Lift more weight, build more muscle

I’ve been at the same gym for about 3 years now, and a lot of the same people are there from when I first started going. And a lot of the guys are lifting pretty much the same weight as they were 3 years ago. They’re a little chubbier, and a lot less muscular.

People talk about progressive overload and like to sound like they’ve got a great training routine going, but they aren’t progressing at all. Their workouts are stagnant, their body’s have become used to what they’re doing in the gym and they haven’t gained a pound of muscle or lost a pound of fat in a decade!

In school you start out at the first grade, then move to the second, and the third and so on. You progress through your years, continually learning new things, and pushing your brain to ‘grow’. It’s common sense, you have to do new things to improve.

Well, like your brain, your muscles need to be pushed as well. There has to be some kind of progression in your workouts or you’re just not going to be improving at all.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re training.

  • Know how much you lifted last week.

Keep track of what you’re lifting. How are you going to know what to add if you didn’t know what you lifted last week?

After a while you just know this stuff, you can remember what you’re going to lift on squats, and what you’re going to lift on deadlift, but when you’re starting out, take notes.

  • Do something different ever 3 weeks.

Stick to the same routine for 3 weeks then change it up, don’t go longer than 4 weeks. It’s not the exercises that you necessarily have to change, it’s the sets, reps, and weight that you have to mix up.

For example:

Last week was the last week of a 3 week split. I was lifting 4 days a week, with most of my sets being 2 full sets + a drop set.

2 weeks ago

Chest – bench press

1st of 3 sets

10 reps, 60-sec rest, 10 reps, drop weight by 50%, lift till failure

This week

1st set – 4×5 reps – 60 seconds rest between each.

2nd set – 15 reps , 30-sec rest, 10 reps, 60-sec rest, 10 reps

3rd set – 30 reps, 30-sec rest, 30 reps

  • Change your cardio up

Make sure you have some variety in your cardio as well. Every now and then I’ll go for a nice run outside, but for the most part my cardio is quick and intense, lasting 9-12 minutes. I’ll do exercises like jump-rope, high knees running in the same sport, burpees, frog jumps and so on.

Intense cardio with short rests can boost your metabolism for up to 24 hours.

For more on the benefits of Interval Training click here.