Bodybuilding & Weight Training Gains: How Long Before I See Results?


Don't Be Fooled by Un-Realistic Results in the Gym

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People who begin working out have inquiring minds. People who change programs have inquiring minds. The question first and foremost in those inquiring minds is, How long will it take before I see some results from all this work?

Though they have the same question, people's expectations differ greatly. Some are ridiculously happy when they see gains after a year of training. Others get delirious if their gains take six months. Some folks are actually (and illogically) happy with no gains at all!

Oh, you doubt there's anyone like that? Just check the number of people at any gym who will tell you, "I just want to get in shape. I don't want to get big." They say that because it's an excuse to 1) look the way they do, and 2) not work very hard. They sniff and whine about how "gross" bodybuilders look too, I don't want to look like that." Nonsense! They're lazy, and they're freaking liars! It's all sour grapes, baby!

You should never - I said never - accept mediocre gains from your training. You should want quick and continuous results. You're reading weight training articles at fitFLEX, so I know you want maximum gains. None of us are happy with mediocrity in any way, shape or form. Let's talk about how to avoid it.

It takes the human body about three weeks to adapt to a certain type of training. If you don't change things around at least every three weeks, then, Buster, get in s line with all the other no-gainers. Keep up the same routine, and your body just ain't gonna change.

If you're weight training for more than 45 minutes at a stretch, you, too, are headed for the no-gainers line.

I'm pointing out these two variables in particular because they're critical. You must manipulate these factors properly for optimal gains in size, strength and definition.

Don't Fall for Stupidity, Ignorance or Misinformation

Though it would seem simple to get a grasp on these two variables, they're probably the most abused and disregarded tenets of bodybuilding. Why? There are several reasons: 1) sheer stupidity, 2) lack of knowledge (ignorance and stupidity, though they often go hand in hand, are not the same thing), and 3) misinformation. Regarding the last, don't believe everything you hear about training. Some of the people sharing "secrets" belong in categories 1 and 2; that is, they're stupid and/or ignorant.

So pay close attention, if you want to start making the real gains you deserve, remember the greatest fact in the game: Your body is always trying to stay ahead of you by adapting to its environment. Evolution and/or God's hand designed it with this power in order to make our lives easier, but it also makes things harder for the bodybuilder. Fortunately, we have discovered ways around this roadblock.

A Basic Routine ... With Changes

First, you need to identify what you want out of your training. Do you want to be a bodybuilder with maximum size and awesome cuts? Do you want to be a power lifter who can muscle up humongous iron plates? Are you looking for the explosive power and speed necessary in so many sports? That's the destination; now for the route.

Set up a routine that's basic in nature; that is, it contains basic movements like squats, bench presses, chins, rows, military presses and curls. Your repetition parameters must match your goals. After three weeks change your program. In most cases different exercise selection will create a new environment that the body will have to adapt to. Sometimes the changes can be deceptively simple. Different angles-for example, switching from a flat bench to an incline bench for presses-will help confuse the body. So will changing grips or foot positions.

If your training is on target, you should see some sort of result or change in your body about every three weeks. If you're not, pay closer attention to detail. Are you squeezing every set for all it's worth? Are you manipulating loads to stay within the recommended rep parameters? Are you giving priority to compound exercises? Is your diet holding you back? Are you putting too much energy into aerobics?

Check your notebook and figure out where the problem lies. Champion bodybuilders are always adept at spotting problems in a program and fixing them.

The Testosterone Window

What do I mean by not training for more than 45 minutes at a stretch? Doesn't more equal better when it comes to weightlifting? Well, more may be better in Olympic events, but it's just the opposite for Olympia events. In case some of you have tuned in late, workouts of more than 45 minutes are a waste of precious time and energy, time and energy your body needs for recuperation and growth.

Here's why long training sessions don't work. After about 45 minutes 80 percent of your body's natural testosterone has been secreted. It's going, going, gone. From that point on you're moving into the overtraining zone. Sometimes we call it the "muscle- wasting zone." I'm very surprised when I hear how many guys are still out there training two or three hours at a time. Give it a rest!

Bullcrap Is Not a Muscle Fertilizer

Of course, people are always asking me, "How can you get your training done in just 45 minutes?" Well, I watch a lot of these long-session guys train, and, to be blunt, they talk more than they train. Or they sit around on the benches gazing off into space and wishing they were finished. Their workouts are like the last two minutes of an NBA playoff game-43 minutes of time-outs and commercials and two minutes of actual action.

It's nice to be sociable in the gym, but don't get carried away. Bullcrap may be a fine fertilizer for growing plants, but it sure doesn't work on growing muscles. The never-ending quest for serious growth requires serious focus during workouts.

Cutting down on the B.S. is one thing you can do to shorten workouts. Another thing is to train two or three bodyparts at one time. Also, keep close track of how long your rest periods are between sets and exercises. Teach yourself to stay on task. The more quality training you can cram into that three-quarters of an hour, the more gains you'll make. Your exercises will have greater effect and your rest periods will be more efficient. Before you know it, you'll be getting in more than enough sets to stimulate growth that's big beyond belief.

The bottom line in attitude here is to be seriously patient and seriously persistent. Keep working at it, even when it seems out of reach. When you get there, it'll be that much more satisfying.

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