Source: Lululemon Athletica
Source: Lululemon Athletica
3 min read

So you’ve read a few Men’s Health articles, followed a few great Instagramers and you’ve started to get a handle on your work outs.

But what else is there that you’re not doing that are simple methods to speed up your progress, bust through plateaus and increase your motivation and goal setting abilities.

1 – Planning


Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Arnie. There’s no point turning up for one great gym session that you’re unable to follow up – you need to take into account your other commitments, work, family, friends and hobbies.

Planning – Source: Lululemon Athletica

How many sessions a week can you realistically accomplish over a three month period?

Is each session clearly defined with your goals – muscle gain, weight loss, strength, making a new friend? It doesn’t matter what your target is, just make sure you have a purpose.

Do you know how to adapt a work out if a piece of kit is being used or if you’re short of time?

2 – Record your work outs

Record your work outs
Record your work-outs – Source: Lululemon Athletica

How can you improve if you don’t know how you’re going? You might feel self-conscious about it at first but when the bro’s are still lifting the same 15kg dumbbells they were 6 months ago who’s the one missing out? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy:



Write it on your piece of paper, transfer it to something permanent later. 5 minutes extra a session will save you weeks of progress.

3 – Warm Up

Does rocking up at the gym and jumping on the treadmill for 5 minutes then hopping on a bench and busting out 4 sets of 8 bench press sound familiar?

How about trying something different, work through specific ranges of motion that are relevant to your core focus of the session.

Warm Up
Warm up Source: Lululemon Athletica

Of course you want to get your heart rate up – increase blood flow to the muscles, lubricate the joints and mentally prepare yourself for what is coming next – but what about the 5 minutes after that?

Focus on activating the muscles you’re about to work, sets of lighter loads, pausing at different intervals through the range of motion and firing up the nervous system.

4 – Frequency

Monday is chest day for 75% of lifters (based on no actual evidence at all) and then it’s ignored for the next 6 days?

Frequency – Source: Lululemon Athletica

That means you’re training your chest 52 times per year provided you’re never sick, you’re never on holiday or you’re never too damn hung over.

Training a body part every 5 days for example increases the amount of times you train an area by nearly 50% to around 73 times.

If you have any weak areas that you want to hammer more consistently then you can even drop this to 3 days (120 sessions per year)

5 –Consistency

Train hard, and train regularly.

Consistency – Source: Lululemon Athletica

One killer session isn’t going to grow your thighs by 5 inches, but months of regular, relentless work will.

Equally one bad day, one missed session won’t spoil your hard work so chill out if things get in the way; and get back on the horse at the earliest possible opportunity.

If you can’t get to the gym, maybe just blast a body weight circuit, switch your rest day for the week or just get on with your life – there’s always tomorrow.

6 – Clock watch

If your training protocol says “4 sets of 6 barbell squats with 2 minutes rest” make damn sure you’re using your rest. Don’t waste it on Facebook or answering work emails; re-focus yourself, grab a quick drink, take a sneaky mirror selfie.

Clock watch
Clock watch – Source: Lululemon Athletica

The difference between taking 45 seconds rest and 90 seconds is vast, your ability to recover correctly during your sessions is as important as the hard work.

It works for your sets as well, working for 50 seconds and targeting 10 reps for example is a great way to add variety to your training by keeping your muscles under tension for longer per repetition.

Michael Le Couilliard, Personal Trainer, Healthhaus UK 

Last Updated on Jun 20, 2015

The news team for Gay Nation love tips from our readers. Got tips or a news story that you would like published? Go here to tell us something.
Visit the Gay Nation store Now