When it comes to any type of training: bodybuilding, power lifting, calisthenics or whatever it is you’re passionate about, there’s one simple rule you must follow:
In order to see change, you need to make change.
But what should you change?
Should you give up on calisthenics and try bodybuilding? Or power lifting? Or give up training all together because it’s obviously not working for you?
None of the above.
In fact, you’re at a crossroads for one of three reasons:
- You experience zero muscle discomfort in the days following the workout
- Every set you do has at least 10 repetitions
- Your workouts are fun and you look forward to them
Find your reason and do something different. Only then will you see change again.
Zero Muscle Discomfort Post Workout
This one is a little tricky because it can be for two reasons: nutrition and training. Make sure improper nutrition isn’t a factor before training harder.
I also need to clarify that muscle discomfort post workout doesn’t necessarily mean that your muscle will grow, the same way that the lack of it doesn’t mean they won’t grow.
That being said, if you actively avoided injury and emphasized good form in all your exercises, muscle soreness post workout is a good indicator of growth.
The degree of soreness may vary but some discomfort needs to be there simply because the muscle put under stress for a while. If today however, it feels the same way it did yesterday before the workout, chances are you’re not training hard enough.
Chase muscle soreness the same way you chase a pump and you’ll be fine.
You Can Easily Do 10 Repetitions Per Set
Even as a powerlifter, you’ll find yourself performing bodybuilding exercises and as a bodybuilder, powerlifting movements. Same goes for calisthenics.
Endurance training (going for repetitions) has its benefits everywhere.
But there’s a fine line between going for reps and challenging yourself. For example, if you can do 10 reps with 185 pounds on bench press then you most likely can do 8 reps with 200 pounds.
And guess which one will be more beneficial for you. The latter.
I know we’re all taught to chase the pump and go for reps but challenging yourself will always be the number one rule not only in training but in your life as well.
Moving new weight is the only way you’ll add on new muscle. It’s not enough to pick a weight you know you can do 10 reps with, you MUST struggle as well.
But remember, weight and struggle don’t correlate. If you’ve ever done a drop set until you could barely move, you know what I’m talking about.
Find the line between going for reps and challenging yourself and follow it.
Your Workouts Are Fun And Enjoyable
I need to be honest with you guys, the 60 minutes I spend in the gym, are NOT fun.
Neither are they enjoyable nor do I look forward to them. I know that may sounds a little over the top and it may be because I’m super competitive but the bottom line is, you can’t expect growth if you treat the gym like a classroom.
You need to focus on the task at hand, which is making your muscles uncomfortable.
The athletes that can zone out all distractions and focus completely on the workout will accomplish more than those who can’t regardless if they’re lifting the same weight.
Call it magic or superstition, it’s the truth. Mind-muscle connection exists and it’s just as important as nutrition or intensive training.
The more you sacrifice in the gym, the greater the reward outside the gym.
Whatever the reason for your speed bump, there’s always a fix.
Remember, our bodies are perfect machines. If something is wrong, it’s because we made a mistake somewhere and my goal is to limit those mistakes.
Train harder and remember, loving your life is easier when you love your body.
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