I've often said that no one ever built a muscle in the gym, I stand by that to this day. Sounds weird I know, but technically, it's true. Building muscle is done AFTER the workout. Pumping Iron breaks DOWN muscle.
Unfortunately, this concept didn’t gain popularity until the early to mid 90’s. When I was coming up, all the emphasis was put on training, lifting bigger weights and training body parts 2 times a week, unless there was a lagging muscle group…then you trained it MORE.
Pumping UP meant just that…making the muscle bigger, right? Well, yes and no. Mostly no. Yes, you do engorge the muscle with blood as you train, giving one the much sought after "pump”. While it feels great ( just ask Arnold HOW great…) it's temporary. You haven’t built anything, you actually broken it down.
If lifting weights with the same muscles every day made you bigger, every Bricklayer in the world would have 22 inch guns. Long distance runners would be sporting 30 inch thighs Pro Bodybuilders would be jealous of. Sprinters by comparison, have much bigger legs. Short bursts of energy, over and over…much like reps. Catching on yet?
Recovery is the key to building muscle. In the absence of recovery, the body will adapt to the workload. This would normally be the time I would put the shameless plug for our NEW Post workout formula! Problem is…we don’t have one yet :) I know, were working on it as we speak…We started with the Pre-workout MAXXPOWER, next up will be the Post-workout, promise.
I went over the Pre-workout stuff last blog. There are a few tricks you can add to taking our Pre-workout formula 20 minutes before training.
- Eat far enough out from training so you're not full when you're training, it ain't helping you as the nutrients will take much longer to be digested and absorbed.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the DAY. I emphasize the word DAY because drinking a lot just before you train will not do much either.
- Leave your phone in your gym bag. There is no App to get you bigger
Anyways, back to Recovery. Its a 3 part system. Food/ Sleep/ Rest, and no, sleep and rest are NOT the same thing.
FOOD: is essential. You need to feed the machine. Bigger motors need more fuel. Cleaner the better, Pizza on Sundays!
SLEEP: is when ALL the building takes place. Lack of proper sleep will insure you don’t get anywhere near the re-building youre looking for. Doesn’t matter how much you trained like an animal.
REST: As in, REST the muscles you just obliterated in the gym. Training any body part more than once every 6 to 7 days will result in diminishing returns. Biggest mistake we made in the old days, was training BP twice a week. You would train Chest on Monday, and still be sore to the touch when you were supposed to train it again Thursday! Overkill.
I had lots of training partners over the years, I can honestly say I NEVER saw anyone of them bring up a lagging body part by training it more often. NOT ONE TIME.
*Photos courtesy of Flex Magazine.