You don’t have to spend endless hours in the gym building muscle! Being efficient with your training is essential. It’s important to hit each muscle group in order to grow, but equally as important not to over train. Overtraining can cause your performance to plateau or decrease rather than improve. You may find you have less strength, agility, and endurance, which makes it more difficult to reach your training goals.
Here are some tips on how to train effectively and see results!
- Track your weights. Make a note of personal bests and starting weights on your phone. Don’t waste every session guessing what weight you lifted the week before. The key to muscle building is progressive overload - constantly upping your weight each week and evidently seeing how strong you’re becoming. You don’t have to increase your weight every single week. Try increasing your rep range or changing the tempo of your exercises. This is another great form of progressive overload.
- Make sure you’re eating enough food!! Gaining muscle requires being in a calorie SURPLUS - you need to be eating more calories than you burn. You must be fueling your body in order to grow. It is valuable to note your maintenance calories, and figure out your surplus calories, to ensure you’re eating enough each day.
- Hit the compound exercises. Compound exercises include exercises such as; squats, deadlifts, bench press - the holy trinity of compounds.. Compound exercises hit multiple muscle groups at the same time and are an ESSENTIAL to building muscle and particularly strength! Don’t forget to practice your form before building up the weight - you don’t want to cause injury. For example, to perfect a squat, you will need to start under the bar with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out, and core braced. From here, keep your spine neutral and squat - make sure you focus on pushing your knees outwards rather than allowing them to buckle in. Keep your core embraced as you perform the concentric part of this exercise (the lowering). For more tips on how to maintain good form, follow our social channels @villagegym!
- This one is for the ladies - training around your menstrual cycle! Commonly, each week can be dramatically different for women depending on their menstrual cycle. Some weeks, you may feel really tired and significantly weaker in the gym (usually around the menstruation phase), and other weeks, you may feel on top of the world, productive, and smash out those PBs (usually within the follicular phase). Depending on your “time of the month”, it may be effective to train accordingly in-line with your muscle gain goals.
No matter how you choose to train, try and implement some of these tips to help you on your muscle gain journey.
You’ve got this!