| Article Summary:
I bet you think you just have to train hard to grow like a weed, right? Wrong, bro. To run with the big dogs, you've got to be 100% healthy and injury-free first.
There's nothing worse than having the burning desire to be a champion and not be able to train to get there. Sure, moving weight is key, but so too is the preparation that leads up to it. So pay attention to the details, and you'll be lifting for a long time to come.
1. Warm Up The Muscles:
Whether you do light sets,
stretch or preferably both, warm up your muscles. You have to warm up to the task of lifting heavy, and the time it takes to stretch and warm-up is the time to focus on the work at hand.
Psyche yourself up as you stretch. Get in the mood to bang out the reps. Get the blood circulating before you worry about getting the pump.
2. Focus During Training:
Yeah, you could sit there and try to pick up girls or you can train hard. You can be a champion lifter or a champion wuss. Focus on training and only training.
Watch yourself in the mirror and see how the muscles work. Visualize what you are doing and what you're going to do next. Feel the muscles contract. Don't get distracted.
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3. Train Hard, Train Strict:
Too many kids try lifting as much as they possibly can, looking to impress the people around them. What they don't know is that they look like jerks who don't know what they're doing, cheating and heaving the weights up.
If you want to be big and avoid injuries, take a few plates off and train right. Use strict form and proper technique. If you want to grow, learn the difference between training hard and training heavy. While there's a place for training as heavy as you can go, you should never sacrifice form.
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4. Get A Partner:
At times, you need to train heavy. And you should never train heavy without a spot. A
training partner can also push you harder than you'd push yourself and be able to give you objective feedback.
5. Don't Overtrain:
Heavy duty lifters would live for the gym if they could. But that doesn't mean they spend all their time there. They know the difference between training with focus and training without.
The pros spend as little time in the gym as possible; the beginners spend too much time in the gym. The pros train with high intensity and no socializing; the beginners take too many breaks between sets.
Get in the gym, do you business, and get out. Don't spend 7 days training, thinking you're going to get more.
Overtraining and fatigue can lead to serious
injury, especially with the higher poundages.
6. Listen To Your Body:
There's a difference between the kind of pain that comes a day after
squatting 500 pounds for reps and the kind that comes from a ligament tear in your knee.
You've got to listen to your body and react. This is especially true when you're young and you've got a lot of energy. Take time off when you have to and let your body heal.
7. Get Proper Nutrition:
Whole foods provide the fuel and building blocks for the body. Eat as clean as you can and take in a wide variety of foods. Supplements won't ever replace food, so use supplements wisely. Begin with a
multivitamin/multimineral supplement like
Vitamins are the metabolic "catalysts" for the body. You can think of them as spark plugs, igniting metabolic processes like muscle-building. Minerals provide support for growth. When training hard or when dieting down, make sure you eat better and use proper supplements.