Most people that train on their own normally don’t see the results they want.
I believe this is due to a combination of things.
One reason is that if you are training at a big box gym, there isn’t much motivation around you. Old ladies sweating on a treadmill and The Ellen Show playing on all of the 200 TV’s isn’t the most results-driven environment around.
Another thing is that most guys at a place like that aren’t really there to train hard. They are there to B.S. and try to creep on the ladies.
But don’t get me wrong. There are definitely some people that are there because they want to get better. They want to put their headphones on and get to work.
However, even these people don’t seem to ever make any real progress in the gym.
And here’s why…
Most people train with too big of an ego.
They think that adding more unnecessary weight to the bar is going to help them get jacked.
The added unnecessary weight leaves them with God-awful technique, forced reps with their partner doing most of the work, missed reps, and one step closer to an injury that will eventually put them on the sideline.
That is definitely not the formula to getting jacked.
In fact, it’s far from it.
See, you need to use a weight that is challenging of course, but you have to be able to handle it for the amount of reps you are prescribed, with near perfect technique!
You will not add strength and size by using a weight you can’t handle.
Look around next time you are at the gym. I will bet my money that the guys that are missing reps and using shit technique are the guys that always look the same.
Don’t interpret what I’m saying to “don’t work hard”. That is the last thing you would ever hear me say.
What I’m saying is that you have to be able to control the weight you use, through the full range of motion, and be able to get somewhere in your prescribed rep range on your own.
An easy way to figure out what weight to use is by choosing a weight that you can get 1-2 reps more than your rep range.
For instance, if you are going for a set of 6-8, choose a weight that you can get for about 9 reps on your first week.
That will leave you room to improve over your 3 or 4 week training block. Remember that in order to build strength and size you need to follow the progressive overload principle. Which is, to increase either the weight used or total reps each week.
So here’s a quick example.
If I am following a 3 week training block, and on the first week I use 315 lbs, on a set of squats for 4-6 reps. If today I am only able to get 4 reps, I will use the same weight next week and try to get 5 or 6 reps. If I get 5, I am going to stay with that same weight the following week and try to get all 6. However, if I got all 6 reps on the second week, I would bump up my weight to 320 lbs. on the third week.
If I decided to use 365 lbs. on the first week just for the hell of it, and I only got 2 reps because the weight was too heavy, then I would never be able to make any real progress over this training phase. I would then be just as weak and the same size as when I started.
Using a weight that was too heavy lead to shit technique and missed reps.
Certainly not the recipe to adding size and strength.
Using a weight that you can’t handle and putting your body in an unnatural position with a poor movement pattern will eventually lead to injury.
Even if you don’t get injured right away you will be putting stress on your body that will cause wear and tear on your joints and soft tissue over the years.
So now you’re small, weak and injured. Sounds repulsive.
If you want to make real progress you have to train smart. Train the right way. Work your ass off with quality technique.
Let’s take a look at a guy like The Rock.
Is he using weights that are way too heavy for him, missing reps and only getting a limited range of motion?
Just take a look at his Instagram. Unfortunately, there are times where I see guys in the gym that are about 160 lbs. using weights on an exercise that are heavier than The Rock uses. They struggle to get the first rep and I am actually in shock when I see them try to attempt a second.
That set (if you want to call it that) did nothing for that person besides almost crush him into dust.
All risk and zero reward.
To become strong, jacked and powerful you have to be smart.
Check your ego at the door and get to work.
You will shortly find out that by doing so you will see more results in less time.
Until next time folks, train hard and train smart!