Lets face it, there are so many gym workouts online.
How do you know what one is best to accomplish your goals?
To be honest with you, you can use just about any gym workout to accomplish your goals.
Gym Workouts and Tips
I’m going to over some of the basic types of workouts and give you a list of tips that I encourage you to take note and utilize.
Types of Workouts
There are a few different types of workouts.
Bodybuilding workouts generally follow a higher rep, higher volume, and more isolation type workouts.
These workouts typically aim for pump and complete muscle breakdown.
- Seems to be more inviting to beginner lifters because of idol bodybuilders who run similar routines.
- Uses more machines so it is less intimidating to beginner lifters.
- They usually have a wide selection of useful muscle building exercises.
- Many routines contain way too much volume and exercises for natural lifters.
- Many routines seem to be unbalanced and focus on cosmetics instead of balance and athleticism.
- Rest days can be very sore from DOMS if your body is not accustomed to training.
Bodybuilding workouts are great because you get to learn your body and build muscular endurance and increase your work capacity.
If you take a lot of time off or jump into a workout full-on, you’re going to be almost incapacitated the following days from muscle and connective tissue soreness.
Powerlifting workouts generally follow a low rep, lower volume, “big 3” lift approach.
These workouts aim for central nervous system stimulation and increasing efficiency of doing your squat, bench, and deadlift.
- Focuses more on the big 3 lifts and a few accessory exercises for each. This makes things simple.
- Low volume, heavy lifts will not make you as sore as bodybuilding workouts.
- It’s nice being able to work up to a 1 rep max and lift heavy ass weight.
- 1 Rep maxes attempted too often which results in burning out and over-training.
- Your nervous system is temperamental and is it more likely to have an “off-day” training than it is repping out lighter weights.
- Too much ego lifting.
Powerlifting workouts are a great change of pace to a bodybuilding workout and vice versa.
When doing these type of workouts, you get to really learn your body and how to use your leverages to your advantages.
One large down-side to powerlifting workouts is people will ego lift too often; this means they will attempt 1 rep maxes too much to please their ego.
This will burn you out, injure you, or humble you really fast.
Body Weight Workouts
Body weight workouts are great because you do not have to invest in any equipment.
These types of workouts can be done anywhere and is very easy to get started.
- No equipment needed to start; equipment can be made or found in nature.
- If you cannot do full body weight exercises like pull ups, you can make the exercise easier.
- No need to go to gym, easiest to get someone new to fitness or exercise involved in.
- Once you are efficient with the exercises, you can’t add a massive amount of muscle if that is your goal.
- Progression usually means more time doing exercises. Utilizing circuits and higher volume is how you progress.
- Limited on the types of exercises you can do.
Body weight workouts are great for conditioning, learning your body, and getting started on getting fit.
Although you can get injured doing anything, the lack of using weights with your exercises helps minimize injuries.
Tips To Make All Gym Workouts Effective
Regardless of what type of workout you do, you will have to deload often if you want to have longevity in your training.
I’m not giving you permission to skip a workout if you are tired from partying every day, but I recommend 50% of your working weight for a week or completely taking a week off about every 4th week.
Learn to listen to your body and you are going to be able to train for the rest of your life and reach all of your goals.
Whatever music gets you in the zone, use it.
It’s hard to hit your new PR when you have Bieber playing in the background.
Use music to drive your training but use a playlist.
Don’t sit there playing on your phone or mp3 player while you are trying to train.
Quit Trying To Isolate Compound Lifts
Too many times have I seen someone trying isolate a compound lift.
That’s right, isolate a compound lift.
Quit putting your feet up on the bench to isolate your pecs on a lift that utilizes your pecs, lats, triceps, biceps, forearms, abs, and more.
Cardio Post Workout
I wrote an article about how cardio affects your muscle growth.
I highly recommend doing cardio post workout because it helps with conditioning, active recovery, and a way to cool down from weight training.
Don’t burn up all of your energy before you weight train.
I do recommend 5 to 10 minutes of cardio before you weight train to help get your body temperature raised and your nervous system primed.
