Incorporating some type of strength training regimen into your weekly workout routines will help you achieve your goals much faster than cardio alone. When you’re eating the right foods, training with weights not only helps you build muscle but can also help you build up strength and endurance. You’ll find it easier to power through other workouts when you have more strength from strength training routines and will find that you burn more calories for hours after your workout.
Here are five strength training tips that will help you get better results:
#1: Go to failure. Maximize your hard work at the gym by pushing yourself to failure. Training to failure is one of the best ways to increase strength and will also boost your metabolism. There is still a lot of debate about whether training to failure is absolutely necessary but, for most people, forcing the muscles to work that much harder – for at least 16 weeks – can help you achieve great results.
#2: Go heavy. Lifting heavy weights will engage more muscles and also give your metabolism a boost. Don’t be afraid to load up the weights so that you really can push to failure on those last few reps. I’ve found that lifting and pushing weights helps me get results much faster than working with light weights and high reps in the short-term. If you’re trying to break through a plateau or just want to build strength quickly, start loading up the weights for better results.
#3: Move quickly between sets. You do need a very short period of rest time between sets but that doesn’t mean you should just sit and wait for the next round. Incorporate supersets into your training program so that you can keep your heart rate up and work several muscle groups in a shorter period of time. This is another good way to break out of a plateau and challenge your body to work that much harder.
#4: Pay attention to your post-workout meal. What you eat right after your strength training routine will have a positive or negative impact on your body. Your body is ‘primed’ to absorb nutrients right after an intense workout so make sure you’re eating some quality protein and some healthy carbs right after your workout. The American Council on Exercise recommends tuna on whole wheat bread or some non-fat Greek yogurt with fruit as a post-workout snack. A protein shake with some fruit or some egg whites with lots of veggies are some other options.
#5: Schedule rest days. When you’re really pushing your body to lift those heavy weight loads and are being consistent with your workout routine, you need to make time for rest and recovery. Your muscles can only repair themselves and grow when you are resting, so make sure you’re not setting yourself up for overtraining by working out every day or skimping on sleep.