8 ways to Supercharge Your Training
by Joe Hashey, CSCS – www.synergy-athletics.com
Everyone that reads the Diesel Crew site is already passionate about strength training; there is no doubt about that! This article contains methods I have used in my own training and with my athletes to add a “little something extra” to the programs.
Let’s cut the small talk and get to the meat, here’s the list:
1. Real Primary Exercises. Choose a primary exercise that is a compound lift and is proven to help you reach your goals. If you are an Olympic lifter, then choose those. If you are a powerlifter, then get to benching, squatting, and dead lifting. If you are a recreational lifter (here’s where we get in trouble), choose something off the list above. Smith machine curls don’t fit. Activate the most muscles you can right off the bat.
2. Warm Up HARD. Warm ups should not be all slow and steady stretching. Time it, and get it done. Here’s the timing I use with my athletes – 3 minutes active recovery or mobility, 4 minutes dynamic stretching, then 3-5 minutes specific warm up (lighter sets and reps of their exercise, this includes rest periods for a group of 3). Everything is up on a board for them to read and their first working start needs to start within 12 minutes of them walking in the door.
Warming up with some Pull Ups
3. Use the Training Economy. Supercharge your training session with choosing exercises that give you the biggest bang for your buck. Instead of listing them all, here are some guidelines. These are the lifts that use multiple muscle groups and rarely involve machines. More muscles used = more adaptation.
4. Finish Strong. Many of my athletes have benefited from incorporating a “finisher” exerciser. On certain moderate volume or intensity days I will allow them to choose a finisher. These exercises range from Jail Yard pushups to hand walking competitions and everything in between. The competitive nature of people that work out should be utilized! The guys enjoy some healthy competition; it gets their adrenaline pumping, and leads to a positive training effect.
A group finisher – Jail Yard Pushups from the Bull Strength Manual
5. Realize You’re Weak (nesses). If you keep training the same lifts and program non stop, you may develop some weaknesses. Make sure you identify the areas of concern and catch them up! Keep in mind that “weaknesses” are all relative. A powerlifter may find that their triceps are their weak point; however those “weak triceps” may still be very strong compared to anyone else!
6. Play within Yourself. The worst thing you can do is find the strongest guy in the gym and compare yourself to them, however, its one of the hardest things NOT to do. Hell, I’m saying it, and I still make that mistake (and probably will again). They may have been training for 15 years and if you have only 2 years under your belt, then they should be that much stronger! It is good to take notice of the characteristics of strength, but don’t get down if you can’t deadlift 500 lbs after a year.
Not the guy you want to try to out dead lift as a beginner
7. Don’t be a sissy. I’m being serious here, and I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of this before as well. Who here hasn’t talked themselves out of a big lift? I certainly have, and I’m still bitter that I went sissy for that moment. Get a pattern of thinking down before you perform a big lift. It can be you against the weight, it can be you and the weight working together, it could be you picturing a hot girl in the room that you have to impress…Whatever it is, just do it and stick to what works!
I’ll let you in my mind here for a second. My go to thought is my younger brother performing the lift easily and smirking at me. After I get that ingrained my mind, there is no choice but to get the lift.
Post up some of your thoughts in the comments here at the Diesel Crew! I’d be curious to hear.
8. Don’t drown in information while searching for knowledge. The internet has created put an amazing amount of information out to people. Answers to nearly every question are just a button click away. However, what is hard to find is true knowledge.
There are thousands of strength training sites with information out there, some right, some wrong. The problem is who is right? There is so much information, but a real lack of knowledge. Stick to the basics, learn from people that have experience (ie not off a 12 year old on a forum), and get that knowledge!
I’ll end with a challenge. Anyone can read this information, say “yeah that’s good,” then go on making the same mistakes as before. I challenge you to internalize at least ONE of these 8 tips and make it happen! Please post any results in the comments.
There it is, 8 simple things you can do to bump your workouts up to the next level. I know, as readers of the Diesel Crew site, that many of you already have some sick super charged workouts. Keep up the good work, and thanks for reading.
About the Author: Joe is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach and owner of Synergy Athletics. He specializes in getting the most out athletes, and has some impressive training videos. Go visit Joe’s site – www.synergy-athletics.com – and sign up for the FREE newsletter. All subscribers get a free bonus training video of Joe training at his place and with the Diesel Crew. It is really a must watch!
P.S. Don’t forget about AJ’s FREE bench videos
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Tags: bull strength, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training workouts
July 27th, 2009 at 8:32 pm
Ha, don’t be a sissy is a good one. Great point about info vs knowledge!
July 28th, 2009 at 9:15 pm
You could’ve stopped after the first tip and the article would have been a winner. Once I quit trying to do “everything” and focused on basic, compound moves followed by addressing my weak points (and there were many) I got fitter, faster and just plain felt better than I had in a long time. Thanks Jedd.
July 29th, 2009 at 6:53 pm
Great post! “Finishers” have been a great addition to my small group training. what a great atmosphere it creates! I esp. like the prowler suicides!! muahahaha!!
October 28th, 2009 at 11:35 am
Looks like the real deal man! beats the p90,, u know.
December 11th, 2009 at 9:14 pm
Great article man! Soo much common sense but so often over looked. Getting out of your comfort zone is a big one…I have recently started foam rolling, stretching a lot more, and using some of Smitty’s mobility drills and am reaping the rewards. If you dont have correct movement patterns and flexibilty you might as well stop and save yourself a lot of trouble trying to correct all of your faults and injuries down the road.