Everybody who works out wants to know how to get better results at the gym.
The worst feeling in the world is working out and feeling like you are going nowhere fast. When you look in the mirror and you see no changes it stinks like hot garbage.
When you are in the gym and your numbers are not improving at all you feel like you are wasting your time.
If your chances of building an impressive physique are lower than the early Process 76ers chances of making the playoffs, you are in big trouble.
You probably want to know why you are stuck like a car equipped with rear-wheel drive in the snow.
To get better results in the gym you need the right combination of smart training, a great diet, and proper recovery.
Eat, Train, and Sleep
A key difference between those who get better results in the gym and those who are stuck in neutral is what they do before, during, and after they train.
Before training you need to have the right fuel in your body. The fuel required for lifting and sprinting is glycogen, which you get from eating carbohydrates.
Many trainees show up to train with bad fuel in the tank. Even worse, some trainees show up with no fuel in the tank.
When you show up to train with garbage in your system, your output in the gym will be garbage.
When you show up with no fuel in your system, your performance will decline like an aging boxer far past his prime. This is not a good place to be.
Let’s visit the habits of two trainees.
Pierre Performance shows up each workout ready to go.
He has brown rice, lean ground turkey, and diced tomatoes about 1.5-2 hours before his workouts.
The amount of food that he will eat changes based on his goals or the workout that he is about to do. He is never unprepared to train.
Pierre is able to have consistently great workouts because he has the proper fuel in his body.
His training sessions are very tough but he never runs out of gas halfway through the session.
His nutrition habits have made him a machine primed for muscle growth. He knows that without the proper fuel, his progress will be zero to minimal at best.
When Pierre gets home after his workout he either has a protein shake with simple carbs or he makes himself a meal of faster-digesting carbs and a lean source of protein.
Either way, he replenishes his system and goes to bed at a reasonable hour to start the recovery process. Pierre runs a warehouse gym and has clients to train in the morning.
Meanwhile Clancy Casual shows up to train but he is nowhere close to being ready to dance. His last meal was 5 hours ago.
His energy levels are sitting low like the jeans these new age kids wear. To solve this issue he stops at the local convenience store on his way to the gym.
He grabs a high sugar “protein” bar and a Red Bull. His workout is over before it starts and he starts losing steam after his lame treadmill warm-up.
He is unable to sustain any energy because his blood sugar spiked and then came crashing down along with his hopes of building his dream body. He is left wondering where his “gains” went.
After his fake hustle workout he goes directly to the local drive-thru.
He attempts to refuel with either a Number #2 and a Diet Coke or a Popeye’s chicken sandwich. He might have to fight for the Popeye’s sandwich!
Some nights, he skips the post-workout meal because posting on social media is more important than food.
He goes home, takes some bathroom selfies from advantageous angles, and posts them on Instagram as #beastmode.
He watches his likes go from 0 to about 30 within seconds.
Clancy feels vindicated because 30 people who he does not even know have “liked” his picture and boosted his frail ego.
After he soaks in the dopamine bath from the attention he receives on social media he then proceeds to go to sleep around 2:30am.
This is in spite of the fact that he has to be up at 7:00am to go to his job which he hates.
How To Get Better Results At The Gym
There are 9 principles you must use to get better results at the gym. They are:
1) Get Better At Meal Timing
The timing of your pre-workout meal is critical to you getting better results at the gym.
By properly timing your pre-workout meal you can ensure that you will have enough fuel to get you through hard training sessions.
For most lifters and trainees, eating about 1.5-2 hours before their training session is the standard plan. This will give your food enough time to digest.
I typically eat about 60-90 minutes before I train. My metabolic rate is faster than Usain Bolt and therefore I typically eat much closer to my training session compared to the average trainee.
You will have to play around with the timing to find out exactly what works for you.
What is important though is that the amount of food is not overwhelming as you do not want to train on a full stomach.
Walking into your training session ever so slightly hungry is the best way to start a training session. When you properly time your pre-workout meal you will ensure that you do not run out of steam during the session.
2) Do Not Skip Your Pre-Workout Meal
When you are training hard and training with a purpose, your workouts will require the proper energy.
This will not apply if you are Clancy Casual who just lifts without a purpose, passion, or a plan.
I want to let you know again that high-intensity activities like weight lifting and sprinting are fueled by glycogen.
Glycogen is your bodies preferred energy source for short, intense bouts of activity. You are able to give your body glycogen by ingesting carbohydrates.
The carbohydrates that you want to eat pre-workout are of the slower digesting or complex variety. Oats, brown rice, black beans and yams, all fit the bill.
However, if you only have simple carbs like jasmine rice or a red potato all hope is not lost.
Consuming simple carbs will not hurt you, but you may find that your energy does not last as long during the workout.
Consuming these carbs pre-workout with a source of protein is your best move to fuel your workouts and protect your muscle mass. This will ensure that you have the energy that can be sustained through a tough training session.
Additionally, if you were going to take any pre-workout supplements like caffeine or creatine, now would be the time.
3) Do Not Skip Your Post-Workout Meal
After a hard training session, your body will be primed for recovery. Muscle glycogen is low and needs to be replenished to help you recover.
The easiest way to do this is to have a protein shake and a source of simple carbohydrates.
You can mix your protein powder with a carbohydrate powder or have a piece of fruit like a banana with your shake.
