The Principles Of Effective Fitness Training
Compound Movements Are The Bread And Butter Of Your Workout
Compound movements are exercises which involve multiple joints at once. These movements not only allow you to use the most weight and train the most number of muscles simultaneously. But they also teach you how to move. There is one particular fitness cult that raves that all of their movements are functional. However, compound movements are some of the most functional movements there are. Compound movements utilize your muscles in the way they are meant to be used and with other muscles they are meant to work in conjunction with. The bench press teaches you to apply force out in the frontal plane of your body, aka push. The over head press, aka military press, aka OHP teaches you to press objects above your head. The squat mimics the ancient movement of squatting down to do your business, but with added resistance. The deadlift teaches you how to life objects from the ground. The pull-up teaches you to pull yourself up onto objects that are higher than your head. The barbell row teaches you to lift objects off the ground while bent at the waist and also helps you to develop the structural integrity of your back.
When you are a beginner your entire workout should focus on a full body workout consisting of only compound movements. Preferably all of the compound movements performed 2-3 times a week. When you become advanced you can begin to segment your body into sectors and attack each sector once or twice a week. However, the compound movements associated with each body part you are targeting will be the bread and butter of your workout. Isolation exercises are single jointed exercises. These are not as functional, in fact some cult members will tell you to shy away from them. However, they help to build a well rounded and AESTHETIC physique. Like I mentioned earlier though, isolation exercises are not the main focus of your workouts but an accessory movement.
The main movements of your workout should utilize free weights. Machines in gyms put your body in a straight path using only the muscles which the machine is designed for. In a machine the main mover muscles are used in absence of other smaller muscles which are meant to work together. Free weights utilize stabilizer muscles and this creates a more sound body/ physique. How’s that for functional training
In addition to free weights, you can also do some of your isolation exercises using cables. Not to mention some compound movements such as rows. Machines can be used however, I would only recommend them as an accessory movement. In reality though a person can build an excellent physique at home using only dumbbells.
The Only Styles Of Fitness Training You Should Consider Are Bodybuilding, Strength Training, Olympic Lifting & Calisthenics.
Bodybuilding, strength training, Olympic lifting & calisthenics are the only forms of resistance training that you should consider. For good reason too. For one, you won’t need to join a class or pay people money for an ineffective workout in order to participate in any of the above mentioned training styles. Olympic lifting is the only one that I would suggest that you learn from a trained coach as those movements can be dangerous, however. Realistically all of these training styles can be learned by yourself through research.
The main fitness cult emphasizes Olympic style lifts done back to back in rapid succession. These classes are taught by untrained professionals and this is particularly dangerous as they are unqualified to teach such lifts. The styles of training that I recommend are bodybuilding and/or strength training. Calisthenics if you are relatively lean and don’t want to work out at a gym. Olympic style lifting if you get bored with any of the above mentioned training styles or have an intense drive to do so. Make sure that you have done your research and/or have a coach certified to teach Olympic style lifting techniques.
I don’t want to say too much about the cult mentioned above. However, I will say a few things. For one, it is very expensive and the benefits do not outweigh the costs and consequences. You could very well take that $120 a month and put it towards buying your own fitness equipment and starting a workout plan that is actually effective! The elite cult members that people brag about do not even train using the cults main methods in order to compete at an elite level. They don’t even use the cult’s recommended eating style as it would diminish from their performance in said competitions. If you were to go to one of their websites and look at the line up of all the members you would certainly see that none of the members look like they even lift! The ones that do are ones who started off using an effective training style, and then got bored and wanted to switch things up a bit.
If you ever get bored with one training style, then just move to another one that is actually effective. You don’t need to join a cult! If you are concerned that one of your friends is a member of said cult, don’t worry they will tell everyone they know about it via Facebook status update.
Do Not Be Fooled With The Image Of Bodybuilding
Bodybuilding is the most effective way to achieve a great physique in the shortest amount of time possible. The word “shortest” being an exaggeration. Don’t think that because you begin to body build that you will blow up to be a gigantic muscle monster over night. In fact your first year doing it you will become a lean, muscular bodied person (that’s if you do it right). Keep in mind that bodybuilding is not about being muscular and bloated. It is about having the most amount of muscle on your frame while being exceptionally lean. Meaning even if you were to gain a bunch of muscle along with a decent amount of weight by training and eating, you would lose quite a bit of that muscle trying to shave off the fat. In the end you would just be decently muscular and relatively lean. To the right is what you could expect from a year of bodybuilding (if you do it correctly). It is not actually about having muscle size but having the illusion of size. I.E. good shoulder to waist ratio, having smaller joints also helps you appear more muscular while having less muscle.
