Unlock Expert Mode in Gym Plan App

7 Expert Strategies to Boost Results

9 Min Read

Unlock ‘Expert Mode’ in the app and boost your results in the gym. Here are 7 strategies that will boost your results when training with Gym Plan.

  1. Add PREP SETS
  2. Adapt the volume
  3. Adapt to fatigue
  4. Take advantage when you feel fresh
  5. Add what’s important to you
  6. Get the basics right
  7. Finish on a high


Prep sets are a feature that allows you to add an additional set before you do your main working sets.

This helps you warm up the muscles you’re about to use and allows you to practice the correct form and movement pattern.

Choose EDIT during a workout and tap the grey PREP SET button to turn them on. The icon will turn blue when activated.

Recommended strategy

Add prep sets to the first exercise of each muscle group within a workout. For example:

A general warm up is recommended for every workout, something like 5 minutes fast walking on the treadmill or plyometric warm up.

  1. Bench Press – Add a prep set
  2. Pec Dec
  3. Incline Barbell Bench Press
  4. Machine Shoulder Press – Add a prep set
  5. Incline Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  6. Cable Lateral Raises

This way you prime your muscles in advance of each change of main muscle group. You can also choose to add PREP SETs to all exercises if you wish in order to give you the chance to perfect your form and improve your technique before you load the more challenging weight.

Prep sets will automatically double the target reps and half the target weight on the newly added extra set. You can lower the weight even further, don’t worry it’s just a guide the important thing is to focus on the movement and pump blood to the target muscles.

Adapt the volume

We often refer to Gym Plan as your ‘Blueprint’. The workouts as they’re given to you are very effective but what is more effective is you adapting to them in real time.

What do we mean by this?

Let’s give an example of how when you might choose to increase the amount of sets you do for a particular exercise.

You are in the gym and working through 4 sets on the bench press. You have warmed up and added a prep set to dial in your movement and technique.

For a number of weeks you have been able to hit 10 repetitions of 155 lb. This initially was very challenging but over time it has gotten easier. What do you do?

You can either choose to increase your reps to 12 or more or add a 5th set increasing your volume by 25%. Both strategies will take you to the next step in your training.

Most of the time you will opt to increase the weight for progressive overload gains. However you may wish to increase your sets at the same weight if you would prefer. I increasingly choose this option, then later on increase weight as I’m on the lighter older side. This helps prevent injury and joint strain.

It all comes down to what you value most. Strength gains over endurance. Both will increase regardless and there are no hard and fast rules for anyone, you know you and everyone will progress at a different pace.

The important takeaway here is to always look to maximise. Never settle, view the target reps and weight as a challenge to beat, not a rule to abide by.

Beating the challenge can also mean performing your working sets with better technique as you get stronger and build your endurance. Controlling the weight with slower eccentric movements and slight holds in the stretch will pay dividends to your results.

You can chase numbers but you can also drain every last drop of gains of out the weight before you increase it.

To increase sets of an exercise choose EDIT and tap the PLUS icon next to your exercise. To decrease the sets, tap the last Tick icon on the exercise and choose Remove Set.

Adapt to fatigue

It’s important to understand that progress is rarely linear.

Let’s imagine you’re on the 3rd set of 5 on Leg Press. For weeks you have been hitting 12 reps at 330 lbs and are finding it suddenly very challenging and can’t understand why?

There’s many reasons. The first thing remind yourself of is you’re there, in the gym, training, and minor set backs will not stop you. You will have good and bad days and that’s normal.

  1. Perhaps you’re dehydrated.
  2. Maybe you did not sleep well.
  3. You may be stressed with work.
  4. The exercise has appeared later in a workout than you’re used to and you’re more fatigued.
  5. You’re ready for a deload.
  6. You’re on a different machine or in a different gym. It just feels different.
  7. You’re just not feeling it that day.
  8. Your joints don’t feel great.
  9. There’s more for sure 🙂

What should you do if you’re finding it too difficult?

You can choose to lower the weight and retain the number of target reps. However instead you’re going to slow the tempo a bit and really work on feeling the target muscle work. It’s a great opportunity to work on technique and turn a negative into a positive.

