Every day people ask me what angle they should set the incline bench to, should they do hill sprints or sled sprints, whether they should wait two hours or two and half hours between meals, if they should do six reps or eight reps on dumbbell presses, if they should rest between arms when doing 1 arm rows or do both arms and then rest.
It’s all way too much thinking and over analyzing. Stop stressing yourself out over all the minute details that make very little difference in the big picture.
The majority of people who fail to gain any appreciable amounts of size and strength do so because they over think, over analyze and bang away on the keyboard more than they actually eat, sleep and train.
Simplify it all and your results will come much faster. Not to mention the fact that your life will be a lot less stressful.
Muscles get bigger when you apply a stress they are not used to and then feed them properly and allow them adequate time to recover.
How much stress is enough? A lot less than most people think. Muscle growth can be stimulated in just a few hard sets.
Your goal is not to get the most massive pump possible. Skinny guys tend to chase the pump during their workouts. It’s one of the reasons why they remain skinny. Doing an extra three sets of curls because it temporarily makes your arms a half an inch bigger is a waste of time. It does nothing to contribute to real muscle growth. The pump is just a rush of blood in the muscles. It’s not real, lasting size. So don’t obsess over it.
The easiest way to stimulate growth is by lifting heavier weights or doing more reps with the same weight (up to a point). Anything over twelve reps on most exercises will be a waste of time for most people. Hardgainers are better off sticking with ten and under. Advanced guys can get away with higher reps, occasionally; especially on lower body exercises.
So your goal is to beat your training journal every week. It helps to have a training partner and to try to beat him as well. The more motivation the better. Just get stronger, no matter what it takes. Do this three or four days per week and don’t spend more than an hour in the gym.
If your numbers are going up you know you are recovering properly and that your training is on point. But the scale needs to go up too. So make sure you are eating enough to make that happen. You can do that on the Paleo Diet, the Zone Diet, a vegetarian diet or whatever works for you. When all is said and done the most important thing is that you eat clean, organic food and get the necessary calories required to make the numbers on the scale go up.
You don’t want to get fat in the process, so the majority of you (except the genetic freaks whom we all envy yet secretlydespise) will need some type of cardio or conditioning to keep body fat levels in check. By far and away the number one choice here would be some type of sprinting. Do this once or twice per week. And get really good at jumping rope.
Now stop thinking and start growing.