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Shorter is sweeter: Spending more time in the gym does not equal more muscle.

Ten ways to increase your effectiveness in the gym

  1. Shorter is sweeter

    Spending more time in the gym does not equal more muscle. Exercise research scientists recommend 4 to 5 workouts lasting less than an hour a week will lead to faster results when you want to pack serious size.

  2. Learn how to lift properly

    It is imperative that you learn how to lift weights properly. A lot of bodybuilders injure themselves because they work their joints and ligaments instead of working the actual muscle. One example is not to round your back when you do compound movements such as squats, barbell rows or deadlifts.

  3. Pick a priority

    Bodybuilders either train to lean out for a show or they train to add more muscle in the off-season. You can’t do both. Pick a priority and then train for it. Avoid the pitfall of wanting it all – strength, muscle, fat loss and stamina.

  4. Variety is key

    Progression leads to muscle growth and that means you have to change the parameters of your routine.Plan your workouts in monthly cycles to prevent your body from adopting to a specific split. Cycle the poundages you use, your sets and reps as well as your training sequence to avoid stagnation.Variety is the main ingredient of training success.

  5. Monitor your reps

    If you train within a certain rep range you will know when to increase the load you are working with. If you are able to complete 13 reps when you are working in the 10 to 12 rep range you will know that you need to go up in weight on that particular exercise.

  6. Change your reps

    Don’t hit the weights using the same rep range. For the first 2 weeks perform reps in the 10-12 range, do 6-8 reps in your 3rd and 4th week and do 8-10 reps for the 5th and 6th week cycle to keep things fresh and interesting.

  7. Do compounds first

    Plan your workouts around basic compound moves like squats, bench presses and deadlifts. These lifts recruit the most muscle, they create metabolic stress and burn calories faster. Multi-joint exercises will also give your the best bang for your buck when you want to put on size.

  8. Don’t forget isolation moves

    Once you have finished pounding your muscles with the big compounds you can incorporate isolation training (leg extensions, tricep pushdowns, cable cross-overs) to add variety.

  9. Control the weights

    Never throw weights around the gym. Control the weights by raising them smoothly and lowering them under control.

  10. Break plateaus

    Do the same exercise twice in the same workout if you want to break through a particular training plateau. If you are looking to improve a certain lift you feel you are weak on you can do it twice – at the beginning and at the end of your workout.

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