Here are 8 easy ways to improve your training program:
Warm up thoroughly
Every one overlooks warming up. Try to foam roll, stretch, and go through some type of dynamic warm up before every lifting session. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel during your workout, not to mention a little bit of injury prevention.
Add Carries to Your Training
I admit I am late to the party when it comes to carries. For the longest time I thought they were really overrated but carries can do a lot for core development – and your traps will be screaming at you the next day! There are plenty of options to keep things fresh whether it be farmer carries, suitcase carries, or even heartbeat walks – just pick one most days you train and don’t look back.
Give Single Leg Training a Legit Shot
I hate to admit this too, but I was late on the single leg training bandwagon as well. After a couple of years of consistent single leg training, I’m hooked. When it comes to lower body training I typically start with a bilateral exercise (front squat, goblet squat) and then all of my assistance work is single leg. This way I feel I get the best of both worlds and get a great lower body workout while keeping the spinal load to a minimum.
Add Some Explosive Training
Whether it is some hang cleans, hang snatches, dumbbell snatches, kettlebell swings, or even jump squats, add some explosive training to your program. Adding some of these movements to start out your workout 2-3 times a week would be a great place to start.
Use Push-ups as Your Major Pressing Exercise
Shoulder issues are pretty common these days yet people continue to bench. Talk about trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Try doing some push-ups for your main pressing movement – with a little creativity you can do a lot to make the push up as challenging as a heavy set of benching.
Push and Pull Sleds Consistently
There is something about pushing or pulling a heavy ass sled after a training session or on an off day that screams ‘badass’ – and makes your scream for your mom. Get out of your comfort zone and reap the benefits from a conditioning standpoint as well as a mental toughness standpoint.
Listen to Your Body
Some days and weeks you’re just plain tired. Listen to your body and step off the accelerator a little bit. Using some lighter weights and skipping a tough conditioning session may be better for you in the long haul then beating yourself into the ground. I personally will take a de-load or back off week at least once every 3 months and that’s at the very most even if I feel pretty good and don’t think I need one.
Don’t be Afraid to try Something New
Don’t be scared of change. If you aren’t seeing the results you are looking for, change something. Try a completely different program. Try exercises that you haven’t been doing for quite some time. If you make a change for 6 weeks and it doesn’t work out for the best all you lost was 6 weeks. But on the other hand, you could make a change for 6 weeks and see some great changes. Definitely a risk I would be willing to take if you’ve hit a plateau.