At the gym, on the training ground and all over Youtube … everyone’s talking about “gains”. But what does it actually mean? Is it just another term used by those guys in the gym or is there a more scientific explanation behind it that could actually come in useful for your training? Read more to find out the truth behind “gains”.
Gains – the meaning behind the meme
The term “gains”, basically comes from the English word “gain”, and means the growth of muscles, or in the weightlifting world: becoming bulky and beasty. The main goal of getting “gains” is: losing fat and gaining muscles. Just discovered that “gains” has been your goal all along? Then you’re about to find out how it’s done.
4 steps to great gains
The secret behind gains? You have to give your muscles what they want. And they want variety. Simple as that. It’s not all about doing more. It’s about constantly giving your muscles a different stimulus. Here are four points you should consider when trying to reach maximal gains:
- Continuously change your rep. range. Are you someone who performs exercises with the same rep. range month after month? Sure, that will get you some gains, but it’s not enough. Instead, try to periodize your training on a monthly basis. Starting with a strength phase (1-6 reps), then doing a metabolic phase (15 reps and more) and thirdly ending with a hypertrophy phase (6-12 reps). That will give you a constant and varying stress on your muscles, resulting in … gains!
- Working with a diverse range of exercises. You most probably have a bunch of favourite exercises. And it’s totally normal to enjoy some movements more than others. But the bad thing about this is that over time, your body becomes ‘resistant’ to these exercises. To gain, you have to look for variations. Think outside the box and slightly change your favourite exercises or even perform new ones. For example, you can change your exercises on a weekly basis. One week you do normal bench pressing, the other you change to incline bench pressing. The same with squats and deep squats or sprawls and burpees.
- Give your sets variation. It’s easy to perform set after set of the same exercise. But again, be different. Try something new. Couplets are a good way to add variety, by doing for instance a set of pullups followed by a set of pushups. Or combine weighted back squats with a set of jumping squats. It will make your muscles burn and gains grow.
- Do HIT (high intensity training) or HIIT (high intensity interval training). Long sessions of cardio training such as running for hours will not get you the gains you want. Instead, combine your training with high intensity training as well as intervals. Be it with the brand new Freeletics Bodyweight intervals, Conditioning in your Freeletics Gym app or sprint intervals with Freeletics Running.
Always be open to new variations and exercises. Combine different training approaches to get more out of your training. You want to live the gains life? Then try out these four tips to play the gains game.