Gain Muscle - Why You're NOT Making Muscle Building Gains
by Scott Abbett
Are you eating your prescribed six bodybuilding meals a day and not gaining muscle?
Have you been blowing your hard-earned cash on body building supplements with techie names like "Nitric-this" and "Cell-Max-that", yet still fall short of getting the size gains you're after?
You're not alone. Thousands of muscle building enthusiasts are needlessly struggling – grunting and sweating for painfully little progress – and mislabeling themselves "hard-gainer".
Building muscle, like accomplishing anything, requires some rational thinking and a well-executed strategy. It doesn't just happen because you made it to the gym and finished your workout. It won't occur simply because you're using a product that was purportedly created by a "genius" wearing a lab coat. Successful natural muscle growth takes place as a result of adherence to laws of nature – just like success with any endeavor in life.
To back my point, let's look at what many muscle building aficionados counter-productively do in gyms around the world. This is a simplistic example, but some variation of this scenario is the cause for much unneeded frustration for too many natural bodybuilders.
Let's say Bill and Joe are training partners. They arrive at the gym to perform their much-anticipated biceps workout. Bill likes to start out with standing barbell curls and he's glad he has Joe there to spot him. Bill just knows that if he can get Joe to assist him with the heavy sets, some "forced reps" will really get his arms growing. He's decided to use the ever-popular ‘pyramid technique' to work his way up to those heavy sets.
Bill ends up doing six sets. His sets are as follows: 50 pounds/8 reps, 55 pounds/8 reps, 60 pounds/6 reps, 70 pounds/6 reps, 55 pounds/7 reps, 50 pounds/6 reps.
Bill feels proud of himself. It was a grueling biceps workout. His first three sets were moderately challenging. However, the 70 pounds he piled on the bar for his fourth set of 6 reps represented a respectable stretch for him.
Although he didn't ask for any help from Joe, he definitely had to dig deep within himself to find that extra pride-inducing push that allowed him to achieve the set of six reps. This fatigued his biceps enough to make the final three sets sufficiently challenging, even though they were performed with descending amounts of weight.
Five days later, Bill and Joe are back again for another biceps workout. Why? Because their schedule says it's time to work those muscles again. Of course, muscles only grow from recovery between workouts – not directly from the tissue-ravaging training sessions themselves. But Bill and Joe have apparently worked out some kind of deal with their biceps in which the muscles have agreed to recover and grow in a four to five day span (sarcasm).
Bill wants to get bigger, so he's decided to boost his heaviest set up to 75 pounds. He figures this will really "shock" his biceps into growth. His sets on this workout look like this: 50 pounds/8 reps, 55 pounds/8 reps, 65 pounds/6 reps, 75 pounds/6 reps, 55 pounds/6 reps, 50 pounds/5 reps.
Wow... Bill got a little assistance from Joe and managed to use five pounds more weight on his two heaviest sets. That extra intensity caused him to fall short a couple reps on his final, lighter sets. But that's okay, right? Bill is increasing the poundage and getting stronger and bigger, isn't he?
Hell no! ... Bill is deceiving himself. If you add up the total volume he moved in the approximate twenty minute time period during the first workout, it was 2,305 pounds. Five days later, he moved 2,260 pounds in the same time frame. His volume of lifted weight went down. Now he's counting on moving forward after having possibly over-trained in this most recent workout. Yet he's not even aware of what he's doing.
Until Bill straightens this out, it won't matter how many stomach-stretching meals he piles down. And all the nifty powdered supplements made by smart looking guys in cute little lab coats won't help much either. He'll just be peeing all that into the toilet and wasting time to boot. That is, unless and until he gets his bodybuilding strategy on track. Nice, huh?