Pump It Up: Tips for Improving Your Strength Training

Introduction

You probably don’t go into your workout looking for mediocre results. Most likely, you are looking for a 100% return on every heartbeat, hard breath, drop of sweat, and extra rep since these are the currency of your exercise. Investing your time and energy in the gym should garner you the best results that you can achieve. Below are some simple tips for helping you get the most out of workouts on your journey to becoming the best you.

Muscle Growth

Muscle growth can be described as the development of function, density, shape, and mass of muscle cells. Adaptations such as these allow muscles to meet the demands of physical stress during any physical activity. This growth can be referred to as hypertrophy and is affected by nutritional intake, types of exercise, and hormonal status.

Nutrition

Proper nutrition can make a significant difference when it comes to the quality of your workouts. It can aid in recovery time, and improve overall performance.

  • Pre-workout you should focus on eating something to boost performance while sustaining energy, hydrate, and preserve your muscle mass while speeding recovery.
  • During workouts, you should focus on drinking water to remain hydrated, immediately provide fuel to boost your performance, and preserve muscle mass while improving recovery.
  • Post-workout you should focus on eating to re-hydrate, recover, refuel, and build muscle which assists in improving future performance.

Proteins should serve several functions related to your exercise including helping to repair tissues damaged during your workout and assist with the building of new muscle fibers. They can also promote the recovery of muscle so that you can get back to the gym sooner.

Carbohydrates provide the necessary energy for muscles to perform work. Think of carbohydrates as fuel that burns during your exercise. They also gather in your liver and muscles as glycogen, which your muscles will call for during exercise to continue working. Since exercise exhausts this storage of glycogen, it is equally important to consume carbohydrates after your workout. Replenishing these during and after strenuous physical activity can also help to speed up recovery.

Vitamins and minerals are essential to many of the functions of your body, especially during exercise, including muscle contraction and energy production. As an example, if your dietary iron levels are low it can make it easier for you to experience fatigue and become winded. They are also responsible for helping you maintain fluid balance in your cells. If there you have low levels of sodium and potassium it can result in muscle cramping during exercise.

Water may be one of the most important nutrients when it comes to your workouts. Proper hydration can vastly affect your body’s ability to regulate your heartbeat and temperature. It is vital that you replace the water that you are losing through heavy breathing and sweating. Doing this can help ensure that you meet your goals while remaining safe.

Conditioning vs. Cardio

Thinking of cardio as conditioning can benefit your efforts to improve your cardiovascular health while helping to maintain and promote muscle growth.Conditioning should combine both aerobic and anaerobic systems to gain muscle. There are three energy systems that should be considered to achieve proficiency in conditioning. These systems are:

  1. Anaerobic lactic system providing energy for activity lasting up to sixty seconds which does not require oxygen and produces lactic acid
  2. Anaerobic alactic system providing immense energy surges in short periods, about 20 seconds, to increase power, maximal strength, and speed which does not use oxygen or produce lactic acid
  3. Aerobic system providing energy for sustained periods of activity by breaking down fatty and amino acids as well as carbohydrates which requires oxygen and may produce lactic acid

Depending on your goals you may want to stress some types of exercise more than others. Keeping in mind their purposes can be crucial in getting the most from your conditioning workouts. You may also experience a significant difference in muscle gain by varying your conditioning routines since it will help keep you in a state of adaptation, rather than adapted.

Massage

When applied, massage can significantly improve the function of your muscles. It can decrease inflammation while promoting the production of, and processes of mitochondria in your muscles. It can also help in speeding up muscle recovery. Additionally, it feels good!

When you are on the go, it can be hard to rely on massages for these benefits. You can use therapeutic aids like massage balls or foam rollers for these times. The best massage ball for your back can help reduce tension and release trigger points, improving flexibility and blood flow. They are portable, discreet and can help you with hard to reach areas like your back.

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