The Do’s and Don’ts of Weight Training
In weight training, it’s easy to lose sight of the fundamentals when you get caught up in the nitty gritty details you see in the media. Here’s a checklist to make sure you are on track:
Be consistent with your workouts. Doing these hit-and-run workouts will have you wondering why your aren’t seeing any results. You have to stick to your program and do your best every single workout. Try to make some kind of improvement every time you go to the gym. When completing a set make sure that set feels like a completion, as in you physically can’t do anymore.
Stick to the basics. Dead lifts, dumbbell presses, chins, squats, military presses and heavy bicep curls will never let you down. Start off with these as your baseline and add some other lifts in as you go.
Recover, recover, recover! Allow yourself enough time to recover between workouts. Be sure to watch for signs of over training which are:
Persistent muscle soreness
Elevated resting heart rate
Increased susceptibility to infections
Increased incidence of injuries
Loss of motivation
Eat high-quality and nutrient dense food. Your diet should consist primarily of eggs, rice, pasta, oatmeal, vegetables, chicken, lean beef, ground turkey, tuna, and other staple foods of bodybuilders.
Let your mind and body rest. Sleep at least 8 hours per night to allow your body time to recover as well as benefit from the natural boost of natural growth hormone that occurs during REM-sleep.
Do boring routines. Doing the same things with the same exercises month after month will not challenge you. The difference between sticking to a program and being stuck in a rut is whether you change things around and make progress or not.
Substitute good food with supplements, it’s a bad idea. Supplements are great for giving you an edge, and perhaps help you get the nutrition you need when on the go sometimes, but it can never take the place of real food. Plan your diet around solid meals, and use the supplements to pick up the slack in-between.
Ignore injuries or signs of over training. Be sure to rest and/or talk to a doctor if you experience stubborn joint pain or similar symptoms.
Ignore your body.Don’t let what you read in the magazines get to you. If some juiced-up pro says he does dozens of sets for biceps, that doesn't mean you have to. If your experience tells you that 6 sets are enough, stick to it. Listen to your body.
Last but not least, don't lose sight of the big picture. Even if you may be on a plateau and motivation is low right now, there's only one way to beat it - by trying harder and training smarter. The reward will come when you get off the plateau and start making progress again. A positive attitude is everything.