Here we have some great Top Training Tips from PhD Athlete Tony Pang!
- One thing that I feel is essential for progress is to track your workouts. If you don't know how many sets, reps or what weight you used last time how do you know if you are doing more volume? In order to grow you need to progress your volume and over load. Either one more rep, one more set or even one more kilo. Ensuring that you are always doing more volume will ensure muscle hypertrophy.
- There is more than one way to cause muscle hypertrophy whether your stimulating sarcoplasmic hypertrophy through more reps, sets, super sets, drop sets, time under tension or rest pause, etc. You just need to make sure that total volume of work load is greater than what you have done before. If the only way you progress your training is to lift heavier and stimulate myofibrillar hypertrophy what happens when you can't increase your weight anymore? There will be a time when backing off the weight and going slightly lighter with more reps can still increase total volume of work – making continual progress sustainable.
- Periodise your training. Doing the same exercises week in week out can't be regressive. Periodise your programs into 12 week blocks and focus on what the progression would be for that block. Is the aim to be able to increase volume by doing more weight in a strength based plan or would you be looking to increase sets and reps with volume based program? Both will have different effects on your body and its CNS so you want to be able to ensure that your body is recovering well enough between sessions.
- Listen to your body. There will be time that if you’re continually making progress where your body will have had enough and will need to back off the gas to allow better recovery. A de-load week could be backing off the weight being lifted, the amount of sets being performed or lower the amount of reps being done. Decreasing volume is that instance will give your body a better chance to recovery and grow.
- Ensuring that your nutrition plan is assisting your training load. Are you getting in enough food to maximise recovery. Reduce any inflammation and but also give you the energy to perform your best in the gym? What you eat will affect how your body will change. So think about how your eating is assisting your training.
- Are you getting in enough sleep and hydration? It is sometimes the simplest things that will make the biggest difference. I aim for most people who I work with to try and drink at least 3 litres of bottled water minimum a day and get roughly 8 hours of sleep. The less variance in these factors will give you a better assessment in consistency.
- I am a massive fan of pre-workout nutrition and, more for an anecdotal view, I think what you have around your workouts does make a massive difference in performance and recovery. A pre-workout supplement like PhD’s VMX² can be ideal to get you ready to push through those barriers in your training, PhD Nutrition Battery +3 is an excellent intra-workout supplement allowing your muscles to get those essential amino acids and fast acting carbs right when you need them. Then some PhD Recovery 2:1 is ideal post-workout as it gives you a great blend of protein to aid muscle recovery and some fast absorbing carbs to replenish glycogen from the workout allowing your body to use the protein essentially for recovery.
- Anything that you might be lacking in your diet I like to use some supplements as a kind of insurance policy. Getting in a multi vitamin, omega 3, PhD ZMA, Vitamin D3 and some probiotics ensure that my body is functioning optimally.
- Just like monitoring your progress with your training, I also find that monitoring your food intake can really help making sure that you are progressing either making lean gains in muscle or dropping body fat. When you hit a sticking point you will be able to see how to keep on progressing if you know where you’re currently at with your training and nutrition. Either adding in some cardio or dropping calories or adding calories in a lean bulk.
I hope there is some great information in there for you guys to take away and apply to your own regime giving you some of the tools to get those results that you are looking for.
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