5 Familiar Bodybuilding Troubles...Which Do You Want To Overcome?

In my 3 decades of training experience I have identified 5 major bodybuilding troubles or problems. These are:-

1 Overtraining...training too much...too often and too long. Not taking a complete week off every 3 months...

2 Under eating...Not eating enough...you need 6 meals per day minimum...every day, including weekends...

3 Neglecting the window of opportunity for rapid growth by not taking Whey protein and creatine immediately after training...

4 Not stretching properly to facilitate easy growth...

5 Not focussing your mental muscle on who you want to become...

PART ONE

1 Overtraining...training too much...too often and too long. Not taking a complete weeks break or rest every 3 months.

This would have to be the most common trouble that hinders many would be successful bodybuilders from realising their full potential. And it's a particularly insidious trouble because we have been taught that to get things in life , we have to work hard. Well that's true to some extent both in life and weight training. In weight training we have to train hard as far as intensity goes...if you want to get big you need to push big weights. But where the problem creeps in is that we apply rules from other places that don't apply to weight training. The rules I am talking about can be best illustrated with an example. I want to grow a big bank account...So I work a few jobs or set up a few businesses that give me multiple streams of income. Hey presto...that works...my hard work and long hours returns lots of money and a big fat bank account.

The problem is when we apply this more is better to weight training, with the underlying premise that if training 3 days per week made me gain 3 pounds of muscle in 8 weeks...then if I train 6 days a week I should be able to put on 6 pounds of muscle in the same time. Or if training 30 minutes per workout made me gain 3 pounds...then if I train an hour and a half(3 x as long) I should be able to put on 9 pounds(3x as much) BIG MISTAKE...BIG TROUBLE...The logic on the surface sounds OK...but the underlying reality is quite different. The only thing the extra training does is burn you out and frustrate you with diminished returns. When I owned and operated my two bodybuilding gyms I used to see this all the time...and you just can't tell some people.

They are so caught up in the belief that more is better that they are too scared to cut back on their routine lest they slip back...the irony is they won't "slip" back...they will actually burst forwards because they are unaware that they are being held back by over stressing their body. Don't get me wrong...hard work isn't bad...and sometimes its the persistence factor that gives (lands) us the big win. But the way to burst through sticking points is not to add exercises or volume (sets, reps)...but to add or increase intensity.( bigger weights...higher resistance...less rest between sets) Now since volume and intensity are inversely proportional, it is only logical that to increase intensity you also need to reduce volume. To overcome this block or obstacle requires you to do less...but make what you do even harder.

Another trouble related to this is the myth that as you become more advanced...you need to train more. Nothing could be further from the truth...you actually need to train less (but smarter...with more intensity) The reason for this is because although your strength and size becomes greater over time...your recovery ability does not increase to the same extent...your ability to recover improves only marginally compared to your ability to get stronger. Why does this happen? Think of it this way...when you first started and had, for example 12" arms...

If you did a set to failure of bicep curls, the amount of stress being inflicted on your total body wasn't that great because 12" arms don't require that much blood flow and the small muscle cell size isn't much of a drain on your energy or nervous system. However, when your arms have grown to say 18" and you do a set to failure...the weight will be huge compared to when you were a beginner...and the subsequent drain on the bodies total energy system and the shock effect this has will be immense. Although your strength may have improved by over one hundred percent, your bodies ability to recover won't have...your arms might be 50% greater in size...but your capacity for recovery won't have increased by 50%(more like 30% maximum)... and this leads to the condition of overtraining that we are talking about. So as you become more advanced...keep thinking of ways to make your training harder (more intense) but shorter in duration and less in volume.

I remember years ago I was at a sticking point with my own training...and I was getting really frustrated. Nothing seemed to work for me. I thought I was doing everything optimally...eating right...getting plenty of sleep etc...but my weight hadn't budged for months. I was at 89 kilos and I desperately wanted to break the 90 kilo barrier, but nothing seemed to work...I suppose the 90 kilo barrier to me was like Roger Bannister's four minute mile...this was my four minute mile...which the final solution was to be a four minute instead of four hour (I'm exaggerating here, but I hope you get my drift) exercise workout!

Time to try something different I thought...what I was doing obviously wasn't working...so I had nothing to lose. I had read Mike Mentzers Heavy Duty training book, which had just been released. His Arthur Jones based training ideas were quite revolutionary...Incredibly heavy, hard intense workouts that were very brief. So I started experimenting with this style of training. I remember everybody thinking what the hell is he doing...some were even chuckling behind my back...despite the fact that I was by this stage a successful competitive bodybuilder. I remember one exercise session vividly...the first time I did heavy negatives on the dip rack. I got my training partner to help me suspend a 100-pound dumbbell via a chain from my training belt. He would help get me to the top position of the dip by lifting me at the knees, and I would have to lower myself slowly under control to the bottom.

The weight was so heavy I couldn't even do a single positive rep on my own. I finished my first set of 4 reps, and when I looked up I noticed the whole gym had stopped to watch what I was doing. At first people just dismissed this radical for the time style of training...but when after only 3 weeks I had busted through my sticking point and my weight soared to 92 kilos... people weren't laughing anymore. I was stoked. I purposely had not weighed myself for three weeks because I was hoping to get a pleasant surprise...I felt and knew this new style of training was working for me based on the mirror and judging by the fact that my strength was rapidly improving (100 pound db was too light for the dip now because I was capable of doing positive reps with it).

