Sunday, 26 October 2014

Common Gym Mistakes and Simple Solutions to them - Part 3


If you want to get BIG mainly:

Lift approx 60% of your 1 rep max (1RM) 6-12 reps, 2-4 sets and a max of the 3 exercises per body part/body movement, 45 – 90 sec rest. 

If you want to get STRONG mainly:

Lift 60-100% of you 1RM for 2-5 reps, 4-5 sets and perhaps only one exercise per body movement (squat, deadlift, press), 2 – 5 mins rest. 

If you want MUSCLE ENDURANCE mainly:

Lift 10-59% of your 1RM for 12-20 reps, 4-6 sets per body movement, 30-45s rest. 

If you want to increase CARDIO OUTPUT then run/walk/cycle etc at least 70% max heart rate.

For all - train 3 times a week and add weight to the bar/distance/speed at least once a fortnight, ideally once a week on each movement/exercise. 

Whatever your goals you must be in control of the weight at all times, fast movements are rarely controlled movements.  In general when we are moving the weight (the concentric phase) we lift the weight in a quick, but controlled manner.  When we lower the weight (the eccentric phase) we lower it slowly perhaps taking 3-5 seconds.  This element of resistance training is vitally important and one of the areas most people get wrong.

If you work outside of these common rules/principles then you are most likely not maximizing your gains.  Examples:

Too much weight will decrease muscle size gains.
Too many reps will reduce strength gains.
Too much rest will decrease training intensity regardless of goal.
Too little rest will decrease all gains and increase the chance of injury.


Your 1RM will increase gradually so you therefore have to adjust your percentage of the 1RM.  Do not stick to the same weight every workout.