From the outset, weight lifting looks to be all work and no rest. You go to the gym, every day, and you pump iron for hours… I mean, that’s the only way to get the body you want after all, right? – Wrong!
You see, when you punish your body by overloading your muscles with weights, what you are doing is tearing the muscle fibres down. They then need time to repair, so they can grow back bigger and stronger next time.
Yet so many people simply don’t realise this. They spend weeks, months; even years pretty much getting nowhere and wonder what they’re doing wrong. You certainly can’t fault their enthusiasm: if I trained like that for years and got nowhere, I’d certainly give it up. But, they are misinformed and could benefit hugely from a little guidance.
Well, like I say, you need to give your body time to repair itself. Your body can only repair itself if the muscles which you’ve worked aren’t hit again in the same workout. Or, if they are, then at least have a day in between where you do nothing but relax. Personally, most weeks I like to work out 3 times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This gives me plenty of time off to recuperate and grow.
Overly long workouts are another factor which can inhibit growth. Sure you’ve got to push yourself, but do so in an intense manner; don’t spend hour after hour hitting the same muscles, it’s completely unnecessary and will do you no good at all. Firstly, your body will be so clapped out, the muscles will probably still be sore days later. If this is the case and you’ve overdone it, when it comes time to work the muscles again, simply skip that particular exercise. Believe me, it’s far more beneficial to lay off an exercise here and there in the name of recuperating than it is to keep hammering them before they’re finished repairing.
So, train hard in an intense manner, take days off, eat, rest plenty and grow!