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Oh The Mistakes You’re Making — 14 Fitness Tips To Workout SMARTER And Maximize Your Results

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5. Progressive Resistance

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Muscles grow based on progressive resistance. Effectively, muscle size and strength increase as the weight, resistance, or exercise difficulty increase over time. Get competitive and do MORE than you did previously.

Challenge ? change.

Always push yourself to beat your previous lifts during each subsequent workout. Increase the weight, do more reps with the same weight, or score a better time for circuit-based workouts. Do hanging leg raises instead of hanging knee raises. Try a barbell clean & press instead of the typical military press. Up. The. Difficulty.

A productive workout-over-workout progression could look like:

  • Workout 1:
    • Set 1 — 12 reps, 135 pounds
    • Set 2 — 10 reps, 155 pounds
    • Set 3 — 8 reps, 175 pounds
  • Workout 2:
    • Set 1 — 12 reps, 145 pounds
    • Set 2 — 12 reps, 155 pounds
    • Set 3 — 10 reps, 175 pounds

As a general training rule, once you’re able to do 12 reps with a given weight (or whatever the prescribed # of reps is), jump up to the next available increment. PUSH.


6. But…


ALWAYS prioritize form > weight. Your ego is a verrrrrrry dangerous thing. I’m all for pushing yourself and lifting heavy, but if you’re quarter-squatting 275 pounds, or half-pressing 100 pound dumbbells, realize that you’re getting absolutely no benefit. You also look really stupid.

If a weight causes a form breakdown towards the beginning of a set, or if you can’t move through the full RoM, it’s WAY too heavy.

Not only is there a massive injury risk—smaller stabilizer muscles can’t handle overly heavy loads—but you’re getting very little muscle activation and breakdown; especially in deeper tissues. It’s also a quick way to develop imbalances, as stronger muscles help overcompensate for anything that’s lagging.

Emphasize a full range of motion and proper form. You’ll see better results, build a well-developed physique, prevent any long-term injuries, and develop the foundational strength needed once you start picking up big boy weights.

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Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
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