The other way that you can do this is to simply have a meal that has simple carbohydrates like jasmine rice or a red potato and a lean source of protein. Either way, you will have started the recovery process.
When you fuel up after your training session with the protein and the carbs, you are allowing your muscle to be repaired.
In order to maximize your performance and physique gains, you must master your pre and post-workout nutrition.
When you get this skill down, nothing can stop you in your quest to build a phenomenal body.
My recommendation is to have this meal or shake within at least 30-45 minutes and up to 2 hours after you train. I do not have a big appetite when I finish training, so I typically do not have solid food immediately afterwards.
I can take a shake down within 30-45 minutes of finishing a workout and will have the meal about an hour or two after that.
4) Focus On Getting Stronger
There are three ways that you can get better results at the gym with training. They are:
• Using more weight on an exercise
• Performing more reps of an exercise
• Resting more or less on an exercise
If you have 135lbs on the bench today using 3 x 8 and next year you still have 135lbs on the bench for 3 x 8, what do you think the end result will be?
You will still possess that bird chest and those floppy arms.
Progressive overload is the simplest concept in terms of lifting weights. You just have to add some dang weight to the bar every week if possible.
You would continue to add weight over time and before you know it your weak 135lb bench press would be a much stronger 225lb bench press.
Your chest, triceps, and front delts would have some heft to them as well. This is why you cannot overlook what getting stronger will do for your body.
When you combine getting stronger with a good diet you will be able to look in the mirror and see a lean and muscular physique.
The best way to increase your limit strength without cooking your nervous system is to do about 3-7 sets of about 3-5 reps.
You would start your workout with your strength work with either 1 or 2 exercises. You can do straight sets or supersets to get the job done.
5) Focus On Doing More Reps With Heavier Weights
Once you get stronger you will now possess the ability to handle more weight for more repetitions.
Quinn Quads used to only be able to squat 135lbs x 10 at the beginning of his fitness journey.
He focused on getting stronger and now he can squat 225lbs x 10. Do you think his legs were more muscular squatting 135lbs or 225lbs?
If he can now squat 225lbs x 10 instead of 135lbs x 10 he will have bigger legs instead of those pipe cleaners that he previously had.
Lifters who spend the whole year using the same weight for the same amount of reps are going nowhere fast with their physique development.
Because he can now use more weight for higher reps, higher reps are another tool he can use to get his legs to grow even more.
6) Do Not Rest Too Long
This is a major problem in gyms across America.
The Tom Talkers of the game want to spend 10 minutes talking about football or chasing pie in between sets. This is the ultimate example of a fake hustle lifter.
If you are powerlifting or sprinting, you actually need longer rests between your sets to fully recover.
In the physique building game you do not always need a full recovery.
Techniques like supersets, drop sets, and rest pause training do not allow full recoveries between sets.
But these techniques allow you to stress the muscles in many different and painful ways. This will lead to new growth.
7) Prioritize Sleep
If you think you are going to optimize your training with 3-5 hours of sleep a night, then you are smoking that good good from Planet Delusion.
Just because you can work out on a few, low quality hours of sleep does not mean that you should.
Skimping on sleep is not a great long term plan for success when you want to maximize your physique and performance.
A lack of sleep truly shows up when you are using moves that rely on a fresh nervous system.
Sprinting, jumping, and heavy lifting are all detrimentally affected by a lack of sleep. Your plan should be to average about 7-8 hours a night to get better results at the gym.
With that being said there will absolutely be some days where you may have to train on sub-optimal sleep. But you do not want to make getting low quality sleep a habit.
Life is not ideal and will throw a monkey wrench at everyone from time to time. But it is still up to you to get in the gym, work hard, and get the job done.
You might struggle and not get the maximum results from that workout, but getting something from it is far better than sitting at home on the couch moping and getting nothing.
Don’t use “I’m tired” as an excuse because it is a gateway mindset that will lead to many skipped workouts. Everybody is tired in some shape or form.
Your health is your wealth.
8) Limit Your Stress
Did Johnny Jerk just cut you off in traffic?
Did Nina Numbskull just take the parking spot you wanted?
How about Sammy Simpleton just rolling through that stop sign?
Your response to life situations such as these will determine how stressed out you are daily.
If you respond like most people do and start cussing and carrying on, you will raise your stress levels exponentially.
All the energy you are putting into telling Johnny Jerk about how fat his momma is could be put into building your body at the gym.
Here is how you reduce the stress of each of these situations:
• Johnny Jerk cuts you off? Compose yourself and keep driving.
• Nina Numbskull takes your parking spot? Compose yourself and find another one.
• Sammy Simpleton rolls through the stop sign? Compose yourself and be a defensive driver even when you are in the right.
The decisions you make in moments of stress will shape your entire day.
9) Evaluate Your Circle
Jim Rohn once said you are the average of the 5 people you are around the most. I find this to be true.
When I was younger and used to hang out with losers, complainers, and folks who had no ambition, I felt the pull that their negativity had on me.
I was turning into a loser and a complainer instead of being someone who took action and responsibility.
As I got older, I began to eliminate certain people from my circle. It was not personal, but it was necessary.
Today I surround myself with winners and people who make me want to get better.
I’m not the best at everything among my circle and that is a good thing. My circle gives me things to chase and things to strive for.
If your circle is filled with haters, scavengers, and snakes you need to leave that circle immediately.
Follow these 9 principles and you will get better results at the gym.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,