Even if you hit the gym every day, if you aren’t lifting properly, you’re losing out on massive gains. Some guys who have been lifting for years claim to be lifting experts. While that may be true for some, we can certainly argue that the wisdom of others may be lacking.
While old-school lifting methods have been proven time and time again over the years, the fact is that there is a new biology to get bigger muscles. With the power of science, we are learning that the “big lifts=big gains+greater intensity=greater results” may not be as good as it gets.
Old Way: Go Hard or Go Home
NEW WAY: DO LESS WORK, BETTER
To get the results you desire, you don’t have to push your body past its limits. Training actually will eventually become less effective as you tire and your form breaks down. After that threshold, gains dwindle and injury risk increases. The key is to figure out the dose that helps you meet your goals without putting your health at risk.
How to do it: Hold off on doing more than a total of 22 good sets in a workout if you’re looking to bulk up. Limit yourself to 4 sets per exercise. Australian researchers found that more than 4 sets offers diminishing results. I doubt you want that.
Old Way: Lift Heavy Always
NEW WAY: GO LIGHT, GROW BIG
High weight, low reps is the age-old mantra of guys trying to pack on size and strength. Science has revealed that lifting lighter weights for more reps can boost growth as much as lifting heavy weights.
How to do it: Including both high and low rep sets in your workouts ensures that you hit both your fast and your slow twitch muscle fibers. First, do 3 sets of up to 30 reps. Then, load a bar with a weight you can squat, press, or lift 12-15 times and do those reps. Without letting go of the bar, set it down, take two breaths, and do 1-or-2 more repetitions. These are called “breathing reps.” Continue this process until you reach 20 reps. That’s 1 set. Do a total of 3 sets.
Old Way: Count Your Rest Period
NEW WAY: MAKE YOUR REST PERSONAL
Exercise affects everyone differently and scientists have confirmed that over the years simply by finding that people differ significantly in their recovery needs. Without proper recovery, performance suffers, especially if you’re doing circuits. Use a heart-rate monitor to customize your rest. Wait until your heart rate reaches a safe level of true recovery between workouts.
How to do it: Determine your maximum heart rate. Then, multiply your age by 0.7 and then subtract that number 207. Then strap on a heart rate monitor and track your pulse between circuits. An example if your 30 years old: (30 x 0.7 = 21 and 207-21 = 186) Wait until your pulse lowers to a target HR zone which would be between 95-160 beats per minute.
These three simple methods will help your body take advantage of extra gains that you potentially could be missing out on. Now, go out there and share your new-found wisdom with your gym buddies.
Written by: Tristan “Lucky”