You Probably Aren’t Lifting Heavy Enough
The first thing I want to do is explain why I think your program isn’t working out. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. If you don’t have any questions, then please continue reading.
I’ve been following your program since it was announced. I’m not sure if I should be happy or upset with my results. Let’s get started…
You’re Doing Well Until You Get To Week 4! Then Your Results Are Bad!
If you follow my routine, you’ll notice that at least one day per week is devoted to upper body work (squat/deadlift). That means you’ll be doing some sort of heavy squatting every other workout. While this may seem like a good idea, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything when it comes to gaining muscle mass.
Here are three reasons why:
1) Squats Don’t Build Muscle Mass – They Only Increase Your Body Fat Percentage!
Squats increase your body fat percentage because they activate more muscles than any other exercise. In fact, the squat is the single best exercise you can do to increase testosterone and growth hormone levels.
These hormones are responsible for building muscle and losing fat. The problem occurs when inexperienced lifters start adding extra weight to the bar every week. Doing this will fry your central nervous system (CNS). As a result, you won’t be able to perform squats with any consistency. And if you aren’t consistent then you won’t build muscle mass and you’ll ALSO lose muscle.
In other words, you did more damage than good.
2) The CNS Needs Time To Recover From Stress – Otherwise, It Can’t Recover!
Your body has an amazing ability to adapt to stress. Unfortunately, this amazing ability isn’t limitless. If you keep training hard and heavy, your body will eventually get worn down. And when this happens, you won’t gain any muscle mass. You’ll only lose muscle!
Most people don’t know when to back off. They’re like a stubborn kid in a candy store – Overwhelmed by all the choices. Unfortunately, their body can’t tell the difference between good and bad stress. So if you keep adding weight to the bar every week, your body will get so confused that it won’t know how to respond.
This confusion is called “overtraining” and it’s incredibly common among lifters and athletes nowadays.
3) You’re Probably Doing Too Much “Direct” Muscle Work
Most people think that muscle building is all about doing lots of direct work. While this is partly true, it doesn’t always work.
In fact, many champion bodybuilders don’t even do direct arm work. Instead, they focus on upper back, lower back and neck training because these areas are responsible for the movement of your arms.
If you don’t have a strong back, you’re never going to have big arms. It’s just that simple. Your body just isn’t going to allow it.
So what’s the solution?
You need to completely restructure your routine. I’m going to give you a sample routine that I think will work better for you. Feel free to try it out and let me know how it goes.
Muscle Building Routine
Monday – Chest & Back
Exercise Reps Standing Press (See Warning) 5 Sets Of 5 Rep Bench Press 5 Sets Of 5 Lying Flye 5 Sets Of 10 Dumbbell Pullover 5 Sets Of 15
Note: If you don’t have access to a lying bench, feel free to do this exercise on the floor (like when you were a kid). It’s just as effective.
Wednesday – Legs & Abs
Exercise Reps Deadlift 5 Sets Of 5 Barbell Squat 5 Sets Of 5 Leg Press 5 Sets Of 15 Crunches 5 Sets Of 25
Note: Never been a fan of leg extension and lunges. I prefer to strengthen my legs with real weight that forces the body to work harder.
Warning: Don’t get too crazy when it comes to pressing movements. I’ve seen too many people get hurt doing this. Always make sure to lift with proper form.
Thursday – Arms
Exercise Reps Barbell Curl 5 Sets Of 5 Standing Press (See Warning) 5 Sets Of 5 Incline Dumbbell Curl 5 Sets Of 10 Skull Crushers 5 Sets Of 10 Triceps Extension 5 Sets Of 15
Note: As you can see, I repeated the standing press in this session as well. Don’t worry about it. Just focus on lifting with proper form.
Saturday & Sunday – Rest
Day 0 Protein (G) Fat (G) Carbs (G) Meal 1 8 56 2 0 Meal 2 12 33 2 0 Meal 3 6 15 1 0 Meal 4 19 27 5 0 Meal 5 8 7 1 0 Totals 77 139 16 0
If you’re curious, I didn’t include my supplementation. However, I will tell you what I take and why.
Pre-Workout: C4 by Optimum Nutrition
Intra-Workout: Amino Energy by BSN
Before Bed: Kaged Muscle Relaxed Package
Before Bed: Kaged Muscle Zpower
And that, my friends, is how you bulk smart. Just remember, don’t do anything stupid and you should be okay. If not, well…good luck.
Sources & references used in this article:
Stalled Progress? You Probably Aren’t Lifting Heavy Enough by S Gam – breakingmuscle.com
Unmet Promise: Raising Minority Achievement. The Achievement Gap. by RC Johnston, D Viadero – Education Week, 2000 – ERIC
The Rise & Stall of Teacher Education Reform. by M Fullan, G Galluzzo, P Morris, N Watson – 1998 – ERIC
When Growth Stalls: How it Happens, why You’re Stuck, and what to Do about it by S McKee – 2009 – books.google.com
an innovative approach to stall prevention? by JA Stoop, JL De Kroes – … of the Third International Air Transport …, 2012 – books.google.com
Down to this: Squalor and Splendour in a Big-city Shantytown by S Bishop-Stall – 2010 – books.google.com
The progress principle: Using small wins to ignite joy, engagement, and creativity at work by E Helms, A Valdez, A Morgan – Nutrition, 2015
The Dog Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Troubleshooting Tips and Advice on Lifetime Maintenance by T Amabile, S Kramer – 2011 – books.google.com
The second machine age: Work, progress, and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies by D Brunner, S Stall – 2004 – books.google.com