No matter what the experts tell you, bodybuilding is a trial-and-error process. While the stimulus for muscle growth is universal-intensity, or progressive overload-the ability to recover, leverage factors, neurological efficiency pain tolerance and fiber makeup are different
in each individual. In other words, everybody is generally the same, hut everybody's specifics are different. That makes a search for the so-called perfect routine mandatory and more often than not it's a never-ending journey. Even with all of these specific differences,
however, there are some universal mistakes that almost all bodybuilders make-deadly sins, if you will-and you should avoid them like the plague, They're deadly because many of them can cause progress to come to a screeching halt and force you out of the gym and onto the
couch, watching incredibly boring things like "Family Ties" reruns instead of working out, To put it bluntly, these mistakes can take you from being a vibrantly alive, muscular athlete to a slumped-over slab of dead meat.
Too much intensity
More than 25 all-out sets in any one workout will eventually cause you to burn out, unless you're getting some type of pharmaceutical help. Oh, sure, it won't happen right away, but your enthusiasm will eventually wane and you'll inadvertently overtrain,
be it after a few days or a few weeks. You have to corral your enthusiasm and he patient, or you'll blow it. Remember, muscle growth doesn't come in large chunks. Hit it hard, hit it fast and then get out of the gym.
Not enough recovery
Some bodybuilders train intensely six days a week with the seventh day reserved for aerobics, which they also do as a warmup prior to each of their six weekly weight workouts. The body can handle only so much of this day-in-and-day-out stress before it
hits exhaustion. If you're training intensely, get at least two-and preferably more-days of complete rest each week. Remember, your body is a system, and you can't work part of it without stressing the whole.
Pain and more paim
High-intensity training is the rage right now, but if you have a low pain tolerance, it simply won't work for you-and you'll loathe your workouts. If you fall into this low-pain-threshold category, do a few more sets per bodypart, but don't push any of
them to failure. Follow the Bill Pearl approach that he continues to preach in his "20 Months to a Champion Physique" series. True, this medium-intensity style may be a bit haphazard as far as stimulating growth and it may make each workout take longer, but many people enjoy this
type of training more than the high-intensity approach. On the other hand, if you benefit from training with all-out intensity, don't forget to back off every month or so in order to fend off staleness-not to mention insanity.
Same old routine
While changing routines may or may not have a positive physiological effect on muscle growth, it almost always has a positive mental effect. And the revved-up feeling you get from trying something new translates directly into additional muscle. This was the
inspiration behind the creation of IRON-MAN'S Mass-Training Tactics. In it there are 10 different muscle-building strategies and more than 20 complete routines. If you get tired of the squat- or deadlift-based full-body workouts, you can switch to a high-intensity preex split,
the Supersize Superset strategy or give combo training a go.
A lot of bodybuilders go to the gym and do whatever they feel like doing. Some may be able to benefit from that type of freestyle training-at least for a little while-but when it comes to the long haul, you need goals and feedback, That means you should
follow a set routine for at least four weeks and write everything down in a training log- poundages, sets and reps. Then if you want to "play" in the gym for a couple of weeks during your medium- intensity phase, go ahead. But do return to your set program again-preferably with a
number of exercise and / or technique changes. If you don't use a training log on a regular basis, you won't have rep totals to heat from workout to workout and you won't know if you're getting stronger or just spinning your wheels.