1. Do the same training as your friend
If your friend would jump off a bridge, would you follow him? I’m sure you have heard that one before. Although your friend is in shape, it doesn’t mean that if you do the same program, you’ll get the same results. If your friend has broad shoulders and narrow hips, it will give him a great V-shape look. But if you look the same, only upside down, you would be better off doing your own stuff and focus on the task at hand, meaning, losing that belly fat. Did it ever occur to you that your friend is maybe getting screwed with his workout? Maybe his trainer sucks? So if you want to pay for others mistakes, go ahead. Why don’t you do yourself a favour, get the proper evaluation done and get your own goals.
2. Do the same training as your favourite bodybuilder
I have met Ronnie Coleman once and he’s a huge motherbuilder. I’ve also seen him train and lift huge amounts of weights. He lifts more in a workout then some would lift in a year. With that being said, the life of a pro bodybuilder is much more different than ours. Even if they take some special cereals, they still have to train harder than anybody else. However, most pro’s are sponsored by supplement companies and the best of them even get paid for competing and sporting specific supplement brands so it makes the financial life easier. They get paid to train and to show it off, unlike your forty hours workweek and family waiting for you at home. Most pro’s don’t even do what they say in the magazines. They always boost it up to make it look like they train for hours with endless energy. Looks good on paper, but will smash your adrenals in a matter of weeks.
3. Do partials…all the time
Speaking of adrenals, partials will help you use a heavier weight which is fine by me. But overdoing it will tax your nervous system, tendons and ligaments which makes you prone to injuries. Use it to get pass your sticking points, but change it often, never underestimate the power of partials. Clusters are also great alternatives to increase power; however, only focusing on power will lead to overtraining or some kind of overuse injuries.
4. Do crossfit
Crossfit could be good only if it was done properly. Using Olympic lifts for endless reps defeats the purpose of doing O-lifts. This lifting style is used to pull maximal weights as efficiently as possible. Of course, perfect technique is required to lift this amount of weight which is achieved by years of practice. The problem with crossfit advocates is that they use light weights and perform a given amount of reps for time, and that’s when techniques gets thrown out the window. What are the most common injuries of crossfitters? Low back pain, neck pains, shoulder stiffness, if not tendonitis, and the list goes on. I’m not bashing the ‘’crossfit way’’, I’m just telling it as it is. I really don’t care if your trademark is to make people puke, or that you name your workouts with woman’s name, I think you can promote a style with a much better approach than throwing up will make you lose fat, because in the end, they look very proud of you when you throw up after a workout. There is much better way to lose weight than emptying out the content of your stomach. And If ever I was going to do your upper body structural balance, please do not mix ‘’kipping pull-ups’’ with regular pull-ups. It always amazes me when someone can do 20 repetitions of kipping pull-ups but can’t do 5 regular pull-ups under strict and controlled tempo.
5. Take care of injuries….later
That’s it champion, let it go worst. Anyway, that knee injury will get better since you do legs every full moon. Maybe that shoulder pinching feeling will disappear by itself and self heal. But then don’t wonder why your elbow starts to hurt or maybe your neck. The funny thing about injuries is that if left untreated, Mother Nature has made it easy on us and will use a very simple principle called compensation. For example, Gino is bench pressing every time he goes to the gym and one day, he overdoes it. Shoulder starts pinching, and starts seeing his poundage’s go down. Since Gino pees standing up, a little pain in his shoulder won’t stop him. As the months go by, his subscapularis and trap starts to shorten (tighten) and his elbow seems to shift every time he presses. Compensation took place and the elbow took the beating to protect the shoulder. Now he is stuck with two problems. My best advice is that when an injury or pain is present, do not wait. Look into it or it will bring other muscular and nerve dysfunction. There are many techniques and alternatives available to treat small injuries. Look for someone that will not only look at the actual injury, but someone that can look into some possible muscular compensation and structural shifts. Active release and the trigenics method are amazing techniques when there is some muscular and nerve dysfunction. Don’t let your injuries get worse; it will always give you some other problems in the long run.
