Gain More Muscle By Training Less Often

One common mistake that novices make when starting to workout is over exercising.

You wouldn’t think this is possible if you are trying to add weight to a skinny frame.

The problem is that unless you allow for plenty of rest between sessions your muscles never have a chance to grow.

Some people think that lifting every other day gives enough rest to their muscles.  While this can be true once in a seven day stretch you ultimately need to budget more recovery time.

If you are training hard enough then it will take more time for your body to recover.  The most efficient training schedule includes three hardcore workouts per week.

Sean Nalewanyj has been coaching beginners to reach their muscle building goals for many years.  His is the mastermind behindThe Truth About Building Muscle.  In this article, he breaks down the theory of “less is more” when it comes to lifting.

Gain More Muscle By Training Less Often

The more work you put into something, the better results you will achieve. This has always been a widely accepted truth that applies to most areas in life.

The harder you study, the better grades you will achieve. The more time you spend fine-tuning your athletic skills, the better athlete you will become. The longer you spend learning to play an instrument, the better musician you will become.

Therefore, it only makes sense that the more time you spend in the gym, the stronger and more muscular your physique will become, correct?

Contrary to what you might think, the answer to this question is a gigantic, definite, absolute no! It is in this area of bodybuilding that conventional wisdom goes straight out the window, down the street and around the corner.

I know what you might be asking yourself…

“What? Spending less time in the gym will actually make me bigger and stronger?”

The answer is yes! It really will, and when we examine the muscle-growth process from its most basic roots, it becomes quite clear why this is the case.

Every single process that occurs within the human body is centered around keeping you alive and healthy. Through thousands of years of evolution the human body has become quite a fine-tuned organism that can adapt well to the specific conditions that are placed upon it.

We become uncomfortable when we are hungry or thirsty, we acquire a suntan when high amounts of UV rays are present, we build calluses to protect our skin, etc.

So what happens when we break down muscle tissue in the gym?

If you answered something to the effect of “the muscles get bigger and stronger”, then congratulations! You are absolutely correct. By battling against resistance beyond the muscle’s present capacity we have posed a threat to the musculature.

The body recognizes this as potentially harmful and as a natural adaptive response the muscles will hypertrophy (increase in size) to protect the body against this threat.

As we consistently increase the workload from week to week the body will continue to adapt and grow.

Sound Simple?

Ultimately it is, but the most important thing to realize in relation to all of this is that the muscles can only grow bigger and stronger if they are provided with sufficient recovery time. Without the proper recovery time, the muscle growth process simply cannot take place.

Your goal in the gym should be to train with the minimum amount of volume needed to yield an adaptive response. Once you have pushed your muscles beyond their present capacity and have triggered your thousand-year-old evolutionary alarm system, you have done your job. Any further stress to the body will simply increase your recovery time.

Most people train way too often and with far more sets than they really need to. High intensity weight training is much more stressful to the body than most people think. The majority of people structure their workout programs in a manner that actually hinders their gains and prevents them from making the progress that they deserve.

3 Basic Guidelines That You Should Follow

  1. Train no more than 3 days per week.
  2. Do not let your workouts last for longer then 1 hour.
  3. Perform 5-7 sets for large muscle groups (chest, back, thighs) and 2-4 sets for smaller muscle groups (shoulders, biceps, triceps, calves, abs).

Take all sets to the point of muscular failure and focus on progressing in either weight or reps each week. If you truly train hard and are consistent, training more often or any longer than this will be counterproductive to your gains.

To learn how to combine all of these principles into an effective step-by-step routine, click the link below and visit my website for details. You can gain instant access to my renowned “26-Week Workout Plan” as well as a full printable logbook that you can take to the gym with you…

Sean NalewanyjAbout The Author

Once an awkward, pencil-necked “social reject”, Sean Nalewanyj is now a renowned bodybuilding expert, fitness author, and creator of the most celebrated natural bodybuilding program online today: “The Muscle Gain Truth No-Fail System”.

If you can spare just 24 minutes a day, then you too can build a powerful new head-turning body that will skyrocket your confidence, drive gorgeous women crazy, and leave your friends, family and co-workers staring in disbelief… ALL in just a matter of months: 

2 Different Weight Training Approaches

workout-approachesThe most effective way to build muscle and gain weight is to follow a planned approach to weight training.

You just can’t expect to walk into the gym, do some random lifting exercises and be done for the day.

You have to have a daily plan that targets specific muscles and progressively builds resistance.

The most popular approaches to weight training are High Intensity Training and Periodization Training. Using either of these philosophies guarantees that you will stay on track with your goals. Here is a breakdown of each approach and their benefits and drawbacks.

High Intensity Training (HIT)

The HIT disciple focuses on building muscle through three high energy workouts per week. Each workout covers all of the major muscle groups and the goal is to work each muscle to the failure point.

High Intensity Training calls for one set of 8 to 12 reps f\or each exercise. In order to maximize the benefits you should chose a resistance that you can repeat up to 12 times just before your muscle gives in. Since it is high intensity, there should only be short breaks before moving on to the next exercise. By the time you are finished you should feel absolutely exhausted. If you do it right you will be entirely too sore to workout for one to two days.

The HIT program can build muscle mass incredibly quickly when it is executed properly. You should approach each workout with adrenaline and passion. Remember that the goal is to exercise to the point of exhaustion. If you leave anything on the table then you are missing the point.

Periodization Programs

Think of periodization training like climbing a mountain. You begin by working with lighter weights, then progress to medium weights, and finish with your maximum threshold. Each stage last about three weeks before moving on to the next. When you begin the second cycle you increase the minimum resistance at each stage.

Weight Training DisciplinesPeriodization training is based on making cumulative long term gains instead across a full cycle, as opposed to each individual workout like the HIT program. Each stage of a cycle involves changing exercises and repetitions to renew the challenge for your body.

This can be a very effective training program, but like anything else you have to focus on execution. Periodization requires more tracking than the HIT philosophy but it also targets more muscle groups. Many experts would argue that it is the most complete approach to body building.

Which Approach is the Best?

Weight training is as much about preference as it is about science. The bottom line is that you should choose a program that best suits your tolerance and physical capacities. Motivation can be hard to muster when you are exercising all the time, and if you don’t believe in a program then you are much more likely to fail. Thus, trying both approaches before choosing one might be a good idea.

Most beginners prefer High Intensity Training because it easier to understand and it produces visible results faster. Instead of worrying about a complex formula of exercises you can focus all of your energy on high impact workouts. HIT programs also require less days at the gym, which is good for people who are still adjusting to a workout program.