Training

10 Training Fixes

The most common workout problems and how to correct them.

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YOU'VE GOT PROBLEMS

Almost everyone does something wrong in every workout. You probably don’t even realize the errors that are curtailing or preventing gains. This is your wake-up call, your proverbial face slap. Get real. Determine what you’re doing wrong and plot a course to correct it.

 1 | TOO MUCH VARIETY 

Variety is a good thing—spice of life and all that. A lot of champion bodybuilders never do the same workout for a body part twice in a row. The problem arises when variety breeds anarchy. If you’re merely picking different exercises, rep schemes, techniques, etc., each time for the sake of being different, you’ll inevitably stray too far from the most effective course.

FIX | Build your routine around free-weight barbell basics like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and shoulder presses for 6-12 reps, as well as those exercises that you’ve determined work best with your physique. After that you can swap in and out exercises, alter rep ranges, and use intensity techniques like supersets and dropsets. Keeping a core of excellent exercises done for moderate reps will prevent your workout from descending to chaos when you switch things up.

 2 | MISSING THE TARGET 

This is about compound exercises, those lifts that involve more than one body part. It can be difficult to focus on the muscle or part of a muscle you want to target. Too often secondary body parts and momentum take over, detracting from the target.

FIX | There is an easy fix to this. Simply avoid compound exercises. For example, you can train chest with dumbbell, cable, and machine flyes (all isolation) without doing a single press (compound). However, compound lifts, in which you can use more weight, are too valuable to skip long-term. You need to consciously focus the compound exercise on your target. For example, when doing incline presses, tense your upper pecs. Pre-exhaust is another great fix because it assures that the targeted area will fail first. Do incline flyes before incline presses. You can even superset the two, flying for a set just before pressing for a set.

 

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