How Much Should I Weight At 5 6 In Stones 5 Shortcuts to Build Muscle Size

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5 Shortcuts to Build Muscle Size

The desire to build a better body unites all bodybuilding enthusiasts, but for most of us the gains come too slowly. So we are looking for shortcuts. In this article, we’ll dive into the 5 most common exercise “shortcuts” that people use.

Shortcut #1 – Train More Often

Many times novice bodybuilders think they are not training enough and fall into a more is better mentality. After all, more workouts must mean more muscles, right?

It is not unusual to find less experienced bodybuilders who start spending more and more time in the gym. Daily workouts become the norm and the length of these workouts gradually gets longer and longer. They usually think they are doing well and sometimes even brag about how they exercise “every day”.

Is there a better way?

Your body can recover and grow so quickly. Retraining a muscle before you have fully recovered from the previous workout will lead to overtraining. Generally the most you can train a body part twice a week and still recover and grow.

Although there are rare exceptions to this rule. You should limit yourself to working out each body part no more than twice a week and take at least 2 days off from strength training each week for optimal muscle growth.

Shortcut #2 – Do more sets

The transition from beginner to intermediate to advanced lifter usually involves increasing training volume to some degree. The better you are physically, the higher your work capacity and the greater the volume of training you can handle.

For example, a beginner workout might consist of 6 sets per body part. A medium workout can consist of 9 sets per body part. And an advanced workout can consist of 12 sets per body part. While this is all good general training advice, it breeds a “more is better” mentality. After all, no one wants to be a novice for long, so they increase their training volume too much, too soon.

Another problem with this line of thinking is that if 12 sets per body part is good for an advanced lifter, will more sets be even better? How about 15 sets or 20 sets and beyond…?

Is there a better way?

It generally takes at least 3 years of training to progress from beginner through intermediate to advanced levels of training. Once you reach an advanced level, adding more sets and training volume is often counterproductive.

While there are no hard and fast rules that dictate exactly how much training you should be doing, there are some general guidelines you can follow. 9 sets per workout should be sufficient for smaller muscle groups such as biceps, triceps, calves and abs. And around 12 sets per workout will be enough for larger muscle groups like chest, back and thighs.

Once you are at an advanced level of training, the key to greater muscle growth is to use progressive overload and add variety to your training. NOT from adding more training volume.

Shortcut #3 – Train less often

The world of bodybuilding is full of extremes, for a lot of guys it’s either all or nothing… there’s no middle ground. So, after learning about the negative effects of training too often as outlined above, many bodybuilders do a complete U-turn and go in the opposite direction, drastically cutting back their workouts, saying “less is more”.

Some experts have gone overboard for fear of overtraining. Mike Mentzer and his Heavy Duty style workouts were one of the biggest influences on the “less is more” idea. Overall, the basic principles of this workout were good as it implemented a solid action plan, used progressive overload, tracked your progress, etc.

But one major flaw of the system was that if you weren’t making progress with your training, it was automatically assumed that you were “overtraining”, so your workouts were cut short. Sometimes go to the point where you exercise once a week or less.

Is there a better way?

For some extreme hardgainers, training less frequently (ie every other day) may be the best frequency for muscle gain. But most people will respond well to more frequent exercise (ie 2 days on, 1 day off).

There are no hard and fast rules that will work for everyone, but the general recommendation of working out 4-5 times a week and training each body part twice a week is a good start. As you gain more experience, you’ll be able to figure out exactly what your body responds best to and tailor your workouts to meet your specific needs.

Shortcut #4 – Heavy weights and low reps

One of the basic principles of bodybuilding is that a bigger muscle is a stronger muscle. So to get bigger you need to get stronger. Progressive overload is the cornerstone of all successful training. Over time, you need to gradually increase the weights you lift to make progress.

During the early stages of starting an exercise program, beginners can gain quickly because all the training stimuli are new at this stage. And a lot of initial strength gains come not only from increased muscle strength, but also from improved lifting technique and better coordination.

But once you get past the initial beginner phase, your strength gains come more slowly. When this happens, many lifters simply do fewer reps to continue increasing the weight.

For example, if I can lift 100 pounds. for 10 reps, maybe I could drop the reps to 8 and lift 120lbs, or drop the reps to 6 and lift 140lbs, etc… While this may work to some degree at first to get you growing again, there comes a point where it can backfire and stop your profits with a screeching halt.

Is there a better way?

Lifting heavier weights for lower reps increases your chances of injury, such as a muscle tear. When you do less than 5 reps in a set, you lose connection with the muscle mind. The lift becomes an end in itself and no longer a means to build muscle. Lifting too heavy makes it difficult to focus on the muscles you are working, your focus shifts to simply shifting the weight and not crushing under the heavy barbell.

For bodybuilding purposes, try to keep in the 6-12 rep range. This is the “sweet spot” for keeping your muscles under tension long enough to stimulate growth while still allowing you to lift relatively heavy weights.

Shortcut #5 – High Intensity Techniques

A lot of hardgainers think that the key to faster gains in the gym is simply to work harder. So they increase the intensity of their workouts using various advanced training techniques such as forced reps, super sets, drop sets and so on… Thinking that the more they push themselves, the better their gains will be.

Is there a better way?

For the average drug-free lifter, using advanced training techniques and pushing himself to the limit will quickly lead to burnout, overtraining, and possibly injury.

A very common mistake that you can witness practically any day of the week in the gym is seeing a couple of eager young lifters bench press with WAAAYYY too much weight on the bar. One guy will be preparing on the bench while his faithful spotter will be ready to help with the lift. After recovering, the lifter drops to the bench and grabs the bar from the rack, managing to wrestle out 2-3 reps using bad form and every ounce of effort his body can muster. Then he gets his spotter to help him add 3-5 reps.

At the end of the set, you wonder who worked the hardest, the guy on the bench or his friend who pulled the bar off his chest?

Once you reach failure in an exercise, you are stimulating the muscle. Doing more than this is often not only a waste of time, but can potentially set you back in your training due to the risk of injury. Just doing sets to positive failure is intense enough to stimulate your muscles to grow.

Write it down in your training log after each workout. Try to do better each workout by lifting another 5 pounds. or do another rep with the same weight. Using progressive overload like this will ensure that you are constantly pushing yourself to achieve steady strength and muscle gains.

A real shortcut to rapid muscle growth

Gaining muscle and strength doesn’t happen overnight. They require long-term consistency. By taking things at a manageable pace and making small, frequent improvements week after week with your training, your muscles will grow faster than you ever thought possible…

Life by inches is in sync… Life by yards is hard.

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