When you are at the gym, do you pay attention to your form? How many reps are you doing for each exercise? How heavy are you going? Is the weight comfortable? There are various answers to these types of questions. I am not a fitness trainer so I can’t really make a suggestion that works for everybody, but I will discuss some methods that have worked for me since I began working out more.
Have you ever heard the quote “quality over quantity”? This is a saying that I try to follow every time that I am in the gym. Personally, I have always been a fan of lifting smart and gradually increasing weight every time I do a specific workout. I typically try to avoid lifting a certain amount of weight that will put me at risk of getting injured. However, in order to get stronger and gain more muscle mass, you definitely want to increase weight as you become more comfortable with the current weight you are using. I like to increase weight by about five pounds every week for a particular exercise. For instance, if my maximum weight for dumbbell bench press is 55 pounds, I will make a goal for myself to try to get to 60 pounds the next week when I am working out my chest. With each exercise that I do, I try to do three to four sets of 8–12 reps of that exercise. I find this workout method to be most efficient for me because this has allowed me to do enough reps to help with mass gain and has also allowed me to gradually increase weight at an efficient rate.
In addition to gradually increasing weight, another thing that I like to do is make sure my form is correct with each exercise that I do. At most gyms, there is usually some sort of graphic posted on the machine you are using that shows you the proper form of the exercise you are doing. If I don’t know how to do a certain exercise, I usually ask a trainer or an experienced lifter in the gym to show me the proper form. Always pay attention to your form as it is the key to building muscle. If you are doing the exercise the right way and using a comfortable weight, you will make progress at a faster rate and will be able to gradually increase weight every time you do a particular exercise.
The final point that I would like to make is to try new exercises in the gym and don’t always do the same exercises each time you go to the gym. It is good to surprise your body and shock your muscles once in a while because if you are doing the same exercises all the time, muscle growth will not be continuous. According to Sally Wadyka’s blog post, titled 7 Reasons to Switch Up Your Workout, she lists and describes reasons why trying new things in the gym is good for your progress overall.
You can check out the post by clicking the link above. My biggest takeaway from her post is that it helps to build new muscles. Doing a little bit of everything in the gym helps prepare you for different activities you may try or for potential challenges you could face later in life. It also helps you maintain interest in working out and finding new ways to improve yourself both mentally and physically.