• Elena Elviira

How l train better now, than I used to..


My fitness journey and love for fitness probably started from my first ever deadlift. I had never done that until l was advised to start lifting heavier. My first deadlift was 60kg x6reps x3sets. About a year later l set it up to 85kg x 10reps x3sets.


Before I started to lift heavy, I had been working out for years and never really saw any results. It's not much of a secret that lifting heavy will make you look better but it is a secret that it will also make you feel better. That is what will make you addicted to fitness. Once l started to squat heavier and learned a few other leg exercises (squats are not the only exercise to train legs). Anyway once l started to train heavier, l started to notice how my body is actually changing. Even though l was building muscle, l suddenly had lost weight as well. My body started to look different and l did not know that my body could look anything else than it already did.


That was only three months into my training. l noticed my hips were not as wide, that was something that made my legs and hip look a lot smaller and fitter. I slowly started to trust that process is achievable. I will only not build muscle but l will loose weight where it is not needed, making me more lean. That will happen automatically once your training and nutrition is corrected.

All in all, l went from training without any structure to more structured heavier lifting.


Next l went from this heavy lifting to even more structured workouts (just smarter and more intense with more quality reps)

These 5 tips will make you work smarter with more quality.


1. At the moment l am training 3 leg days per week (two heavier days and one less lighter day but if l really need any extra days of rest l am going to let myself rest). Before l got into training legs three times a week, l trained them twice a week quite heavy. I slowly progressed and build up to three leg days, so 2 days might work just fine for you now. Each day I target different leg muscles. There's no wrong or right necessarily between training legs 2 or 3 times a week, but training too much can become detrimental, so remember adequate rest and mostly just listen to your body. Whichever works best for you, will be best for you and that's it. My 3 days a week is not a rule l must obey, cause all purpose of training is to let your body rest enough in order for it make the changes of your hard work.


My 3 days a week is not a rule l must obey, cause all purpose of training is to let your body rest enough in order for it make the changes of your hard work.

2. Another point that made me have more structure to my training was starting to do supersets and making exercises in right order. Doing 4 or 5 different exercises per gym session is enough and if done in correct order can help you even further. Basic rule is to start with the heavier exercises, which will make those lighter exercises work your muscle more as well. By adding supersets and halfreps to your workout will also make your muscle work harder and gives them new stimulus. This kind of extra push on your muscle allows your muscle fibers to work over their treshold to activate more of the muscle, thus resulting in muscle gains.


3. I corrected my rest time and amounts of sets&reps. Allowing longer rest periods for heavier 6-8 repetition sets and supersets. But, when doing longer and lighter sets, l make sure rest is minimal. I try to make sure that the last 2 to 4 reps are near failure, needing that extra push, which is a reason itself for muscle gains again.


This helped me to do my workouts more efficiently and l am able to reduce my time spent in gym. Getting in-and-out-of-gym somewhere between 45 minutes to 1,5 hours. By not doing too much, usually 4 exercises per muscle is quite efficient and enough. This kind of in-and-out-of-gym training allows your muscles to work before central fatigue hits too much. Central fatigue (referring to central nervous system) means your body will get tired before the muscles, resulting in a way that your muscle can not work to its best capability. Central fatigue comes usually if workouts last longer than an hour. Also, training too much can once again be detrimental, just train consistently and that will work better, than training crazy amounts in every workout.


Training too much can once again be detrimental, just train consistently and that will work better, than training crazy amounts in every workout.

4. Best thing to do is to learn new exercises and learn correct techniques for them. Simple exercise such as lunges l had never really done before but adding that to my training gave great variety. First l was barely able to have any weight (even though my squats are fairly heavy) but after strengthening neural connections my form got better and l quickly got stronger at them. Even though l was doing heavy squats, didn't mean another leg exercise (like lunges) will automatically get stronger as well. This new activation of neural connections by the lunges made me stronger and gave me legs new gains.

Giving variety to your training will result in further gains.


5. Structure. What does it really mean regards to training. I think it means having some sort of consistency and systematic way of doing things. But structure can not either be constant hard work grinding, it also requires changes and rest. Your body's neural connections adapt to your training in about 4-6 weeks. After that it means your neural connections get 'bored' and require new stimulus. In weightlifting, when new weight becomes normal, your body has adapted to that heavier weight and is able to take on more workload again either by extra set, reps or weight. Putting your body through new neural connection stress, allows for greater hyperthrophy, strenght gains, speed or any other level of development. Same goes to you, your mind, you don't want to get bored with your training. Meaning it's time to change up a bit of your training.


When new weight becomes normal, your body has adapted to that heavier weight and is able to take on more workload again either by extra set, reps or weight.


Being smart about your training takes small changes but takes you far !!



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