Before I write a post, I ask myself, “Is there a good chance the reader might learn something useful from this?”

Sometimes it’s a no, so I shelve the post and start over. But occasionally it’s a BIG yes, as in there’s a ton of helpful info. And in this case it’s too much for just one post. So I decided to split it into thirds, which means expect two more pieces from me this week. This first instalment is about TRAINING. Here are some not so popular tips that make a BIG difference.

1. Keep a Training Log.

6x Olympia winner, Dorian Yates, has every workout he ever did from 1983 to 1997 written down (yes, with pen and paper) in his training logs. That’s not an accident.

A fundamental tenet of hypertrophy is progressively increasing the challenge to your muscles. Not just from workout to workout but from program to program, month to month, and year to year. And this is impossible without keeping some form of training diary.

Strive to make some discernible progress every workout. Lift more weight or perform more reps. And remember, lifting the same weight for the same reps with BETTER QUALITY is progress.

2. Pick a Sustainable Training Frequency.

Send me a few bucks and I will design you the greatest, 7-day-a-week program… ever. And it will do sweet-dick-all if you miss half the workouts because it was impossible to work into your real-life schedule.

The BEST training split is the one you can do—week in and week out—while accommodating inevitable hiccups in scheduling.

3. Build Your Workout Around The Basic Lifts.

Every workout should include variations of at least one of the basic lifts: squats, hip hinges, presses and pulls. It’s okay to do other stuff, but NEVER at the expense of the basics. Use that to your advantage.

4. Practice INTELLIGENT Variation.

Your body will eventually adapt to a given training stimulus—even if there is a steady progression of load or reps. So you have to change things regularly.

But that doesn’t mean program-hopping, cause that’s a terrible idea.

It means deliberately and intelligently modifying things to elicit a fresh stimulus.

Here are a FEW methods you can try that don’t require switching exercises:

* Change the order of exercises

* Use different attachments or change grip position

* Add last-set techniques like eccentric-only reps (negatives), partial reps, isometric holds, or drop sets

* Rest-Pause or Cluster sets

– Coach Bryan.