I would have been happy to have just hit 90kg...but I overshot it by 2 kilos (4.4 pounds). I was sold on this new style of training...a 3 kg (6.6 lb) gain in only 3 weeks...after months of not putting on an ounce...and with a fraction of the amount of work I had been previously doing. At first everyone wanted to know what I was on! What I was on was an incredibly effective training routine, and soon others started copying and getting similar results. And it wasn't before too long 90 kilos seemed like a joke as I crashed through the 100 kg barrier(220 pounds) But this never would have been possible for me if I had just followed the masses and continued with my 20 sets per body part training systems.

So my advice to avoid this problem of overtraining is to continually be searching for ways to make your workout harder, not longer. Do less, but achieve more. Bigger weights...less sets...higher intensity...less rest period between sets...less exercises...less training days...more rest days...this will ultimately make your workouts super effective...and more fun!

For parts 2-5 of this five part series?Visit http://ironpower.biz/download.htm and download yourself a FREE copy of "5 Familiar Bodybuilding Troubles?Which Do You Want To Overcome?" E-Book. Part 4 of the eBook reveals a secret stretching technique for unleashing phenomenal muscle growth.

About the author: Richard Hargreaves is a former Mr Australia, and personal trainer with 25 years experience. He has written numerous bodybuilding and fitness books, and articles for magazines such as Australian Ironman, Australian Musclemag, Taekwondo, Blitz martial Arts, Kickboxer, Natural Bodybuilder, Network Fitness, Australian Personal Trainer, Personal Training On The Net, and Women's Fitness. Visit http://ironpower.biz/download.htm to download Bodybuilding and Fitness eBooks valued at $70, absolutely FREE.

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


The Role Of Whey Protein In Achieving Significant Muscle Gain

Most bodybuilders would agree that supplementing with whey protein is... Read More

Can Growth Hormone Boosters Enhance Muscle Growth?

Many experts feel that supplementation with growth hormones offers exciting... Read More

Questioning Proper Abdominal Training

Q: I've heard you mention that you don't need tons... Read More

Planting And Nurturing Your Contacts And Resources

The success level of your bodybuilding endeavors is highly determined... Read More

Waist Your Breath - Breathing For A Thinner Waist

The crunch exercise is the backbone of abdominal training. It... Read More

Exercise The Right Way - The Leg Extension

Other articles in this series looked at a number of... Read More

Most Amazing (and Ridiculously Simple) Trick For Stiff-Legged Deadlifts You Will Ever Read In Your L

The stiff-legged deadlift is one of the best exercises you... Read More

Muscle and Fitness -- The First Key To Achieving Your Goals

Lets discuss what I term as Muscle and Fitness --... Read More

The Seven Pillars Of Success

VisionEnvisioning the end-result is enough to put the wheels in... Read More

The MYTH of Gaining Muscle Without Fat!

Many of you have expressed concerns about gaining too much... Read More

Increase Your Training Intensity - Training To Failure

You can only build muscle tissue if you can generate... Read More

Muscle And Fitness -- The Third and Final Key To Successfully Achieving Your Fitness Goals

Before delving into Muscle And Fitness ? The Second Key,... Read More

The Role Of Repetitions In Your Muscle Building Program

Repetitions are the basic building blocks of any strength or... Read More

Scientific Principles For Effective Muscle Gain

It's an unfortunate reality that throughout the years there has... Read More

Dumbbell Workouts - A Smart Way To Exercise

Dumbbell workouts have been around for many years, especially as... Read More

Know Your Muscle Building Exercises - The Back

Every bodybuilder and weight trainer will have his or her... Read More

Weight Training Terminology For Beginners

Weight training is one of the best ways to shape... Read More

Personal Training: 3 Keys to Training Clients in Their Homes

When considering your options as a personal trainer, one of... Read More

Know Your Muscle Building Exercises - The Chest

Every bodybuilder and weight trainer will have his or her... Read More

Weight Gain Myths

The vast majority of myths about weight gain are mostly... Read More

Boost Your Anabolic Hormone Levels - Naturally!

Anabolic steroid use appears to be on the rise. With... Read More

Know Your Muscle Building Exercises - The Legs

Every bodybuilder and weight trainer will have his or her... Read More

Beach Body Abs

With the return of warm weather in the spring, thoughts... Read More

Know Your Muscles - The Lower Body

Becoming familiar with the muscles that make up your body... Read More

Muscle Building Workout For This Week!

As experts says, "NO PAIN, NO GAIN." This specially applies... Read More

Are You Over Training in the Gym?

Every set was taken to positive failure, with three or... Read More

Exercise The Right Way - The Wrist Extension

Other articles in this series looked at a number of... Read More

How These 3 Basic Elements Can Be Used To Boost Your Own Muscle Gains!

The foolish idea that 'more is better' when it comes... Read More

How to Gain Weight and Build More Muscle!

For many thin guys around the world, gaining weight without... Read More

How to Weight Train for Maximum Muscle Gain

Weight training involves the use of equipment that enables variable... Read More

Know Your Muscles - The Shoulders And Arms

Becoming familiar with the muscles that make up your body... Read More

A Recovered Treasure: The Pilates Method

Uncovered After 80 Years of Dormancy, Pilates is Far From... Read More

5 Familiar Bodybuilding Troubles...Which Do You Want To Overcome?

In my 3 decades of training experience I have identified... Read More