Article By Matt Nailor

If you’re serious about your training and want more from your workouts; then these tips are essential when planning your sessions.

1. Organise your split for your goals (e.g. muscle) As you begin to increase the intensity of your training, rest and allowing time to properly recover become vital. Hence how you arrange your split is essential. As a beginner a whole body workout may do the job but as you become more advanced a better approach is to hit a larger body part accompanied by a smaller body part, then planning time to recover. As the volume and intensity of your workouts increase, you’ll need extra time to recover. Your workouts are the reason your body grows, however it repairs and grows and changes outside the gym so long as proper rest and nutrition are given.

2. Perform compound movements early. Exercises fall into 2 categories compound and isolation. In compound two joints work together e.g. bench press: Shoulders and elbows. This causes more muscles to be used at once, because of this typically in these movements you can use much more weight. It is better to perform when you are fresh. Isolation movements for the end of your workouts.

3. Increase workout volume Are you performing a sufficient amount of sets and reps? Those that have been training for a while and who are looking for more muscle gains, research shows high volume workouts would be beneficial for hypertrophy ( Muscle growth). A small portion of the reasons high volume workouts result in muscle growth is the initiate the secretion of anabolic hormone such as testosterone, ANO and HGH in the body which are essential for muscle growth. Remember too much volume can be counterproductive.

4. Weight selection Research shows that performing 8-12 reps is optimal per set for muscle growth, however that isn’t to say it’s law. We should realistically be aiming to fail at this 8-12 rep range. I.e. reps: 8, 9,10,11,12 should be very very difficult.

5. Hit muscles from more than one angle Familiar with using incline, flat and decline for your bench press? That same approach should be used for all body parts. Not just the type of exercise but your general body position, including hand and foot position. Variety in your routine will help you hit muscles in different ways.

6. Change up your rest Typically you may find yourself taking anywhere between 45 seconds and 2 minutes rest between sets. Start taking a slightly longer rest when lifting heavy to ensure you are properly recovered and prepared for the next set. This should be done on any exercise you perform 6-8 reps.

7. Ever trained to failure Take your sets through to concentric muscle failure, this is where you can no longer perform reps with good form on your own. This again will stimulate the release of anabolic hormones. Doing this every set however will be counterproductive. Take 1-2 sets of an exercise in your workout to complete failure.

8. Get a training buddy When the intensity of your workouts starts to get harder, it’s a good idea to have a spotter for safety and also to push yourself past the point of failure.

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