Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Getting Results From Your Lifting


I am a large man.  I am by no means a body-builder (no creatine, or steroids for me) but I get asked one question a lot:  “How often do you lift?”

And the answer, surprisingly, is ‘not that much’.

Three hours a week, on average, to be honest.  Getting serious results from lifting is much, much easier than people think.  I probably spend more time eating and hydrating, finding my workout gear, putting it on, and driving to the gym, and then doing all that in reverse.  There is one secret that separates serious results from serious injuries:

You have to make the muscle do the work.

Get it?

You have to make the muscle…do the work.

For aesthetic sculpting (ie, look good naked) working out, the one key to actually building good-looking muscle is making sure that your form is perfect and manageable.  It’s incredibly easy to learn how to do this.  Find an exercise you like.  Bicep curls, front raises, etc, and try this:

Stand perfectly still.  Do the exercise without moving your body to compensate, and focus on muscular contraction.

For all the tried and true workout sets, the one standard that most people can agree on is hitting each individual muscle with 8-10 good reps for two sets, with one “left in the tank”

This means that when lifting, do not cheat, and lift each set until your form suffers.  Meaning, if you can’t do another absolutely perfect rep, and you’re not up to 8 reps, then the weight you’re using needs to drop. 

Your weights will drop.  You will feel under-exercised.  You will feel self conscious that people are laughing at how little weight you are using.

But you will recover faster.  You will get stronger faster.  And you will get better looking.

So What Do You Actually DO?

The science behind it is horrifically complicated.  But all beginners will grow if they work out each muscle (not muscle GROUP, but INDIVIDUAL MUSCLE) like this:

once a week,

two sets (perfect form, 8-10 reps)

and to split body parts (legs + abs, back + bis, chest + tris) into three separate days.

Oh, and don’t forget to take every 4th week off.

-The Giant Hungry Polack

(P.S. I made an amazing crispy strawberry balsamic duck today but forgot to take pictures.  A wasted opportunity.)


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