It is a secret to no one that trends pick up strength whenever they are adopted by the masses. This also happens in the gym, as it is no stranger to norms when it comes to bulking up and getting strong. Many people stick to what they understand should be done at the time of a workout. And while those rules do have their merit, they are not the only way to go. There are numerous ways to reach your fitness goals, even by breaking all the commonplace and well established rules.
1st Rule: Stick to multi-joint exercises
When the goal is to increase size, many tend to make a main event out of exercising large muscle groups like the chest, by bench pressing; and legs, by squatting. However, an important complement which is rarely taken into account are isolation exercises. Add a couple of targeted isolation exercises and give your muscle groups a little more work where they need it. They will help strengthen and shape those areas that are not directly targeted by the big exercises. a posterior shoulder workout does the trick for most guys.
2nd Rule: A diverse workout
Another trend at the gym is that results are achieved by switching up the exercises on regular basis. A consistent program, however, will also provide considerable results because a routine changed too frequently will impede obtaining all the possible size and strength. The key is to allow your body to become accustomed to an exercise before transitioning to another.
The ideal time span for a workout routine is four to six weeks and progressive overload still applies and is very advantageous. Once the weight set feels light, increase the load. You can opt to, additionally, increase speed and complexity.
3rd Rule: Slow tempo every time you lift
Size and tension go hand in hand. That is, the time your muscles are under strain during a lift is key to bulking up. That said, your session should include fast tempo exercises. Muscular recruitment is increased by power exercises like box jumps and medicine ball slams, which, when returning to the strength building exercises traditionally done, will translate to increased strength and size. Three to four weeks of power exercises at the beginning of your routine will accomplish it.
4th Rule: Full range-of-motion every time
Because it pushes muscles to a great extent is why full range-of-motion tends to be beneficial. Lifters are often advised to bring the bar all the way down to their chest, extend fully at the elbow before pulling up again, and to squat below parallel. However, a unique growth stimulus can be obtained from partial range-of-motion when it is intermittently applied in your workout routine. More weight could be lifted during partial range-of-motion, for a considerable amount of exercises, than when going the distance.
During the week, you can diversify your workout routine by focusing on partial range-of-motion on a couple of exercises. For example, when it is time to deadlift, you can add more pounds to the bar and execute it from a rack position instead of from the floor. Your core strength and your grip will be challenged by the added weight, while your hamstrings and glutes get their usual benefits. The same applies to the bench press executed lying on the floor, instead of the traditional one. Give partial range-of-motion a chance for a number of weeks before returning to full depth.
5th Rule: Skip the cardio
It is common for people to think that cardio workouts are not conducive to gaining additional pounds of muscle. While there are cardio exercises that prevent the desired growth and can lead to the breakdown of muscles, the correct variety can help the process along and limit the gain of fat while consuming many calories.
Every workout regime should include some type of cardio. The short and intense variety will lead to satisfactory results while preventing the breakdown of muscles that running extended amounts of time can lead to.
Never be afraid to break the norms. Doing so, knowledgably and responsibly, can help bring along the results you have always wanted.