Requirement #3: Incorporate Progressive Overload
Your body is lazy. Unless you give it a super compelling reason to get bigger and stronger (i.e., through resistance training), it will stay as it is. And even when you do give it one, it will stop progressing again once it makes the necessary adaptations to handle the loads you’re
subjecting it to.
So, how do you keep improving? You keep pushing your body to do more—and that’s exactly what progressive overload is all about.
Simply put, if you want to keep getting bigger and stronger, you’ll have to keep increasing the total volume of work (i.e., weight x reps x sets) you do over time.
Requirement #4: Prioritize Compound Movements
This one just means you should do more multi-joint exercises like push ups, squats, and pull
ups and fewer single-joint movements like bicep curls, leg extensions, and front delt raises.
Compound or multi-joint exercises, as the term suggests, not only hit multiple muscle groups at once, they also allow you to lift much heavier loads. This means they’ll help you get bigger and stronger much faster than isolation or single-joint movements ever could.
So, does this mean isolation exercises have no place in your program? Not at all! You see,
single-joint movements are great for training lagging body parts.
Are your biceps not growing as fast as you’d like even though you’re doing pull ups? Add a
couple of sets of curls to your program. Have your triceps stopped getting bigger? Do push
downs. Struggling to get your middle delts to pop out? Do lateral raises or some variation of the exercise.
At the end of the day, the goal is to start with compound movements and just add isolation
exercises to plug any holes you see in your training along the way.
Requirement #5: Get the Right Equipment
At the very least, try to invest in a pair of adjustable dumbbells (like these). Doing so would give you pretty much everything you need to cover all the seven fundamental movements we’ve shared with you earlier and incorporate progressive overload in your training.
But can’t you just do bodyweight exercises instead?
Of course you can. But keep in mind that it’s much more challenging to, say, do your first push up than to press a pair of 5-kg dumbbells and progress from there. The same goes for pull ups versus starting with light dumbbell rows to hit your back and biceps.
And it’s much harder to progress with bodyweight exercises too. Going from squats to pistol
squats, for instance, is no cakewalk.
For cardio, while jogging, skipping rope, and burpees are all phenomenal, they might not be the best exercises for you if you’re overweight or have a bad knee. And even if you’re pretty fit, high-impact movements like these are still not something you should do every day.
If you want to do cardio every day (or just don’t want to wear down your knees), then fan bikes (like these) are what you want. They not only work your arms, core, and legs at the same time, they also don’t subject your knees to massive impact forces no matter how hard you go.
Of course, knowing what’s required to build a training program that works is just one part of the equation. You also need to figure out the right exercises, total training volume, and training frequency for your specific fitness goals.
The good news is we’d love to help you out. The bad news is we can only do that if we know
exactly what you need. So, why don’t you schedule a free consultation with one of our expert coaches so we can talk about your goals and requirements in person?