Take advantage when you feel fresh

There are days when you feel unstoppable. Grab these moments to push yourself for more hypertrophy and muscle gains with BURN OUT sets.

Burn Out Sets are where push for as many reps as possible for the target weight, while maintaining correct form. You keep going to complete failure.

Recommended strategy

Convert the last set of an exercise to Burn Out sets when you feeling like you have a lot more to give.

You can choose to take all sets to failure but we recommend this is done sparingly. Burn out sets are very taxing and often times lowering the weight and hitting very high reps 20-30 can be excellent training.

You will get a serious pump and burn in the muscles and while it’s tough to do at the time you’ll feel the benefits.

They’re also excellent for older folks as the stimulus of taking the muscles to failure with lighter weights can help prevent injury from lifting weights that are too heavy. Joints and ligaments are under less stress but your muscles are still being seriously stimulated for muscle growth.

Add what’s important to you

Gym Plans are well balanced programatically, however that does not mean you can’t adapt them to your specific needs at the time.

We all have parts of our bodies we would like to add that bit more progress too. Perhaps it’s to strengthen a muscle after an injury as part of ongoing rehab or simply because you enjoy training those muscles. Maybe you want to develop wider shoulders or your glutes are a bit too flat for your liking. Everyone is different and everyone will have their own personal reasons.

This is where accessory work comes in.

Accessory exercises are additional focused exercises on the target muscle group you want to bring on that bit faster. To add a completely new stage or exercises to your workout choose EDIT, then tap the green PLUS icon.

You can select from a range of exercise types.

  • Single Sets
  • Supersets (2 exercises back to back)
  • Trisets (3 exercises back to back)
  • Max Rounds (Repeat as many rounds of the exercises you choose before your timer runs out)

Most often people will choose Single Sets then search for the exercise they want. We group exercises into muscle groups so you can browse ones you may not have seen before. This is a great way to discover your next favourite exercise.

Recommended strategy

Let’s imagine you want to focus on your glutes. At the end of your workout you add 4 Single Sets of Glute Bridges and set them all as BURN OUT Sets. This will add a great deal of additional volume to your glut training and as it’s bodyweight only it won’t be too taxing to complete after the full workout is completed.

Alternatively you can add accessory exercise immediately after the main exercises of that muscle group in your workout. For example, if you want to focus on chest development and your workout has the following exercises:

  1. Bench Press
  2. Incline Bench Press
  3. Pec Dec
  4. Single Arm Pec Dec (This is added on as an accessory exercise)

Choosing exercises you have not done before can be a great way to bring on areas of the body faster while helping you learn more ways to target and connect with your chosen muscle.

Another good way to bring on your fitness and increase your overall caloric deficit when losing fat is your main goal is to add accessory cardio exercises. Simply add a new stage and search for a cardio machine such as the Treadmill.

Get the basics right

Remember to incorporate warm ups, cool downs, mobility and stretching drills to your weekly program. We do not add these into workouts and leave these up to you to chose what works best for you.

Maybe you like to jump on the the treadmill for a brisk 5 min walk then light jog for 5 mins or perhaps you prefer more mobility style drills. As with everything, it’s personal choice.

We have a section on the Search screen in the app dedicated to mobility & stretching and these programs can be added to your Home Screen and performed before and after your main workouts.

Finish on a high

Another great strategy for boosting your results are adding finishers.

Finishers are special mini single workouts we’ve added to the Work Search. To find them search for your target muscle group and tag on the word finisher. For example.

Go to Search > Workout Tab (top left) > In the Search box type “Back Finisher”

You will be presented with a list of single workouts often with one exercise in them. They’re designed to be either performed on your own or with a partner.

Often timed or high rep based these exercises can be lots of fun and provide a real boost to your workouts and results. A bit like accessory exercise however often more intense and challenge based.

Check them out for yourself and even better challenge a gym buddy to see who can perform best.

We hope you utilize these strategies and enjoy the benefits they bring. Always remember we can give you exactly what to do but it’s up to you to push yourself and enjoy the rewards you deserve.

Happy training.

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