If you want to learn a few key things to do in a workout to build muscle faster… Then you need to read this article.
You’ve probably noticed at your gym that a lot of people work out regularly.
But they just don’t have much to show for it.
In fact, their bodies seem to remain the same year after year.
Why is this?
The truth is, that very few people are able to build lean, muscular bodies and actually improve their physiques year after year. And the reason behind this simply comes down to a few key things they’re not doing in the gym.
In this article, I will make 3 easy to implement workout tips that you should be doing every single workout.
These suggestions will help you get the most out of the time that you spend in the gym.
By using them, you will be able to build muscle faster than you would otherwise. And the best part is that you will continue to see results week-in, week-out as a result.
Lets get to it!
1 – Track Your Workouts
The first thing you need to do is log every single workout.
I remember back in the day I never bothered logging. I just went with what I felt like doing at the time.
But the problem with this is that you’ll never be able to tell if you’re actually progressing or not if you fail to log your workouts.
For instance, we know based on research, that mechanical tension is the main driver of growth…
…and growth is best stimulated by progressively getting stronger and lifting more weight overtime.
AND – with more experience, research indicates a stronger correlation between muscle size and strength.
Simply meaning that the importance of tracking your workouts becomes more and more crucial overtime.
How To Start Tracking Your Workouts
First, you’ll want to choose what you’ll be tracking with.
And if you’re old school you can always use a pen and physical logbook.
Next, you’ll want to jot down some key performance indicators of your workout.
The two most important variables you’ll want to track are:
- The weights you lifted for each set of every exercise
- The number reps you were able to do for each set of every exercise
In addition, it’s a good idea to also start tracking your:
- Rest times
- The difficulty of each set (RPE)
- Any modifications that were made to your workout when compared to last week (e.g. exercise swaps or changes in exercise order)
Sample Log Entry
So for example, let’s just say you just finished with the bench press in your chest workout.
What you’d jot down is something like the following:
Exercise 1: Barbell Bench Press
Set 1: 135 lbs x 8 reps
Set 2: 135 lbs x 8 reps (3 minutes rest before)
Set 3: 135 lbs x 8 reps (3 minutes rest before)
*Used a slightly closer grip than normal – this felt much better
*All 3 sets were easy to do thus I should move up in weight next workout
You’ll now be able to look back at this log in the workout that follows. Having the log will give you a good idea about the numbers you’ll want to hit in this week’s chest workout to beat last week’s workout.
Overtime, these small weekly and monthly progressions will serve as motivation. And, the incremental increase will also manifest into big physical changes as well.
2 – Time Your Rest Periods!
Another thing you need to be doing every workout is timing your rest periods.
Rest time between sets will play a significant role in how quickly you’ll be able to build muscle and strength overtime.
How Long Should You Rest Between Sets?
This 2016 paper compares the effects of resting 1 minute between sets versus resting 3 minutes between sets.
After 8 weeks, they found that the 3 mins group experienced significantly greater muscle growth:
And they also got significantly stronger than the 1 min rest group:
Based on these findings, you’ll want to ensure that you’re resting long enough between sets.
More specifically for at least 2-3 minutes when doing heavy compound exercises.
MEANING… That you NEED to start timing your rest periods!
Don’t Go With When You “Feel” Ready
Unfortunately, most people simply perform their next set when they subjectively FEEL ready.
Often, this will be after a minute or so.
And although you may feel ready to go cardiovascular wise, your muscles still need the extra 1 – 2 mins of rest.
Extra recovery time will allow you to push more weight and/or reps during your next set. And we know that greater volume equates to better growth and strength overtime.
So by timing your rest periods, you’ll hold yourself accountable to this.
You will also ensure that you’re giving your muscles the rest they need in order to perform better in the following set.
Things To Do Between Sets
If you find that these rest periods are too long, I’d suggest incorporating the following:
- Use supersets during your rest periods (I show how to properly incorporate supersets here)
- Prehab and/or mobility work
- Watch cat videos
Using some of the above three recommendations between sets will help you maximize the use of your time.
3 – A Proper Warm Up
Lastly, you’ll want to ensure that you’re incorporating a proper warm up routine for each of your workouts.
As doing so has been shown to significantly boost range of motion and performance in the following workout.
However, most people just don’t do so properly by either not doing enough warm up, or on the other hand overdoing it.
How To Warm Up Before A Workout
Although I have made a past video with a full warm up routine included, the basics of your warm up should look something like the following:
1. To begin, use 5 minutes of light intensity cardio and/or dynamic stretching specific to that days training. This will help increase the temperature and metabolism in the muscles you’ll be training.
2. Then, use weight acclimation sets to enhance your neuromuscular activation. This will improve your exercise technique during your working sets.
For example, you can start by doing:
- 1 set of 50% of your working weight for 10 reps.
- Follow this by 1 set of 70% of your working weight for 6-8 reps.
- End by doing 1 more set of 90% or so of your working weight for 1-2 reps.
- Then, after ~2 minutes of rest, proceed to your first working set.
Once all of this is done, you’ll be better warmed up and more proficient with the movement. You will also not be excessively fatigued as you proceed into your main working sets.
Although these 3 tips may not seem like much … if you’re serious about maximizing your progress in the gym then, it’s vital that you implement them into every single one of your workouts.
I remember back in the day I would basically just go with how I felt in the gym which I think a lot of people mistakenly do. It wasn’t until I started taking these tips seriously that I started to really see drastic changes in my body.
And for a step-by-step evidence-based program that shows you how to properly implement crucial tips like these into both your workouts and your nutrition…
…such that you can burn fat and put on more muscle in the most efficient manner possible…
Then start today by clicking the link below to take the body type analysis quiz which will determine what approach is best for you:
Latest posts by Jeremy Ethier (see all)
- How To Squat Without Knee Pain (4 Mistakes You’re Probably Making) - June 10, 2019
- Do These 3 Things Every Time You Workout To Build Muscle Faster - May 31, 2019
- How To Get Wider Shoulders: Avoid These Shoulder Training Mistakes - April 6, 2019