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Athletic builders as promised!!!
“Regardless of our goals at some point we all hit a wall, some of us give up at that wall and others will climb over it and keep moving. The rules to breaking plateaus are changing your game and creating the best environments for your body to thrive no matter your goals.” #Wayne
As always I’m not here to waste your time. I’m just here to help. If you’re reading this then you are probably trying to gain or lose weight, tone, build muscle or increase strength. At some point after training specific ways for long periods of time your body adapts via neurological adaptations. The easiest way to explain this is to think of a marathon runner because due to his body needing to be efficient to run his muscles are small and slender making it easy for blood flow and less work for the heart, thus making the runner efficient to running as oxygen can be fed to the muscles rapidly. The powerlifter on the other hand has thick dense muscles in order accomplish powerful lifts the body’s immediate adaptation to lifting heavy is to enlarge the muscles if you compared the two you would notice their body has adapted to make them more efficient. The longer you train or do the same thing the more your body will be inclined to adapt and functioning as efficiently as it can to your given stimulus, in this case, exercise. To some the ideas below are common sense, however, they have been exposed to this information and so should you. There are a few other things you can do besides the common change your diet and exercise. Here they are
Change your mentality
Ladies don’t be scared to lift heavy, forget about looks for a little, find a trainer or coach and invest in some Olympic lifting sessions. Keep increasing your personal records, in your quest for greatness be prepared to get bruised and banged up from the barbells. Yes, it hurts but most things worth working for hurt so ”Suck it UP!!!“ If you’re still fairly new to this start strength training or add cardio to your program if it is not already part of your program. The most important piece of advice is don’t be a specialist, start being versatile and broadening your training spectrum, your better off with an arsenal against your goals opposed to one or two styles of training. The less intensity you have with your workout the longer it will take to get to your goals. You should execute your program with efficiency and intensity on your hard days. The gym is a place to workout not meet friends so do work when you get there. If you have time to chat at the gym you might as well be on vacation. Remember just cause you like to talk doesn’t mean everyone else does, put your head down and get lost.
Change your cardio
If your trying to lose weight and all you do is cardio, you should lift weights for cardio. Ladies I know some of you don’t want to look like a man but that’s just a lame excuse to avoid hard work, in the 48 hour period after doing just cardio or cardio and weights, Research shows cardio and weights burns almost 3 times the amount of calories post workout. The type of cardio you do should also change i.e HITT, Metabolic, steady state, fasted to name a few. Forget about watching your favorite tv show, ditch the machine and invest in a weighted vest and you can become the machine #RunOutside and carry something.
Trying to gain weight and cardio
I am a firm believer in everyone doing some sort of cardio for heart health even mass monsters need a healthy heart. I see it all the time guys ripped to shreds but you put them in front of a rower and a weighted vest after a few rounds of 1min AMRAPS they think they need an ambulance. I don’t care how big your biceps are or wide your back is, if you can’t run for more than 2 miles without getting out of breath, you got problems!!! Cardio for the Muscle shark is a must, I suggest that you lift weights for cardio, you’re probably like what the??? Yeah, I know, but if you lift moderate weight faster for a period of 30 to 60 seconds with a minimum of four exercises per round and do 3 rounds of various exercises of your choice. Add this at least twice a week at opposite ends of the week. The above is affected by your goals and the quality of weight gain you desire. #Train Smarter
Change your program duration
The length that you’re on a program will directly affect your results up to 40 percent. My general rule of thumb is no less than 6 weeks no more than 12 unless the program has phases spanning longer than the minimum weeks or is designed with deloading, such programs go against the grain and are designed to account for variable intensity. So if you’re not sticking to programs for the minimum 6 weeks give it a try and if you have been on a program for more than 12 weeks change it. This is where the adaptations we spoke of previously comes to life and crushes any chance you have of progressing toward your end goal. Once your body stays on a program too long it gets used to it and stops changing.
Change your game
Every now and then train functionally but do not replace your strength training with it. For those of you that don’t know what that means I am going into detail about functional training. For those of you who don’t want to waste their time on a long read its plain and simple Join a gym that offers training that is the opposite of what you’re used to if you’re a powerlifter or Bodybuilder look for a Crossfit workout and do one 3 times a week for a month. If you do not have access to this or already are currently on a program take the time and look into foam rolling, Yoga and sports massage to name a few. Essentially it’s a break from your day to day but you’re still helping your body change.
Functional strength training has become a popular buzzword in the fitness industry. Unfortunately, it is also subject to wide interpretation. The most common misunderstanding is it is derived from Crossfit, it’s the other way around. This style of training has always been around, I have used it with my clients ever since I can remember. Athletes have been training this way since forever this is nothing new.
