12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - December 20-31, 2011
To create a structure and formula for success in a health and fitness program, providing helpful tools, resources, and guidance to turn goals into reality, making New Year’s Resolutions come true.
Follow the 12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions! This 12-Day Formula For Success is the platform you need to finally make your health and fitness goals a reality.Full details here: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=26972Day 5 of 12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - Daily InformationArticle by Richard Watts – www.veganbodybuilding.com Simple approach to More Productive Workouts and Heavier Lifting -Particularly good for Beginners
When trying to increase the amount of weight you can lift, you’ll sometimes hit a "plateau," or feel like you can't do another rep on a specific weight. The next weight up seems intimidating and likely to drop your reps below your desired amount. There are several things you can do to get past these blocks, and you should not give up. Here's how I approach it:
1) The first thing to do is find a weight you are comfortable with for a given exercise. By this, I mean a weight you can do an exercise for around 10 reps (or whatever you're working at, but let's go with 10). On this weight, you should find the 10th rep to be really hard, and be unlikely to get 11. Once you have found this weight, this is your starting point.
2) From this point on, if you can do a set of 10 or more reps with a certain weight, increase the weight, even if this drops your reps down on the next weight up. Now go up a weight and see how it feels. You will most likley find that your reps drop and you are struggling - this is good! Think of each weight on each exercise as a box which gets checked off when you have done 10 reps on it. Once you've done it, you don't need to go back, because you're capable of more.
3) Now, say you can only do five reps with your new weight. You should now be working torward getting 10 reps with that weight. Each time you hit the gym, you should be aiming at getting just one more rep in your set. Aim for six next time, and then seven, and so on. On top of this, you can make up the difference in intensity by adding in extra sets. If you were doing three sets, perhaps go up to five sets of fewer reps, until you can get up to 10 again. NOTE: If by raising the weight, your reps drop right down to just two, again, stick with it. Do multiple sets of two, until you can do three and so on.
4) Don't give up and lower your weight down - that is stepping down to something you already know you can do, so it is pointless. Lifting a lower weight for more reps isn't going to help you lift heavier weights in the long run. If desired, you can supplement your maximum weight with further sets of lighter weight, but that would depend on what your goal is. It may be a useful approach or unnecessary depending on your objective. If your goal is to lift more weight, I would recommend doing more sets with your chosen heavier weight, even if they are sets with few reps.
5) Choose compound exercises – ones involving multiple joints which target more than one muscle group. You can throw around weights in isolation exercises such as bicep curls, triceps extensions, shoulder raises, and so on, but the real weight will be lifted in compound exercises. Not only are they safer to perform (when performed properly) and healthier for your joints long term, but they allow you to lift more, and you will see much better strength (and likely muscular) development doing them. I have personally found that the weight I could lift in a bicep curl went up dramatically, due to performing the compound exercise of chin-ups. Even though I was barely doing any bicep curls, the fact that I was working the bicep during the chin-ups meant that I was actually handling much more weight in that exercise, and therefore, it was more effective than just having done bicep curls. If you want to gain strength with a particular muscle, don't just isolate it, choose compound exercises that include it, and then work up through the weights as I described. This has worked well for me. I imagine it will work well for you too.
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