Effective Rep Ranges
There are two kinds of muscular hypertrophy (or muscular gain) one is called myofibrillar and the other is called sacroplasmic. We are going to go over each and the rep ranges which stimulate each type of growth.
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is most commonly associated with bodybuilding. This form of hypertrophy involves muscles becoming more full with non-contractile elements of the muscle. Or a type of muscular liquid if you will. Bodybuilding training consists of doing moderately heavy lifts consisting of 6-12 repetitions for a total of 3-4 sets each exercise. Sometimes it can be beneficial to do more repetitions if you are at the end of your workout and doing your final sets of isolation movements, however. This sometimes is known as the pump if it causes your muscles to become engorged with blood.
Myofibrillar hypertrophy is most commonly associated with strength training. This form of hypertrophy involves the muscles becoming more dense with fibers. This is where people get hard dense muscles that are small and compact. Strength training consists of doing very heavy lifts of 1-5 repetitions for a total of 3-6 sets each exercise.
Progressive overload is a term used to describe, the act of constantly increasing your workout capacity in some way. This can be done a variety of ways such as: doing 4 sets instead of 3 for one of your major lifts, doing the same amount of repetitions as last week in a given lift but with better form, doing one more rep than last week, or by doing the same amount of reps as last week but with slightly more weight. Weight lifting is just like dieting, in the sense that it’s all about the very last bit. I’ll explain. In dieting, most of your calories actually just go to your body, to run itself. The very last 250-500 calories, more or less will go towards losing weight or gaining weight. In terms of weight lifting, after a while all the weight that you lift will only serve to maintain your physique, however extra exertion will go towards giving you that extra edge to get those gains you’ve been searching for.
Time Under Tension
Sacroplasmic hypertrophy is all about time under tension. This concept is one where you apply resistance to your muscles for a specified rep range and keep tension on your muscles. This will stimulate a breakdown effect on your muscles and will be an effective stimuli for later muscle growth. This muscle growth will happen later while you rest as long as your nutrition allows you to do so. The one hour you spend in the gym is important, however it is the other 99% of your time which, if spent effectively, will stimulate the muscle growth that you desire. This brings us to our next principle of proper fitness training.
Your Muscles Don’t Grow In The Gym
Your muscles don’t grow in the gym. The gym is only a stimulus to create a condition where your muscles have been taxed to the point where they wish to adapt to the stresses that you put on them. In fact if you only went to the gym and didn’t eat properly, you would notice that every time you go back to the gym you would get weaker and weaker. This is because working out works to break down your muscle. Through eating a proper diet you build your muscles back up to be stronger than they were before. When you first start lifting weights it is possible to gain muscle mass while dropping weight but after your period of “newbie gains” is over you will need a caloric surplus to gain muscle. The main point of this is that you need to eat correctly, get plenty of rest, and drink plenty of water in order for your goals to become reality
Bodybuilding For Women
Bodybuilding is what women should do also. Don’t be scared ladies, the reason why those bodybuilding women look like men is because they actually take male hormones! The woman to the right is what ladies think will happen when they work out. However, this woman is a definite steroid user. Notice the manly jawline, 3D muscle appearance, and freakishly huge muscles (for a woman). These are all tell tale signs of female steroid use. Also take note, that many women who start off in decent shape (not too fat, not to skinny) go on to train for a year or less before they actually make it to be stage ready. Aka women don’t have to work as long as men do to have an excellent physique. Men spend many more years developing their physique because they want to keep building on top of the frame that they possess. While women just need to build a bit of muscle and get relatively lean.
If you are a female and still scared about bodybuilding, don’t be. I’ve watched a few videos of women training for bikini competitions and figure competitions. These are the more tame looking women of fitness and believe me they train like I do. The myth of female fitness is that you should lift the 10 lb weights for endless repetitions because if you do any more then that you’ll turn into a man instantly. But don’t be afraid of lifting heavier weights. Train like a man to look like a sexy woman. Through doing this you will get a more curvaceous body especially in the leg and arm department. All women who go to the gym say they want to get “toned” there is no such thing as “toning” there is only building muscle and losing fat. And the most effective way to do both is to bodybuild. The entire purpose of fitness training is to increase your muscle mass and decrease your fat. Why wouldn’t you want to use the most effective way of doing both? That’s living a fitness/ bodybuilding lifestyle. If you do it correctly you can expect to look similar to the woman to the left. You know the one that I photoshopped to remove the watermark. That’s why you may notice a little bit of weird skin tone. Possibly with a little more muscle tone, also more ab definition. More information can be found about female fitness training in the section entitled Female Training.