Today I'll talk about fear. The concept of fear is a difficult one to grasp. Fear of heights. Fear of snakes. Fear of the supernatural. Most fears are not consider feelings to be welcomed. However, just as Dale Carnegie stated, fear can be conquer, especially if it is used as motivation.
It is such strong, overwhelming fears that people often tend to take for granted. Today, we will look at one of the triads to becoming an accomplished bodybuilder - motivated training.
I am going to set the scene: You are on your last set of squats. Staring at the squat rack, you add two more 45 pound plates to an already bent barbell (mostly bent from 260 pound beasts squatting 600 pounds). You say to yourself,
Fear has already set in your mind. Already, you are preparing to fail. You have not used fear to your advantage.
When I walk into a gym, I fear the notion that someone is going to be more focused than me, lift more than me, and train harder than me. This is the reason I train harder. If I looked at the 495 pound bar and I was about ready to start my set, I am saying to myself,
I motivate myself through failure. I know that failure will bring about the worst in me. I fear that someone is better than me, thus I make that person fear me. Remember, you cannot help who is next to you onstage, but you can make sure that you do not cut any corners training to your utmost simply because you are afraid to train heavy. Let us move on to something a bit more physical, but just as intriguing.
So, you already know how to lift weights. You already know what exercises you need to do, the reps and the amount of sets that are minimal for growth.
If that is the case, why do you stand in the mirror, looking at yourself with your shirt off and find yourself saying, "Why am I not growing?"
Possibly because you were fed a pack of lies.
Nonsense From A Bygone Era
You were always taught to go heavy in the off-season and lighter weights and more reps pre-contest. Unfortunately, that is what was done in the 1950s. Who the f*ck are you listening to?
What is the point of becoming big, using heavy weights and reps between 8-12, and then becoming flat and stringy by doing sets of 20-25? It's wasteful nonsense from a bygone era if you asked me.
Here's my advice: Stay heavy, get a pump, and go home... That is the secret. But, you say, "I will not be ripped enough training that way." Problem is you aren't dieting properly and are too afraid of that dreaded "C" word... Cardio.
That's why you aren't ripped. Weight training is for the purpose of building muscle and/or preserving muscle tissue when dieting. It is not for the purpose of getting shredded.
A human body can only sustain so much punishment; so why train it until the point of exhaustion and depletion? You want to stay full and hard, not soft and flat! Don't misunderstand me, lifting weights is not a hard concept to grasp... Believe you me, there are some big f*cking guys out there that are not brain surgeons when it comes to this sh*t.
But, for some reason, it is another difficult concept for an aspiring bodybuilder to grasp. I am going to do you all the favor of showing you how a typical, but accomplished bodybuilder trains on a daily basis:
An Accomplished Bodybuilder's Training
Day 1: Chest
Incline Barbell Press: 4x12-8
Hammer Strength Flat Press: 4x12-8 (Example Shown Inclined)
Incline Flyes: 4x12-10
That's it... Now go home. How big do you really think your chest is? Definitely not big enough to do 20 sets. Do not make the common mistake of overtraining. Do what you went there to do - get a pump, break down muscle tissue, go home, and feed it to grow.
Day 2: Back
Wide Grip Pulldown: 4x12-10
Bent Over Barbell Row: 4x12-8
Dumbbell Row: 4x10
Back, along with quads, are the only two body parts that the sets should be a bit higher than normal. All your back movements should revolve around a row, not a pulldown. Pulldowns are used for a warm-up not a core back movement. Pulldowns are for women who want to "get in shape."
Day 3: Arms
Straight Bar Curl: 4x12-10
Preacher Curl: 4x12-10
Spider Curl: 4x12-10
Pushdown (Rope, Straight Bar, Triangle Bar... Whatever): 4x12-10
Close Grip Bench Press: 4x12-10 (use the barbell, not the smith machine)
Nosebreakers (aka Skullcrushers): 4x12-10
Arms do not need a ton of sets and reps to grow. At most 12 sets are necessary for maximum growth of the biceps and triceps. Without question, your arms are hit indirectly in other primary movements.
Day 4: Shoulders
Side Lateral: 4x12-10
Reverse Flye Machine: 4x12-10 (Example Shown With DBs)
Shoulder Press ( Dumbbell or Bar): 4x12-10
Front, middle, rear... Those are the parts of the shoulder that need to be worked. That's it, just 12 sets for a small muscle group. Shrugs are the only exercise that is mandatory for traps because I am assuming that you followed the back workout I provided for you as well. Your traps (Hey I know, you think that your traps need more help) are also worked when rowing, so no need for miscellaneous movements such as upright rows.
Day 5: Legs
Leg Extension: 4x15-12
Leg Press: 4x12-10
Hack Squat: 4x12-10
Barbell Squat: 4x12-10
Lying Leg Curl: 4x12-10
Standing (or Seated) Leg Curl: 3x12-10
Stiff-Leg Deadlift: 3x12-10
Leg day is the sh*ttiest of the 5 days... It sucks, it is tiring, but it makes everything grow. I usually do barbell squats last for quads because I do not need to use a ton of weight to be fatigued... I am already f*cking wiped. Stiff-leg deadlifts are a good stretch for my hamstrings and help to loosen up my lower back a bit.
So there you have it... Training and its greatest catalyst, fear. Use them both to your advantage. Because if you don't, you will be that person staring at that squat rack and saying to yourself, "Why did I not break the top 5 in my last show?" You know why. Don't make me repeat myself.
Alright, so we talked a little shop, a little bodybuilding philosophy, and some nuts and bolts training over the past three articles. In the next couple of pieces, I'm going to go over training specific body parts in greater detail, starting with arms, back, legs, and so on.
The piece on arms is called "ARMory". Until next time, peace.