Over the past Seven years I have tried and tested most styles of training. From the commando course, to the biggest bench press in the gym. Through these trials I have found what has worked well and what hasn’t worked as well – and here are my tips for what gets me ahead:
1. Mental preparation
Preparing yourself mentally for physical training is just as important as the actual activity. Before every session I make sure I am mentally ready to work as hard as I can. Mental preparation can come in different ways but for me it is to paint a picture in my head of what I am going to achieve. I often head to a coffee shop, listen to some music and read up on different articles of the specific training I am about to do.
2. Break the rules
You don't always need a plan; in fact some plans can restrict you. If your programme says '3 sets of 8 reps' but you know you can squeeze out an extra 2 reps, then don't stop at the 8. Work as hard as you can, not how hard your plan is telling you. Just remember to amend your plan so you continue to push yourself next time as well.
3. Fuel yourself correctly
Hypertrophy training is demanding, period. To put your body through the stresses of this style of training is hard. Hypertrophy training is intended to induce the fastest muscle growth which means that you will be using up a lot of energy. To keep the training sustainable you'll need to fuel your body with the correct nutrients. Food is fuel, so fuel up!
4. Educate yourself
Everyone’s body will react slightly different to the various styles of training. People aiming for aesthetic results will undoubtedly involve hypertrophy training into their regime. However, don't limit yourself to just 1 set of rep ranges. Mix and match the training systems, get some strength sets in (1-3 reps) as well as the generic hypertrophy 8-12 reps. This way you will get the benefits of strength training as well as the added benefits from the hypertrophy training. This is what has worked best for me. Learn about your body by trying to mix up the rep ranges and look at how your body reacts to it.
5. Track your progress
Hypertrophy training isn't orientated around numbers, so it can be difficult to track the progress you make. Fortunately, the results of hypertrophy are usually more visual than any other training system. Take pictures and be proud of them. Know how far you have come, and look forward to the progress you’re going to make.
About the Author
Aaron Jones is UFIT’s hypertrophy specific training personal trainer. Aaron joined the British Army at the age of 17 and passed the All Arms Commando Course at the age of 18. Aaron stayed in the army and completed 4 years in the military. It is Aaron’s passion for training that encouraged him to join the army. It is through this passion that Aaron hopes to assist you in your goals.
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