6. Eat crap…hey! You train hard, you earned it right?
This is one of the most frequent and worst belief in people who train or that are physically active. They think that exercising gives them the right to eat whatever they want. Slim, physically active or not, I don’t care who you are but eating junk has not the same effect on your body as eating quality foods, period. Even if you are genetic freak, it will catch up to you later on. I have nothing against cheating, it could even get you closer to your dream goal if you use it properly, but there is a limit. Your body needs the right kinds of nutrients for multiple functions such as muscle and cell regeneration. Eating junk all the time (even a little bit every day) will only set you back, more so if you train hard. In my eyes, training to burn off the excess calories is just a lame excuse of those who can’t take care of their body the way nature had planned it, before man made food came into play.
7. Skip the warm-up…it’s for sissy’s
I love to see those big dumdum’s come in the gym and start with a benchpress of 225 pounds without any warmup, like if they are superman. What’s funny is that some two or three months later, I see them use that weight for their one repetition max. Go read point number 5 bubba. Rule of thumb, always use half the weight of your working set in your last workout. Example; you worked up to 225 the last time for reps of 6, use 100 pounds (or 112.5 for the O.C.D.’s aka Obsessive Calculative Disorder) for 6 reps as a warmup. The more years of training you have under your belt, add a warmup set of 25% of your working set. So a set of 50 pounds, a set of 100 pounds and then move on to maybe 200 and so on. Remember, you are the only one you should impress; the other guys (or girls) don’t give a flying puck about you.
8. Train what you can see
What are the most neglected muscles of regular trainees? Back, mid and lower trapezius (trap 2 and 3), calves, hamstrings, lumbar and rotator cuffs. Why do most people omit to put as much emphasis on those muscles as they would with Chest or Arms for example? Because you don’t feel them as much and they are just boring to work on. If you work on them and feel some kind of pain, or limited range of motion, I’m sorry to say that it is your own fault. All those years spent working on your chest and arms out worked the upper back muscles and rotator cuffs. This is what we call structural balance. If you want to be more specific, after years of cumulative data, Charles Poliquin came up with strength ratios one should respect if interested in optimal performance. These data were cumulated from ordinary people to elite athletes, and I can attest that after testing all kinds of athletes and regular Joe’s, Charles is right on the target. For example, if you have a close grip tricep benchpress of 360 lbs, you should be able to execute the external rotation on knee with 35 lbs for 8 reps, or at least be able to do 313 lbs on the supinated grip chin ups (your body weight included). Up until now, I have rarely came across someone that did respect the ratios, so do your homework, train properly or get yourself a PICP trainer.
N.B. There is no perfect program. I can’t possibly put all muscle groups in one program. This is where periodization is the key. Do a specialization program for rotator cuffs for a month or two and then just maintain in your subsequent programs. If you need to build up your relative strength, just alternate it with some hypertrophy work. Those are just simple examples but there is endless possibilities when it comes to program permutations, so don’t focus on doing everything at once, this is why goals are important, long term and short terms. So next time you ask your trainer for a program and he tells you that your scapular chain is weak, listen. Your chest can wait. This leads me to my next point.
9. Your trainer listens to you
I’m not saying that it is a bad thing, I mean; he’s (or she) is doing their job, but it is most often than not the solution. You will always ask your trainer (or everybody) to give you exercises that you like or that you are good at, but never one that you suck at. One thing that I have learned after all those years listening to clients is that you must give them what they need, not what they want.
10. You don’t want to push harder or use heavier weights because…WHAT??Who the hell doesn’t want to look like they train, that they are physically active? Do you really think you will gain muscle mass that fast? The only thing that it tells me is that you don’t want to train hard, that you are one hell of a procrastinator. You want to look like ‘’the new’’ Conan the Veganbarian? Heck, he only trained for a month and ate a whole lotta boiled chicken breast…like that’s going to make a Conan out of you. Train hard or go home.