Rules, rules, rules. They’re everywhere. It seems like you can’t move one step without being told which direction to head in. Well, some rules are meant to be broken. The rules listed here, however, are here to help. These are the simple ground rules that you need to follow in order to build muscle and strength.
The gym is a place where advice is thrown around in abundance. Some of it is good, some of it is just plain bad.
Just because a ‘rule’ seems to have been around forever, it doesn’t guarantee its efficiency.
The overriding rule you should follow in your training is:
Do what’s right for you!
Everyone is different. Every body reacts to different stimuli.
That said, here are a set of simple rules that should set the backbone of your workouts.
#1 Always Warm Up
Starting at the very beginning here. Always warm up. Don’t be the person who steams into the gym and throws a bunch of cold muscles and joints straight into a tough working set, unless you want to be the person sitting at home, nursing a nasty injury. The three key warm-up components are:
#2 Eat Smart
You can train all you want, but if you don’t fuel your body with adequate nutrition, the building blocks of progress, you’ll get nowhere. In fact, you may even go backwards. Calculate the number of calories you need for your goals. Split this down into ratios of macronutrients, and keep it as clean as possible.
You should rarely have less than 30 grams of protein on your plate, and don’t skimp on the good, metabolism-boosting fats such as oily fish and nuts. Carbs should be complex, except immediately after workouts and during emergencies. Also cycle carbs to keep your insulin on its toes.
#3 Pre-Workout Protein
Your pre-workout nutrition should be as lean as possible. Around 30-45 minutes before you hit the gym, take in some complex carbs, and, perhaps more importantly, protein. You don’t need to go crazy, 20-30 grams will do, but, again, keep it lean. Protein powder is ideal.
Pre-workout protein helps to spare muscle tissue from breakdown, kickstarts tissue synthesis during the workout, and has been shown to burn more fat.
It really is essential.
Taking Sheer BCAA before, during, and after training will help to further allay muscle breakdown. These specific amino acids are the body’s initial go-to energy source when all other fuels are running low.
#4 Maintain Good Form
Always maintain good form. Check your ego at the door and use a weight that allows you to perform full reps safely, and effectively. Throwing weights around only shifts the emphasis away from the target muscles, opens you up to the risk of injury, and makes you look like a prat.
There are a few instances where cheat reps can be used to great advantage, such as bicep curls and lateral raise. But these little toe kicks should be reserved for the very last reps of the very last sets only!
#5 Work Around Compound
The big, compound lifts are the ones that stimulate the most muscle and strength. It’s as simple as that. That’s not to say that the isolation movements don’t have their place, they most certainly do, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. But it’s the squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press, shrugs, and rows that will pack the beef onto your frame. Build your workouts around these lifts, and use the isolation movements to hone in and burn out your targets.
#6 Stay Under the Hour
Keep your workouts as short, concise, and effective as possible. When you get in the gym, you’re there to train, not play with your cell phone and chat with your mates.
When workouts go past the hour mark, hardcore catabolism (muscle breakdown) comes into play. This cuts down on gains and makes recovery much harder.
Ideally you should aim for 45-minute sessions, but if that hour ticks by, pack up and get out.
#7 Optimize Post-Workout Nutrition
The post-workout window is always a hotly contested topic. The theory goes that there is a 45-minute window of opportunity, post-workout, during which the body soaks up protein like a sponge, and turns carbs into glycogen (stored glucose).
Lately there are many, many people throwing articles around the internet saying that this simply isn’t true. Well, all I’ll say is, show me one competitive pro bodybuilder who doesn’t have their post-workout shake or meal very soon after working out! It’s a tried, tested, and science-backed method, and it makes perfect sense. After all, whose stomach ain’t rumbling when they lay down that last set?
Rapidly absorbed protein and carbs are essential post-workout, to replenish the muscles and kickstart the growth process. Adding Sheer Recovery to your stack will ramp this effect further still. This scientifically engineered supplement is jammed with all those little extras that your body needs for optimum recovery and growth.
#8 Incorporate Science
As with everything in the modern world, you have to move with the times, or risk being left behind! New techniques, equipment, nutritional science, and supplementation is flooding into the sport all the time. Do your research, look for reliable sources, and avoid the gimmicky pitfalls, but keep ahead of the game.
Here at Sheer Strength Labs we strive to stay on the cutting edge of science, and we urge you to do the same. Knowledge is king!
If you’ve spent the last few minutes, wondering how you’re going to get your workouts down to less than an hour… you’re either doing waaaay too many sets, or you’re lacking in training intensity. Intensity is the key to stimulating quality muscle growth and getting your butt in and out of the gym in good time.
The intensity of your workouts is directly correlated to the amount of natural anabolic hormones your body produces. Intensity equals muscle!
So, cut down on rest time between sets, focus, give it everything you’ve got, and grow.
#10 Mix It Up
Don’t just stick with the same old workouts. Mixing it up is key to stimulating continuous growth and maintaining workout motivation. There are many different techniques and routines out there that are excellent for stimulating your muscles to grow and become stronger. Make use of them!
… and the list goes on. Aim to switch up your routines every three months or so for optimum results. And never forget to take a complete rest period from time to time. Your body needs a break. Take a week out from the gym and fly back in fresh and with all guns blazing.
#11 Eat Before Bed
When you hit the hay for 8 or 9 hours, you are in a state of fasting. Sleep is when you grow, but your body needs the fuel to make it happen.Taking in slow release protein, like casein, within an hour of bed, will keep the building blocks flowing while you sleep. Add in a small amount of complex carbs also, to facilitate the process.
Top quality sleep is essential for optimal recovery. Sheer Sleep is a potent supplement, engineered to help your body fall into a healthy sleep cycle. Filled with science-backed ingredients, such as melatonin, the sleep hormone, Sheer Sleep will ensure you make the most of your slumber.
#12 Progressive Resistance
If you find yourself on a training plateau, lifting the same weights workout after workout, you’re doing something wrong. It stands to reason that your figures need to progress if you want to see results. If you’re stuck in a rut, you probably need to take some time out and hit the gym with renewed vigor.
#13 Always Warm-Down
Warming down is just as important as warming up, but for very different reasons.If you drop that last big, heavy set and simply march out of the gym, you’re leaving toxic by-products locked within your muscles. This leads to excess muscle soreness and vastly hindered recovery.
Always stretch and shake out, before adding in some very gentle cardio to flush the muscles and stimulate anabolism.
#14 Keep a Diary
Lastly, keep a training diary.
Keeping track of your workouts helps you to keep an eye on your progress and see where you might be going wrong. Write down your pre-workout nutrition, the time you hit the gym, and the time you leave. Jot down every set and rep, along with how they feel. Add in your weights and every technique change. All of these things are important and will provide you with the feedback you need to tweak your training and achieve your goals.