Achieve Your Ideal Physique - Prioritize and Plan
Posted on January 29, 2015 at 12:00 AM
There's so much information online about how to achieve the ideal physique, I often find myself baffled over the recommended training and eating styles I find. I’m left wondering, “do I train with weights or cardio first? Or cardio during weights?” It's no wonder that many people tend to stick to one familiar workout, even if it doesn't bring them the results they want! In this blog, I want to share with you a simple way to plan and prioritize your training to help build your ideal body!
Let's get started; on a sheet of paper write down what you'd like to accomplish in detail. This could be building wider lats, defining your legs, or getting your oblique’s to "pop”. Next, prioritize your goals. What do you want most? Place a number "1" next to that goal. Continue down the list until you have them all numbered.
Now, let's make a training plan. Since goals 1-3 are most important to you, training should reflect that. For example, my 1-3 is building shoulders, glute’s, and calves. I'll plan to work shoulders on Monday, and glutes and calves on Tuesday, when I'm most fresh. I'll also do secondary shoulders, glutes, and calf work later in the week before I begin my other muscle group lifts. If you are looking to get leaner, perhaps you'll do some HIIT (high intensity interval training) first, or lighter weights with supersets or circuits, to keep your heart rate up. Regardless of your specific goals the first 20-30 minutes of your training should be devoted to exercises that will help you achieve your main goals.
In general I like to begin my training with big compound movements (single movements that engage several muscles or muscle groups). Even when my goal was to increase the size of my biceps, I'd begin with close-grip pull-ups, which work more than just biceps. I found that it not only helped me stay lean, but that I actually saw bicep growth! I'd do isolation movements after, and keep the time under tension between 45 seconds to a minute per set. The same can be done with triceps for example - close-grip bench press and bench dips are both great compound exercises that will help build and define muscle. Lastly, extensions or kick-backs are great finishers!
In addition to prioritizing my goals and structuring my training schedule accordingly, I’ve continued to supplement with PEAK ATP®. Since I have been taking PEAK ATP®, I’ve noticed that I can maintain strength longer, even on those last few reps that are usually so tough! My recovery time between sessions has become much faster!
Thank you for reading! Until next time, train hard, y'all!
-Erin Stern, IFBB Figure Pro/USATF Competitor