My one-year remote assignment is coming to an end, and I’m looking back on my training through the year and deciding what to do training-wise when I return stateside.
The theme I’ve found is that it is easy to go to excess, fail to get results, and try to point to how hard I tried; it’s harder yet more productive to use judgment and walk the middle road that gets results.
- You can only gain muscle so fast. You have to feed your gains, but too much excess goes to fat.
- You can only gain muscle so fast. Past a certain point, more stimulus just doesn’t get more results. It might even be counterproductive. This includes per session (no need to do 87 sets of curls on one day), and per week (no need to do arms every day).
I ran afoul of #1 over the winter pursuing my bodyweight goal I set last summer (170 lbs). While this was on the high side of realistic at first, a few setbacks and illnesses in the fall meant I wasn’t going to hit 170 lean. Instead I just overate over the winter and hit a fat 170. Lesson learned…I’m naturally skinny so cutting back down won’t be too painful. I’m disappointed, but I know I’ll get there eventually.
I’m not sure about the line on #2 though. These forums are full of people working so hard, but I have to wonder how many of us are still in the gym well past the point where it’s beneficial. A lot of people on these boards pride themselves on their hard work, and rightly so, but ultimately the effort is for naught if we fail to get results.
#1 is easy to judge…if you’re getting fat, eat a little less. But how do you all judge when you’re still getting bang for your buck from another rep, set, or session? How do you make intelligent choices about your training volume?