3 Reasons Your Weight Lifting Workout is Making You Smaller & Weaker
Most guys have been led to believe that they must follow old-school bodybuilder workouts that are full of isolation exercises and body-part splits. The big problem with following advice from bodybuilder magazines is that most of the content in these magazines and websites is written BY steroid-using bodybuilders FOR steroid-using bodybuilders – NOT for the average guy looking to lose some fat and get lean and athletic.
The advice and workouts given are NOT aimed at the typical trainee – don’t forget that bodybuilding is a sport and an entire lifestyle in itself.
Here’s a few of the most common – and dangerous – mistakes that most young guys make thanks to the bodybuilding magazine culture:
Muscle-Building Mistake #1: Too Much Volume
I’ve seen some young guys spend an entire 2-hour session BLASTING their chest and triceps with as many exercises and reps as they can.
Doing this causes a few problems for the average gym-goer:
Firstly, as a steroid-free gym goer you don’t have the resources or the special genetics of most bodybuilders to recover from such high-rep workouts. The bodybuilders who these workouts are made for are using thousands upon thousands of dollars’ worth of performance-enhancing drugs that enable their muscles to heal and grow quickly.
When YOU try out the workouts in the magazines you’ll end up over-trained, weaker and smaller than before, and increase your chances of getting injured.
Another shocking secret that the bodybuilding magazine industry doesn’t want you to know is that they are paid millions each year by supplement companies to include all the pages and pages of supplement, weight gainer, protein and pill adverts you see in the mags (in fact, most magazines actually OWN the supplement companies they advertise or vice versa).
They understand that by giving you the ultra-high volume bodybuilder routines you will bust your ass but see no results, leading you to failure until you decide to buy the shiny supplements they offer.
The next problem with using a high-volume weight lifting approach brings us to the second mistake…
Muscle-Building Mistake#2: Not Using Heavy Weights
If you are performing high-volume bodybuilder workouts for sets of 10 or 20 repetitions it means the weights you are using are extremely light. However, to make your muscle firm, dense and ripped you actually have to use HEAVY weights (8 reps per set and under). Heavier weights force your body to adapt and grow, and also boost your fat burning metabolism faster than anything.
By lifting lighter weights for more reps (which does have its place somewhere in training, just not ALL the time!) you are simply inflaming the muscle and making it ‘puffy’ rather than dense. So heavy weights will tend to make your muscle bigger and dense, whereas lighter weights will make your muscle slightly bigger but more puffy and soft.
(Doesn’t it seem strange that the high rep range of 10 – 20 reps that most guys use is THE SAME as what most WOMEN use to lose weight and tone?)
Muscle-Building Mistake #3: Training Each Muscle Group Only Once or Twice per Week
Another problem with the ‘back one day’ and ‘arms the next’ day type approach is that each muscle group only gets stimulated once per week, or twice maximum.
However, again contrast this to ripped, lean and muscular athletes with V-shaped torsos, or Hollywood Superhero film stars – these guys train with FREQUENCY.
These guys with the muscular but ripped and dense bodies work EVERY muscle group multiple times per week.
Think about it – do you think your chest will grow more by bench pressing once per week – or would it grow more if you could bench press 4- 5 times per week? The answer should be clear to you.
As the main takeaway from this post, remember that if you’re aiming to build the lean, athletic & muscular look of a pro-athlete that women love, make sure your training includes these 3 factors:
1. Low Volume – Keep your workouts under 45 minutes
2. High Intensity – Use heavy weights in the 3-8 rep-maximum range
3. High Frequency – By using heavy weights in short workouts, you will be able to increase the amount of times you train each week to 4-6 sessions. This will give you an overall high volume of stimulus to your muscles, but over the course of the week rather than all in one workout.
Abiding by the above rules will keep you away from burnout and give your muscles more exposure to the weights each week. Plus you’ll get stronger, denser muscles and keep body fat low.
Justin Devonshire is a Men’s Fitness & Conditioning Specialist. He is the author of the 21-Day Emergency Muscle Building Blueprint – a unique workout & diet plan he used to gain 6lbs of muscle in just 21 days.
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