Tips to Build Strength and Improve Your Workout

Everyone wants to hit the gym, pump irons, stare at themselves in the mirror, eat a few healthy foods, and walk around shredded and looking like the ultimate symbol of health. Unfortunately, that is not always how it works when getting into a fitness routine and starting to get healthy.

However, what does work, is that we can all be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be. In fact, focusing on the basics of the workout sometimes can yield the best long term results in terms of looking better and getting better at physical fitness.

With that said, I have compiled a list of items or tips that will help you improve your workout by building your strength. This in turn will help you feel better, perform better, and look better all at the same time because your body will be working to its fullest maximum potential.

1. Eat your greens time and time again

This one seems to sound strange because it doesn't actually have anything to do with your weight training routine directly in itself. However, eating the right foods will help your body grow stronger, bigger, and more lean all at the same time if you play your card right. Eating your greens will help to increase the nitric oxide and arginine levels in your bloodstream, thus dilating your blood vessels and helping to transfer nutrients in your bloodstream to your muscle. Yes, it is true that you need your protein, but you need your green vegetables just as badly!

2. Focus, focus, and focus some more on muscle tension

Many people like to listen to music in the gym during their weight training session. While I understand the motivation needed to crank out the higher weight or higher volume sets, sometimes focusing simply on the tear and contraction the muscle can yield the greatest gains in strength and size. Take a break from the headphones for a couple sessions and really just focus on making that mind to muscle connection. Your body will feel the muscle contract and then relax and tear all at the same time: you might just learn a thing or two about how to train your muscles properly.

3. Perform alternate grip movements

If you want to gain overall strength through auxiliary muscles while at the same time working on ways to steadily build grip strength,  try alternate grip movements when training certain muscle groups in the body. For example, instead of only doing skull crushers for tricep movements, put in a couple of french presses as well and make pulling movements with your wrists upward. You will not only ignite other parts of the triceps heads, but you will also improve your forearm and your grip strength at the same time. In addition, you can try both hammer curls and reverse grip dumbbell curls as well when training biceps. Again, this will target a different head of the muscle also improve your forearm and grip strength at the same time. Do it!

4. Vary your rep speed and your weight and volume

Want to steadily gain strength in the gym? Then I would say my most important tip would be to switch up your speed of reps completed as well as your weight amounts and the volume of repetitions that you perform. By performing some sets slowly to ultimate failure, you will get the tear you need to break-down muscle before it can be built up. By performing a greater number of reps at a lower weight and a higher volume, you will perform the contraction needed to bring blood to the muscles and activate further fiber growth through repetition and movement.

Conclusion

That concludes my top tips that will build your strength while also improving your workouts. Hopefully you can gain something from the tips that I have shared.

If you have your own strength training tips to share and want the world to know how you gain strength in the gym and come out like an absolute beast, then leave your comment below and let's discuss what you think the best ideas are for getting stronger, bigger, and leaner at the same time!

4 Effective Leg Exercises for an Awesome Workout

One often overlooked area of training is leg day. Looking good in the gym is often thought to consist of arm workouts, chest workouts, and a broader back with a six pack of abs. However, training legs can be one of the most effective full-body workout that improves hormonal response as well as helps to re-composition the body.

Leg training can be dreaded for some that have failed to keep up their legs in accordance with the rest of their body parts; however, if trained correctly with the right amount of resistance and the correct amount of variety, leg exercises can be looked forward to and really provide a sense of accomplishment after leaving the gym.

These four leg exercises will give you an awesome workout help develop your legs into a killer set of wheels. Here is the list:

  1. Squats

Squats are probably the king of all leg exercises and most widely recognized as bringing one of the most well-rounded leg workouts and full body workouts to the novice trainee all the way to the most advanced. They can also be dreaded sometimes. However, if starting at a manageable amount of weight and focusing on the proper form and resistance, squats can be developed to be felt and really tear at the hamstrings on the back of the leg while at the same time giving the glutes a tissue-tearing run for their money.

2. Leg Presses

Using the leg press machine has many similarities to the squat rack: it is an upward pressing motion in a controlled movement that focuses on the glute muscles. However, the leg press machine also brings even more control than a free-standing squat rack (while more similar to a smith machine) because it runs on tracks. This can be better for preventing injury and saving the knees: especially in the learning stages of leg development. Try additional leg presses when first starting out training legs to help build development and also help build up your squat capability.

3. Dumbbell Lunges

Dumbbell lunges are about the best “finisher” exercise there is for leg training. Lunges not only royally tear the glutes, but they can also leave the hamstrings burner and can be felt even more-so than actual squats in some cases. In fact, there have been times where I have taken time off from lunges to focus on the squat rack only to return to dumbbell lungs and be absolutely maimed and unable to walk the next day! Try lunges with a lighter dumbbell weight on a leg day as your last exercise of the day. Don’t be surprised if the next day you wake up with your leg muscles absolutely screaming in lactic acid glory while they recover from what you put them through!

4. Deadlifts

Finally, deadlifts, although primarily used for the lower lumbar and lat muscles of the back, also give a strong contribution to both the quadriceps and also the hamstrings depending on the form that is used to perform them. With certain grips and certain widths of the stance, deadlifts can effectively target either the hamstrings or the quadriceps in supplementation to the back muscles that you are working while performing the lifts. Try heavy deadlifts on a non-squat day to really reap the benefit of additional heavy leg-training benefits.

That’s my list on the four effective leg exercises for an awesome workout. Of course I do not purport this to be an all-encompassing list; nor am I suggesting that my word is final and that I may not be correct here. In fact, I’d like you to weigh-in to the conversation by leaving your thoughts, comments, questions, and additions below. I look forward to the feedback and I thank you for reading! 🙂

Finding time for a workout on a busy day

It’s unfortunate that we are so often forced to decide either working out or completing our other tasks for the day. On busy days, working out or exercise pretty much go out the window for most people. Thankfully, there are ways you can combine the two and not have to sacrifice on in favor of the other. If you’re interested in more tips about fitness, you can check out fitnessgoals.com. In the meantime, let’s see some excellent advice on how to cram in an easy and satisfying workout on a busy day.

Make use of your commute

If you have to commute to work, you can use that period as well as that distance to your advantage. Either when you’re going to work or when you are returning from it, you can try jogging or power walking home. Granted that the commute isn’t ridiculously long, you can get an excellent workout out of that distances and will more than make up for the fact that you don’t have the time for the gym.

Change your alarm, go for an earlier wakeup

We all have our alarms set to a certain hour. Consider setting yours to an earlier time than you’re already waking up. If you are already an early bird, try waking up even earlier. It will give you enough time to squeeze a very benefic exercise routine before you have to get ready for work. We all detest having to jump from bed straight into our working clothes and out the door. Waking up earlier and having time actually to breathe before your day begins is very refreshing, let alone with a workout to get you pumped for the day’s activities.

Make use of your lunch break

If you get a meal break at work during which you usually eat, consider changing your habits so that you put that time to a better use. Have breakfast at home or eat healthy snacks throughout the day so that when the time for your lunch break comes, you can just go to the gym for those 40 to 60 minutes of free time. Not only will it tick the workout box on your to-do list, but it will also give you the energy boost you need to survive the rest of the day at the office.

Make TV time your workout time

You’re finally at home and have a little bit of time left. Will you spend it working out or watching your favorite TV show? The answer is both. You don’t have to give either up. Instead of enjoying your favorite programs from the comfort of your couch, sit up and start doing exercises like jumping jacks, lunges, dumbbell exercises and everything in between. Move your equipment next to the TV so you always have a visual reminder of what you should do when you turn on the TV.