PS: The gym at my place doesn't have a single one of nautilus equipment or any hydraulic machines. The only machines available are a leg press, a universal with six exercises, a calf raise, a high pulley cable crossover and a leg extensions, the rest are free weights!
You've probably come across hundreds of training articles and tips which leave you nowhere after you have read and implemented them. The fact is they are effective; every training method prescribed is effective. Well they have been so, for the person who prescribed it to you! Then why don't they work on you? Well you need to understand that bodybuilding is more of an art than of a science. Science makes various inroads into the techniques, practices and various other aspects of the sport, but Art makes an individual "HUGE". And to know the art of Bodybuilding one needs to develop a certain level of intelligence, in other words, more sensitivity towards one's training, one's body and one's mind. Well that is what intelligent training is all about!
I will cover every aspect of this "Intelli-Training" one by one. Read on to understand this wonderful concept.
When a trainee involves himself/herself in bodybuilding he/she has to take great and utmost care of the following: -
- 1. Exercises
- 2. Nutrition
- 3. Rest
- 4. Fat Control
- 5. Supplementation.
I will cover each of the aspects one by one. In this article "Intelli-training - I", I will cover the first aspect - Exercises.
FIRST OF ALL get this clearly into your head that you don't grow when you exercise in the gym. Exercises that you do in the gym help to stimulate growth. You actually grow at your home! So your aim when you enter the gym is to get as much growth stimulation as possible. There are many ways to do this. You know them already. I am not going to give you any additional method but a technique to implement methods.
Just for example let me tell you a really growth stimulating method:
Do slow reps.
Take 90% of the time for each rep during the Negative movement.
Keep the workout brief.
Well I find this really productive.
Example: Take 10 seconds/rep for a set of 6-8 reps.
Take 1 second in the positive move and 9 seconds in the negative.
I suggest you to try this because:
1. Doing slow reps allows you to really work on the muscle for a relatively longer period of time. This also lets you do few number of sets/body part, which in turn makes the workout brief.
2. Scientific research shows that the Negative part of the movement is actually more productive compared to the positive part. So emphasize the negative. (An experiment conducted by Arthur Jones also gave the same results. He is going to conduct it on a larger scale in the near future)
3. When we workout over a long period of time a hormone called Cortisol is released which consumes protein to produce glucose. Protein is found mostly in muscles, so? Yes, it consumes the protein from the muscles to get energy. Hence it is generally recommended that one takes 2:1 ratio of Carbohydrate: Protein diet prior to a workout. But the carbohydrate taken will energize the system maximum until one hour. So be as brief as possible. Try it, you'll find better growth compared to a longer workout. Remember no one actually looks how long you work out, though they may say so, but the fact is that everyone looks at how fast are you growing and how big you are getting.
Now for the real Intelli-training: -
Caution: Don't try Intelli-training until you have really correct form and handling a weight you can control. Also get a spotter or a partner near you, watching all the time.
Intelli-Training has the following aspects:
- 1. Awareness of appropriate muscles.
- 2. Relaxation of other muscles.
- 3. Alternation of weight awareness.
- 4. Explosive imagination.
- 5. Failure not yet here.
- 6. Pump and Exhausting awareness.
Here we go...
Before you begin your exercise (after a warm up) keep in mind that it is you who is doing the exercises. Repeat this several times. "I am exercising". We usually neglect this and take our presence of mind for granted. So, most of the times, our mind is actually not at the workout or at the exercise!
I am using the same example: Bench press throughout this article.
Awareness of appropriate muscles:
Close your eyes (be sure you have perfect form). Begin the rep. Do the positive part fast (1second). Take help if needed. During the negative part (9 seconds), concentrate on the muscle for which, you are performing the exercise. For example, Bench press. Be aware of the pectorals getting used and strained on moving every inch during each rep.
Relaxation of other muscles:
Remain with closed eyes. Imagine relaxation of the muscles other than the chest, say - triceps and back. But keep your concentration more towards awareness of the chest.
Alternation of weight awareness:
When you lift the weight (here barbell) imagine the weight to be really light and hardly any strain on your body. When you lower the weight imagine the weight to be really heavy and exhausting your pectorals.
Imagine your pectorals exploding and being really large during each rep. Imagine your pectorals manifold in size. Huge! (Arnold used this!) Failure not yet here:
When you are reaching failure, say to yourself that failure is still far away. It is going to be really difficult in the beginning, but as you practice this and your partner screams at you to do another rep it will start affecting your set in a very significant way.
Pump and Exhausting awareness:
After you finish a set in the above-mentioned fashion, just sit down with closed eyes and imagine and magnify the amount of failure, soreness and pump resulting from the set. Feel your pectorals to be really Huge, completely exhausted and tired, and really, really, really sore!
If you exercise every set in this way, I don't think you can endure too many sets/body part, and you shouldn't either, because that will cause such a degree of soreness that your recuperation might not be able to supplement it. I'd suggest only 3-4 sets. But it is your choice.
See, Intelli-Training believes in one simple thing. Every workout produces a certain degree of growth stimulation and exhaustion. The exhaustion may be overcome in just 24 hours, but in response to the growth stimulation, the body gives a certain amount of increase in size and strength. This increase in size actually takes place at your home when you recuperate, with the help of nutrition.
Please don't forget what I have stated above, that every workout stimulates certain increase in size/strength. Our aim is to be able to reach as much stimulation as possible. So don't get stuck with the same weight for more than two workouts. It is a very common fault committed. Keep on increasing the weight, even though by small amounts.
I will talk about the other things - Nutrition, Rest, Fat Control etc. in the further article(s).
Hope I have helped you.