So firstly, your resistance training program is obviously very important. For beginners, I would keep compounding exercises. What I mean by compound exercises are movements that require multiple muscles to do that movement. So that can be like lunges, bench pressing, deadlifts, squats.
In terms of your frequency of training or how often you should train, let’s say you do four sessions per week. It could be a two-day split, so the one-day upper body, another day lower body. So you’re working each muscle group twice per week. This can be broken down further by training one day chest and back muscles and another day biceps, triceps and shoulders for the upper body and quads and hamstrings or glutes, abdominals, and calf muscles for the lower body.
In terms of recovery, you definitely need to recover in between your sessions, so essentially, you’re breaking down your muscles during the session, you’re creating damage. And then you need that recovery time around that, so sleep is very important also. On top of this recovery foods should be eaten to promote immune function, reduce inflammation and promote muscle healing. Foods such as eggs, salmon, leafy green vegetable, and lean meats will help with this. Post training stretching also contributes to recovery by allowing for greater range of movement which aids effectiveness of exercise. As well as this it helps to remove lactic acid and improve blood flow.
Coming back a little bit to the training element of it, in terms of reps, you need to go heavy. So you need progressive overload in your training. As the weeks go on, obviously we would expect the volume to go up. So volume could be your reps or the load or start to play about with your rests, so essentially, you’re always putting stress on your body. Low reps with heavy weights and a shorter rest time tend to work best for this.
So we’ve discussed our resistance training program, keeping to compound exercises, going very heavy, increasing the load. Another thing, nutrition’s obviously a big player. If you want to grow considerably, you need to increase your calories, so you need to get into a calorie surplus to grow. In terms of where those calories are coming from, you can be smart. So on your training days, obviously, on the resistance training days, you’d need your carbohydrates to increase so that you have a store of energy to use for the training ahead. You can increase them pre-training and post-training. On your more sedentary days or a day that you’re training a lot less, you can drop the carbs quite considerably. Low carb options include quinoa, yams or sweet potatoes or oats.
Keep your protein high. What do we mean by high strength training? Probably 1.6 grams per kilogram of your body weight. Now, that’s the protein. Obviously, a control in calories if you are new to all of this, maybe just keeping a simple food diary is good. But if you’ve kept food diaries before, maybe using an app to control your calories is a good idea. Obviously, you have all your macronutrients and calories there, you pre-set them, and as you go about your daily routine, you can really track how you’re getting on.
Track your training also as the weeks go by. That’s a very good point to make, just so that you can see if you’re improving. If this type of training is new to you then you may see big improvements at the start and then progression will start to come around a lot slower. This is perfectly normal as the muscles start to hit their limits but consistency and perseverance with the training will help in the long term.
We’ve mentioned nutrition, training, recovery. For now, we’ll keep it like that. For any further information, just get in touch and we’ll be sure to answer some more questions.