5 magical cheats for the gym to boost your progression in 2015

Are you looking for short cuts in the gym this year? Try these:

Grip the bar hard, a.k.a. whiteknuckling – always grip as hard as you can, no matter the weight or the exercise. Grip as if your life depended on it. You’ll not only build iron grip strength, but almost magically the bench press or chins will seem lighter and your form and bar path better

Grip or R.I.P.

Run like hell, but only for 5-15 minutes, before your workout. You don’t want to deplete your energy stores, or build up adenosine in your brain, which makes you tired and apathetic, unwilling to make a real effort. Just do a few 1-minute sprints or run reasonably hard for 10 minutes. That’ll get you warm enough for the workout. As an added bonus, your VO2 max will improve. I don’t care much for jogging or running, but I do sprint a few minutes before every workout.

Just one more – don’t aim too high. Just hiss “one more” through your gritted teeth, and do just one more rep, one more set or one more exercise before you’re done. Not five, not even two, just one more; that’s all the adenosine-soaked brain can take when you just want to lie down or go home.

Mix it upreal dead stop dead lifts or Touch and Go? Both. High rep low rest bicep curls or heavy and few. Both – on different workouts. Pumping away on the bench or with a 1-second pause at the chest. Both, e.g., on every other session.

Increase your intensity at the gym. Try two different ways: 1) reduce your resting time between sets; start again while still out of breath or feeling nauseous. Aim to throw up. 2) increase your rests as well as the the weights: Lift fewer and heavier than usual on some sessions (and make sure every rep counts), and more, lighter and with less rest on other sessions (focusing on pain).

And for your long term benefit, 5 mobility tips:

Stretch your psoas for two minutes. Do it now. It’ll keep you younger, with better posture and less troubles with hernias and restless legs

Accumulate at least a few minutes every other day in the squat position

Mobilize your shoulders (walk around with your forearms behind your back, like Morpheus, and take deep breaths, expanding your chest)

Cobra-ups (used for curing bulging disks that could cause hernias and restless legs)

Foam roll your upper back (posture, bench press, front squats)

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