It’s happening. Your worst fears are being realized, and you’re about to hit a workout plateau. Stop! Before you try and pummel yourself to death with a shakeweight, spare me five minutes of your time.
I’ve compiled 6 of the most common gym setbacks, and explained how to overcome them. Put down the shakeweight, Bro. There’s hope for you yet.
You’re listening to too much broscience
The biggest guys in the gym aren’t always the brightest. I’ve known 250lbs amateur bodybuilders that couldn’t point to their biceps femoris (a hamstring muscle) at gunpoint, and thought that hypertrophy was the award for winning the Olympia.
These guys are big because of their awesome human pincushion impressions, and their regular $10k holidays down to sunny Mexico. What works for these guys won’t work for you – and if you want real advice, you need to talk to a personal trainer.
We bros are simple people. We get told that we need to train more often, and the next thing you know, we’re 64-hours into a 3-day workout session.
Training frequently is great, but rest days are just as important as working out. Avoid spending more than 90 minutes on your weight sessions, and try to schedule at least 1 exercise-free day each week.
You spend hours each day watching inspiring workout videos on Youtube, arranging your gym vests into neat piles, and filling Tupperware containers with chicken, rice and broccoli.
You live and breathe bodybuilding, but you’re not making progess. Why? Because you ‘ve forgotten to actually work out. Thinking about being swole isn’t enough, and you need to consistently hit the gym 3- 5 times a week.
You’re neglecting compound exercises
The bench press, squat, deadlift, row and shoulder press each recruit a ton of different muscles. They allow you to use heavy weight – perfect for maximizing muscle growth – and even trigger the release of muscle-building hormones throughout the body.
If you’re fixating on isolation exercises, you’re missing out a ton of opportunities for muscle growth, so build your sessions around compound exercises.
You’re trying to progress all of your lifts at the same rate
It’s much easier to add 5lbs to your deadlift each week than it is to add the same weight to your curling session. 5lbs is a 1% increase on a 500lbs deadlift, but it’s a huge 10% increase on 50lbs dumbbell curls.
Different exercises need to be progressed at different rates, so if you’re struggling to make consistent progress, try reducing the amount of weight you’re adding each session.
You got a girlfriend
Why do you workout? To improve your health? To increase your fitness? Maybe it’s a boost to self-confidence, or maybe you just enjoy the challenge?
NOPE. It’s to get girls. We all know that chicks dig a striated ass, and your bulging forearms veins are basically a roadmap to Pussytown, population: you.
If one of these chicks manages to tame you, and turns you into a boyfriend, that’s it – you’re done with the gym. If you’re serious about getting big and ripped, this means one thing only – you need to be forever alone. Dating girls is fine, but the only wife you’re ever gonna have weighs 400lbs and is made of cold, hard steel.
See you next time, bros,
Alex Nerney – CSCS, NESTA, ISSA
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