WP Remix
Ideas for Athletes & Coaches Preparing for Real Competition


A gym Building muscle and staying in shape go hand in hand when it comes to fitness. There are common misconceptions like: just purely lifting weights will enhance your muscles in a faster way - that can really hamper your success rate.

Throughout my earlier years in fitness training, I thought the more I worked out, the larger I would get and the faster I would grow. I would constantly do chest and arms, very confused as to why I wouldn’t see the gains of many other lifters in the gym.

I finally broke down and decided to teach myself by actually asking several other people around me. As time went on I learned from them how to build muscle properly and was shocked at the simplicity and variety of methodologies you need to apply to get the best results for muscle building. I have highlighted a few areas below that, I believe, made all the difference in my workout:

  • When you lift you are breaking down muscle fibers and your body responds to this by eventually healing, adapting and increasing your muscle.
  • The most important point between any 2 workouts, of the same muscle group, is the key to optimal growth. Remember, it is your recovery time, when your muscles are being repaired, that gives them the ability to get stronger and larger.
  • Working your muscles too much can actually set your progress back if you do not rest. Over-training is the number one reason many fitness enthusiasts do not see results.
  • It’s very easy to keep overworking the same muscles you want to be the strongest by continuously focusing on it, but listening to your body is the better policy. If it is sore in any way, it has not recovered yet and therefore you should not be working it out.

Remember, if you don’t exercise your muscle can’t grow, and it’s how much rest and recovery you applied to that body part after it has been worked that will give you the dramatic results that have been eluding you.

[Ed. - For a further perspective, including the idea of the 'minimum effective dose' of strength training, check out Tim Ferriss' new book The 4-Hour Body ]

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Category : Sport-General / Weight Training


Personal Training Phoenix August 25, 2011

Recovery is the hardest part to understand for most and that’s why some just don’t see results all that often.

Leo Isaac January 6, 2012

Accepting totally the principle that recovery is all important in improving sport performance, I would be interested to know what you think of my previous history as an Olympic Weightlifter, who competed at World Championships and Olympic Games.

After about 4 years of training, I began to train 10 sessions a week. In my 6th year of training, my training expanded further. There were many weeks where I trained 25 hours a week in 10-14 sessions per week. My volume of training often approached 200 tonnes per week. By this stage at a 73Kg bodyweight, I was able to AVERAGE half a tonne or more per set. For example, a set of 5 power cleans at 140Kg woiuld have been commonplace.

The point is that no-one knows what they can adapt to under extreme circumstances. Often it is the mind that prevents the athlete from exploring further.

Yes, I was very sore, very often, BUT when I tapered for major events, this went away and I was able to reach a high level e.g. clean and jerk at 180Kg at bodyweight of 75Kg.

Rules of how much training is beneficial do serve the average athlete well but when you are talking of high performance athletes, rule books tend to go out of the window.

DME-Direct January 19, 2013

People who are trying to build muscles will get impatient and over-train if they are not seeing the expected results. It is important for them to have a good understanding of the recovery cycle and learning effective tips for building muscles the right way. Thanks for sharing your workout tips.

Aston Moore April 5, 2013

Your advice about rest can never be said enough times. I remember when I was an active athlete, my coach would set training programmes without rest weeks or an unloading cycle. There would always come a time that my body would force me to rest. After I learnt about periodisation, my life as an athlete changed. So keep on saying what you are saying!

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