Yes, we know you don’t want to know all this about yourself. But you should. You have to! Fitness experts have spoken about the most important health tips that people don’t want to follow, and we’ve translated them for you.
Mark Dugdale, IFBB professional bodybuilder: “Take the weight down”.
This is, of course, advice for bodybuilders, not powerlifters. Lifters usually do everything right, but jocks often overdo the intensity. I was like that myself, but eventually realised that the heavier the weight, the worse the technique (and hypertrophy).
Put your pride to rest and do not try to impress your bro-colleagues in the gym. And your spouses are more interested in how you look than in the weight you can lift. In my 25 years of training career no girl has ever asked me how much I bench press.
Perform each exercise with the best technique, controlling the negative (lowering the projectile). Of course, you’ll have to lower your work weights to do this, but you’ll gain more muscle mass and fewer injuries in the long run.
Christian Thibadeau, strength and conditioning coach: “Don’t try to perform if you don’t have the data.
While I always say that a chosen goal promotes training progression, it should be realistic and really help. Thanks to the development of social media (photo likes) many people start to think they are good enough to compete. But the reality bites: few people have the prerequisites to be successful, and training can also interfere with your training and even lead to serious psychological problems.
A client of mine once asked me to prepare him for a competition. He was a good guy, trained hard, but with the height of 180 cm he had only about 70 kg of weight, and not the most relief.
I say this: if you don’t have the best muscles in your gym (or at least not in the top three), you shouldn’t even think about competing. That’s where the best of the best compete. “Yeah, but I’ll look cooler after drying off!”. Dude, 60 kilos of muscle with a height of 180 is not bodybuilding. You’ve got to be toned. You’ve got to be massive. Not skinny.
“I’m gonna go on steroids to gain more.” One stupid thing after another. I understand “chemists” who have achieved a lot without doping, but it’s stupid to risk your health if there are no natural gains. Steroids are not a magic wand. You might be able to hold as much as 65kg for a performance with them, but it still won’t help you.
Preparing for a competition is very challenging. I know a bunch of people who have developed eating disorders on a dry run. It’s even worse with their personal lives: several of my friends have been dumped by girlfriends who couldn’t stand their pre-competition training.
And then you either torture yourself physically, keeping in shape all year round, or suffer mentally because you’re getting bloated again in the off-season. Many people look worse after a few months of performance than they did before they started training.
Let’s face it: if you have the genes and discipline to perform, perform! I don’t discourage those clients who have potential. But many I refuse, taking care of themselves. Some tolerate drying out without any problems, but others suffer serious consequences, such as thyroid problems and reduced levels of important hormones. In short, if the idea of performing is on your mind, think it through.
Chris Shugart, creative director at T Nation: “If you’re not happy with your fitness, look for flaws in your diet, not in the programme.
Choose a good programme to suit your tastes – strength training, bodybuilding or even a special ‘lean programme’. Discover the secret? You can lose weight on any of them. The result is almost entirely dependent on food.
No magic workout will help if you’re not on a diet. You don’t even have to call it the dreaded word ‘diet’ – just the food rules you follow.
Some might say: you’re just Marshall Hindsight. Of course it’s obvious. Which doesn’t stop most people from overdoing the diet component. Anyone can kill themselves with training – even some people enjoy it. But few people like to restrict their diet for a long time and exclude favorite treats.
Most prefer to suffer at the gym rather than in the kitchen. But it’s the diet that magically changes everything. Smaller but high-quality meals, a deficit by a couple of hundred calories, a surplus at some point – and voila! You look so much better. On the same programme.
Of course, training is also useful to optimise for a certain purpose. But if you train hard and your looks don’t change – too much fat, too little muscle, stagnant records – then nutrition is the problem.
Chris Colucci, T Nation forum editor: “Buy a season ticket for decades, not weeks or months.
A competent programme and a sensible diet can bring great results, but there’s another factor that affects literally everything you do in the gym and in the kitchen.
Here it is: training goals, not just for the next few months, but for the rest of your life.
Yes, a super diet or a month-long programme is fine and maybe extremely effective. But don’t think that once they’re done, you won’t have to do anything else. Fitness is a way of life. You can’t develop impressive strength and muscularity in a few weeks.
When you realise this, you’ll start to think differently about everything you do, from distorting technique to doing too many runs (trying to set a record) – it all becomes counterproductive in the long run. Gradually you’ll go from “I’ll drink a pre-trainer and kill myself in the gym, now that we’re living!” to “I finished my four-month training cycle with great results – solid records and no injuries. Gotta plan for the next one.”
When you think about long-term goals, it’s easier to achieve short-term ones as well, defining them more precisely. Not chaotically jumping from programme to programme every four weeks to “just get stronger and bigger” (which is how some specify their wishes).
If you plan to continue training in 2050, you’ll obviously prefer to do 4 perfect repetitions instead of the dreaded 6. And you might even give up the bench press if you have shoulder problems.
Of course, in these fast-paced times you also want quick results so you can brag about them on Insta sooner. But you know who looks cooler than a muscular 22-year-old? A 62-year-old jock who can still train hard.