Emerging research shows that genetics plays a large role in fitness and athletic performance. The bottom line from this research shows you need to plan training based on your unique genetics. All the evidence is pointing to the fact that the harder you train, the less likely you are to be a “non-responder.”
With that in mind, here are ten ways to ensure you get individual results:
#1: Strength Train
Chances are, a primary goal of exercise is to improve body composition. Strength training is your go-to choice because it increases lean muscle mass, raising metabolic rate, while also improving your body’s ability to process carbohydrates and burn fat.
#2: Lift Heavy Weights
In order to elicit changes in body composition, it’s necessary to lift weights that are at least 60 percent of the maximal amount you can lift. One likely reason there are non-responders is that studies show people overwhelmingly sell themselves short, choosing intensities that are too light to yield measurable results.
#3: Train Your Whole Body
Instead of focusing on single body parts, train your whole body using multi-joint lifts like squats, deadlifts, overhead press, etc. Total body training allows you to lift heavier weights and it increases the metabolic cost of training so you burn nearly double the calories as when you do isolation training.
#4: Do Intervals For Cardio
Not only will you increase fitness and get the stress relieving benefits of regular cardio, but intervals also increase fat burning, trigger muscle synthesis, and elevate body composition hormones making it much more likely you’ll get a superior training response.
#5: Do Eccentric Training
Eccentric training is when you focus on the “down” motion of a lift, by using a longer tempo. For example, in the squat, you’d perform the eccentric phase by lowering yourself into the squat on a 6-second count, but raising yourself on a 1-second count. Eccentric training is a superior stimulus for muscle and strength development and it’s been found to increase the most powerful type 2 muscle fibers by 75 percent.
#6: Get Extra Protein
Eating extra protein supplies your body with the amino acid building blocks necessary to repair and build muscle tissue. Studies consistently show that when hard training is performed, extra protein in the post-workout period increases muscle and strength gains. Shoot for a minimum of 1.6 g/kg of protein a day in 25-gram doses.
#7: Take Creatine
Creatine is short-term energy source for muscle. It can boost all forms of athletic performance. It's especially relevant for low responders because it increases cellular activity for greater muscle growth.
#8: Be Consistent
Strength and body composition changes are progressive. They don’t happen after one or two workouts. Progress requires you to string together a series of high-quality workouts in which you do similar exercises each time. The best way to take advantage of this fact is to pick a goal and train using a pre-set program that progressively overloads the body. Consistency is key.
#9: Be Patient
Everyone wants fast results. The reality is that changes take time. Accept that the successful people are the ones who show up and use their time wisely. Stay the course. Follow the plan.
#10: Expect To Be A High-Responder
We know from studies into the placebo effect that we are much more likely to win if we believe we are going to win. Another way to say this is you’ll never know how good of a hand you were dealt genetically until you play it with the expectation that it is a good hand. By believing that exercise is going to transform your body, there’s a much greater chance that it will.