The right way to plan your training programme

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It’s easy to become so obsessed with your training that you become gullible to the advice of people who don’t have the faintest idea of what it takes to build a strong, healthy body. Many people get ripped off by charlatans, believing everything they read, see, or hear in their quest to get in shape.

 

The widespread (but secretive) use of steroid-enhanced physiques in magazines and on the Internet has led to an increase in the number of people who have unrealistic physique goals, thinking that copying their crazy, often made up routines will give them the same physiques.

If anyone plays down the importance of genetics and drugs in building muscle, you should hear alarm bells ringing straight away. Even many of the film stars with muscular physiques have used steroids to quickly bulk themselves up.

The ‘champion’ training routines you read about in magazines often claim that you can get superior results training 5-6 times per week. Unless you are very genetically gifted (or using drugs), you do not have the recovery ability to train 5-6 times per week and make progress. Most people lose muscle on this regime. Generally, you will make your best gains when you weight train around 2-3 days p.w, allowing your body to rest and grow!

Now, this doesn’t necessarily apply to all forms of exercise. If you’re training with weights three times each week, then two aerobic workouts (as long as they’re not too intense) will help you to shed body fat, will improve your recovery and also enhance your fitness. This is important, especially when you’re performing exercises such as the squat or deadlift, which demand a lot of your heart and lungs.

The routine that follows has worked for all who have tried it. Your first set should be a warm up of about 20 reps with a light weight to allow you to get into the motion. Followed by a second set, allowing you to do a fairly hard 12 reps. For your third set choose a weight that allows you to do 6-10 hard reps, the last rep being nearly impossible. On further sets, keep the weight the same and just go for maximum reps. Follow the routines as listed. Do not substitute exercises for others, unless an injury means you have to!

It’s not necessary to always train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Although training any day of the week is better than nothing, always try and insert a day of rest between workouts. This gives your body ample opportunity to recover and grow. Beginners should do no more than 2 sets per exercise for the first few months, otherwise you will over train.

Monday
Deadlift: 4 sets
Lat pulldown to chest: 4 sets
Shrugs: 4 sets
EZ close grip bench press: 4 sets
Forearm curls: 4 sets

Wednesday
Squats: 4 sets
Leg curls: 4 sets
Standing calf raise: 3 sets
Abdominal crunches: 3 sets

Friday
Slight incline bench press: 4 sets
Barbell curl: 3 sets
Seated behind neck press: 4 sets
Abdominal crunches: 3 sets

Many people look at this routine and think that it’s only for people wanting to build muscle size and strength. To a certain extent, they’re right. Use this programme for several months and you will build muscle. However, if careful with your diet, this routine can also help with fat loss, as the more muscle you gain, the faster your metabolic rate becomes.

Even though the programme only involves training three days a week, it’s hard, tough and intense. The harder your workout, the greater the rise in your metabolic rate after training. The reason most people don’t lose fat is that they waste all their time doing silly “fat-burning” programmes on these fancy chrome aerobic machines or exercise bikes. If it’s designed to be all nice and easy, it isn’t working! Because this routine is so effective at building muscle, it will increase your metabolic rate. This means you’ll be burning more fat calories while you’re sitting at your desk or in front of the TV. You’ll also burn more calories in your sleep!

Here are a few more tips you can use to accelerate fat loss:

1. Aim to lose no more than 2lb of fat per week. Anything more than this is likely to be muscle or water.

2. Increase your protein intake. University studies show that increasing protein intake prevents your body burning muscle tissue while you’re dieting. Good protein sources include chicken, turkey, fish, and lean red meat and of course using a protein powder like Promax during meals or at work.

3. Try to dramatically cut down on dairy and bread, along with fatty red meats. Increase your intake of high-fat, cold water fish (such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines or kippers).

4. Reduce your consumption of simple carbohydrates (sugar, cakes, or chocolate) and eat more complex carbohydrate (such as green vegetables, potatoes, yams and brown rice).

5. Always try and eat the whole food, example brown pasta, brown rice, etc. and not the refined versions, which digest quicker and cause greater fat storage.

6. Train with weights three times per week, and perform cardiovascular exercise if required 2-3 times weekly, first thing in the morning for 30-40 mins.

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