Invariably, the winter months see a variety of different goals within training circles, each with complexities due to weather conditions. While likely, the most challenging focal point in the winter is general fitness and athletics, where running conditions are often difficult, for many the colder weather sends a signal to build muscle mass.
Debate it all you will but never too far from the interests of the iron game is a straightforward goal of adding a significant amount of muscle in the winter months. Excluding those who prefer winter sports or do not mind training in the cold, many set aside the cold weather days as a “bulking phase”.
That said, a quick walk through most weight rooms during the winter months reveals the startling fact that most are not focusing their attention where they should be in pursuit of greater mass.
While, lifting for mass gains takes a relatively uncomplicated approach, it does nonetheless have some very stringent rules. The top three concerns I have in most:
- Ensure that training time efficient and the basis of the workout is Squatting, Pulls and Overhead Presses, with their various hybrid lifts. The greatest problem many younger lifters have in their program is that they are focusing on isolationist exercises, on smaller muscle groups and forgetting the great mass building movements. Within more experienced lifters a similar problems happens when they gravitate to complex training approaches or mediums that they do not need but may simply like. Avoid over complicating your workout and focus upon basic movements.
- If training has become over complicated in the modern “iron game”, diet is a ten-fold issue that makes most professional coaches and trainers roll their eyes in bewilderment. Regardless of your training goals, you need to eat high quality food, within a balanced diet and eliminate calories from processed food that has no true nutritional value. I strongly encourage all individuals within my training regime to consume fifteen plus servings a day of vegetables and fruits, along with a quality protein component from a variety of sources.
- Going against the notion of “lifting heavy”, I want to stress to lift correctly. Being very honest, a casual glance through every commercial gymnasium I have visited over the last decade has revealed technique to be horrible and an accident ready to happen. Very typically, posture is poor and despite good intentions of using lifts such as Squats and Deadlifts, they become rounded-back versions. When this occurs, movement is not generated properly and the lifter does not receive the desired impact of the lift. When you “cheat” in an exercise, any benefit is very short-lived and you end up cheating yourself.
prepared by John Davies
photos credit: John Davies performing Bent Press copyright protected © Renegade Style Productions, 2008.
The information provided in “Instant Training Improvement Tips”, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should it be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.