Don’t let your grip strength limit your ability to deadlift or any type of pull.
Unless you are wanting to become a powerlifter, don’t worry about building up your grip strength.
Lift that damn weight.
If you are like me and over-analyze and over-think everything, I feel for you.
If you try to analyze each exercise, rep, and set of every workout to try to find the right one; you are wasting your time.
Get out there and go train.
There are going to be days where nothing seems to go right, your diet is sloppy, and you are sore all over with no results.
Remember why you started and don’t let the small things ruin all that you have worked for so far.
Your dream body isn’t going to reveal itself over night.
Have patience and learn that fitness is a 24 hour lifestyle.
Going to the gym with no goals will be your downfall.
Sit down and write exactly what you want to achieve.
Once you have your goals written down and a reasonable time frame, you will be able to work towards those goals.
Just showing up to the gym will be a waste of time with no goals defined.
Warming up is extremely important to ensuring your longevity in the gym.
Warming up raises your core temperature, helps your mobility increase, and gets your body ready to smash some weight.
Don’t let your ego keep you from warming up.
You don’t look like a bad ass benching with just the bar to start warming up, but you won’t make it to 315 if you don’t learn to warm up correctly.
Mobility > Stretching
A lot of times I see people stretching and in the off-chance I get to talk to them about their goals and routine, I realize they don’t understand why they are stretching.
Every beginner you see come into the gym will do the usual “stretching” because they think that’s what you have to do to get ready to train.
Unfortunately, stretching has been known to weaken muscles and increase the chance of injury.
Think mobility, not stretching.
If you sit at a desk all day, your hip mobility and hamstring mobility is very tight.
Stretching your chest and triceps just to do it won’t help.
Look into some mobility routines out there and see what you should do.
Go During Non-Peak Hours
Waiting for the power rack or bench can be detrimental to your gains.
If you can go during non-peak hours, you will have an empty gym to focus and train your ass off.
If you follow all of the tips above and can’t be consistent in your diet and training, you are slowly ruining all that you are working towards.
You must be consistent if you want to reach your goals.
It doesn’t matter if you can train every day or twice a week, consistently going to train, consistently eating to reach your goals, and consistently putting your best effort into your training will ensure your ability to reach your goals.
Form Over Weight
Dialing in your form is more important than trying to make 50 pound jumps in your personal records.
I’m not saying to start with the bar and add 10 pounds per week but if you train and develop bad form habits, you are going to pay for it later.
The way I’ve deadlifted for a couple of years has worked well for me, but I’m hitting a plateau that I am going to have to completely redo and dial-in my form if I want to see any type of increases.
Try new things and find what works best for you.
The weight will come.
Eat To Reach Your Goals
Like I said earlier, you need to set your goals and plan to reach them.
You can get stronger, build muscle, and lose weight.
But what if you want to simply build muscle and strength? What if you need to lose weight?
Know what you want, plan how to get there, and execute.
The body is made in the kitchen, you can’t out exercise a bad diet.
If you get up in the morning dreading going to the gym or eating healthy, there’s no way you will last.
Find a way of training that you enjoy doing. If you can’t stand running on the treadmill, maybe you like to go hiking?
Trust me, on your lowest of low days, it will be hard to talk yourself into going to the gym and slogging through a workout you hate.
Figure out what you enjoy and run with it.
The Biggest Tip To Make All Gym Workouts Work
This tip I’m about to tell you is something a good friend of mine, Steve Shaw who released a great training book recently taught me.
Progressive overload is working to better yourself just one more rep or 5 more pounds.
Doing the same amount of reps, sets, and weight each workout expecting to get stronger is just asinine.
Every day you step into the gym I want you go strive to get at least 1 more rep or 5 pounds added to the bar.
There will be no more “plateus” and you are not going to stall.
Take the guess-work out of your gains and you are guaranteed to reach your goals.
Any gym workout you choose will work if you utilize my tips.
I’ve had friends and clients run almost any routine and they all got positive results from them.
Quit looking for the “perfect routine” and get off your ass and train hard; I bet you get your results.
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