When I was getting my personal training certification many a year ago, I was told what hypertrophy is: a range of repetitions between 8-12 reps. Aside from being complete nonsense, it’s also counter-productive. If we focused on one range of repetitions with the same cadence for the entire time we train, we’ll plateau, and regress.
Hypertrophy isn’t a range of reps, it’s building muscle. Therefore, whichever workouts get us maximal and sustained results, would be hypertrophy workouts and hypertrophy sets.
What really burns my bridges about this “law” of 8-12 reps for hypertrophy, is that its the same in almost every certification around. They categorize power as 4-6 reps, and muscular endurance as 15 or more reps, sending every would-be trainer out into the world with a knowledge-base equipping them to help their clients fail.
In my online coaching program, I always ask the trainees to tell me what they’ve been previously doing in the gym. Many of them having a program that their personal trainer wrote for them, give me those rep ranges for each goal. It’s disheartening. It isn’t the trainers fault, because this is what he’s been taught, but it is his fault, because he – or she – hasn’t taken the initiative to expand his or her knowledge base.
And so, hundreds and thousands of men and women hire these trainers to get them results with there hard-earned money, but fail. They look at their genetics to blame, but there bodies have been doing what they’re programmed to do all along: adapt to the demands they’re placing on them.
I’m a stubborn human. Ask my parents, or anyone close to me for that matter, and they’ll tell you that it can take me a lot longer than it should take to learn a lesson. Example: I have a great barber. Every time I get my haircut, I walk out with a smile on my face. However, it used to not be so. The other day I went to the old one. I saved a few bucks, but got butchered. I was given “The Mo” (3 Stooges). Then, I tucked tail and went back to my current barber to fix up the mess. And she did.
I’ve had to learn financial lessons many times over. I’ve had to learn that pride can be a good thing, but also a hindrance. I’ve had to learn that just because the opportunity is there, doesn’t mean you have to fight for something. And I’ve learned many a time over, that drinking too much doesn’t feel good the next day. I’m flawed. A work in progress. But progress I shall.
Today, I had an epiphany that I’ve had many times. The difference is, today’s is going to stick.
Focus on one thing at a time. Do it well and to completion. Only then can you move on to the next task, goal, or expectation.
As a result of that lesson I’ve learned many times over, I had one of the best work days I’ve had in a long time today, simply because I focused on one thing. I cut out all distractions. Answered no phone calls, texts, or emails until a task was finished. It’s a simple premise.
This rule of focusing on one thing at a time applies to everything.
If you want to build muscle, focus only on building muscle.
Don’t change your mind and try to lose fat if you’ve gained a bit of chub. Stay the course. Pack on mass and keep packing it on until you’ve reached your goal.
Can you gain leanmass? Yes. You just have to be more disciplined about your meal timing and what you consume. It’s a lot more fun to bulk, because you can eat a wide array of scrumptious and decadent foods, as long as you eat a lot of them. If you want to gain lean muscle, keep your carb intake to before and after your workout.
I do my exercises, drink my water, have my testosterone cocktail, then I sit down, read, think, take notes, and finally open up my computer and start working. In a few hours I’ll go to the gym. I go pretty much every day these days. Not always to work my ass off, sometimes just for a break from work. To hit the bag or do a light lift on a weak point.
Aside from my testosterone boosting cocktail, I have yet to eat. I’m focused on what’s most important right now, this article, and how to illustrate to you that less is more in the world of building muscle for skinny guys.
The day I’m describing will eventually consist of 3-4 meals + 1 shake. One of the meals will be massive. The others, smaller in comparison.
Each, however, serving a specific purpose. My body is important to me, as is staying lean and muscular year round. I’ve never been a fan of bulking. So I don’t do it.
My work is my mission. This site is my passion. I love writing and working on ways to help you build your dream body, and construct your legendary life. Having two main focuses in a day – along with the life stuff like having fun, laughing, living and the like – my nutrition as well as my training needs to serve both purposes.
The odd thing about this is that in focusing on my energy levels and focus (yes, even with nutrition), I’ve also helped my body.
A successful morning usually means a successful day.
If we are productive from the word go. The rest of our day is surely to follow. In the world of building lean muscle this is no different.
So why, then, do we start our day with no rhyme or reason? We wake up and follow a routine that has no real purpose to it. It’s simply “what we do” every morning that gets us to the next phase of our day.
A morning routine is pertinent to our success in any walk of life. In our careers, the right morning routine will help us focus and maintain high energy levels for the remainder of the day. In the world of building lean muscle, a morning routine will help us naturally raise testosterone levels, lower cortisol, and recover from the day’s workout.
Sleep (7 to 8 hours of it) is vital to your lean muscle gains. Sleep is where you’re going to recover. Between 4-6am is when your testosterone levels are at their height. When your body is actively buildingmuscle.
Seven to eight hours is the goal. Any more is laziness.
Coming from a guy who’s suffered from in insomnia my entire life, I’ve tried everything. A strict sleeping routine is the best way to ensure a good night’s sleep. By programming your body to fall asleep, then rise at the same time 7 days a week, you’re guaranteeing that you’re getting the most out of this ‘optimal recovery time.’
2. Prime your muscles.
Follow the following morning bodyweight routine:
A1. Single leg squat – 15 reps
A2. Split squat – 15 reps
A3. Push-ups – 25 reps
A4. Plank or Abs walk-out – 60 seconds (or 6 x 10 second holds for the walk outs)
Following this routine will prime your muscles, wake you up, and boost your metabolism before you ingest any food.
I’ve found it’s also help me become more alert in the morning which has helped with my work. My muscles feel more ‘awake’ during the day as well. And it’s resulted in better workouts. Read the rest of this entry »
Vince Gironda was a man who was way before his time. He’s known as the “Iron Guru”, but also as the greatest personal trainer and muscle-building expert ever to live. He was a guy that believed steroid users were cheaters. A guy who believed in simplicity over complicated training methods. And he was a guy who we’re still learning from today.
In every area of life there are lessons we can learn from our predecessors. The people who paved the way for us. The men and women who accomplished great things tens, hundreds or even thousands of years ago will always remain relevant. We get away from this in the fitness industry where fads rule, and methods that have worked forever are seen as old and out-dated.