There are many different exercises that people are coming up with, especially with CrossFit but it is sometimes best getting back to the basics and lifting properly to get past plateaus. If you are a natural lifter who has been lifting for more than 3 years, you have probably had a few plateaus. You may have resorted to negatives, taking a break or loading up on more supplements – whatever you may have tried, try getting back to the basics with your lifts.
Proper Form is what matters
Many athletes will sacrifice form for results. Though this is not always a bad idea, it is only for those who are truly maximizing muscle and used for a short period of time. Improper form for a long period of time can lead to poor joint health, little results in strength, and no visual results. It is OK to ‘cheat’ sometimes when performing and exercise to push through some reps, but this is after a few reps of proper form. Usually what happens when people use poor lifting form, other muscles have to compensate and the muscle that is supposed to be worked out is hardly doing anything.
For example: bad form on bench usually means that the triceps, shoulders, and upper back are being over compensating and the chest muscles are hardly doing anything. This will cause shoulder problems and you will gain little improvement in that actual lift. Now if a lifter has performed a few sets and the muscle it exhausted then a little help from other muscle groups is OK.
A quick and easy way to learn about lifting form is by watching youtube. Yes, there are a lot of people who do not perform good form on youtube, but there are also many intelligent lifters that can help show how to properly lift. Using proper form may seem like taking a step backwards for some of you but strength gains and results happen much faster once you get that fixed.
How many sets and reps?
Getting back to the basics is also about focusing on what is important, and not being so concerned about fancy rep schemes and crazy workouts. Depending on the body type the reps can range from 10 to 5 reps, and each workout will consist of only 3 to 4 exercises. Though this may seem like not enough, if you are performing the reps properly and using the right amount of reps your body should notice results within 2 to 3 weeks. This routine should only be performed for 5 weeks at the most. Remember this routine is designed so that you can push past plateaus and move on to the next level of your training.
Perform workouts that have a low impact on joints. This means that you are not doing a bunch of jungle gym type of exercise, but getting under some iron and pushing out the reps. First exercise of each workout should be hitting the main muscle group that you are working out. The second exercise of the next workout will be hitting the same muscle group or the supporting muscle group while using lighter weight and increasing the amount of reps. Third exercise will be burnout sets, which will completely exhaust the muscle group in which you are training. Below is an example of how this should look. You can use this routine or modify it to what works best for you.
Back to Basic Workout
Squat – 10, 8, 8, 5, 5
Straight Leg Dead Ligt – 10, 10, 10, 10
Split Squats – 12, 12, 12
Calf Raises – 20, 20, 20, 20
Decline Bench – 10, 8, 8, 5, 5
Dumbbell Incline Bench – 10, 10, 10, 10
Cable Flies – 12, 12, 12
Dips – 20, 20, 20
Dead Lifts – 10, 8, 8, 5, 5
Pull Ups – 10, 10, 10, 10
Dumbbell Rows – 12, 12, 12
Cable Face Pull – 20, 20, 20
Dumbbell Military Press – 10, 8, 8, 5, 5
Machine Reverse Flies – 10, 10, 10, 10
Laying Front Raises – 12, 12, 12
Shrugs – 20, 20, 20, 20
Wide Barbell Curl – 10, 8, 5, 5
Hanging Focus Curl – 12, 12, 12, 12
Canadian Skull Crushers – 10, 8, 5, 5
Dumbbell Kickbacks – 12, 12, 12, 12
Repeat Routine for 5 Weeks
What Supplements should I be taking?
Now that we you have an example of what the workout routine let us take a look into the basic supplements that should be taken during this time. It may be good to take a break from the usually supplements that you take and allow yourself to get back to the basics with supplements. There are three supplements that people should try while using this routine. If you already have a good supplements program in place then don’t change it, but if you are trying to determine what works here are a few suggestions.
Every person should be using some kind of multi-vitamin, especially when you are over active and lifting weights. Try to find a multivitamin that has all the essential vitamin and minerals, but in addition has fish oils. Having this combination can help with the absorption of the vitamin and minerals, as well as preserve joints and aid in weight loss.
Loading up on clean carbohydrates can help improve metabolism, increase nitrogen retention and give you a lean hard muscle looks. Using products like Waxy Maize and Dextrin can also help with recovery from workouts and rehydrate the muscles. This is a basic supplement, but very essential to lifting and improving strength. It is best to use these carbohydrates before and during a workout. You will notice that you are able to push more weight as well as increase in performance. Make sure to be drinking plenty of water while using this supplement.
Though pre-workouts have only been out since the early 90’s they have quickly become a basic supplements to use. There are a variety of supplements to take, but it may be good to take a break from geranium based supplements, and get something that has more than six ingredients. Many products out on the market use a variety of ingredients to make sure that you are able to obtain true strength gains.
Are you basic enough?
Getting back to the basics can help push past plateaus and increase strength in later lifts. If you are tired of not getting stronger and not seeing results, give this routine a try for 5 weeks and see what happens. Take note of what supplements are helpful for your body, and focus on form. If you want to learn more about products or get more tips you can like us on FACEBOOK.com.