Rules in the gym come down to one thing: Following them through the ups and downs to reach your personal goals. If you don’t stick to these gym fundamentals the likelihood to quit is higher.
1.) Set clear goals
Size does not fall from the sky. It takes a lot of hard work to build muscle. All goals are good goals. Before you even touch a weight, you must have a clear goal. Even if it is just to put 5kg extra on your bench press or curling a bigger dumbbell than last week. Smaller goals are the most achievable ones.
2.) Do the basics
Basics build muscle. Perform basic exercises like squats, barbell bench presses and deadlifts. Do them religiously and then assess the situation. Don’t get too caught up in the plethora of theories and variations of exercise routines to build muscle. Do what works for you. We are all built differently and we react differently to exercises. Stick to the basics but if your shoulders hurt while doing bench press, find an alternative and don’t continue with it just because your favourite bodybuilding icon swears by it.
3.) Do What you don’t like
We all have moves in the gym we don’t like doing – be it pull-ups or those dreaded barbell squats. We will do anything to avoid doing the exercises we are not naturally good at doing. And we end up missing out if we continue to listen to our minds playing tricks on us. Those exercises you don’t like doing – do them anyway. Do them because they challenge you. In most cases the exercises you hate will kickstart new muscle growth.
4.) Do breathe
Breathing is an essential part of training and necessary for the delivery of oxygen to your muscles. It is actually crucial if your goal is to work at your best capacity. Breathe deeply during exercise. Inhale deeply in the rest phases of a lift and exhale forcefully in the work phases. A powerful exhale can also help generate more force for you to smash the weights more effectively.
5.) Do stay loose
Don’t tense up when you are working out. Focus on the muscle group you are working on. Stay loose by relaxing the muscles you are not working on and mentally connect with the ones you are. By doing this, you will have more energy which will lead to better results. So straighten up, relax and push that weight.
6.) Do eat correctly
You cannot expect to succeed in the gym if you don’t have extra fuel in the tank. If you train hard you need extra calories but it is not an excuse to turn your life into a 24-hour buffet. Monitor your food intake carefully. Get the correct protein, fat and enough carbohydrates to repair and grow muscle.
There you have it. By following these basics you can forge your own path to greatness!