How to Structure Your Workout Program For Anabolic Gains
When was the last time you stopped and really put some good thought into your workout routine? My hope is that you are keen on your diet and overall hard-work in the gym.
At the end of the day if you can work hard (day in and day out) and have a complete diet that is balanced and nutritious you can benefit from anabolic gains and principles surrounding it.
On the other hand, many people who enter the gym have a diet that is sub-optimal and they do not work nearly as hard as they could.
In both cases, your best bet at increasing results and growing stronger will always come with a structured workout routine that not only emphasizes your strengths but also is progressive in nature.
How to Structure Your Workout Program For Anabolic Gains
There are a wealth of techniques you can use to create a workout routine that is effective, promotes good recovery and is as anabolic as possible. Here are some of the most effective methods and how you can manipulate them to your advantage.
Emphasize Quality and Quantity of Training
These are the two most important aspects of any workout program but many people do not consider them. The idea here is that if you were preparing for a contest or competition your training would start with a high quantity of workouts, and slowly decrease to meet the quality of training for a competition.
In this way, you will teach your body to function at a high level and work into efficiency and anabolic strength as the program moves forward.
This might sound complicated, but on a very basic level you are starting with a high volume of training, and slowly moving to a lower volume with a higher quality and attention to detail as you move throughout the months.
Use Progressive Overload
The most important principle for strength and size. Pushing your body further and further – especially as it relates to strength will come by means of progressive overload.
On the most basic level, using progressive overload for your anabolic workout will require you to consistently put the muscle under more stress.
Stress in the form of higher weight, more reps, or slower movement speeds. Either way, the muscle is CONSISTENTLY put under more stress. You do not just pack on another plate on bench press because you think you are ready. Progressive overload is progressive, slow and methodical.
Understanding that this process of anabolism takes time is essential to your success – especially through progressive overload.
Use Your Recovery Time Wisely and Effectively
The most overlooked component to any workout program will always be recovery. Everyone wants to have anabolic workouts but no one wants to rest.
Look, I workout too, so I understand the struggle you might be having, but it is important to remember that if you are to grow stronger and bigger you must provide your body with enough time to rest and recover.
This means sleeping at least 8 hours a night, taking days off and using recovery modalities like ice and heat whenever possible.
TOP TIP: Depending on the intensity of your training you will need to provide your body with around 36-48 hours recovery between workouts of the same muscle group. This means if you train chest on Monday, you shouldn’t hit that system again until at least Wednesday or Thursday.
Hit One Big Movement in Each Workout
I see plenty of people who go to the gym and only hit isolated exercises when they train. Understanding that this is a common bodybuilding method. I can see where people might come from, but if you are looking to make your anabolic workout more effective you need to be hitting bigger exercises.
In a past blog, we discussed some of the most effective exercises for stronger muscle development and more anabolic gains.
Hitting big muscles and big movements is the most effective way to recruit more muscle tissue – which at the end of the day will be your best shot at greater strength and size.
I’d recommend setting up a big movement like squat, deadlift, overhead press, or pull up into each of your workouts. Without these exercises, you may not be able to put on the size and strength you want.
Only Train 3x A Week
I might be stepping on some toes here for the average person, but when it comes to building strength and size you should really only be training 3 times a week – max 4. This is because you will be training at an intensity higher than normal.
High-intensity training, like those workouts that are heavy and hard, will demand proper recovery time. If you want to hit max weights and train for proper size you will need to provide your body with the necessary rest it’s that simple.
Structure your anabolic workouts into a push/pull/leg scheme so that each of your big lifting days is hitting many muscles with heavy weights. In this way (assuming your diet is in check) you will have a good shot at developing strength, size and drastically boosting your ability for growth.
Anabolic Gains – Push Yourself With Structure
We all want to work hard in the gym and we all think that the results are going to come much quicker than is possible. At the end of the day, you must be patient and persistent with your training. Do not stop and think about why you are not making the gains you want. Instead, ensure that you are hitting all your workouts, eating correctly and you will see long-term growth in your anabolic workouts.
This will require you to push with structure.
This will require you to trust the workout system you have in place.
In a previous blog, we talked about how you can structure your workouts with the best possible exercises. If you can hit those exercises and create a workout plan that follows the basic principles of overload and recovery you will become anabolic and you will grow stronger.
Gabriello is a writer and strength expert best known for his science-based and practical approach to Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Strength. After serving in a directors position for The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Gabriello moved towards writing to help more people understand the importance of living a healthy life. Gabriello’s writings have been published in several languages on some of the largest health and fitness websites helping people learn, grow and understand the complex components of optimizing human performance in a simplistic way.
Gabriello also takes on specialized, high-performance athletes who are in need of strength, mobility and conditioning programming to optimize their fitness through his Earned Fitness program.
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