Training

3 Ways to Train Like a Fool

low reps build muscle
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Let me guess…you’ve just flipped through the latest issue of Flex or Muscular Development, and you’re pumped to hit the gym. Your testicles feel swollen like grapefruits, and you’re ready to swole-a-fy yourself into Dennis Wolf size proportions.

Well before you hit the gym, I suggest hitting the breaks. There is a lot of shit floating around in the bodybuilding toilet. I want to tell you which turds you should flush, and which you should polish and keep as prizes on your mantle.

Right now you are 5’9″ and weigh 140. Bodybuilding magazine crap isn’t going to turn you into Dennis Wolf. It’s not even going to make you as big as Wolf’s right quad. Why? A good portion of the crap shoveled in these rags comes from Joe Weider nonsense. And a good portion of the crap in these rags comes from guys popping Dianabol like breath mints.

So get yourself corrected, before you train like a fool.

Tip #1…To Train Like a Fool, Believe that Low Reps Don’t Build Muscle

How many times have you tuned in to your favorite bodybuilding forum, only to find some 132 pound twerp parroting the nonsense that low reps don’t build muscle.

O RLY?

Low reps don’t build muscle? Have you ever been to a powerlifting meet Skiffy? I mean seriously, pull your head from your ass, burn your bodybuilding magazines, and go train with some powerlifters for a month. It will change your life.

Powerlifters are not small and devoid of muscle.

o rlyNow, understand, powerlifters aren’t neanderthals, training only 1 rep at a time. Far from it. Most powerlifters perform assistance work in the 5 to 20 rep range, depending on their goals and training style. I want to make this clear, so we can also toss aside the silly belief that powerlifters only do low rep sets.

But powerlifters do smash heavy weights in lower rep ranges. Wendler’s 5/3/1. Westside. Smolov. Rippetoe…it doesn’t matter. Low rep sets are not keeping these guys small, like petite little glass angels. To quote Chad Waterbury:

This is one of the most absurd myths making the rounds. Low repetition training (under five reps) with a large load (85 to 100% of one rep max) recruits the greatest percentage of Type IIB fibers, which have the highest potential for muscle growth.

Now, hop in the wayback machine. Think the 1950’s. Most men were smashing their balls in the gym using *gasp* barbells and dumbbells, and low rep sets. 5×5. 5×5. 5×5. Keep saying 5×5 until you feel you are completely deprogrammed.

Even Arnold Schwarzenpfeffer himself gained a boat load of mass training like his idol Reg Park, based heavily on a 5×5 protocol. I’ll give you a couple minutes to recover from this shocker.

Feel better? Good, let’s move on.

Tip #2…To Train Like a Fool, Focus on Muscle Confusion

Ah, yes. Muscle confusion. What would we do without muscle confusion. Listen young blood, the best way to confuse your muscles is by:

  1. Getting your ass to the gym 52 weeks a year.
  2. Eating enough so your muscles can actually grow.
  3. Lifting heavy ass weight.

Lifting heavy ass weight with heavy ass compound lifts REALLY confuses your muscles. Really!

But I need to change my program every 6 to 8 weeks, or I will stagnate.

This is a crock of shit, shoveled by men that have no idea how natural muscle growth truly works. So I’ll break it down for you in stages.

Stage 1 – Beginner. The first 2 years of lifting, a natural lifter can gain an incredible amount of muscle simply by eating like a king and focusing on progression. If you’re doing it right, you SHOULD gain 20 to 25 pounds of muscle in 2 years.

You don’t need anything during this time other than heavy lifts and food. You sure as shit don’t need to confuse your muscles by working in cable crossovers instead of pec dec. Do you really think this bullpoop makes an ounce of difference? Do you really believe swapping out squats for leg extensions will confuse your muscles into new growth?

Stage 2 – Not a Beginner. If you are natural, gains start to slow dramatically. It is at this stage that broscience (and panic) kicks in, and every bro-turd under the sun starts to over-complicate training, hoping that it will “shock” their system into new growth!

Bullshit! It doesn’t work this way.

Naturals can only gain so much muscle. You can’t continually switch programs, and expect to “shock out” a new 5 pound gain from your body every 8 weeks. And there is no point in upping the intensity and volume to crazy levels, pretending that this will re-ignite growth. Killing yourself at the altar of iron will not result in a muscle gift from Crom.

Growth has stopped because nature has limited your potential. You might not want to believe this, but it’s a reality. Go to a natural bodybuilding contest. Please, I beg you. There are exactly ZERO 240 pound mass monsters. ZERO. All the bombing and shocking in the world hasn’t turned a single natural bodybuilder into Jay Cutler. So get over it.

This just in! – When beginner gains stall you’re up shit’s creek. You might have 5 to 10 more pounds of muscle left to gain after your first 2 years, but after 4-5 years you’ll be lucky to gain a pound per year. And after 10 years, ain’t much happening friend.

So, the point is this:  muscle confusion can’t overcome the laws of biology 101 and physiology 101. You can only get so big as a natural. Muscle confusion is the tool of the ignorant.

And being that most information in the lifting realm comes from steroid rags and steroid users, the idea of muscle confusion keeps getting passed around from juicer to Average Joe. Pro bodybuilders CAN bomb their muscles into new growth beyond natural limits – this is because they are taking $1000 worth of drugs each month.

You can’t.

You are far better off sticking with the same heavy compound lifts, riding linear progression into the ground, and eating like a beast. Now, go say three Holy Mark Rippetoes, and get your skinny bald ass to the gym.

Tip #3…To Train Like a Fool, Focus on the Mind Muscle Connection

Ah, yes – the mind muscle connection! The savior of all saviors, and the Holy of Holies!

Listen Porky – the mind muscle connection isn’t going to do jack shit for you. You’re simply using this BS as an excuse to avoid heavy ass weights. Performing 15 pound dumbbell flyes using the mind muscle connective is about as useful as sitting on your ass eating Cheetos.

Maybe instead of flyes, you could grab 2 pencils, and REALLY use the mind muscle connection while holding them over your head for 15 minutes. Woo! Yeah! That will do the trick! The ultimate key to mass!

You want to know how to REALLY stimulate growth? Lift heavy ass weight using heavy compound lifts. Shocker! Oh, snap!

Oh, effing snap!

All the mind muscle connection action in the world won’t help you in the least if you haven’t busted your balls using linear progression on squats, bench and deadlift.

Now I’m not against someone with a 1300 pound, 3-lift total benching 275 with the mind muscle connection. Sweet Jesus – a lifter this strong and big has earned the right to do whatever the hell they want.

But if you bench 95 pounds and believe that the key to mass involves a slow controlled movement, focusing on peak contraction and all this other horseshit, you deserve to make zero muscle mass gains.

Epic fail.

Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw is the primary content manager for Muscle and Brawn.

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