Are You “Finishing” At The Gym?
There’s nothing more satisfying than the feeling of having just completed a full back or leg day at the gym. After an hour or more of mixing up varying exercises designed to destroy your muscle fibers from different angles your body is begging for mercy, and it feels good right?
Admit it, everyone who is serious about bodybuilding is a bit of a masochist in some way or another. It’s a matter of fact that to build muscle you have to be willing to sweat and endure pain, whether it be “the burn” you experience from a superset or the pain from some hardcore DOMS.
Injury aside, muscle pain can be a great thing, however, if you power through a workout and don’t feel like you’ve absolutely smashed it, it can be one of the most unsatisfying feelings. Leaving the gym without feeling fully “pumped up” or “shredded” is like stopping intercourse midway or only drinking half a beer; it leaves you unsatisfied as hell.
Whether you’re looking to bulk up and look like Ronnie Coleman or if you’re on a lean build and are pursuing a more Zyzz like physique, seeing workouts through to 110% completion is critical for achieving your goals. Below are a few tips courtesy of the lean-physique fanatics at Skinny Yoked:
- Supplement Up If You Have To
A lot of people are afraid to take supplements. Sometimes justly so, the supplement industry can be perceived as a bunch of snake oil salesmen pushing “miracle” solutions but hardly ever delivering results.
This however, isn’t always the case. Many supplements have proven benefits. Simply do some research on simple building block supplements like whey protein or creatine and you will find piles of scientific research showing the anabolic benefits of these supplements.
Every tried a recovery supplement like Optimum Nutrition “Recovery”?
Don’t Watch The Clock
This is more of a mental hack than a workout tip, but it can still end up resulting in huge benefits. Remember in school how the clock on the wall would stop moving in class and you just wanted to kill yourself to get out of there? The same negative effects can be had if you’re constantly watching the clock at your gym.
When you’re working out try to get completely overtaken by being “in the zone”. Instead of worrying about time, put your mind in your muscle, feel your contractions and really focus all of your energy on performing your routines to the best of your physical ability. Sometimes your workout may take 45 minutes, sometimes it may take 2 hours, your body will work in different ways on different days. Take your time and focus on the movement of your body not the movement of the clock hands to guarantee a solid workout every time.
Incorporate a “Finisher” Movement
If you’re not already adding a finisher movement to your workout routine you’re missing out. Simply put, a finisher is an exercise you can do by yourself to failure at the end of your workout once you’re fatigued. The design is to completely exhaust any energy that may still be stored in the body and to completely annihilate your muscles.
A classic finisher exercise for chest day would be some pushup variation, whether it be uneven pushups with a medicine ball or close grip decline pushups, you can do these for 3-4 sets, pushing to failure each time to guarantee a magnificent pump.
Another finisher for leg day would be lunges. You can use a barbell across your shoulders (go light for this) or you can hold dumbbells or if you’ve had a good leg day you might not need any weight at all. Do alternating lunges for a set distance. This will not only stretch your legs out but also allow you to push to failure without fear of injury.
Take the above three ideas into account when preparing for your next workout if you’ve been feeling “unfulfilled” at the end of your sessions. As Kai Greene is famous for saying, it’s not about lifting weight, that’s for weightlifters. Bodybuilders look to maximize the effort and focus on the movement itself in pursuit of building up the body.