Here I wanted to go through my 5 top tips when it comes to achieving your body goals. I go through these top tips with all of my personal training clients when they start a training programme. They will still apply no matter whether you are training at home and have no equipment or whether you have access to an endless supply of weights in your gym.
Each tip should be implanted into your subconscious so that you can be called upon whenever you are training to ensure that you get the most out of your sessions.
Once you have read them, they will now be you 5 commandments in resistance training. That's it.... I think I've relayed their importance enough now. So here they are:
1) Time under tension
Always keep control of the entire movement. All too often we focus on the concentric part of a movement (when a muscle shortens) but forget about the eccentric movement (when a muscle lengthens). Take the humble bicep curl as an example - from a straight arm we bend our elbow and raise our hand upwards during the concentric movement and straighten our elbow again during the concentric movement. It's important to keep control of the weight both on the way up and down to ensure that all of the muscles in our arm are being used to their full extent (biceps, triceps, shoulder, forearms). It's also good practice to focus on holding the movement when a muscle is at its maximum contraction. This drives more blood to the muscle and helps to stimulate muscle growth.
Note: don't relax your muscle at the top and let your arm straighten too quickly as your are no longer own control of the weight and are stopping the exercise from being as
2) Work each muscle to its full range of movement.
It's important to train your muscles to be strong through a full range of movement. This has many benefits not only aesthetically but also helps with reducing potential injuries and muscle imbalances. When working 1 muscle group you may find that you will have to use multiple exercises to ensure that the muscle is working it's full range of movement. Each exercise should be approached with a "stretch and squeeze" through process whilst also utilising tip 1 (time under tension and control throughout the whole movement).
Exercise. I want you to think about your tricep (back of upper arm) now think about which position you need to put your arm in to feel your tricep full "stretch".
Now put you arm in a position where your tricep is fully "squeezed" (contracted).
Ideally we want to try and train our triceps under resistance from a stretched position (image 1) all the way to being fully contracted (image 2). 2 examples of exercises that may achieve this are a French press and a seated dip.
3) Progressive Overload
Progressive overload is a simple concept. Strive to continually improve. Progressive overload can be achieved in a few different ways: increase in resistance, increase in reps, increase in sets, decrease rest between sets, increase training frequency.
This brings me onto a very important point ALWAYS TRACK YOUR PROGRESS (in fact that should probably be top tip number 6).
The only way you can improve is by knowing what you have already achieved.
No doubt we have all fallen into the trap of simply turning up whether that is the gym, a class, an online session etc and not really having any sort of plan. With this approach we are not likely to find ourselves improving or achieving our goals and, should it actually happen it's likely that we won't track it so won't know what we achieved or how to do improve again.
However, if we can achieve 1 more