Which Muscle Building Routine?
Here we are at one of the most disputed issues in all of bodybuilding. Which is the best workout routine for building muscle mass? Search just a few minutes on the internet and you’ll probably see a dozen or so different workout philosophies of what people feel are the best ways to build muscle. You may even feel overwhelmed at all of the different people telling you that their way is the best way to build muscle mass. Super-slow, isometric, negative, high intensity, low-intensity, static contraction, single set to failure, triple sets, full body routine, split routine, 5-day split, bodyweight workout and partial reps, just to name a few of the countless training philosophies. So, which is the best type of routine for building muscle?
The truth is…………. they all work to some extent. Most routines where you lift heavy weights and most importantly leave enough time for you to rest and recover, will help you build muscle to a certain extent. However, here are some things that you should take into consideration when choosing how you want to lift weights.
First off, be very careful about choosing routines taken out of muscle magazines. Magazines come out every month and so they have to come up with new routines each month or they would go out of business. So their routines may not necessarily be the best routines, just because it’s something new that they had to come up with for this month’s edition. Often times too, the workout routines the magazines post are supposedly the routines that the “pros” use.
Don’t Do What the Pro Bodybuilders Do!
Have you ever seen workout routines shown in magazines and on the internet that have you working out 5-6 times a week with workouts lasting for over 2 hrs. You may have seen pro bodybuilders talking about their routines that they do almost every day. You may have even heard them talking about doing 15-20 sets per body part. I once even saw a program that had you working out twice a day. Do you feel overwhelmed when thinking about all that time spent each week in the gym. If you are going to the gym 5 times a week and even only spend 2 hrs in the gym each time, that time really adds up. That’s ten hours a week, over 40 hours a month or 520 hours a year. That is over 21 1/2 days a year spent in the gym. Imagine spending three weeks out of the year in the gym, 24 hrs a day. As you can see, the time really adds up. The average person does not have that kind of free time to spend pumping iron in the gym like that. Nevertheless, many feel overwhelmed at thinking it is necessary to workout that often to build muscle and thus become discouraged and never even try, thinking that it is out of their reach. Or they might start working out that way and in a short time “burn out”. If the average person (someone that doesn’t use illegal drugs and hormones) tries to follow the same workouts that the pro bodybuilders do, sooner or later the average person will over-train. That means that your body won’t be able to handle that amount of lifting. You won’t be able to recover from the workouts, which means the weight you are lifting won’t increase, it will actually decrease. Because your body is not fully recovering your immune system will even be weakened and you may even get frequent colds. As I talk about in another of my articles, the “pros” can only use these routines because of the illegal supplements, drugs and hormones they use.
Although you do not need to spend all that time in the gym to gain muscle, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. If you want to gain some muscle you are going to have to lift heavy weights. Your body needs a reason to adapt and get stronger. If you think you can workout with little plastic covered weights that fit into a cute carrying case and still get stronger… well it’s not that easy. You need to give your body a good reason to adapt and grow. That is best achieved through high intensity exercise with heavy weights.
Hardgainers, or us naturally skinny guys even have special needs for our workout programs. Find more info on this here.
In Part two of this article we will take a look at some different routines and training programs so that you can compare them all in one place.