4. Never Train More Than 2 Days Consecutively
But the bodybuilding magazines say to split up my program into 5 separate days... Yes, I am more than familiar. I call these 5 day splits 'drug programs.' They treat your body simply as a 'muscular system' and neglect the other systems such as your central nervous system, hormonal system and immune system. Each of these systems have a unique part in muscle growth. Not to mention that these 'drug programs' only work if coupled with a few thousand dollars a month on drugs.
Just because you trained your chest on Monday does not mean your immune system, or hormonal system or central nervous system has FULLY recovered. What happens when you return to the gym NOT FULLY recovered? Will you be able to lift more weight?
If you are not able to lift more weight than guess what happens to your level of fitness? It certainly will not go up because you will be depleting your energy reserves further into a deep, dark hole called 'over-training.' If you can not lift more weight or 'out-do' yourself from your previous workout than how do you expect to create any NEW muscle? It is literally impossible. Taking a full rest day every two days will minimize the chance of overtraining and ensure your energy reserves are replenished.
5. Go Home If You Are Not Stronger Than Last Workout
Multiple choice question:
Q. You train your chest on Monday and you averaged 4 sets of 8 with 225 pounds on bench press. This workout would be considered a personal best. Your following chest workout, let's say five days later, you come to the gym with great anticipation to out-do your last workout. To your disappointment you discover that you can barely do 4 sets of 8 with 185 pounds this week. What happened?
A. Your body had not fully compensated from the previous workout and required a longer recovery period.
B. Who cares! You toughed it out and made the most of the workout.
C . Complain to the gym owner that his weight plates are messed up and you want a refund on your gym membership.
If you picked A than say hurray and pat yourself on the back. The rational decision would be to admit the recovery error, assess the factors that could of resulted from not fully recovering (did you take all your supplements, did you sleep enough, did you follow your nutrition plan etc) and plan for success next time. This is the 'trial and error' process.
The emotional and irrational trainee would take option B and slug it out. Consider what is actually happening when you take this approach to your workouts:
1. You will be using weights within your threshold so your muscles will simply laugh back at you because there is no new unaccustomed stress on your muscles. Remember, your muscles only grow if you give them a reason to.
2. You will be training in the hole and prolong the period of time that it takes to come out of the hole and supercompensate.
3. You will have no new muscle to work with because you have not fully recovered or grown bigger so it will be literally impossible to lift more weight or more reps.
4. You will be using your precious energy reserves, that could be going towards building muscle, instead to fuelling an useless workout.
5. You will lose motivation and grow frustrated and confused because of your lack of progress.
This is a very tough and mature training decision one must face. After commencing a workout, if you discover after a few sets that you are on tract for a crappy workout than I would suggest to drop the workout and go home. Plan to come back the next day. If your goals are to simply train to train, than you will probably not follow this rule. However, if your goal is to get huge muscles and pack inches of new muscle onto your frame than this is a critical training decision.
To ensure your trip to the gym does not go in complete vain – have a flexibility session to make use of the time and than try and pick up the cute receptionist phone number on your way out!
6. Find a mentor
What does this have to do with muscle building? Everything – finding a mentor can make all the difference in how much muscle you build! If you plan on becoming successful in the gym than surround yourself with someone who has already walked the path. Would you agree that the quickest way to achieve success is to find someone who has gone before you and done what you want to do – and model them.
So why do millions of fitness enthusiasts wander aimlessly following generic advice in text books, magazines or websites? Although these methods of learning can provide a theoretical perspective, they are absent in accountability, a formal system, time and financial commitment and assessment of performance.
A wise mentor will guide you step-by-step of the way with a formal system that includes a higher level of commitment and accountability on your part. You will be required to fulfill tasks, change habits, meet deadlines and perform at a higher level than you would without a mentor.
The premise of having a mentor is that he has been there and done that. He has walked in your shoes and will give you the appropriate advice in a timely fashion. If you do not perform and follow the advice than you are wasting the mentor's time and he will 'fire' you! If you do perform and follow his advice than you will be successful and build the muscle you deserve in less time!
Seriously consider hiring a fitness coach, a personal trainer or anybody who has done what you wish to do and be prepared to elate the same results!
Vince DelMonte is the author of No Nonsense Muscle Building: Skinny Guy Secrets To Insane Muscle Gain found at http://www.VinceDelMonteFitness.com/
He specializes in teaching skinny guys
how to build muscle and gain weight quickly without drugs, supplements and training less than before.