Maximum Bodybuilding Gains
There are two techniques for getting maximum gains from lifting weights and both work great. The mistake that the majority of gym goers make is in thinking that combining them is even better, its NOT, its far worse.
Method 1 for maximum bodybuilding gains
The first method for maximizing gains in the gym is the strength training style of workouts. You lift big weights and you take a lot of rest between sets. When you are doing “big exercises” like deadlifts and squats its VERY hard on both your cardiovascular system and your central nervous system and it requires significant rest between sets. This method of training has been around a very long time and there are many excellent strength training programs that use it
- Stronglifts 5×5
- Starting Strength
- Candito linear
- Texas method
- Wendler 5-3-1 periodization
- Candito periodization
Method 2 for maximum bodybuilding gains
The so “three sets of eight” concept is so deeply ingrained in gym culture that most people never escape it. They never stop to think why they are doing 3 sets and not four, doing 8 reps and not 4 or 12, and why they are resting between sets. In bodybuilding the goal is to gain as much muscle as you can and this requires isolation exercises or what I call “small exercises”. A small exercise is one that you can do without getting winded. Bicep curls are a “small exercise”. Pullups should be a “small exercise”, if they are not then do your cardio because you have the cardiovascular system of a 90 year old grandma.
In my opinion, lifting volume is what you need to maximize if you want to add as much muscle as you can, as quickly as you can. Set volume = weight x reps. Total volume for entire workout is the sum of the volume for each set. You can try and maximize volume by using really heavy weights but that fails because then you cant do as many sets and you need rest. You can try and maximize workout volume by using tiny weights with hundreds of reps but this fails because it just becomes boring cardio. The way to get a maximum number of sets using a maximum of weight is to use SUPERSETTING. Not just any supersetting but intelligently designed supersetting. For example, supersetting dumbbell curls with barbell curls and hammer curls is stupid. In a properly designed bodybuilding superset, none of the exercises interfere with each other. For example, a calisthenics example of a great superset is alternating pushups with pullups. The pushup is chest, tricep, and shoulders. The pullups are lats and biceps. While you are doing pushups, your lats and biceps can rest. While you are doing pullups, your chest and biceps can rest. Your cardiovascular system chugs right along at 100%. If you get winded doing this then shame on you for being in worse shape than a 80 year old man, you need to do more cardio so you can handle this.
Here are some great examples of supersetting workouts:
- Advanced extreme home workout
- Advanced extreme gym workout
- Advanced full body workout
- Advanced volume workout
The mistake nearly everyone makes
So many people these days call themselves hard gainers. They are totally unsatisfied with their progress. More than 90% of the people in any slick chain gym make this one mistake and it cripples their progress – they try to combine the above two methods, you cant! They combine the “small exercises” of the bodybuilding style with the resting of the strength training style. I can guarantee you that if you do this, you will always be a DYEL. Most people would be appalled if they were secretly filmed working out and then confronted with how few sets they actually did and how much time they wasted texting between sets.
You dont get to rest unless the bar has more than 6 plates on it
What are your lifting goals?
What are your lifting goals? Not everyone wants to maximize strength gain or maximize muscle mass gain. Of the people who want to maximize strength gain or maximize muscle gain, only a small handful are willing to do what it takes: Getting the required 8hrs sleep or eating clean, optimal nutrition. If your goal is to maximize strength then use one of the workout plans in the first section. If you are an intermediate to advanced lifter and your goal is to maximize muscle mass gain then use one of the workouts in the second group. If your goal is to socialize with your buddies or make social media posts then do whatever you want.
There are two techniques for getting maximum strength and muscle mass gains from lifting weights. The bodybuilding mistake people make is combining them.