Many women often still think that if you do crunches daily then you will have a flat stomach in a couple of months, of if you just do some glute kickbacks you will have a booty that pops. Men on the other hand think that by training just their biceps they will get big arms. Unfortunately, this is not how the body works and is a fast track to poor results!
You can’t focus on just one muscle and expect it to grow. The muscles of the body are divided into groups that are actually shared and joined with other muscles. These muscles do similar tasks and perform similar movements (called “Agonists”).
Many people still think that the best way to train is to just focus on the exercises they like rather than focusing on all their muscle groups. However, focusing on a different muscle group each session is the best way to build a strong and symmetrical body, which is why your plans are structured that way!
ROTATE YOUR MUSCLE GROUPS!So firstly what is a muscle group? A muscle group is a group of muscles that are located in a similar area. As an example, let’s look at the abdominals; the abdominals are made up of the lower abs, upper abs and obliques. Therefore this is one muscle group. There is always one muscle group that we enjoy working on and one muscle group that we hate. But we actually need to focus more on our weaknesses then our strengths.
The best thing to do is come up with a schedule that will help you to exercise all your muscle groups every week. Each training session should comprise of at least 2 to 3 muscle groups. Also include one day of rest between major muscle groups.
Rest is just as important as exercise because it helps the muscles to rest, grow, restore and build. For beginners, we focus on working all the major muscle groups each session, then having a rest day as training splits aren’t as effective if you’re not an advanced exerciser.
Here are the 11 main muscle groups;
YOU CAN’T SPOT REDUCE OR SPOT BUILDSpot reducing and spot building is a myth that is still very much alive, despite constantly being disproven. Many people believe that if they focus on one muscle group that they can manipulate it. For example, just doing squats will help you gain a bigger booty.
What people neglect to realise is that the glutes are connected to many other muscles like the hamstrings, quads and lower back. So if your glutes are strong but your quads, hamstrings and lower back are weak, then this will lead to either an injury or you not reaching your full potential because of the weaknesses surrounding the glutes. Also, this reduces the impact of your glutes – by training your hamstrings and lower back muscles, you emphasize the “cut” where your glutes start which really brings out their shape. You should work all muscle groups to reduce injury, improve your aesthetic, and form a symmetrical body.
YOU MUST ALWAYS MIX UP YOUR EXERCISEYou might have come across the term muscle memory at some stage. Each muscle has muscle memory and with time, each muscle starts to get use to certain exercises and the way you train it. If you have a training program that you have been following for 1 or 2 months, you might have realized that your body is not responding as well as it did at the start of the program – this is because of muscle memory.
Your muscles become accustomed to performing the same exercises over and over again. So the best thing to do is always mix up your workouts. You want to continue to shock your body into changing and advancing. So make sure you always mix up your workouts and after about 3 weeks of the same routine, create a new routine that is fresh and challenging. You will notice in your program that your sets, reps, and exercises will change every couple of weeks – this is to turbo-charge your results.
You will spend the first week learning the exercises and getting use to them, and in the second week you will increase your weights and really master them. Then, we change them up and keep going to repeat the cycle!