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Motivation: What's That?

Think back to when you decided to you wanted to start lifting, what was your motivation?

No it's not a math lesson, but your going to learn something. For the last month I have been practicing as a student teacher teaching year 1 students. These kids are 5 to 6 years old and half of them don't know a jatz cracker from a brick. Even though this was the case, they taught me something. They taught me that to teach them, I had to break everything down and make it so basic so they could understand it and their mind can grow.

These kids have so much enthusiasm and they are getting smarter everyday because they are getting taught the basics and it's making their mind bigger.

So how the hell does teaching snot nosed little kids relate to making our muscles bigger? EASY! Just think, if enthusiasm is MOTIVATION, learning is WEIGHT TRAINING and the mind is a MUSCLE, then the way to get your muscles growing is BASIC WEIGHT TRAINING by the MOTIVATED athlete. It doesn't sound right does it? It's too easy.

It's happened to everyone! Professionals and even the guy who lives up the street. But instead of just accepting it or saying, "I will never see results" or "I will never get big". Stop, sit back and think.

Motivation - That Which Makes A Person Act In A Particular Way.

Think back to when you decided to you wanted to start lifting, what was your motivation? Who were your influences? And think back and remember how hungry you were to get to where you wanted to be.

Whether you wanted to be Arnold Schwarznegger, Ronnie Coleman, the guy in a magazine or just a little bit fitter and a more toned body. Whatever your goal was you sat down working out a diet, a training program and decided when you were going to start it and you were all pumped. But somewhere down the line the motivation has been lost but you are just training because that's now what you do. Hands up if you just got to the gym and go through your program routine like. THIS MUST STOP.

When training you must be on an elevated level, a level unmatched to normal everyday routine type stuff. It is easy to get pumped up for a game of football or another sport where you must be better than the opposition to beat them. But in the weight room if you don't get pumped up enough you only beat yourself (no pun intended).

Some people will call it a zone, I call it a MOOD. As soon as I walk up the stairs to the weight room I begin to enter my MOOD.

    Phase 1 - This is where I start to think about the muscles I will be training, what exercises I will be doing and the time I want to do my first set and when I want to do my last set and get out of the usually hot gym.

    Phase 2 - This is where all chitchat stops. I stretch, perform warm up sets and become overcome with TOTAL CONFIDENCE. When lifting you must have confidence, without it you will be passive, you must be aggressive towards the weights, YOU CONTROL THEM THEY DON'T CONTROL YOU.

    Phase 3 - Now I am in the MOOD. While I am performing my set I am focused, and unphased. When I am recovering I am thinking about what I want to do next set. How much weight to use, how many reps I am going to get and concentrating on trying to use the best form possible.

So if your gains have slowed and feel you need to give yourself a kick up the ass, STOP and find out where your lost motivation has gone, find it and then get back to the basics.

Basic - Relates To Serving As A Base. (Central, Elementary, Essential)

Now I want you to think back to when you started weight training. The first couple of months can you remember how fast you grew? New shirts one week, people asking why you look different the next. Some people put on 10 to 20 pounds the first few months they train and then there body adopts to the weight training "bodybuilding" lifestyle and it suddenly stops. No warnings or anything. Just one day, doesn't respond to the same things you were doing to it to make it grow that 10 to 20 pounds.

When you began, you didn't know much, you didn't know how many sets per body part or how many reps to build mass or how long you should train. You went on how you felt and listened to your body.

In the beginning it wasn't the "Rope Pulley Cable Pull Pressdown" (slightly exaggerated) that you were building quality mass with, it was the bench press, bicep curl and basic chin ups.

These days when I walk into a gym, its spot, the new exercise being performed, and when you ask that person why are they doing that? They reply, "to get big man". When really all you can see is an injury waiting to happen. Or if they say "to cut me up". And then you are thinking how to get some mass first buddy!

To start getting results again I suggest going back and designing a program around the 3 major lifts, then the other major lifts for each of the other body parts.

By doing this, you are hitting the muscles with the major compound movements needed to stimulate maximum muscle fiber requirements and therefore maximum muscle growth.

The more muscle fibers you use the more you overload your muscles. The more your muscles are overloaded the more they have to respond, which means grow and get stronger.

Reasons For Everything

When putting it together, have reasons for everything. In your new diet, when trying to decide what to eat after your workout it shouldn't be too hard if you have a guideline to go by or structure.

For example, after training I need a carbohydrate that will digest quickly, replace what I had lost during my workout and be easy to consume as some people find it difficult to eat after a workout. Thus I would choose GLUCOSE Powder as it is ranked 100 on the GI Index, is a liquid, easily digestible carb and easy to consume after a workout. All you have to do is put it in with your protein shake.

This Brings Me To A Question?

When starting at A, and you are trying to get to B, why do a lot of people see the need to bypass C to get to B? This comes back to having reasons for everything.

When putting together a weight program or any other program for yourself or anyone else it is easy to just say ok, do this, then this again and you'll be right. I don't agree with that, when putting together a SUCCESSFUL training program try and be able to explain why you are doing this exercise, why did you put that one last and why are you using this many reps? If you have the answers before the questions are asked then you will have no worries.

My Way Of Putting A Successful Program Together

Deciding How Many Exercises, Sets And Reps To Use

I believe what most people tend to think. It is if you want to get cut up and ripped abs for summer or whatever do heaps of sets with high reps, now I know the people that have read up and researched this know that this is wrong. But we all see others doing this exact same thing. And on the other side of the spectrum is those that want to bulk use ridiculously stupid amounts of weight and perform bad form and struggle to get 4 reps and when you ask them why they are doing this they reply, "To get big, MAN!"

From personal experience I have tried both ways, when I was dieting and wanted to drop body fat I tried the high rep approach and I lost too much muscle mass and density, when I was trying to get bigger I tried the low rep really heavy weight and I found that I wasn't really getting noticeably much bigger I was just throwing form out the window and gaining strength but not size.

Over the years I have done a lot of research and I know this will not be the same for everyone especially if you use the HIT method of training, which I don't. I have tried different schemes and asked a lot of people also and have come up with:

4 Exercises for Chest & Back
5 Exercises for Legs
3 Exercises for Shoulders & Arms
2 Exercises for Calves

I believe using 3 sets per exercise except for the first set and the last set where you use an extra set in the first exercise for extra warm up and take a set away from the last exercise because it is generally higher reps.

1st exercise 4 sets
2nd exercise 3 sets
3rd exercise 3 sets
4th exercise 2 sets

When training arms or shoulders the 3rd exercise doesn't count and you skip straight to the 4th exercise.


When you are shredding, cutting, ripping up or dieting, calories are low gradually fade out drop sets, forced reps and negatives, as recovery isn't at its peak. You may also want to take out the last exercise and add the 2 spare sets onto exercises 2 and 3 to fully concentrate on pumping the muscle full of blood.

When bulking, adding mass, getting bigger or adding size, what I have found to work is plain and simple, hit it with higher reps, drop sets, super sets, negatives, tri sets, anything at all. Be smart, don't do all of those suggestions in the one workout but use them accordingly. When you are on high carbs you have an increased ability to recover, fluid and fats in your joints and you are less prone to injury. Still use the heavy weight but mix it up for optimum gains.

Well I hope this helps with your progress. Let me know what you think

Until Next Time,