5 rules of weight-training that most people ignore

We all like to get a little stronger, you are lying when you say you don’t. Weight-training will not only increase your metabolism, it will also increase your bone density, your speed, your power and your overall sexiness. It is no secret that weight training is one of the most effective ways to increase your fitness. Just look at the amount of gyms there are. We all can benefit from weight training. however, just randomly doing some exercises is not going to give you the results you want. You need a strategy and I am here to give it to you. So here is my top 5 rules of weight training that most people ignore.

1: Stimulate the mind and the body will follow

As much as 20% of the ‘strength’ required lift a weight results from the brain (and neural activity). In time an exercise can become imprinted into our brain (and consequentially our muscles). This means that less effort is required to move the weight. This also means that your back in your comfort zone and if you could grow muscles in your comfort zone, we all be looking awesome. So it’s important to keep stimulating your mind and muscles by introducing, for example, new exercises and weight training systems.

2: Load the bar with the best muscle growing weight

There are two types of muscle fibers. Type 1 muscle fibers are fibers that concentrate on endurance. Type 2 muscle fibers that concentrate on fastness. Now lets explore the second type a bit deeper. The ‘fast twitch’ muscle fibers. The fast twitch muscle fibers are further classified in 2a and 2b fibers. Let me explain:

  • Type 2a: When trained appropriately they will boost muscle size but not to the same extent as Type 2b’s. If you were to do a lot of aerobic training you could take away some of these fibers growth capabilities as they become better endurance trained – so if you want to pack on muscle than you want to avoid this.
  • Type 2b: These fibers when stimulated by the right training will increase muscle size.

To get your fast twitch muscle fibers growing you need to predominately lift medium -medium to heavy- and heavy weights (light weights won’t hit your muscles hard enough or in the right way to stimulate growth (they predominately function to promote strength endurance). If you are familiar with your 1 rep maximums on various lifts, then we’re talking weights in excess of 65% of 1RM.
So it is important to decide what you would like to train and why

3:Focus on your movements

There is more to lifting weight than just pulling or pushing a heavy object. Muscle can be stimulated in different ways and by using a variety of  the following 3  muscular actions, you can stimulate the muscle in a different way, even when you use the same exercise. The 3 different muscular actions are:

Concentric muscular action: A concentric contraction occurs when a muscle shortens under load. It’s the most common direction of effort for resistance and Cardio exercise.

Example: the curling phase of a biceps curl

Eccentric muscular action: An eccentric muscular action involves the lengthening of a muscle under load.

Example: the lowering phase of a biceps curl (tension remains in the muscle as the weight in lowered under control – (muscles are stronger eccentrically than they are concentrically)

Isometric muscular action: an isometric muscular action happens when there is no movement and the resistance is hold under tension

example: holding a dumbbell at a 90 degree angle

4: Vary the speed of lift

The speed of a lift of the concentric and eccentric lifting phases will also have an effect on how much muscle and the type of strength you develop. In general,  the faster the lift and the heavier the weight the greater the stimulatory response. You can very the speed on the way up and on the way down (concentric and eccentric phase) In general we tend to go faster on the hard bit of the movement, the concentric phase and slower on the easy part of the movement (eccentric phase). The reason for this is that we are stronger on the eccentric phase and by slowing down the movement you will make this harder and therefor a better stimulus to the muscle.

5: Don’t get distracted during your rest.

The amount of rest you get between sets will have a tremendous impact on your recovery. the longer you rest, the more the body will recover but also cool down. Heavy weights with low repetition require a rest time of up to 2 minutes. Medium weights and 12-15 reps usually only require half this time. So set a timer for your rest to make sure you stay consistent with your training. It is hard to notice if you improve if one day you rest 2 minutes and the following workout you rest 45 seconds between sets.

So there you go, these are my rules that I follow in my weight training. I hope this will help you get more out of your workout or at least inspired you to rethink how you train in the gym.


How Plyometric Training Helps You Become Victorious In Basketball

Ever wondered what sort of workouts you can do outside the court to make you faster and stronger ?
The answer is plyometrics my friend. Plyometrics are high-intensity exercises that aim to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility. It involves explosive and fast movements that require a lot of energy.
Most plyometric exercises will especially strengthen the parts like your legs and glutes.
You can imagine that athletes such as basketball players benefit hugely from these training sessions. Think of the movements you make when making or blocking shots from any place on the court.
Plyometrics can help basketball players in perfecting these moves and ball handling abilities. Be careful though, this exercise routine is not for beginners. Your body needs to be prepared for the challenging movements.That is why we generally we mix plyometric exercises with other strength building exercises to prevent over doing it.

Kinds of Exercises

There are several exercises you can do to improve lower and upper body strength and explosiveness, both of which are important for basketball. Some of the exercise you can implement in your training can be:

Front and lateral jumps

Front and lateral jumps exercises can help increase strength in the legs and will help in changing the body’s direction while dunking or jumping in different positions or to hop fast from one place to another.
A speedladder is a great tool that can be implemented here. Try different movements like jumping sideways, 2 step forward 1 back or high jumps. Really you imagination is the limit with these exercises.

Power and tuck jump

Power and tuck jump process involves jumping high into the air and bringing your knees close to the chest and back in place as you land. These are very high intensity exercises as you will soon discover. So try to this in the beginning of your training, when energy levels are still high.

PLYO pushups

This exercise helps in improving and reinforcing the shoulders and chest. The workout is quite difficult by itself but practice makes perfect and you will get the hang of it. You can increase the level of difficulty by including a clap in between the pushups.

Preparing For the Exercise/ Training Session

it is important that the body is properly warmed up before beginning doing plyometric exercises. A proper warm up will help you in avoiding injuries and ensuring maximum performance. Ideally, you include no more than three of these exercises because of their intensity.
It is also important to know that the body needs adequate rest. I recommend to have 72 hours of rest between session to let the body recover.

Get Instant Strength and Force

Plyometrics are extremely beneficial for improving the vertical jumping power of basketball players. Improved performance means a better scope of making a mark as a professional. Better balance, flexibility, and coordination are essential if you want to be part of the top performers. By including plyometric exercises in your training you will increase the amount of power your muscles can produce. This will enhance your performance on the court. So start implementing these exercises today.