To gain more you need to train less!

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In order to gain the most muscle size possible you have to train the least amount of time possible to achieve your desired results!....

The paradox of training less to gain more has been and continues to be confirmed through the pages of has repeatedly said it for nearly 20 years now (written 2004). That this article needs writing only serves to prove that the sapient advice of Pro-A is persistently ignored by the majority of internet readers. They pay a high price though a huge expenditure of time and effort for little or no gains in size and strength. It is never too late to change your approach to bodybuilding: a change you have to make if you want to increase your strength and muscular size.

The empirical evidence reported on this website proves time after time that training less is usually the way to bring about gains. Countless numbers of trainees have, after years of wasted training, finally tried a much shortened training program and have found that they finally started making good gains. Perhaps it is because such facts are so hard to believe that they are so persistently ignored. While these facts are ignored, the great majority of you will find bodybuilding a very frustrating experience. You will never find out the efficacy of short, hard and basic workouts unless you give them a sincere try. The finding out is in the doing.

6 Time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates

There is a minority of bodybuilders who can make good gains from using long, very frequent and usually low intensity workouts. Some of these routines are sheer lunacy for the majority of us. The majority of the top bodybuilders use very extensive routines. This leaves a considerable impression on the rank and file bodybuilders. The latter assume, erroneously, that it is the long and complicated routines which are responsible for the size and strength of the top men. Consequently they adopt similar training procedures. The top men are, as far as bodybuilding potential is concerned, at a whole different level of existence to that of the majority of bodybuilders. Most of us have very limited bodybuilding potential and do not have the exercise tolerance and recuperative powers (and aids) of the top men. It therefore follows that the top men should be the very last people to whom we look for training advice.

The huge majority of bodybuilders are hard gainers. This simply means that we find bodybuilding progress, even at the very best of times, to be a very slow process, often involving a step backwards for every two steps forward. We need to optimize everything in our training, rest, diet and psychological habits to even achieve moderate size and strength. This is simply how it is. There is no point pretending that we can be any different. We all have our inherited limitations and potentials over which we have no control. We must just accept this and make the best of what we have.

For bodybuilding guidance it is not to the elite performer that we should be looking, but rather, to those hard gainers who have managed to make progress despite formidable physical limitations. Their experiences are what really offer hope for hard gainers. The experiences of the champion building his arm from 18½ inches to 19 and 20+ inches are irrelevant for the hard gainer who is struggling to develop a 17 inch arm. Because the experiences of the champions are usually given the largest publicity they tend to dominate those of the average hard gainer.

In just about every case of hard gainers who finally make bodybuilding progress it is radical change in the quantity of their training that was responsible. Some of these changes may appear extreme by the standards of contemporary bodybuilding. But, so long as such changes are effective, what does it matter? It is results we are after, not seeing how long and frequently we can train. Routines consisting of only three exercises (squat, bench press, bent over row), twice a week, have brought good gains for the first time to many trainees. Treating such approaches with contempt, as unfortunately many people do, and to their cost, is not going to make their long complicated routines into effective ones. An open mind, a preparedness to experiment and the courage to withstand the criticism of incorrigible contemporary bodybuilders are needed if progress is to be made.

Diligently search through the articles at and find out as much as you can about the real experiences of hard gainers. Discover their training experiments and successes. See for yourself the paradox of training less to gain more.

It is a terrible shame that so many bodybuilders do not find out about the efficacy of short simple routines until after they have spent years knocking their heads against a wall using long complicated routines. In too many cases, bodybuilders become so frustrated by their making no gains that they give up bodybuilding. Some other frustrated bodybuilders, very near to giving it up, try, as a last resort, the old fashioned basic stuff.’ They almost immediately find that they start making gains. To find out the truth of effective bodybuilding they had to first spend years using futile training approaches. If only they had started with the basic stuff, and kept with it.

