Are you ready to take your training to the next level? Even if you have just started lifting weights, you can train like a pro with the simple techniques in this article.

This is where you learn to create the shape, symmetry and beauty you were seeking when you started lifting weights. This is where weight lifting gets really fun.

So here are my best tips to help you get better results from lifting weights.

 

1. Learn to feel your muscles working.

 

When you start lifting weights, you’ll be more focused on moving the weight than actually feeling the muscle working.

Before you begin an exercise ask yourself: “Which muscle do I want to work?

Then, while you are doing the exercise, focus on that muscle.

Do you actually feel it working? Try to activate the muscle you want to work and pay attention to other muscles that might be working instead.

 

Putting it into practice

 

If you have no idea what muscle you should be feeling, most machines have a diagram showing which muscle the exercise works. See if you can feel that muscle when using the machine.

Regardless of whether you train at the gym or at home where you won’t have access to machines, hiring a trainer is a good investment. Unless someone teaches you, it’s possible that you will train for years without really understanding how to activate a muscle. That’s just wasting time when you could have had your awesome body much earlier.

 

Want an awesome body but can’t afford a trainer? Join my next Fit Figure Workshop. Learn more here.

2. Slow down.

 

This relates to the first tip. If you slow down, you’ll feel your muscles working more.

“Time Under Tension” refers to the amount of time the target muscle is placed under tension or stimulated from the exercise. Time under tension is good when you are trying to build muscle. Slower, controlled movements will keep your muscles under tension longer. So will going through the full range of motion of an exercise.

 

Putting it into practice

 

Make sure you go through the full range of motion for an exercise and don’t rush from the point where you change directions the weight is moving. An example of this is helpful. Let’s look at bicep curls.

Many people will rush up from the bottom of the bicep curl and miss out on activating their muscles. You’ll notice that if you don’t rush the curl, the exercise is a lot harder. This is good. It means your muscles are working properly.

Don’t rush at the top of the bicep curl either. Instead, give the muscle a good squeeze. Try to make your bicep muscle pop like you do when you flex for someone and then slowly start to curl down again.

 

3. Don’t stop just because it burns.

 

I see this all the time with my clients. An exercise starts to burn and they stop trying to lift the weight. They’ll rest 2 or 3 times in one set of 12 reps, even though they still have the strength to do the exercise.

Remember what we just discussed about time under tension? If you stop in the middle of a set, you are breaking that time under tension and missing out on building new muscle.

 

Putting it into practice

 

I have a little trick I use when I’m training to stop myself from wimping out on a set. Whenever I feel like quitting I ask myself, “Am I quitting because it hurts or because my muscles have given out and I physically cannot lift this weight?”

Here’s my rule. If you are thinking about quitting because it hurts, then you have to keep going. If you are quitting because you truly cannot lift the weight with decent form, then you can have a quick rest.

Learning to push through the burning sensation is going to make you stronger physically and mentally.

At some point, it will even start to be fun and addictive. In a sadistic sort of way.

 

4. Use a mirror.

 

Many women don’t like to use mirrors at the gym. They don’t like watching themselves. But mirrors can be useful tools.

You need mirrors to check your form. Even if you aren’t sure what proper form is, one thing you can watch for is whether your movements look symmetrical on both sides of the body.

It can also be quite motivating and exciting to see those new muscles in the mirror after you’ve been training for a while.

 

Putting it into practice

 

There’s often an imbalance in the arms when you first start training. You might notice one shoulder comes up awkwardly compared to the other, or one arm looks wonky when doing bicep curls.

Using a mirror will help you become aware of these imbalances and bring the arms into balance over time.

 

Train Like You Mean It

 

It takes discipline and mental strength to implement the techniques in this article but, if you do, they will take you from average to awesome in the gym.

So the next time you hit the gym, don’t just go through the motions.

Train like you mean it.

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