I believe that training is more of a mental battle. Anyone can attend the gym and gain basic strength and stamina, but a strong mind can take years to develop. The ability to stay positive and motivated is a difficult concept. Being able to
understand what you are doing, why you are doing it and having the strength to do it, is a task easier said than done. The mind is a very powerful tool - learn to control and guide it. Your greatest resource in the gym is knowledge.
Super setting (two exercises back to back with no rest between them followed by a rest and then repeat) a heavy weighted exercise with a plyometric or dynamic movement throughout a routine will burn more calories and achieve results faster than hours of cardio. For example: start with a standard weighted squat completing 8-12 reps then complete 30 seconds of body weight jumping squats or lunges.
This variety of a movement recruits all muscle fibres during a set and stimulates stronger, leaner muscle tissue to grow, and its a lot more fun! Also, having more muscle means you burn more calories throughout the day - A pound of muscle tissue burns about fourteen calories a day, where as a pound of fat burns only two to three calories a day.
The two biggest factors that limit training for most men in the gym;
The feeling that you must always lift the heaviest weight - firstly, you are not in the gym to impress others, you are there to train. You should not care what people think of you or what you are doing, you are all there for the same reason. You may have different goals, but the point still stands. Weight is the last thing you should consider. Your form and technique ALWAYS comes first. Master the basics and your muscle size and strength will increase quicker. You should choose the weight that is right for you to complete your set using correct form. You may be able to press/pull heavier weights but without correct technique. Regardless of the weight you are lifting, 2, 10, 50, 100 kg you should choose the right weight for YOU.
Lack of knowledge - men have too much pride to ask for help and this is their biggest downfall. If you can understand how muscles contract and understand how to manipulate them, then you will have the ability to create any body you want. Do not be afraid to ask, your biggest asset in the gym is knowledge.
The two biggest factors that limit training for most women in the gym;
Numbers - most women constantly want to lose weight. Body weight is too general to base your training on, weight is not just fat, but muscle, water and bone etc. If you really need to know numbers, base your training around body fat percentages, as this is more specific. I will give you a scenario: would you rather be 8 stone, not very healthy, unfit and always lacking energy, or 9 stone, healthy, fit and strong? It is your choice.
Weight training builds excessive muscle – One of the biggest myths in the gym is if women weight train, they will develop larger, masculine figures. If you train and diet for that purpose then yes, but if you weight train correctly, you will produce a leaner, more defined and shaped figure. Women, you should involve some form of weight training into your routines, to create all round fitness and strength.
'A body builder is primarily concerned with contracting his muscles, he contracts his muscles against greater and greater amounts of resistance, by doing that, he is able to stimulate hypertrophy and make his muscles grow. A weightlifter is just concerned with moving weight' – Kai Greene.
In other words, a weight lifter wants to move the maximum amount of weight they can, where as, a bodybuilder wants to achieve muscle contractions for their muscles to develop shape and grow in size.
Correct form during an exercise is the key to progression in your training. For a muscle to grow, you need a stretch and a contraction. This combination is what stimulates muscle growth. There are two forms of movement for muscle contractions; isolation and compound. Isolation are smaller movements that create more muscle shape and definition where only one joint is moving, for example: a bicep curl is primarily working the biceps as your elbow is the only joint moving.
Compound exercises are your size and strength builders. These are big movements where two joints are involved, for example: a lat pull down is primarily working your latissimus dorsi, but will also involve your biceps, as your shoulder and elbow joints are being used. My top 6 compound exercises are: