9 Ways to Make the Most of Your Training Time

I get a lot of ideas of things to write about that will benefit guys trying to get jacked and tan, but a lot of the time they’re not worthy of full blown blogs, so I figure tossing a quick list together is the best way to get them out there. I understand that most of these things aren’t crazy game changers, but that doesn’t take away their value. Take a peek, and let me know which ones you plan to incorporate to help take your training to the next level.

  1. Do vertical pushing exercises and vertical pulling exercises on the same day to balance out your program.
  2. Set up tri sets that pair upper body lifts with lower body lifts and a core or mobility exercise relevant to the strength exercises in the set. This could be rear foot elevated split squats, chin ups, and a hip flexor stretch. This will use your rest time for something productive and keep you from waiting around for 18 minutes before starting your next set.
  3. Plan to get about 25 reps in per exercise. This could be 3 sets of 8, 4 sets of 6, 5 sets of 5, etc. This seems to be the sweet spot for getting stronger.
  4. When doing planks, decrease the time and increase the amount of tension you create by squeezing your quads and ass and drive your forearms into the floor for 10-15 seconds instead of marathon planks where you look like a wet shirt hanging on a clothes hanger.
  5. Set your program up so each day has 3 parts: need to do, want to do, and would be nice to get to if you have the time and energy. The most important things that day are in the need to do category, the next section is the secondary stuff, and the 3rd section is the isolation stuff. Sometimes knowing that you have a lot to accomplish in the gym keeps us from going in in the first place. Since we know consistency is key, and skipping out until we feel great means we’ll train twice about twice a month, just getting in there and starting is a big win. After getting the big rocks in, you can make a judgement call on whether to continue on or call it for the day. Doing something is almost always better than doing nothing.
  6. Don’t Facebook, Instagram, email, or text during your training session. Training is your respite from the day to day-keep it that way.
  7. Have a free day each week where you do whatever you feel like. This is ideally a 4th day. It might be just a pump day where you crush arms, a strongman/athletic day, a bodyweight only day, or some combination. Just go in and play around and have fun.
  8.  Negative rest doesn’t work for high intensity interval training. Without sufficient rest, you can’t go hard enough during the work intervals. Use a heart rate monitor, crank it up for 10-20 seconds with whatever modality you choose, and rest until it comes back down to 60-70% of your max heart rate. Rinse and repeat for the prescribed number of rounds. Just please don’t do these on an elliptical.
  9. Kettlebells serve as great warm up tools. Try to do a few swings, goblet squats, Turkish get ups, and maybe throw in a few pushups and TRX rows for 2-3 rounds. You should be pretty primed up for whatever you plan to do that day.

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