Monday, October 30, 2006

Throw Your Workout Program Out The Window

Got your workout routine in front of you?

Good. Now throw it out the window. Well, maybe not literally, but here's what I mean.

It's not THAT important to follow a workout program too strictly. It's more important to go on how you feel instead. Learning to gauge your body and its recovery time is one of the fastest ways to prevent overtraining and to boost your strength and muscle gains.

By adhering too strictly to a workout routine, you don't take into consideration the day-to-day demands that are placed on your body. And that can lead to drastic overtraining.

If you find yourself more tired than usual, chances are, you haven't recovered from your last workout. You need to track how you feel, day to day, before stepping back into the gym. If you workout when you're too tired or too sore, you're not going to use max intensity or be able to lift max weight.

You're better off resting another day. Any time you train without max intensity or weight, you're wasting time and energy.

You want to try and give yourself 2 full days of rest each week to ensure recovery, but some weeks, you may need more. Again, go on how you feel.

One of the best ways to keep making gains and avoid overtraining is to train only when you're 100%. I know one school of thought is "no pain, no gain", but that's just B.S.

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you feeling more tired and sluggish, in or out of the gym?

Do you find yourself not looking forward to your workouts now?

Are you more sore than usual?

Are the weights you're lifting not going up? Are they staying about the same?

If you answered "Yes" to 2 or more of these, chances are, you're on the verge of overtraining or could be overtraining now. And always remember, if you're overtraining, you're not going to build muscle.

This is why it's important to train when you feel best, not just because your routine tells you it's time to be in the gym.

I've been going with this "train as you go" philosophy for the past couple of years and I've made more strength and muscle gains than I have in the past 10 previous years combined.

Some weeks, I only train twice per week, other times I train 3 or 4 times per week. But the point is, I train only when I feel absolutely at my best. When I feel I can go in there and have a tremendous workout and lift max weight with max intensity.

Stop following your workout routine and start following your body. You're working out to feel good, not to feel sore and tired all the time. You're also working out for results... mainly to build muscle, lose fat, gain strength and energy.

You need to learn that gaining muscle is not an exact art. It's simply overloading the muscles, feeding them properly, and then allowing them to rest, recover, and grow.

If any of those 3 important areas are compromised, results will be limited.

Think of it this way: Say you want a nice tan, so you look good at your friends' wedding.

So, you make appointments at the salon to tan on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Now, say that you burn badly on Monday, for whatever reason. Maybe you're so fair skinned that even just 10 minutes in the booth was too much.

Are you going to go tanning again on Wednesday, when you're still burned, even though you have an appointment? Of course not. That would further burn and damager your skin.

You'd wait until you're fully healed before going back in the booth.

Well, the same thing should be done when weight training. You need to be fully healed before weight lifting again or else you're just going to cause more harm than good.

So, make sure you start going on how you feel, and not just a set schedule. If you are training too much, too often, building muscle mass will be nearly impossible.

This is just one of the things we'll be covering this Tuesday, the 29th, on my "How To Gain Maximum Muscle In Minimum Time" call...

If you're interested in learning how to build the most muscle possible in the least amount of time, you'll want to join me on this call...

Does Sun Tanning Help To Build Muscle

In a word... no!

Getting a sun tan will NOT help you build muscle mass.But the process of getting a tan is similar to one of gaining muscle.

That's why I use the "sun tanning" analogy when explaining to clients why it's important not to overtrain.
Here's what I mean...

If you're looking to build lean muscle, I want you to first work on getting a tan. (Although that may be tough for us living here in the frigid northeast!)

I can see it now, people are going to line up at their local tanning salon, telling the clerk they need to start building some muscle.

Well, let me save you from stares of confusion from the salon owners.

The Truth

The cause and effect relationship between the sun and tanning illustrates a point I want to make about working out too much.

I must get 3 or 4 emails each day from people wanting to know why they're not building muscle as fast as they'd like to. They tell me they're working each muscle group as often as possible.

Well, the thing is, there's no law that says if you double your lifting time, you double your results. Usually, if you double the amount of time you lift, you actually lessen your results.

It's because weight lifting is closer to the "Less is More" theory than the "More Is Better" one. So I want to show you how getting a tan explains why you do not want to train a muscle group more than once a week.

** Side Note**

I spend a lot of time in my "Simple Steps To Get Huge And Shredded" program explaining the concept of too much training.

It's that important. You need to know exactly how often to train. Too much or too little will produce negative results. So in my "Simple Steps" program, I show clients exactly how much training is required to get the desired benefits.

For more on that program....

** End Side Note**

Getting a sun tan is a cause and effect relationship. The sun is the cause and the tan is the effect. In other words, the sun is the stimulus and the tan is the result.

When you get a tan, what is actually happening is your melanocytes are producing melanin pigment in reaction to ultraviolet light in sunlight. Ultraviolet light stimulates melanin production.

The pigment has the effect of absorbing the UV radiation in sunlight, so it protects the cells from UV damage. You have to expose yourself to UV for a short period of time to activate the melanocytes. By repeating this process over 5 to 7 days pigment builds up in your cells to a level that is protective.

What If I Get Too Much Sun?

What happens when you get too much sun?

That's right, you get a burn, something you do not want to happen. Too much of the stimulus leads to a negative result. So the key is to find the right amount of sun for the desired effect. Too little sun results in no tan and too much sun results in a burn.

How Does This Relate To Building Muscle?

Muscle growth happens by overloading a muscle with heavy weight and then allowing it to rest and recuperate. In this case, the lifting of heavy weight is the stimulus and, if the environment is properly set up, the result is lean muscle growth. The proper "environment" for muscle growth is rest and proper nutrition (high protein, moderate carbs, plenty of water).

If you train a muscle group (biceps, triceps, etc) more than once each week, it doesn't get a chance to recover. And as a result, it will not grow or become stronger.

It's like going back out in the sun for too long. Overexposure to the sun leads to a burn. Overexposure to lifting leads to overtraining. When overtraining occurs, muscle and strength gains come to a screeching halt.

So to maximize muscle growth, you need to train each muscle group only once a week. Too much weight training (stimulus) will produce negative results.

If you don't allow your muscles to rest, recover, and get ready for the next workout, you're doing the same thing as if you went back out into the sun for too long. Too much of a stimulus can produce negative results. Just the same as too little of something.

There's a fine line you have to walk when it comes to both tanning and training to build muscle. More of each will not produce the best results.

It takes experience and tracking your results to learn how long and how often to train in order to get the best results possible.

If you want to speed up your results by skipping the learning curve, check out my "Simple Steps To Get Huge And Shredded" training program I mentioned above:

It's a step-by-step, "what-to-do and exactly how-to-do-it" system that's literally a roadmap... a blueprint... a muscle-building formula you can use as a shortcut.

So if you want to start building muscle a lot faster, check out "Simple Steps". Oh yeah, and start working on your tan ;-)