Unless you’re some kind of sissy, you know what dedication and work ethic is involved with hard training. You can’t whine your way to good results. You have to step up, be a man, and be willing to make sacrifices. One of these involves pushing your limits to the max and going beyond your comfort zone, which is often accompanied by physical and mental pain.
If this is too much for your ass to handle, then get yourself to steppin. But if you can hang with the big boys, kick off your moon boots and let’s get to work! Use these tips to increase your gains and maybe even impress a few wookies!
1. Do a really good warm-up
When you’re a fresh grunt, you’re basically a neophyte – one with little experience who is looked down upon. But you earn respect as time goes on.
During boot camp and PT, you are going to be taxed like never before and you will need to exhibit strength that goes further than regular strength. One way to get past the pain involved in this is by doing a good quality warm-up. Take that advice to the gym.
If you go into a workout as cold as a bucket of ice, your muscles will not want to work well. This can cause you to cramp up, seize up, and fall to the floor in a pile of quivering flesh. Don’t be an idiot and let this happen!
Before your workout, spend five minutes doing a light run or equivalent and then do some dynamic stretches. This will get your muscles and joints ready for action, and it will raise your heart rate so you don’t shock your system to an excessive degree. It will also reduce the pain you will experience as you are working out.
Dynamic stretches are performed in motion. Alternating side bends, windmills, arm circles, leg swings, reverse lunges, and side straddle hops are examples.
2. Think about something else
Did you ever hear the phrase “mind over matter”? You can win a great struggle by tapping into the power of the mind and concentrating on something else. Use this technique to push past the pain in your workout. You will probably experience this when doing something like a high volume of kettlebell snatches.
A time will come when your muscles are burning and your heart is pounding out of your chest. Take your mind somewhere else and focus hard on it, such as recalling a baseball game that you watched.
The trick is to maintain good form with the exercise you are doing, though. The last thing you want is to be carried to the infirmary in a body bag.
3. Take adequate rest breaks
Although you are training hard, it doesn’t mean you should do it without resting. Your goal should be to rest for just long enough that you can do your next set with 90% quality or better. For example, if you are doing squats, there is a good chance that your legs are going to start burning.
But you know deep down inside that you want to add some size to your pillars. It’s OK to step back and take some passive recovery time. If that’s 60 seconds, 45 seconds, or 30 seconds, fine. Take the amount of rest you need to enable yourself to perform the next set with 90% efficiency or better.
It doesn’t matter if you are doing a single body part workout, a circuit workout, or a split routine. Follow this rule at all times.
4. Use active recovery between sets
You know that you should use adequate rest breaks between sets. But here’s a little trick that can further block out the pain in your muscles from lifting heavy things. Instead of standing still like a DI, shake your arms and legs as hard and fast as possible.
Maybe not as hard and fast as possible, but definitely act like you are wet and are shaking water off your limbs. You can also hop up and down or run in place while doing this.
A technique of this nature shakes loose the lactic acid often associated with heavy lifting. In doing so, you will reduce the muscle pain and be able to lift with more proficiency.
Try Marine Muscle For Yourself
The next time you have a hardcore workout on tap, give these tips a spin and see how you make out. It could take you a minute to get dialed in, but with a little patience, you’ll have it down pat. Ooh rah!