If you are fairly new to training it’s quite easy to mess up your training and seriously hinder your progress. Here’s what we feel are the three most important rules that you should follow.
Don’t Train Too Long – Keep it Short and Intense
This might seem ironic, but it’s a concept you should take into account for the sake of your body and your schedule. If you’re spending two hours a day in the gym, it’s simply too much, unless perhaps you’re training for some competition that requires an elite level of athleticism.
If you’re in the gym for two hours, the chances are a lot of that is just busy work. So when you arrive at the gym, have an idea of what you want to do and work hard and don’t take long breaks: it’s the classic quality over quantity concept.
Don’t Ignore Proper Exercise Form
If you’re doing an exercise like squats or something with free weights with incorrect form, hopefully someone will come over to help you. Then again, a lot of guys aren’t watching out for that, plus he/she may not know the exact proper technique themselves.
Obviously, without proper technique, you’re risking injury any time you do such an exercise, and if you’re lucky, you’ll just feel uncomfortable and won’t gain as much as you should from any given exercise. Even if you don’t want to hire a trainer on an ongoing basis, I would recommend paying one for a session just to get all of the proper techniques down, whatever exercises you might be interested in.
My personal pet hate is people loading up the T-bar row and ‘shrug-bouncing’, as I call it. This exercise is a ‘bent over’ T-bar row, not a ‘stood up’ T-bar row. Furthermore, if you’re lifting the weight off the floor, doing it with a curved back is going to destroy your back and you will be an old man before you know it.
Use your legs, and bend your knees to lift a weight, not a curve back technique.
Get Your Cardio Right: When and How
Some simple rules are for fat loss, do cardio on an empty stomach upon waking, preferably with some BCAAs. This will protect your muscle from being used as fuel for your cardio.
If mornings are no good, do 30-40 minutes after your weights. Put simply, the ‘sugars’ used to fuel your workout will be used up and the body will now access fat stores to fuel your cardio. I prefer ‘trudging’ cardio, hard and slow for fat loss, this tends to protect hard earned muscle better. HIIT cardio is fine, but most serious bodybuilders never would, so do as the experts do.
A post workout shake is essential to get creatine, glutamine and protein into your muscles, and eat about an hour after you train. Complex carbs, with greens and 30-40 grams of protein.
These rules are fairly easy to follow, and will mean you will be getting the most out of your muscle growth and fat loss goals.