The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
When you first start to increase your workouts, you’ll notice a significant effect in your ability to lose weight and build muscle. However, you’ll eventually arrive at a period in which you reach a plateau in terms of noticing any additional progress. If you want to do more than just maintain your current physique, you’ll have to alter how you work out in some subtle ways. Here are a few changes you can make to ensure you’ll continue getting observable results.
Even though you might be a coffee drinker, research has found that pre workout supplements containing caffeine have a much more prominent effect on workouts. Taking a supplement one to two hours before your workout will have a numbing effect on muscle soreness, which will enable you to do extra reps. Additionally, caffeine helps the body burn more fat within the same amount of time, allowing you to get better results from each workout. In some studies, endurance was also improved so individuals could spend more time working out each day.
When your limbs feel rubbery and weak, you’ll experience a peak at which point you simply can’t lift or complete one more rep. However, research has found that doing just one or two more reps after you reach that breaking point can have a significant impact on the results you get from your workouts. According to a Finnish research project, individuals increased the presence of growth hormones in their blood by more than 4,000% by adding one or two forced reps to the ends of their workouts. Just be sure to keep those forced reps limited because more than three forced reps can have adverse effects, including raising the risks for injuries.
While going beyond your failure point with one set will help you achieve greater workout results, doing so with every set can produce adverse results. The research found that people who took every set to the point of failure had less of an effect on their strength training and muscle growth than those who only took one set to the point of failure. They found that people who took every set to the point of failure reduced their muscle growth by half, suggesting that less is definitely more when it comes to getting the most out of your workouts. To get the best results, take a single set to failure, but keep your other sets less intense.
There are benefits to be experienced in both fast reps and slow reps. Fast reps, or those that take just one second up and three seconds down, produce better results in building strength because they enlist the use of fast-twitch muscle fibers. These muscle fibers grow the fastest when used regularly, helping you to build more lean muscle mass as you use them. However, slow reps, or those that require a three second lift and a three second release, also help build muscle by creating a longer period of muscular tension. Rotating between these techniques can help you build muscle faster and more consistently.
There is power in music that can help you maximize the effectiveness of every workout. In several studies, it was found that people were able to do up to three more reps while listening to motivational music. This can be any type of music that inspires you or makes you feel good. Listening to your favorite music can help you take your mind off of the pain you’re experiencing as you workout, which allows you to do more. It can also help you get in the mood to work out when you hit a rut. When you don’t feel like going to the gym or feel tempted to skip your run, turn on your playlist. That may be enough to push you to do a few reps.
You can also help yourself by working with a professional fitness trainer. While there are some trainers that you can hire, there’s a good chance that you already have access to an experienced fitness trainer. If you pay for a gym membership, your gym probably offers the services of a fitness trainers at no additional cost. Seeking their input can help you improve the effectiveness of your workouts.