When you’re in the gym, every minute counts. Training inefficiently is not only a waste of your time: it can lead to plateauing and loss of motivation. By taking a smarter approach to training, not only will you squeeze more out of your workouts – they’ll also become more enjoyable. Follow these tips to boost your workout efficiency, break through plateaus and rediscover your love for training.
Emphasise big, multi-compound movements
Multi-joint exercises, such as the deadlift, bench press and squat, hit more than one muscle group and strengthen your core. These moves should be a staple of your weekly routine. When performed regularly, these compound exercises will increase anabolic hormones, rev up your metabolism and strengthen every major muscle group. For increasing muscle size and overall strength, multi-compound movements are essential.
Limit steady state cardio
To maximise your gains, go heavy in the gym and keep your cardio moderate. Too much cardio training can increase cortisol levels, causing muscle loss and slowing recovery. This doesn’t mean you should abandon cardio altogether however – far from it. Instead of racking up the miles on the treadmill, try swapping steady state cardio for HIIT. Adrian James High Intensity Interval Training is ideal: the app’s workouts will fire up your metabolism and keep your body burning calories for up to 24 hours afterwards.
Reduce your rest time between sets
Raise the intensity of your workouts by cutting the rest period between sets. If you want to build muscle, keep your rest period under 90 seconds. Raising the intensity of your training will get your heart working overtime and spur muscle growth.
Supersets – performing two exercises in a row without taking a break – are another effective way of increasing your workout intensity. For best results, train muscles in antagonistic pairs, such as your front and rear deltoids, quadriceps and hamstrings or biceps and triceps. You can also go for a full body superset session. With supersets, you’ll get more done in less time and push your tired muscles to the limit.
Get the edge
Caffeine has been proven to lower the perception of effort. Taking caffeine before training will help you push yourself harder and for longer – a sure-fire way to get the most out of your workout. Try taking one Thermoblaze capsule about 15 minutes before training. Its precise blend of caffeine and other energising nutrients will boost your endurance, enhance your focus and help you boss it in the gym.
Plyometrics and other explosive movements such as burpees, jumping jacks and star jumps work wonders for the body. Performing these exercises will activate fast-twitch fibres, burn fat and speed up your metabolism. They can also help you target smaller muscle groups that are often neglected. An explosive workout routine may include exercises such as tuck jumps, box jumps, plyometric push-ups and jackknives.
Try drop sets
Have you ever tried drop sets? This time-proven lifting technique was a favourite of Arnie’s, which is reason enough to give it a go. The aim is to complete as many reps as possible using a heavy weight before dropping to a lower weight, with no rest period in between. Repeat the process, dropping to a slightly lower weight each time. Training your muscles to failure in this manner will supercharge their growth, increase calorie burn and maximise your gains.