FAQ & Discussions

WORKOUT ABBREVIATIONS:

-SuperSet (SS) or Compound Set (CS) - Two exercise set together with little to no break in between 

Example: 5 x 15/10-12

Leg Extension / Leg Press (feet low) - Complete 15 reps of the first exercise, then complete 10-12 reps of the second exercise with in the same set, with no break. Rest. Then repeat for a total of 5 sets. 

-To Failure - No set number of reps, go until you fail.

-Drop (Drop set) -

Example: 4 x 10 drop 10

This means you are preform 4 sets of drop sets. Preform the first 10 reps, drop to a lighter weight, then complete another 10 reps more within the same set, no rest. 

-Tri-Set - 3 exercises strung together with no break in between each exercise. Rest after all three completed 

-Giant Set - 4 or more exercises strung together with no break in between each exercise. Rest after each of exercises has been completed 

-Pyramid Sets:  Pyramid training can be done either ascending (15, 12, 10, 8, 6) or descending (6, 8, 10, 12, 15). For Ascending pyramid sets, you should always try to increase the weight each set as the reps go down.  Obviously just the opposite for Descending pyramid sets, you should be decreasing weight each set as the reps go up. 

-Straight Sets ( 5x5 or 5,5,5,5,5): Meaning lifting the same weight for all of your sets of a given exercise. Moving up in weight each set isn't necessary but you can add a little bit as long as you are hitting the reps! If you do all the required sets at the same weight, that's totally fine too! 

-AMRAP: Abbreviation for “As Many Reps As Possible.” Similar to saying “go to failure.” In CrossFit, this term can also refer to “As Many Rounds As Possible.”

 

How Much Rest Time Between Sets?: 

How long should you rest between sets? It depends largely on what type of training you’re doing? Here are general recommendations. You may need a little more or less on some exercises and sets. The best way to gauge rest time is to begin a new set as soon as you feel recovered to the point where you can physically put enough energy into to productively execute the next set.  I have been training for almost 29 years, so I know when I feel recovered.  But if you are new to training this is a good starting point based on rep schemes.

-Strength Training: Lifting heavy loads for low reps. Specifically, the 1-5 rep range is best for gaining strength. Powerlifters tend to lift predominately in the 1-3 rep range (i.e. heavy singles, doubles and triples) for their main lifts. You will notice I usually will only do reps this low on my main 3 lifts: squat, bench, or deadlifts. REST: 2-4 minutes. Since these are heavy sets I go when I feel ready in that range. 

-Hypertrophy (Adding Lean Muscle) Training: or training to build muscle, entails lifting moderate loads for moderate reps. Typically in the 8-12 rep range is cited as the best rep range for hypertrophy. However, in my opinion the hypertrophy range can be anywhere from 6-15 rep range depending on your level. REST: 1-2 minutes (again I try not to go over 90 seconds.)

-Endurance Training: Entails lifting lighter loads for higher reps. Specifically, doing more than 15 reps per set trains muscular endurance. Doing such high reputations places trains the muscle fibers that are resistant to fatigue under stress which I preform more on leg days, because the legs are resistant little beasts so sometimes you need to throw a lot at them to see results. REST: 30-60 seconds.

 

NOT BUILDING MUSCLE?

This is an all too common story for people with no experience or knowledge on how to build muscle...It's really NOT THAT easy!!

Reasons why you’re not building muscle:

1) You’re not getting enough calories – Calorie consumption is the solution to about 90% of the complaints lifters have about not gaining muscle and/or stronger. Your body requires a certain number of calories to maintain your current weight (BMR-previously discussed & instructed on how to calculate in a previous post). Remember, muscles will not grow in a deficit.

2. You’re not eating the right foods - Generally speaking, if you’re eating excess calories (beyond your BMR) every day and training with a decent workout you’re muscles will grow….But, if you’re not eating the right foods, the chances are that you’ll be limiting your potential, putting on excess body fat, and not growing enough lean muscle.The best way to build muscle & lean out is to split it up into Protein/Carbs/Fats ratios. Arguably the best ratio of muscle growth is 30/50/20. This mean you’re getting 30% of your total calories from protein, 50% from carbohydrates and 20% from fats.