What a revolution it would be if more bodybuilders would use basic and simple training methods as their first option rather than as a final one. We would have so many contented bodybuilders instead of so many frustrated ones who seek panaceas through all sorts of avenues, culminating in drug usage and health destruction.

Once real bodybuilding understanding has been achieved the first action to be taken is a reduction in training quantity, together with, in most cases, an increase in training effort. Training on long complicated routines—no matter what dietary, equipment or psychological aids are used, will now be a thing of the past.

Once you understand the training paradox you will see how detrimental it is to train too much. When you have seen this clearly, you will no longer be tempted to train too much. Your bodybuilding fervor might want you to train more but your head now knows better. Just exactly how much you will have to reduce your training is an individual matter. For many of you an effective routine for size and strength can comprise of eight basic exercises to cover all the body; one warm up and two-three hard sets per exercise twice a week. For others you will have to reduce the routine even further. The extreme hard gainer may only need to train hard on the three core exercises: squat, bench press and bent over row. Some very extreme hard gainers have had to spend time on a one exercise routine—usually the squat—in order to establish the foundation for later gains on a three to five exercises routine. Extreme circumstances demand extreme measures.

Only you know your body and its responses. Some people respond best to medium or high repetitions, others need low repetitions. Some gain well on twice a week training, others need more rest and can only train once every fourth, fifth or sixth day. You are unique and must adapt your training to your needs and experiences. Experiment rationally, making only one adjustment in each training period of six to eight weeks. If you make more than one change at a time, you will not be able to specifically account for any gains you may make. Variables to be experimented with are: numbers of repetitions and sets; training frequency; number of exercises; choice of exercises; frequency of sub-maximal workouts; training intensity. Find out as much as you can about the training options within a rational basic framework. Apply this understanding to your situation, potential and experiences. Keep an open mind at all times and avoid dogmatism.

As well as overtraining through training too much and or too frequently, it is not too difficult to overtrain by training too hard, even on a very brief routine. Very high intensity techniques - e.g. compound sets or pre-exhausting, forced repetitions and negatives - do have a place in bodybuilding but they must be used extremely judiciously. Such techniques are very fashionable and many bodybuilders are being misled by the erroneous idea that training harder is always better.

Unless you are an advanced bodybuilder who is capable of performing strict repetitions with around twice bodyweight in the squat and bench press, there is no need to regularly use mega-intensity techniques. Just confine yourself almost exclusively to hard work in the traditional sense: maximum repetitions in good form, by yourself in normal sets. Grind out every repetition you can. You must demand growth by training very hard. To prevent your body from becoming complacent and to provide a genuine growth stimulus you can perform two forced repetitions per exercise ONCE every four to six weeks.

Avoid doing repetitions in a non-stop manner. Take a short pause in between repetitions, especially between the very hard final repetitions of each set. You must give your all to every repetition you do. This cannot be done if you perform a set in a continuous manner. You might feel as if you have worked the muscles hard but you will have stimulated little if any strength and size increases.

It is not desirable to train with 100 percent effort at every workout indefinitely. The body cannot permanently respond to maximum effort work. Regular sub-maximal workouts interspersed between very hard workouts, together with regular layoffs are crucial. Short periods each year using exclusively submaximal workouts are also necessary for long term progress. Some form of cycling your training intensity is mandatory or else overtraining and frustration will always result. Quite often, to make bodybuilding progress there is a need to take a step back before taking two steps forward.

Finally, never forget the immortal soul of bodybuilding "the use of progressive resistance". The need to add weight to each exercise as often as possible, while always maintaining good exercise style, is the cardinal rule of bodybuilding. If you keep this rule you will make some progress regardless of what you do or do not do in all your other habits. This truth cannot be stated strongly enough.

To realize regular increases in training poundages, you need to train hard while keeping training to a minimum. Training is not done for its intrinsic value but rather to bring about the increases in training poundages that are needed if substantial gains are to be made in muscular size. It is in order to achieve this central goal of increased poundages that it is vitally important to never forget the paradox of training less to gain mare.

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