If you are training hard … constantly changing your programs and you are not growing, the problem is probably with your diet or your supplements. The thought being: You must maintain enough high quality calories in your diet to keep your nitrogen balance positive. It’s a fine tuning process, just enough calories to grow but not so many that the extra weight is going on around the waist.
Just a little extra on the waist is okay because this will enable you to use heavier weights which will in turn build more size. After you gain more size, you can always take it off the waist to get ready for the summer or a contest.
There are however, a few items I have left out. Just yesterday I was talking on the phone to Tom. He was complaining that even though he was looking harder and more muscular but his measurements hadn’t actually improved in a long time. I asked him if he was using a tape measure to test his gains. He said he was.
“How do you use the tape Tom.?
“What do you mean”? he asked
“I mean are you using the tape to test your pump on the exercises?”
“No, I tape each day before I workout so I can see if there is any difference in my size before I have even started to pump.” he replied.
“Oh, no wonder” I said. “If you use the tape to tell you what is happening to your body rather than just telling you how big you are, you can discover some interesting things. The most important being, finding out the right amount of sets for maximum pump. Granted you want to see if you are getting bigger, more important is to make sure you continue to grow. The proper use of the tape will help you tremendously in your quest for greater size.”
First, you must select exercises that seem to give you the very best pump and burn. Some exercises are so-so but others are just “made for you”. They seem to have a special magic to them. You know the ones I mean, I am sure. These special exercises will vary from individual to individual. Each person has to select his own Instinctive exercises.
When you find 3 or 4 for each body part these become your Instinctive exercises.
I must caution you. Even these “selected exercises” will only last for about a week before you will begin to go stale or overtrain on them.
Then it’s time to switch back to refresh your Instinctive program.
Pattern your workout so you are working 3 body parts each night. There are 9 basic body parts to be worked so you will be working the entire body twice per week if you train 6 days per week. This is a tough schedule to continue without over training, but let’s use it for the purposes of this discussion. Okay, once you have selected your group of exercises, you are ready to work.
Write down the best measurement you have ever achieved on the bodypart on which you are going to shoot for growth. Let’s say it is the arms. Let’s also assume the best measurement you have ever achieved is 16 and 1/8 inch. Tonight you are going to shoot for 16 1/4. Always work the biceps first and the triceps last (it’s easier on the elbows). Your goal is to get the best pump possible in the least amount of sets and reps. (you can always get a good pump doing high reps, but it is a false pump and won’t build size.). Try to keep your reps around 6 to 8 with 3 or 4 burns after each set.
Your body knows exactly how many sets it needs to give you the best pump. You just have to let your mind in on the secret. This precise number of sets will vary depending on how much rest you had the night before, your emotional state, your diet or the supplements you are taking.
Lets, assume you have already done your biceps and you are now finishing up on the triceps. You are doing your last set. You throw the tape around the arm and it measures 16 1/4. You are elated! You feel so good, you decide to do another set. Grinding out the last reps, enduring delicious pain, you throw the tape around the arm only to discover it has gone down to 16 1/8. Yes it has actually shrunk. You have done one set too many. Yet it feels like your arm is bursting. You can’t believe it has actually taped less than it did just one set ago, but it’s true.
You have overtrained by one set. You will have to find the magic number of sets that will give you the best pump. This is your growth secret. It is what you are striving for when you go for the pump. You won’t be able to do it every arm night but perhaps at least once a week. Remember, this works best with your own Instinctive exercises. Don’t be discouraged however, when you go stale on your Instinctive exercises.
Just switch back to programs for the rest of the month to refresh your Instinctive program. Then blast through your Instinctive program again using the tape to tell you what is happening. You won’t believe how much you will learn about the little secrets of getting huge.
You need to find your own special set of exercises and then discover the exact amount of sets, reps and burns you need to explode to new growth. I know it may sound full of hype, but I don’t know how to be more truthful.