The new year is here and that means a massive influx of tourists hanging out in gyms. As a matter of fact, some gyms see as high as 40% membership gains between December and the end of January.
While people committing to getting fit at the beginning of each year can feel played-out, we still recommend taking the time to reflect on what your bodybuilding goals are every January.
How big are you looking to get? What kind of weight are you looking to pull? If you're just getting started in bodybuilding, how are you going to structure your routine?
All of those questions are important ones to have answers to. For us, we think that vets and newbies to bodybuilding should be thinking about how to optimize their strength training exercises.
Below, we share with you simple and actionable tips on how you can do exactly that.
1. Don't Be Afraid to Start With Body Weight Exercises
Everyone that's new to bodybuilding wants to start at the top. They want to hit the free weights in that special corner of their gym where all of the muscle-focused guys and gals are pulling serious weight day in and day out.
While it's never a bad thing to challenge yourself with free weights, we also think that it's worth your time to experiment with working against your body weight first.
Things like pull-ups and squats can have a tremendous impact on improving strength. They can help you build the discipline and base proficiency you need to better crush free weights in the future.
2. Keep an Eye On Your Form First and What You're Pulling Second
A classic mistake when it comes to bodybuilding is being hyper-focused on the number printed on the side of your weight. For a lot of people, it's all about being able to brag about how much was lifted.
Listen, the number on your weight it a great way to keep track of your progress. It's not much more than that though.
If you're really looking to see gains and look your best, worry more about maintaining form and less about going insane with weight.
If you do that, you'll see faster gains since your body will get the full effect from your workout.
3. Commit to Two Days a Week and Work Your Way Up
Another tip for people starting out, start small and work your way up.
It's extremely common, especially at the top of the year, to get hyped on the idea of bodybuilding, go to the gym 5 days a week for one week, and then never come back.
Instead of going hard and burning out, start slow and build from there. You'll find that you'll increase your chances of getting the results you want big-time if you do.
4. Get Prepped Before You Get Jacked
When doing strength training exercises, don't hop into the gym and rush straight for the free-weights.
Don't worry, they're not going anywhere.
Start with getting warmed up by foam rolling your muscles and stretching. Doing so will increase your range of motion and will lead you to get more out of your reps.
It will also help you keep from getting injured.
5. Look For the Heaviest Weights That Don't Torpedo Your Form
We're going to touch on form again here because it's so important. A common question we get from people is, "How much should I be lifting?"
Our answer... Lift the heaviest weight you can that challenges you without breaking your form.
Remember, bad form = bad gains.
Challenge yourself but don't do it to the point that you're damaging your ability to lift properly.
6. Treat Yourself to a Post Workout Stretch
A lot of people have their pre-game workout routine covered. But what does your post-game routine look like?
If you're just showering and taking off after strength training exercises, you're selling your body short.
Instead, treat yourself to a post-workout stretch.
Static stretching (holding stretch positions for 30 seconds or so) can calm your nervous system and will help you avoid running into debilitating muscle stiffness the day after your workout.
7. Pile on the Carbs, Protein, and Hydration
After you've broken your body down by putting in a good workout, you have to remember to give it what it needs to build back up again.
Specifically, give your body a healthy dose of water, carbs, and protein.
Your body sweats a lot while exercising. It's important to consume a ton of water to compensate and avoid dehydration. On the carbs and protein front, in-taking the recommended amount of both for your body type will help replenish your glycogen stores and will help your muscles build up, fast.
8. Always Aim to Fail
One of the most beautiful aspects of bodybuilding and strength training exercises is that the goal is literally to fail each time you get out on the gym floor.
Pushing your muscles to the point where they can't lift anymore means you've successfully broken down your muscles and now they can rebuild bigger and stronger.
Having the goal of failure means that anybody with the will to try can 100% achieve their bodybuilding ambitions.
Wrapping Up How to Optimize Your Strength Training Exercises
From eyeing your form to getting a stretch in before and after workouts, there is no shortage of excellent ways you can optimize your strength training exercises and get the most out of your time at the gym.
Wanna look your best while getting those gains? Our team at Monsta Clothing has you covered.
We're a clothing brand built by bodybuilders, for bodybuilders.