There are more guys working out, not getting any results, than there are getting results. Most of us workout, but our results stay stagnant. This article will give you the rules you need to follow, to start seeing serious results in the gym, and to stop wasting your time.
The Weight Room Laws
1. Follow a program created by someone other than yourself.
I know how to lift. I know how to get results in the gym. Yet, unless I’m testing out a new routine, I follow programs that are created by other people. Why? Because, no matter how advanced we are with our knowledge of how to train, we have our ways. What we need is to try something new, that we wouldn’t otherwise try.
Granted, the program has to be created by someone who knows what they’re talking about. But that’s easy enough to find.
2. Follow a program.
Most don’t accomplish anything in their training because there’s no rhyme or reason to what they’re doing in the gym. To see results, you need to follow a program.
If we don’t follow a program, we’re basically embarking on a trip without a map, having never been to our destination.
A structured program will help you focus when you’re working out. It’ll take the guessing out of your routine. It’ll allow you to track your progress and progressively overload and break through a plateau.
3. Progressively overload.
Add weight each week, or at least every second week. No matter what your goals, you need to improve every time you’re in the gym, or at least improve, period.
Lift heavier weights and improve on your reps for those weights weekly.
4. Keep track of the weights you lift.
Have your workout written down, or printed out on a piece of paper. Beside each exercise, leave room to write this week’s weights, and the next, and the next. Each week you should at least be attempting to add weight.
If you don’t know what you’re lifting each day for each exercise, or how many reps you’re performing, you’ll have no idea if you’re making any progress.
5. Use straps sparingly.
The best way to improve grip strength and forearm size is to lift heavy weights without straps. That is, farmer’s walk, deadlifts, and walking lunges with dumbbells, among others.
Strength is a measurement of what we can lift in the real world, without straps. So don’t use them in your training, UNLESS you’re working on a maximal lift and your grip fails before your muscles do. This is when you can add straps into your training, so you continually improve regardless of how tired your hands may be.
6. Lift to failure within good form.
A lot of people will argue with this law because lifting to failure all the time is too tough on the body. I disagree largely because very few of us actually put our muscles through any real degree of pain. We stop far too short on our sets. To see gains, we need pain. The more “good pain” we put our muscles through, the better.
7. Listen to music.
Law? Indeed. This will cut your talking out completely. Listening to music can also release endorphins that give us more energy, and make us happier – as does working out. I’ve found that doing so results in a higher quality, and a shorter workout.
8. Sprint, don’t jog.
Big law. When I was fighting, I changed my cardio routine from exclusively distance running – as is customary in fighting sports, especially if you have to cut weight – to almost exclusively sprinting. The result: increased strength, fat loss, and greater muscle maintenance while in a caloric deficit. Also, an increase in power.
This is a law: sprint. Jogging isn’t an option. Of the two, sprinting should dominate your workouts whether you’re trying to lose fat, build muscle, or simply get in better shape.
9. Deadlift often.
Deadlifts should be a part of your routine. When we train our lower body, we often dominate our workouts with quad or calf exercises (the mirror muscles), but the hips are just as, if not more, important. Deadlifts help develop the hips. They’re also one of the best exercises to increase athletic power that we can possibly perform.
Try deadlifts on blocks to save your back.
10. Pull more than you push.
Again, the mirror muscles dominate our programs. This can easily be remedied if you choose the right program, so do your research before starting a routine.
11. Go full speed on the concentric contraction.
Some will debate that you need a cadence alteration on the concentric contraction, I don’t. All tempo variations should be left to the eccentric contraction as well as the pauses at the top and bottom of the exercise. Actively press or pull as fast as you possibly can. You’ll increase strength, which will help you lift more, and gain more muscle.
12. Perform more compound than isolation movements.
Compound exercises, those that work more than one muscle group at a time, will help you create more lactic acid, which raises HGH levels, and helps you burn more fat while maintaining muscle. Programs that are dominated by isolation exercises are rare, but usually meant for final tweaking.
Stick to the bigger muscle groups, get better results, and growing stronger.
The Nutrition Laws
1. Eat carbs after your workout.
Whether you’re trying to gain muscle or lose fat, you need to have a source of carbs after your workout. Throw some berries in with your protein powder and enjoy. If you want a good post-workout carbohydrates supplement, click here.
2. Follow a nutrition plan that is sustainable.
Can you live a good life if you don’t have a couple beers, a couple nights a week? If you can’t, then have those beers. Just make sure you keep it to a couple, a couple nights a week.
Any fitness goal should be a lifelong, lifestyle change. Something permanent. So change the way you eat, but find a routine that you can follow until you kick the bucket (i.e. still allow yourself to enjoy the finer things in moderation).
3. Don’t go balls deep all at once.
Don’t try and completely change your diet all at once. Start with 1 meal, then work your way up. Where most of us go wrong is in trying to make a huge change. We then break, and our diet comes crashing to the ground, us, completely off the wagon moving closer and closer towards blobbery.
4. Eat vegetables.
Fellas, we don’t eat enough vegetables. Have something green with every one of your meals. Just for added measure, I take a greens supplement as well (click here to check it out).
5. Eat meat.
Meat has been the enemy of the modern man for a while now. Nutritionists are wrongly stating that red meat is the devil, and that men need to stay away from it. Wrong. I’ve already made my argument for eating meat as a part of a BALANCED diet, so check out “Why You Need to Eat Meat“.
6. Eat the whole egg.
There’s no food source with as much good fats and protein, as a whole egg. An added benefit is the source of cholesterol. Our bodies convert cholesterol into testosterone in our testicles. The cholesterol in eggs is good for us, make no bones about it. It also lowers our bodies natural production of cholesterol when we eat it from eggs, so it doesn’t translate into stored fat or heart problems.
Eggs also have more nutrients than most other foods sources. Start and end your day with 2-4 eggs to naturally raise your testosterone levels.
7. Have the majority of your carbs around your workout.
This is when our bodies need carbohydrates most. These carbs can come in the form of a post workout shake, as well as a post workout meal an hour or so after the shake.
If the shake is right after your workout like it should be, use fruits, even fruit juice and other fast carbs that will result in a faster insulin spike.
8. Don’t fear fat.
Fats, when consumed at the right time and of the proper variety, are great for us. They also don’t lead to fat gains, sugars, and carbohydrates, along with trans fats, do. Have your monounsaturated and saturated fats before bed and upon rising to naturally raise your testosterone levels.
Find out more on natural testosterone elevation here: Naturally raise your testosterone levels.
9. Don’t limit carb intake when trying to gain muscle.
The whole, don’t eat carbs fad will soon end. We need carbs. Whether you get them from fruits or grains, we need them. If you’re trying to gain muscle mass, it’s far easier to do so with a high carbohydrates intake. A 50/30 carbs to protein ratio is a good rule of thumb.
Above all: eat a lot.
10. Use supplements to supplement.
Start with a healthy diet, then use supplements to fill in the gaps, not the other way around. Wondering what supplements you should be using? Check out this article: 10 Essential Supplements for Men.
22 Fitness Laws for Men
Why “maintain” when your can improve? These laws will help you improve.