There are too many guys who go to the gym consistently yet I’d never know they worked out if I didn’t see them there. What a waste of time. If I was making no progress after months in the gym, I’d surely quit, yet these people think they’ll start miraculously seeing results even though they’ve seen none since buying the membership.
If you can have a full conversation between sets, it might be time to work harder.
Me and my workout buddies rarely speak while we train. Other than some grunts while lifting heavy weight, or motivational chants while our partner is training, “one more,” or “let’s go,” we hardly have any time for discussion let alone air in our lungs to make it happen.
We are sucking wind between sets. Training is meant to be hard. If it was easy everyone would be a monster but that is far from the truth. Keep rest periods short and volume high and you better be struggling to squeeze out the last few reps of each set. You should really feel the blood pumping by that time.
My suggestion is picking one powerlift in the beginning of the workout where you focus on weight lifted, taking longer rest periods and doing 8 or less reps. After that I would focus on volume and keeping rest periods to 20-30 seconds rather than focusing on what is on the bar.
Shorter rest periods allow more muscle fibers to be recruited into action because the muscle fibers we initially used have not had enough time to recover between sets and thus we need to tap into new fibers. Secondly, the pump is important to get blood and nutrients into the muscle expanding the tissue and leaving room for more growth.
You’ll increase the capacity of your muscles to hold glucose and other nutrients and also your veins will widen and become bigger to accommodate for the increased blood flow. All of this will add size to your body.
If your shoulders are sore from working biceps, you’re doing it wrong.
Form is important. It’s more important than hoisting up a million pounds and getting a back workout in from training your arms. Take it from someone who used to lift to satisfy his ego rather than goals, you look like an idiot when you’re lifting sloppy and don’t have the muscle to show for it.
Take a moment to relax and pick an appropriate weight. Chances are, guys like me or even bigger in size are more focused on our workouts than judging you by what you are lifting. We will get a laugh when you are benching in the smith machine with 3 inch range of motion needing a spot on your first rep, but if you’re trying hard and using good form, we know how it is, we all started there.
Since we are training our muscles and not the movements there are a few things I will suggest; Squeeze all reps and flex the working muscle hard at the top of the movement. Slowly lower the weight after each squeeze. The negative portion of the lift actually has more emphasis on muscle growth than the actual initial contraction.
If doing isolation movements, practice the lift without the weight at first. Find the range of motion for that muscle and when moving onto the weighted lift stay only in that range of motion. You should only be moving 1 joint in an isolation exercise.
If you eat like a girl, chances are you’ll look like one.
Skip the salad if you’re not having a steak with it. Eating is the most important part in building muscle tissue. Providing yourself with adequate protein, carbs and fats will keep you growing and make your workouts actually count.
There are two big mistakes many people make when it comes to eating and lifting. First is not eating enough. If you burn more calories than you consume you won’t be gaining much muscle at all. Second, a lot of people do not eat enough protein to facilitate protein synthesis.
My suggestions are to start by eating 4-5 meals a day. Make sure each has a good source of all your macronutrients. Find out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. You can start by calculating your basal metabolic rate (Google BMR calculator) then add250-500 calories above whatever number it gives you. Keep a record of your bodyweight and adjust calories up or down according to goals.
Next, make sure to consume between 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. I typically consume closer to 1.5 grams on any given day, but 1 gram per pound will be sufficient enough to help you repair your muscles and ultimately add more muscle tissue to your frame.
At the end of the day, you get in what you put in. If you want to do something, do it right. Train hard, use good form and eat correctly. Given some time you should be on the right track to becoming a monster.
Austin Stehling | Elite.