It’s time to go back to the drawing board, guys. No matter how much you think you’ve learned about bodybuilding from the moment you first walked into a gym until this very day, there’s no harm in repeating some of the most important lessons that can make or break a physique. After all, there is only a handful of absolute truths in bodybuilding, and we’ve listed most of them in this article to help you increase the efficiency of your efforts.
#1: Both high and low reps can build muscle
Actually, both high and low reps can help build muscle and both of them can lead to zero gains – their place in the overall training program is what matters, not the number by itself. The popular opinion that low reps lead to bigger mass gains and high reps produce definition is nothing more than a harmful myth.
In order to achieve serious mass gains and increase definition, you need to put a sufficient amount of effort into the right exercises and give your body the time it needs to heal itself in between workouts, of course. That being said, keep in mind that a very high rep range can easily lead to muscle loss instead of spectacular gains.
#2: You don’t have to train more often to build more muscle
People often think that just as with any other skill, success in bodybuilding depends on the frequency of exercising. But since there’s more to bodybuilding that pure skill training, this rule doesn’t apply to it very often. Growth is caused by achieving the right combination of training, nutrition and recovery time.
There has to be a certain training frequency in order to build muscle, of course, but this is different for different people and is usually a lot less than what most people think is required. Typically, the genetically gifted guys are more able to progress with excessively frequent workouts (think working out twice a day), compared to the average bodybuilder.
In fact, training too often can be counterproductive for the average bodybuilder because it naturally reduces the intensity of the workout and doesn’t allow for enough recovery time between workouts – and that’s where real growth happens. When the muscles don’t get enough time to heal and repair, the end result is zero growth or even significant losses.
Don’t compare yourself with drug-enhanced athletes or bodybuilders with amazing genetics – these people can make exceptional gains by training more often and with a greater volume. Most of us can’t get nowhere near such progress by following that kind of routine, which is why you would benefit a lot more by planning a training routine that’s adequate to your own attributes, possibilities and goals.
Finally, no matter if you are a hardgainer or not, if you make your workout as intense as possible and train properly, hitting the gym twice a week will be enough to stimulate decent growth, while splitting these workouts will inevitably lead to a loss of intensity, and therefore, efficiency. In addition, performing one single heavy set with ideal form and technique can ignite a lot more muscle growth than performing four lazy, half-assed sets. This means that you absolutely don’t have to train excessively in order to push your muscles to grow – this can also be detrimental for your gains, even though it seems logical, especially when paired with training too often. Instead, focus on performing one or two badass sets and give them all you’ve got.
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