I use a very high volume approach to training. I go as heavy as possible while maintaining good form. I perform a higher number of sets of various exercises, going to failure on virtually every set until the muscles are completely fatigued. I try to continuously shock the muscles by combining a variety of exercises and rep schemes as well as mixing heavier weights with intensity.
...can be varied by adding in supersets, drop sets or focusing on negative resistance. The goal is to improve conditioning while maintaining and enhancing muscle size and shape and achieve muscle hypertrophy. Suggestions:
Don’t always do the same thing, try something completely different. For example, pick an exercise and a weight and tell your partner that you’re going to continue to perform set until you hit a total of a certain number of reps (50, 75, 100) You should always get sore from a workout, if you don’t then you need to change things up.
For the natural bodybuilder, gains are made in the off-season. Period! It’s unlikely for one to add muscle when they are in a caloric deficit preparing for a show. So if you don’t want to look the same as you did the last time you stepped onstage, then YOU BETTER TAKE YOUR OFFSEASON TRAINING SERIOUSLY!!!
What you do on a daily basis in the off-season is just as important as what you do in-season. I can’t understand competitors who don’t get serious about their diet or training until they decide to start prepping for a show. It’s too late then!
A true bodybuilder is always getting ready for the next show. The day after you’re done competing, if you’re a true competitor, then you’re already thinking about what you need to do in the off-season to get ready for the following year. EVERY DAY IS AN OPPORTUNITY THAT EXISTS ONLY ONCE AFTER WHICH AN ADVANTAGE IS EITHER GAINED OR LOST!
Are you letting your competitors gain an edge over you while you waste valuable opportunities to grow. Every workout, every day needs to be optimized!!! I don’t care if you’re next show is 2 years away. You don’t miss meals! You make sure you get adequate rest and recovery. You don’t compromise your body doing stupid things! And you TRAIN YOU ASS OFF like you’re next show is only 2 weeks away! This requires sacrifice and it requires you to have faith in the fact that your success in the future is reliant upon every little thing you do, every day leading up to that event over a very long stretch of time. You cannot measure the effects of your actions from day to day or even week to week. You can, however, recognize when someone has paid their dues in the off-season when they step onstage a year or two later. Likewise, you can tell who didn’t take their off-season seriously when they show up looking same as the year before.
Where do you stand?
You don’t grow when you’re in the gym. Your body responds to exercise as a stimulus to make in grow, but only if it’s provided with proper nutrition and ADEQUATE REST! So if your growth is stagnating, then maybe you need more days off in between workouts.
Every 6-8 weeks you should change your workout split or make some minor changes at least.
Work all muscles throughout their full range of motion with good form…unless you only want to develop half the muscle, then you should do a full range of motion on all exercises and cheating with form only cheat you of full muscular development. Put your ego aside, reduce the weight and perform the exercises the way they were meant to be.
is an important element of any workout program even if you’re just trying to put on size. Many guys think that cardio is the enemy in the off-season, because they think it’ll cause them to lose muscle. This is a fallacy. First of all in the off-season you should be taking in more than enough calories to spare muscle tissue. It is important to maintain good cardiovascular health, because your body’s ability to shuttle nutrients to the muscles during and after a workout as well as it’s ability to deliver oxygen are both dependent upon the integrity of your heart and lungs. If your heart and lungs, which are both conditioned to a large degree by aerobic exercise are not strong, then you are essentially creating a limiting factor to your growth.
When you are preparing for contest cardio is a necessity for 99% of competitive natural bodybuilders. There are very few (I know of a couple) bodybuilders who can reach extremely low bodyfat levels without performing any cardio. The rest of us need to do at least some. How much is determined by a number of variables. While cardio is necessary I suggest that you do not rely on it to get rid of the unwanted fat. Your diet should do the majority of the work and in addition to that your workouts should be extremely intense to help burn lots of calories. If you’re limiting your calories everyday, then save them as energy for your weight training … it’s more important that you get good workouts. Cardio should be used as a measure to help burn off the reserves your body has already stored … it should never take away from your weight training!
Now remember, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT! If you are more ectomorphic you can probably get away with brisk incline walking on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes 4-5 days a week or maybe even less. Too much cardio, especially intense cardio will cause you to lose the muscle you’ve worked so hard to put on. If you’re more endomorphic, you’re likely going to require more frequent intense cardio sessions in order deplete your glycogen stores to the point where the body is forced to tap its fat reserves. Bottom line: You need to learn your own body!