You’ve probably heard me say that, in most cases, it’s your diet and not your training that are prohibiting you from making gains in the gym.
I’ve even gone as far as to say that most training programs will produce the results you’re looking for if, and only if, you have certain aspects of your diet in order.
But let me clear something up…
When I say those things, the trainees I have in mind are actually on proven programs and are failing to make progress.
I would also like to say that some training protocols are more optimal than others. So because I say most training programs will produce results, this does not mean that they will work as fast as a good training program.
So if you’re not progressing as quickly as you’d like, then there may be a chance that it is in fact your training that sucks.
“How do I know if my training sucks?”
I’m glad you asked!
Because today I want to share 7 obvious signs that your current training approach sucks.
1. You’re not on a program at all
If your training split is dependent on what muscle(s) you want to “pump up” that day, then your training sucks. This shows that (1) you’re not even on a program, (2) your training is purposeless, you are inconsistent and thus your gains will be too.
My Advice: Get on a damn training program! (Mass In A Flash FREE Download)
2. You’re still bench pressing 135 lbs
Do me a favor.
Think back a few months.
Now tell me…how much were you benching 3 months ago?
If you’ve been bench pressing (or squatting, deadlifting, overhead pressing, dumbbell curling) the same weight for the same amount of reps, then you’re not progressing.
No Progress = No Growth
This is happening because either (1) your program sucks, (2) you don’t track your lifts, or (3) all of the above.
My Advice: Start tracking your lifts…especially the big focal point movements. This will allow you to walk in the gym, every single time, with a goal.
3. Training each muscle group once per week
If your split is divided up in a way that only allows each muscle to be hit once per week, then you’re leaving a lot of growth on the table.
Volume may be one key to hypertrophy, but without progress, volume is meaningless.
Want progress? Increase the frequency!
If your chest workout consists of 16 sets, then break those 16 sets up into 2-3 sessions over the course of a week. Not only will you benefit from more regularly increased protein synthesis but, your chest will always be fresh when you’re training it thus allowing your total weekly workload to be higher.
My Advice: Adjust your program by decreasing volume so that you can incorporate more than one muscle-group in a training session. Then adjust the frequency so that each muscle group gets hit at least twice per week.
4. You’re “switching things up” every week
It’s about to be 2015 and the idea of “muscle confusion” is about as real as the Easter bunny.
You’re not confusing your muscle…you’re just confusing yourself.
If you’re “switching things up” every week, then how can you possibly track your progress?
If one week you’re benching for heavy triples and the following week you’re super-setting bench press with push-ups for sets of 20, how in the hell are you going to know if you’re progressing?
My Advice: Don’t worry too much about changing exercise selection and instead focus getting better at the ones you’re performing. This will make progress 100x easier to track to ensure you’re headed in the right direction.
5. You’re not worried about strength
It’s one thing to train like a powerlifter in hopes to increase your squat, bench, and deadlift and it’s another thing to focus on building an all-around impressive physique.
However, they both require 1 thing. Progress.
If your goal is not to build strength but only to build muscle, then you’re going to end up very disappointed.
We build muscle by introducing a new stimulus that forces adaptations. This is done one way and one way only…through progression. If you’re not, in some way or the other, getting stronger, then you’re not going to grow, period.
My Advice: Eliminate the mind-set of “I don’t care about strength, I just want to build muscle”. They go hand in hand.
6. You’re pumped up for every workout
Look, we all love training. For some people it’s the best part of their day. I get that.
But if you’re energized, pumped, and ready to give 110% every single session, then I hate to break it to you…you’re not training hard enough.
You see, when a trainee pushes their body day after day, week after week, and month after month, their central nervous system starts to take a hit. You then begin to enter a state of overreaching where you start to feel taxed, tired, and maybe unmotivated.
In any solid training program we must push through to this overreaching state. If you can manage to train month after month without ever overreaching, then you simply are not pushing hard enough, consistently.
My Advice: Follow a set program that utilizes percentages. This will ensure that you are training with enough intensity to push you through to a state of overreaching where you can then back off, super compensate, and comeback stronger.
7. You’re not deloading
De-load: A planned reduction in volume and/or intensity, usually for one cycle (or microcycle) of your training split, whose purpose is to allow the body to dissipate accumulated fatigue, allow a full recovery, and prepare you for progress.
This is very similar to number 6.
If you’ve been training for 3-6 months without ever have taken a deload and are still performing and feeling great, your training sucks.
You’re either (1) not training with enough intensity, or (2) you’re not doing it in a consistent fashion.
My Advice: Include planned deloads into your training program. Go hard for x amount of weeks and then treat yourself to that deload. This will allow you to come back rested, potentiated, and stronger.
Even the shittiest programs can produce muscle gains. But as I mentioned before, some approaches are simply more effective than others and thus can provide the same results, faster.
If you enjoy your training the way it is despite me telling you it sucks, that’s completely fine. So long as you are progressing, you’ll make out ok.
If you are looking for the best training routine to follow that adheres to these principles, I would recommend starting with my Mass In A Flash guide. It’s a free 12 week muscle building program that can be utilized to build both strength and size by training no more than 3-4 days per week.
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