As much as we like to think otherwise, even when we work out hard and regularly, we think we might be getting results but often we’re not. Sometimes, instead of keeping on the same track, you’ve got to change things up a bit. Here are some ideas that might help you get better, no matter what you’re doing.
1. Lose Weight—This is probably number one for most people. Whether you’re a fitness athlete, contest bodybuilder, or train for some sport, in most cases your health, performance and appearance will change for the better if you lose a little weight. Except for special cases, such as really skinny folk who are building up, or football linemen or something like that, you’re all probably carrying a few excess pounds. So, make it a goal to lose five pounds and do it. Don’t do it all at once, spread out the weight loss gradually, but start today. Change your diet, whatever nutritional approach you’re on, to eating less (or less junk), step up your activity, sweat a little more and eat a little better. You’ll be glad you did.
2. Train Faster—This is related to the first thing to do, as we mentioned. But training faster can help you build muscle, too. It’s another tool in the toolbox you have to improve. Most bodybuilding or weight trainers who become dedicated get hooked on heavy poundages. They go heavy, then heavier, then heavier still. If they hit a sticking point, they often try to go heavier. We know, we’ve done it, too. But believe it that you can make muscle gains and even strength gains by lightening up the poundages and cutting down your rest time. Vince Gironda aficionados will understand, the rest of you should try it.
3. Add Shape—You say you’re in shape. Well, for bodybuilding, especially natural bodybuilding, in an attempt to keep up with the pro style physiques, guys get hooked on mass. So in addition to lifting heavy, they stick to the basics, such as benches, squats, rows, etc.—all the compound, multi-join mass builders. But you can add muscle (yes it’s mass) in the right places through training for shape. Isolation exercises such as lateral raises, done with moderate poundages and much concentration in good form, can actually add mass but certainly will give you a better physique with wider delts from the medial delt head work if you do it right. All the way through your physique, you can improve your shape. Don’t wait, do it now.
4. Bomb Your Weak Points—In the old days, or the old school days, the pros with their 20 set per bodypart workouts would sometimes blast away with set after set for weak points. Natural bodybuilders, due to the realistic limitations of muscle and nerve endurance, can’t do the same. But you can do some extra work for a weak bodypart. Schedule what otherwise would be a rest day, or cut back on your 8 sets of arm work, for example, to just 4 sets and use those other 4 sets on calves or abs or back or whatever isn’t developing as well and doesn’t look as good. You can train the weak parts light, heavy—whatever combination you want. Be creative. But get after it. Attack those weak points and make them grow.
5. Change Your Workouts—I often write about this because the need for this is so great. The more dedicated athletes often continue to hammer away on the same workout. This is true for runners, bodybuilders, cyclists, lifters, football players—it doesn’t matter. But the body and mind often rebel at too much routine. Do something different. It doesn’t matter so much what, the contrast will wake up your body. If you’ve been training heavy, go lighter. If you never run, add some running—it won’t kill you and might get you in better shape. Do a bodyweight exercise only routine for a while. When you return to the iron, your body will soak up the work.
Well, there you have it. Five things you can choose from to do right now to improve your physique and maybe improve your results at a sport or fitness activity you love.
Now go out and do it.
Greg Sushinsky is a natural bodybuilder who has trained for several years. He is a professional writer who has written extensively about bodybuilding, with numerous training articles appearing in Musclemag International, Ironman magazine, Reps! and others.Greg continues to train hard and enthusiastically. He strives to maintain a lean, proportionate physique, write and publish on bodybuilding, and continues to do and pursue many writing and publishing projects in his other areas of interest. He continues to advise and consult with bodybuilders, athletes and fitness people. Read Complete Bio.
Articles by Greg Sushinsky