It seems to me that a lot of times when a person finally hits that breaking point and decides to buckle down and get to the gym, they are often motivated by getting ripped, like mega #strongAF ripped.
So they set themselves down a path of either getting some knowledgable looking person from the gym to let them in on their training session, or they find some oiled up, rippling person online to get a training program from, or maybe they are the learning type so they attempt to figure out what progressive overload means, what a superset is, how much weight they should use, and how much/what food should they eat and then they end up all utterly confused from information overload and contradiction.
We get it. Building the body you want can be complicated. There is a lot of information out there, some good, some terrible, and some bewildering.
So to help settle a few things for the sake of clarity, here are some key thoughts to consider if you’re looking to get ripped:
- You want to build muscles that are for both “show and go.”
- You need to build a connection or awareness with your body.
- If you are following a plan of attack, you want that plan to be designed by a trusted professional.
- You need a program that builds – one that adds size, strength, AND improves the quality of your life.
Now, great, you have these keys but what does this even mean? I”m glad you asked!
BUILD MUSCLES FOR BOTH SHOW AND GO
The best way to build muscle for both show and go is to find yourself a program that addresses hypertrophy, strength and endurance training. Yes, these are all different things but very important to building a well rounded aesthetic, athletic body.
Hypertrophy is focusing on the goal of increasing muscle size. These programs typically utilize higher repetitions (maybe between 6-15 reps) to inhibit an increase in muscle endurance and muscle volume. You don’t typically use very heavy weights and you’ll likely find yourself with a higher heart rate to encourage metabolic fatigue.
Typical Strength Building Programs are focused on purely getting strong and are going to generally utilize heavier weights, more rest, lower reps, and you’re often flirting with the lines of central nervous system fatigue.
While lifting heavy can provide a great stimulus it’s not the right fit for everyone and definitely not something you want to always be doing. Performing one heavy or close to maximal lift (90%+) even a couple times per week can tax your nervous system significantly. If done repeatedly its effects can show up in your daily life.
Endurance Training is focused on typically lighter or bodyweight loads, higher rep schemes, and less rest. Traditionally the term endurance training generally refers to training the aerobic system as opposed to the anaerobic system (which is more like the previous heavy strength training above).
Understanding that your body needs a well rounded training plan over the course of time is important if you want to be able to be strong, look strong, and move well (all without aches and pains).
You can focus on any one of these training protocols for a period of time, but if you’re looking for a very well rounded body, you’ll want to have some sort of plan that progresses you forward and cycles through movements, or exercises, that will help you build a solid foundation of strength.
BUILD A CONNECTION TO YOUR BODY
For some reason we seem to think that the whole “no pain, no gain” approach or the “I just worked out so hard that I almost threw up and my body is dead” mentality is a marker for a successful fitness program.
Friends, if this is you, please start listening to your body instead of wreaking havoc on it.
Your body will tell you exactly what it wants and needs and now it’s time for you to learn how to listen to it. Personally, I think learning how to Press RESET as we teach within Original Strength is an effective and easy way to build body awareness and ensure that your nervous system is healthy, which makes you more productive, it helps you to perform better, and it allows you to feel better… heck, it overall makes you healthier.
But seriously, if your body is hurting, adjust what you are doing and don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional. You shouldn’t feel absolutely terrible and trashed after every workout.
GET A PLAN FROM A TRUSTED PROFESSIONAL
There are plenty of options out there for strength training programs or just general fitness programs. There are apps, YouTube videos, social media booty videos, and all sorts of places you can find programming.
You’ll want to look for programming that is from an actual fitness professional (not just someone with a large social media following and a hard body). The coach should have a reputable coaching certification, and they should be skilled at coaching the type of training you need for the goals that you have. You should do some research on the coach or organization you are working with to make sure they fit with your values, needs, and wants. Don’t just follow along with the “experts” blindly, educate yourself.
CHOOSING A PROGRAM
Once you’ve found the trusted coach, you’ve probably got a program or plan lined up. But here are just a few more thoughts on programming.
Whatever program you choose, find one that is going to take you through at least 6 weeks of progressive programming – one that grows as you grow. Then stick with it and see it through.
The hardest part of doing a program is just sticking with it. But, stay the course and find a way to get yourself to commit to the program, which hopefully has some coaching check-ins and accountability built in to help you out along the way, too.
You should also know that if you get into a program and you decide that it’s really not a great fit for you and your needs, it’s also okay to stop and honor your body’s needs first. If that happens, reach out to the coach and see if they have any suggestions for you to regress or modify the program if needed.
So, if you’re looking to get into your next training program, or maybe you’re even just looking for a starting point, make sure you’re considering these keys before jumping all in.
Or maybe this is you? Maybe you do want to look good, be strong, and feel good. Maybe you do want bigger arms, stronger looking glutes, and a chiseled back that can actually be useful outside of the gym. You’ve got these keys, so how do you use them?
You’re in luck. You’ll want to check out the new BUILD Your Body Program we’re about to release with our friend, and highly experienced strength coach, Mark Shropshire. This program fits all of the above qualifications and you’ll be able to complete it right from your own home, with a couple of dumbbells or kettlebells. You’ll even be able to build a connection to coach Shropshire along with our other coaches. You’ll also get to connect with some of the others going through the program, a community of support and accountability to keep you on track to building the body of your dreams, the one you deserve.