Back to where we were,
Some individuals believe that by mimicking the explosive, ballistic activities of high-level competitive athletes, they are training in a functional manner. All too often, however, such training programs greatly exceed the physiological capabilities of the average exerciser, which ultimately increases the possibility that an injury might occur so always be careful when attempting such training.
Most would agree that there is nothing functional about sustaining an injury due to improper training.
In many respects, functional strength training should be thought of in terms of a movement continuum. As humans, we perform a wide range of movement activities, such as walking, jogging, running, sprinting, jumping, lifting, pushing, pulling, bending, twisting, turning, standing, starting, stopping, climbing and lunging. All of these activities involve smooth, rhythmic motions in the three cardinal planes of movement-sagittal, frontal and transverse. (Fancy names for the pattern we move our bodies).
Training to improve functional strength involves more than simply increasing the force-producing capability of a muscle or group of muscles. Rather, it requires training to enhance the coordinated working relationship between the nervous and muscular systems.
Functional strength training involves performing work against resistance in such a manner that the improvements in strength directly enhance the performance of movements so that an individual’s activities of daily living are easier to perform. Simply stated, the primary goal of functional training is to transfer the improvements in strength achieved in one movement to enhancing the performance of another movement by affecting the entire neuromuscular system.
In functional training, it is as critical to train the specific movement as it is to train the muscles involved in the movement. The brain, which controls muscular movement, thinks in terms of whole motions, not individual muscles.
Exercises that isolate joints and muscles are training muscles, not movements, which results in less functional improvement. For example, squats will have a greater “transfer effect” on improving an individual’s ability to rise from a sofa than knee extensions.
For strength exercises to effectively transfer to other movements, several components of the training movement need to be similar to the actual performance movement. This includes coordination, types of muscular contractions (concentric, eccentric, isometric), speed of movement and range of motion.
Each individual component of the training movement must be viewed as only a single element of the entire movement. The exercises with the highest transfer effect are those that are essentially similar to the actual movement or activity in all four components. It is important to note, however, that individuals cannot become an expert at a particular movement or activity by training only with similar movements. For optimal results, repeated practice of the precise movement is required.
Exercises performed on most traditional machines tend to be on the low-end of the functional-training continuum because they isolate muscles in a stabilized, controlled environment. While it may be true that traditional machine-based exercises are not the best way to transfer performance from the weight room to the real world, it does not mean that such exercises should not be a part of a training program.
For example, “non-functional,” single-joint exercise can play a critical role in helping to strengthen a “weak link” that a person may have to restore proper muscle balance. Furthermore, doing such an exercise can allow an individual to more safely and effectively participate in functional-training activities while also reducing the risk of injury.
In the final analysis, it must be remembered that functional training is not an all-or-nothing concept. A continuum of functionality exists. The only entirely functional exercise is the actual activity one is training for.
Accordingly, individuals shouldn’t rely on any single group of exercises. Individuals should use all the weapons in their training arsenal. Functional strength training should serve as a supplement to traditional strength training, not as a replacement.
Properly applied, functional strength training may provide exercise variety and additional training benefits that more directly transfer improvements to real-life activities.
Supplements are to supplement a good diet and are not miracle drugs, make sure to do research before taking any supplements. Remember you still have to work hard when taking supplements.
If you’re taking supplements I suggest after every cycle of any given supplement totally stopping the supplement for 2 to 4 weeks. This avoids receptor and cell saturation trust me your body can do awesome without the shakes, creatine, pre-workouts and 10 other things you take. I personally get better results when taking breaks from certain supplements.
If you’re not taking supplements, I would suggest a multivitamin and a protein to get you started, for weight loss I recommend a standard whey protein, for weight gain I prefer a blended protein to a weight gainer. I feel that there are so many additives in gainers that it makes it very hard to control your weight once you start putting it on. With that said, the more you demand of your body you may have to look into various other supplements to help with recovery and muscle breakdown.
Change cheat meal
On days you would normally have your cheat meal only eat protein throughout the day. Yes, I know losing the cheat day will make you go crazy however when you’re stuck one needs to make drastic changes. As the saying goes “Desperate times call for desperate measures”. If you’re more of a warrior then do straight protein every 3rd day for 2 months.
Let me know how it goes and keep moving,
Wayne Mutata is the owner of iTrainStudio and is dedicated to helping individuals reach their health and fitness goals. As a personal trainer, nutritionist, leader, and motivator, he brings light into the Studio every day and positively influences those around him. You can follow him on Facebook at @iTrainStudio and on Instagram at @iTrainWithWayne or @iTrainStudio.Lancaster. For a free consultation, visit theiTrainStudio website!