Fitter Food’s Matt Whitmore offers expert advice about training, nutrition and fat loss.
Top Tip: Build Muscle
A simple rule I follow with my training is the bigger the muscle group the more it should be trained. When I say large muscle groups I am referring to your legs (quads, hamstrings and glutes), chest and back. These make up the foundations of a good physique and allow for the smaller muscle groups such as your shoulders, biceps, triceps and core to get a solid workout also. Your legs are by far the largest muscle group and ideally should have two workouts a week involving squat and deadlift variations, lunges plus speed and endurance based movements such as sprints, rowing and walking.
It’s important to ensure your back gets a solid workout too as the second largest muscle group in the body. Deadlift, rowing and pull up variations should feature twice a week. Focusing on these bigger movements will actually improve your pressing strength, posture and core activation.
The chest is also one of the larger muscle groups, however, it is also probably the most universally overtrained body part. Whilst a well developed chest looks great it should not take precedence over the muscle groups above.
So assess your physique and strength for a moment, does it look and feel balanced? Are you training the larger muscle groups as often or as hard as you should? Are you giving the beach muscles a bit too much attention? It might be time for a heavy leg session!
Top Tip: Slow Things Down
Something I see in the gym all the time, every visit without fail is people performing their reps as fast as possible. Now whilst fast reps have their place if you want to see and feel some epic progress and give your metabolism a good kick then slow your reps down.
A great way to stimulate a muscle to grow, get stronger and firmer is to increase its time under tension (TUT). So just by simply slowing down how long it takes you to perform a rep and creating more tension within a muscle can have a huge impact on the progress you make. So next time you hit the weights or even with your bodyweight routine try this:
Lets use a squat for example.
- Take 4 seconds to lower yourself down, pause for 1 second at the bottom, take 2 seconds to drive back up, pause for almost no time at all at the top and repeat for say 10 reps.
This technique will allow you to fully activate your largest muscle groups in the body including your quads, hamstrings and glutes as well as your core which will have a huge impact on your metabolism and muscle growth potential. Be prepared to feel sore in morning with this one assuming you use a weight thats heavy enough. Chuck this in to the mix and see how you get on.
Top Tip: Sprinting
Short on time? No equipment? No problem! Sprinting is a fantastic way to boost your metabolism, give your legs and abs a phenomenal workout and it does not take a long session to reap the benefits. This should take 15 mins max.
Warm up properly, find an incline of your choice (preferably about 25 degrees +) and sprint up it, rest for 1 min and perform 8-10 sets.
Beginner 20-30m Intermediate 30-40m Advanced 40-50m