, you should do 10 sets of 10 reps for one body part at a time. Then, you should superset at two different body parts each workout. Make sure you don’t rest for more than a minute in between each exercise. Use this regimen for three weeks, and then return to a more traditional approach.
21. Switch up your routine. After three weeks, you should change your program completely. Basically, it should be opposite of the original order you did the exercises in. For instance, if you worked on your chest first, you should do it last next time. If you worked on abs on Monday, you should do them on Friday next time. Change up the amount of sets you do, as well.