I first started to lift weights in grade 11 or 12.
Being a skinny high schooler I wanted to beef up and build muscle. So I joined a gym down the gym from school.
Like any high school kid I was clueless. I didn’t have the faintest idea of what I was doing. Nothing was organized or planned out. As long as I did bench press and curls I thought all was good.
Guess this is what I thought would happen…
It wasn’t until my first year in university before I got on a structured workout program.
It wasn’t anything special. But it had structure.
Between my buddies spewing their advice and reading a few muscle building magazines I had been brainwashed.
I was 100% committed to the notion of grind, grow, and recover.
This is what my first structured workout ended up looking like.
- Monday - Chest
- Tuesday - Back
- Wednesday - Legs
- Thursday - Shoulders
- And to get ready for the weekend… Friday - Arms
Many years latter I see this same approach in gyms across the US. I’d be surprised if it was any different at your gym.
I can’t blame them. I was brainwashed into the same thinking. At one time I was even part of the problem. I pass this misinformation on to my buddies. My confidence I’d tell them…
“I work the muscle so hard it needs an entire week to recover.”
You still see this grind, grow, and recover mindset in all the popular fitness magazines.
Does that make it right?
Is it the most effective way to train?
My buddy didn’t think so. He was into powerlifting and trained some variation of the squat, deadlift, and bench everyday.
My track coaches didn’t think so. Like every world class runner our coaches had us sprinting running everyday. I can’t ever remember running to the point of total exhaustion. Of course big races were the exception.
But me. I fell for the muscle magazines grind, grow, and recover kool-aid. I was brainwashed, falling for it hook line and sinker.
A lot has changed since then. Training others and myself for over 20 years has exposed me to a lot. I’ve done the opposite and everything inbetween. I’ve put the grind, grow, and recover model on the shelf. and never looked back.
Success leaves clues.
Over the years I’ve had many influences to help shape my training philosophy. I’ve learned a lot for Olympic lifting and Eastern European countries.
Back in the 70’s and 80’s and the Soviet Weightlifting teams dominated the world. They knew how to make rapid improvements in both strength and performance. They were so successful much of the word has since copied their methods.
They figured out a way to train each movement with 2-3X the frequency of the Western Olympic teams by avoiding bodybuilding style workouts where the muscle gets broken down. The two things that made them so successful…
- Workout Frequency
Avoiding the grind required less recovery because they weren’t beat up. This allowed them to get back in the gym and train more often, increasing their practice and volume.
More volume means more muscle mass and strength.
Makes sense, right?
If more frequent training yields better results in less time, why doesn’t everyone follow this model?
Why not ditch the body part split?
The same Kool-Aid is still being sold. You can find the same templates in magazines today as I read back in university.
They’re passing on outdated information. This keeps many people holding onto inefficient bodybuilding principles of days gone by.
Kind of sad.
New information could cause a shift in thinking and exposure to new techniques. This simple change can be enough to spur on growth and strength gains, like you saw as a newbie.
Just because I mentioned the Soviet Olympic lifters doesn’t mean increased frequency only works with the clean and snatch. With the right programing every lift can benefit from less intense and more frequent training. Try it today and watch your bench, squat, and other lifts increase along with your muscle density.
- the best way to train in the gym for rapid results
- the perfect body blueprint
- how to avoid breaking down muscle to dramatically increase strength
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Time to change the kool-aid flavour,
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