5 Tips You Should Know Before Lifting Heavy by Michelle Lynn

1️⃣ Commit to Yourself.
When starting a new fitness routine, it's important to carve out a realistic amount of time to commit to your workouts. It doesn't make much sense to carve out 30 minutes per workout when you know it'll most likely take you ~60-90 minutes to complete. Reassess your schedule and carve out the time that actually works. Adhering to a set workout time will allow you to stay more consistent.

2️⃣  Dial in Your Nutrition.
Have you been following a solid strength-building program and have been failing to see results? It's possible you might not be eating for your goals.You may not be eating enough, or you might be eating too much. It's easy to overdo it with carbs and fats however protein is often overlooked. Protein is the primary structural and functional component of every cell in the human body. Therefore, it's essential for maintaining good health. The recommended daily allowance for protein for adults is 0.80 grams per kilogram body weight per day. However, athletes require more to build and repair muscle. Depending on the sport, 1.0 to 1.7 grams per kilogram body weight of protein is recommended. Using apps such as My Fitness Pal or Fat Secret to track your food will help you gain a better understanding of how much you're consuming.

3️⃣  Form is Everything.
Before lifting it's important to warm-up. Let me repeat. Before lifting it's important to warm-up. Proper warm-ups will increase your heart rate which will create blood flow to enable more oxygen to reach your muscles. More oxygen = more ATP. More ATP = more energy. Specific types of warm-ups will also stimulate the connection between your nerves and muscles leading to decreased injuries and more efficient movement patterns. When performing proper movement patterns, muscle memory will occur. Muscle memory is acquired when untrained muscles form nuclei by fusion of satellite cells with other pre-existing muscle fibers. Therefore, to build strength, the body must produce larger muscle fibres that can store more energy.

4️⃣ Listen to Your Body
If you didn't get a good night's sleep or an adequate amount of nutrients prior to your workout, lifting heavy may feel impossible. On these days it's important to listen to your body and scale back to prevent potential injuries. In contrast, there will be days where you feel like you can lift more because you prioritized properly. For muscle breakdown and muscle growth to occur you must force your muscles to adapt by creating stress that is greater than the previous threshold your body has previously adapted to. Consuming a well balanced diet, taking an adequate amount of rest between sets and sleeping 7-8 hours per night are great ways to refuel your muscles so that they can regenerate and grow.

5️⃣ Know When to Ask for Help.
When lifting it's important to never hesitate to ask someone for help. It's possible you've never used a specific piece of equipment or felt confident with your lifting technique or have graduated to the heavier weights and now are in need of a spotter. Whatever the situation is, be proactive and ask for help so that you can continue to make gains safely.

Stay connected with author and Team ICON Member, Michelle Lynn on:

Michelle Lynn

Want to be featured as an "Everyday ICON?" Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!