There’s no denying that your health is important. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, tone up or improve your strength, health and fitness is the key to all of these and one of the key aspects of becoming the ultimate bachelor and modern man.
But where do you start? If you’re new to fitness, it can be pretty overwhelming reading about all the different methods and techniques, all this talk of form and hypertrophy can make you want to give up before you even start but DON’T. You’re just one step away from making that all important change, and to throw in the towel before even picking up a weight is the only sure fire way to fail.
Even if you’ve been in the fitness game a while, there is a wealth of information out there and if you’re not learning you’re not growing, and if you’re not growing you’re not getting those gains.
On this page, we’ll be giving our top fitness tips for success, as well as basic information so you can decode what the heck is going on. We cover more specific techniques and breakthroughs on our blogs, so make sure you keep up to date by subscribing so you never miss a post!
When we talk about form, we’re basically talking about the position that your body is in when you perform any sort of movement or exercise. Correct form is crucial to prevent any injuries while working out, bad form can result in back spasms, falls, muscle pulls, sprains, strains and a whole host of other unpleasant things. Form is different for every exercise and you should check with a professional before tackling any new movement.
Muscle hypertrophy is the increase in the size of skeletal muscle – basically getting bigger, more pronounced muscles. If your gym goal is gains, then hypertrophy is what you are trying to achieve. The science of it is more complicated and you don’t have to understand it completely but here it is: your muscles are made of tiny fibres called myofibrils, when you exert stress on muscles the myofibrils tear and when they repair themselves, the tissues that heal the ‘wound’ adds to the size, making them, and therefore your muscles, bigger.
There are three main energy systems: creatine, lactic and aerobic. Again, the science is complicated so visit this page to find out more. But in simple terms, you use your creatine system for short bursts of high power energy, lactic for more intense but sustainable work and aerobic for long periods of working out (such as sustained cardio). Because of the way the systems wok within your body, it is best to use the creatine system first – such as lifting weights and then go onto the aerobic system or cardio.
Being in an anaerobic state means that your body is working without oxygen. While working from an aerobic energy system while draw energy from the oxygen you breathe in during exercise, during anaerobic exercise, your body will look to its stores of fat in order to gain energy. Anaerobic exercises are usually short-lasting, high-intensity workouts such as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
If you’re using the bulking method for your fitness you need to be seriously dedicated to your diet. This method is usually cyclical and will consist of bulking for half the amount of time and cutting for the other, you will eat a large excess of calories in the bulking phase and accompany this with max resistance training. What this does is provide you with the energy that you need to really push yourself to the absolute limit in your training. The muscles will grow out of sight, until you get to the cutting phase, where your diet is restricted to melt away the excess gained in the bulking phase, revealing your bulked up hypertrophic muscles.
It is always important to find the right balance of calories and training. Too little and the deficit could be dangerous, too much and you’ll be gaining weight. Have a think about your fitness goals and set a reasonable target for calories in and calories out a week.
Invest in Decent Protein Powder
It’s the latest hype product, but it’s hyped for a reason. Protein powder can be an excellent supplement to your training programme and can help with muscle hypertrophy and muscle repair following a workout. However, because of the hype, there are a lot of cheap, quick-fix products on the market. When you’re shopping for protein look for natural ingredients and barely any added chemicals. Holland and Barratt have a great choice and dairy free options can be found on Amazon. This one comes highly recommended.
Try Drop Sets
If you know your one rep max, this technique is easier as you already know what you should be starting on. Put the weight up to your max and complete one rep. Then drop the weight down one notch and complete three reps. Drop again and do five. Again and do ten. Repeat this four times with a 90-second rest between the four sets. These are killer but are incredible for building muscle.
Don’t Avoid Cardio
Just because gym bunnies spend their whole time on the elliptical and are the size of a rake, doesn’t mean that getting into an anaerobic state will make you skinny. Cardio exercise is great for overall health and can get help to reduce your body fat percentage by literally breathing out the fat as your breathing gets heavier (fat cells burn into oxygen during cardiovascular exercise which then exits through the mouth.) Anaerobic exercises are the best cardio for muscle definition and fat loss, so try some HIIT if you don’t fancy slogging away on the treadmill.
Remember, these are just the top tips to try and the basic of fitness and gains. Keep up with our blogs for more fitness tips and news and always consult a professional before undertaking any exercise programme or movement.