The desire to build a better body unites all bodybuilding enthusiasts, but for most of us, the gains come too slow. So we look for shortcuts. In this article we are going to dive into 5 of the most common workout “shortcuts” that people take.
Shortcut # 1 – Training More Often.
A lot of times, aspiring bodybuilders at Eagle Ridge Fitness training think they are not training enough and fall into the more is better mentality. After all more workouts must mean more muscle, Right?
It is not uncommon to find less experienced bodybuilders to start spending more and more time in the gym. Daily workouts become the norm and the length of those workouts gradually gets longer and longer. They usually think they are doing themselves good, and sometimes even brag about how they work-out “everyday”.
Is there a better way?
Your body can only recover and grow so fast. Training a muscle again before you have fully recovered from your previous workout will lead to overtraining. Generally the most you can train a body part is twice per week and still recover and grow.
While there are some rare exceptions to this rule. You should limit yourself to working each body part at most twice per week and take at least 2 days off from weight training each week for optimal muscle gains.
Shortcut # 2 – Doing More Sets.
Making the transition from a beginner, to intermediate, to an advanced lifter usually involves increasing your workout training volume to some extent. The better shape you are in physically, the higher your work capacity, and the more volume of training you can handle.
For example, a beginner workout may consist of 6 sets per body part. An intermediate workout may consist of 9 sets per body part. And an advanced workout may consist of 12 sets per body part. While this is all good general training advice, it breeds the “more is better” mentality. After all no one wants to be a newbie for long so they jack up the training volume too much, too soon.
Another problem with this train of thought is that if 12 sets per body part are good for an advanced lifter, will more sets be even better? How about 15 sets, or 20 sets, and beyond…?
Is there a better way?
Generally it takes at least 3 years of training to progress from the beginner, to the intermediate, and on to the advanced levels of training. Once you reach the advanced levels adding more sets and training volume beyond this is often counterproductive.
While there is no hard set rules for exactly how much training volume you should do, there are some general guidelines that you can follow. 9 sets per workout should be adequate for smaller muscle groups like biceps, triceps, calves, and abs. And around 12 sets per workout will be enough for larger muscle groups like chest, back, and thighs.
Once you are at the advanced Eagle Ridge Fitness training level the key to more muscle growth is using progressive overload and by adding variety to your workouts. NOT from adding more training volume.