[Picture of an old, experienced T-Nation brother always helpful motivation… awesome.]
Thought it would be interesting for people to quote the biggest, most experienced guys here on T-Nation and why you thought that piece of information was so important to you and how it helped or what it made you realise.
The usual guys apply like C_C, Professor X, WaylanderXX, MODOK, but try and also think of the guys that may have done things well and produced great results in terms of what they look like aesthetically not just size wise ie. The Mighty Stu, New Damage etc.
After all these years, and all the trial, error, success, and failure, I believe I have condensed my belief on muscle gain all the way down to two pillars. Two variables that are critical to gaining muscle at the fastest rate possible. They are #1 Progression and #2 Frequency. I think, due in large part to popular training systems going today which focus on progression, that people are getting that part. Frequency has been put on a back burner and not talked about too awefully much, but I believe it is a powerful tool that can be manipulated to produce some tremendous gains. Let me explain:
When frequency comes up, the governor on it is always “recovery”. You are told that you simply must recover between sessions or you will “overtrain”. We also know and should be following the premise that “if you are getting stronger session to session, you are recovering.” Makes sense. So, if you are getting stronger, yet you are not completely “recovered” before that session (meaning you are till sore/tired before you begin), yet you still walk in and do more weight or reps…does that mean you are recovered? I believe so, and haven’t found a frequency that I couldn’t consistently get stronger with…even three times a week, provided you obey certain rules.
Think about it this way…let me give an example from my log book. Four years ago, I was on an upper lower split training twice a week/bodypart. I’d train Chest with two pressing movements Incline and flat, back would be a row and a vertical pull and afterword would do an overhead press and finish up with a bi and a tri. I trained hard on this plan, always progressed, and made some pretty darn good progress on the physique. Out of necessity, I had to split the upper body into two days. I kept the same exercises, same sets and reps, but moved shoulders, bis, tris to a seperate day from back and chest. I still trained each bodypart twice weekly, with the same sets, but now I was training 6 days a week. What happened? All of my poundages exploded of course. I was now using anywhere from 25-40% more weight on each of the movements that I was doing later in the upper body split now training them on a separate day. I continued to progress on the weight, and I gained about 10 pounds of bodyweight over a few months. So,
What is better, to train more frequently, but use the same number of sets and reps as you do training less frequently, which allows you to lift much more weight, or keep the sessions together, with more volume, more time for recovery, but by necessity using considerably less weight? Clearly it seems the more frequent training is better.
I believe it comes down to this: there is a maximum amount of training stress you can handle per unit of time. Call this unit of time a week. If you can maximally tolerate 12 sets per week, how are the sets best spent? One session of 12 sets- 4 incline, 4 flat, 4 decline bench, Two sessions of 6 sets- One day 6 sets of flat, the next 3 sets of incline, 3 of decline, or perhaps 3 sessions of 4 sets, one day flat, one incline, one decline? If you take it on out, I wonder what would happen if you did six sessions of only two sets each? I have never been crazy enough to try that…just something interesting to think about. [/quote]
Interesting thoughts on training frequency and the benefits of using it to get stronger, faster, so long as youve recovered. Why wait till the next week to hammer your muscle when it was already recovered 3 days before that?
[quote]Professor X wrote:
I’ve trained a lot of ways. My first real routine was from a box of Cybergenics. This current “try to find the one true way to workout” fad is a fallacy. There is no one true way to train that produces the best results because your body is adaptive. That means, what works for you right now, may not work the best for you when you gain another 10lbs of muscle. The one thing that has worked is balancing strength with form. I train to get stronger. Due to that and my diet, I also get bigger. Because you can’t simply get stronger forever, there have to be periods where your focus is more on form. One of the best ways to do this is to move up to a weight that you can only get maybe 3 times at the most. Continue working on form until you can get that same weight up for about 8 times and then move up again. There is nothing wrong with some cheating.
Some of the best advice you will ever get is to train with someone much stronger and more developed than you. Even if they aren’t the most educated, you can learn something from anyone with more experience than you…PhD or not.[/quote]
Like X usually is, straight, simple and to the point. Recently ive started training with someone who outweighs me by 20lbs (could have been 40lbs had he not decided to cut) and ive had some of the best workouts ive ever, in addition to new training ideas and the notion of keeping things simple and not being caught up in excess information.
Feel free to add. The more information, the more everyone learns.