3. You’re not eating enough meals - When you eat is just as important as what you eat. Think of your body like a log fire. If you put too much wood on at once, the fire burns slow and sluggish. But if you gradually add more wood as the fire gets bigger, it burns more efficiently.

4. You’re not getting enough water - Water is nature’s wonder supplement, it’s essential for a whole host of bodily functions. Many lifters underestimate the importance of being hydrated well before they step into the gym. If you feel dehydrated just before you’re about to train, it’s too late, you won’t be able to rehydrate yourself in time. Keeping yourself hydrated should be a priority from the moment you get out of bed. This is SO IMPORTANT!!

5. You’ve been using the same workout too long - Building muscle is simply the process of the body reacting to increased stress on the muscle. You put stress on your muscles in the gym, and they grow bigger & stronger to cope with the stress. The body is very quick to adapt to any changes, this includes your workout. Once your body adapts to your workout routine, it will not see the need to build more muscle or get stronger. You have to change it up. As a general rule you should change your workout when you stop getting stronger or lifting heavier, or at most about 8-10 weeks. *I keep my clients on a 4-6 week program. I feel they will feel/see the most results & are ready for a change by that time.

6. You’re not focused on progression - Progression builds muscle, without it you won’t grow. Progression is the constant increase of weight, stress and intensity required to tell your body that it needs to grow more muscle. You should aim to improve at least one aspect of your workout every week. It could be increasing the weight, it could be your increase the reps, but it has to be something!!

7. You’re not training your legs – Did you know that exercises like squats have an impact on your whole body?! Not only does it use most of your upper body muscles in the movement, but this exercise is so stressful that the body releases growth hormone to try and cope with the load. This effects the entire body!! Don’t skip Leg Day!! ;)

7. You’re not getting enough sleep

  • Sleeping is you body’s time to recharge. For you, the weight trainer, you’re your body’s time to repair damaged muscle tissue, and grow more muscle. Aim to get around 7-8 hours of good quality sleep every night. No sleep = No muscle. Here’s some tips on how to get a good night’s rest:
  • Only sleep when you’re tired. There’s no point it trying to when you’re not.
  • Develop sleeping rituals, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
  • Refrain from stressful activities for 1-2 hours before bed
  • Don’t take stimulates within 4-6 hours before bed time
  • Have a light snack before bed

8. Your POST workout Nutrition sucks

Your post workout shake/meal is arguably the most important meal of the day. When you finish your workout, your muscles are crying out for nutrients that were lost during training. Your protein levels are down, creatine levels are down, and glycogen is depleted. Most people think that a simple Protein Shake is all that’s needed after your workout. This is not true!!! While a protein shake is better than nothing, it still falls well short of a good post workout shake. Here’s what would be better:

Shake containing the following:

  • 30-40g of Protein Powder
  • 40-70g of dextrose/simple carbs (Depending on Macros)
  • 5g Creatine (Optional)

AND 1 hour later:

A well-rounded meal containing protein, complex carbs, and fats.

You see above I’ve written out your post workout shake by adding dextrose and creatine. Dextrose is the simplest of simple carbohydrates. Studies have shown that taking dextrose in these doses creates a huge spike of insulin in the body. Insulin is an extremely anabolic hormone and helps move nutrients quickly throughout the body. This means that the creatine, protein, and BCAAs are quickly absorbed into muscle cells where they’re needed for muscle repair to begin. BEST time for these carbs is POST WORKOUT!!

9. Your PRE-workout nutrition sucks

Carbohydrates are the key to having adequate fuel in your tank for a hard workout. There are 2 types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates (like dextrose mentioned above) are quickly converted into energy for use in the body. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and process, but provide you with long lasting energy. Complex carbohydrates are your primary fuel source for your workouts. What you eat throughout the day, and 1.5-3 hours before your workout is going to affect how much energy you have. Here are some examples of quality sources of complex carbohydrates:

  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes
  • Brown bread
  • Pasta
  • Oats
  • Pita bread

10. You’re not motivated

Finally, Can you honestly say you put in 100% every time you hit the gym?? There are several ways you can help yourself stay motivated and focused on your goals.

  • Keep a training diary
  • Set small bi-weekly achievable goals
  • Set long-term goals
  • Take before and after pictures
  • Get a workout partner
  • Fire yourself up before a session with some music that gets you going
  • Give it 100% Every damn time!! 

Have a question? Message me!