Ronnie Coleman's biceps workout in FLEX, Bryan Haycock's HST, Mike Mentzer's Heavy Duty, HIT, Max OT. All of these training methods are different, yet they can all claim that thousands of people have gotten amazing results from using them. What do all of these programs have in common? A pretty spokesperson?
No. Although Bryan Haycock does look nice in a suit. A catchy name? Nope. From a marketing standpoint most of these names aren't that great. Then what is giving people these great results?
How Are They Getting Results?
The answer is consistency. All of these programs are understandable and are presented in ways that are almost, well, dummy-proof. Will one of these programs work better than the other? This is a definite possibility.
The main factor is that if people enjoy the program, they will stick to it and will ultimately see results. Some may like the "pump" caused by high volume training while others may enjoy the infrequent, "balls to the wall" training that HIT provides. It's all about individual preference.
As a trainer, I used many techniques on many clients. There was one common differentiating factor in the results my clients achieved. 100% of my clients who were consistent and attended most appointments made progress. The level of progress itself had variables such as age, genetics, diet and lifestyle; but every single consistent trainer showed improvements over time.
If you haven't heard of Travis, he is the 20th strongest pound for pound powerlifter of all time. Travis Mash made history at the 2004 GNC Show of Strength by totaling 2414 in the 220-pound class. One look at this guy and you know he's bad-ass. Built like a truck. His training consists of powerlifting movements and he goes heavy, very heavy.
Contrary to the notion that powerlifters are fat, if Travis dieted down I'd put money that he could step onstage at almost any bodybuilding show and place well.
Do you think Travis Mash worries about doing rope pressdowns to bring out the horseshoe in his triceps?
Looking at his massive arms, you could swear he does. But the fact of the matter is, he lifts, and he lifts hard and regularly. You don't become the 20th strongest pound for pound powerlifter of all time without training consistently, and being that he has to utilize diet to remain in his weight class, he not only out-lifts people, but he looks like a bodybuilder while doing it.
As obsessive-compulsive bodybuilders, we tend to obsess over the small things when the major things, the "make or break" components of our lifestyle, often get neglected. Should someone who hasn't trained in 3 weeks because he was too busy be worried so much about optimal in-workout nutrition or completing a movement to target all deltoid heads in one workout? No, he should be focused on going to the gym consistently. Once he has that down, then he can worry about those minute factors.
Make Training A Part Of Your Life
Here are some tips to help make training a regular part of your life.
Choose A Routine You Enjoy
I was a big advocate of full body training for a couple of years. In fact, I wrote articles on new methods I devised and I also had some of my best gains that way. I finally got sick of it. I was tired of doing squats and bench in the same workout.
Presently, I'm back to the old 5-6 days per week, body part split. My gains are now even better than before and I can't wait to get to the gym! Why is this? I enjoy it and I am feeling that pump again.
While it is debatable if the pump does jack-squat for muscle growth, it at least makes you think you're growing, and we all know lifting is a very psychologically-driven activity. Once you stop enjoying training, you risk losing all motivation to train.
No one ever gained an ounce of muscle without eating, and eating clean. A diet is an easy thing to do, if you know what you're doing. Stick to whole, clean, natural foods and don't go to extremes (low carb diets, etc.) because that will lead to the diet mindset.
I promote a healthy lifestyle. Diets can also make you feel like crap. Combine diet-induced lethargy and the hassle of taking 3-6 days out of the week to train and you are on the verge of just saying, "Screw you guys, I'm going home!" and giving it up all-together.
Maintain A Schedule
I don't mean a 2 on 1 off split as in 2 months on, 1 month off. Make training a part of your life. Embrace it, make it part of a routine.
I converted my garage into a gym so I can train with my wife whenever we have time in our busy dual-income schedules and to ensure that when we have children, I will not have to give up my health and physique goals.
Bring The Family
The best way to keep a woman from nagging you about not spending time with her and spending too much time in the gym is to drag her ass of the couch and get her doing squats! (no, not those kind of squats)
It will also help build her self esteem and add a whole new dimension to your relationship.
If you believe in pheromones and your significant other doesn't have bad body odor, this may be a spontaneous sexual encounter waiting to happen.
Look At Yourself
If you look good naked from training and diet, it can be motivating. Take progress pictures to show your results (nudity optional).
No Pain, Just Train
If you feel an injury coming on, take some time off. This will prevent an extended layoff. Have you ever talked to that old fat guy who used to be built like you?
All of these stories end the same way, where they either got injured or too busy. I'd hate to go from being lean to not being able to find my manhood. That guy probably did have a good build, but he gave up.
Once you give up on yourself, what's next? The way a person physically presents themselves says a lot about their character.
Life Comes First
The day that training dictates and interferes in your day-to-day life, that is when you again risk saying, "Screw you guys, I'm going home."
Don't miss anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas or any other event because it is squat day. The time off may do you good and it'll do wonders for the ones you love.
Live, Lift, and Be Merry!
The take home from this article is that training should enhance, not engulf your life. It should help bring you confidence, self esteem, health and a sense of pride in what your goals are and how you will work to accomplish them. Training can help you live a longer, more fulfilled life. Don't sweat the small stuff, just sweat.