October 11, 2010

The Most Important Factor of Training

There are many schools of thought when it comes to training. Some believe in high-volume training and others believe in cranking up the intensity and lowering the number of sets. Same goes for low repetitions vs high repetitions and fast movements vs slow movements.

Now, Dorian Yates used to dominate the Mr Olympia stage (winning the contest six years in a row) via infrequent, low-volume, high intensity training. On the other hand, current reigning Mr Olympia, Jay Cutler and most professional bodybuilders build their mass using high-volume training. Yet, there are a few bodybuilders such as David Henry and Mark Dugdale who use low-volume training. So what does this prove? Perhaps there's no ONE right way to build muscles.

BUT all of their training method has something in common. This reminds me of a saying that I've read in FLEX magazine by Ronnie Coleman, "It doesn't matter how many reps you perform, as long as you fatigue your target muscle". And I totally agree with that saying.

During my early training years, my goal when I step into the gym is to perform more reps with more weights for a certain exercise. That's pretty ok. But I neglect the most important part of training, which is the training. Get it? If you want to build muscle, you're actually training your muscle to contract, not just to lift the weights. There IS a big difference between targeting your muscles and just lifting weights.

Now whenever I walk into the gym, I ensure that by the time I walk out, my target bodypart must be pumped and the next day, it'll be sore. I perform strict reps at the beginning of a set, but by the end of it, I do cheat or perform half reps to make sure I target any muscles that still has the ability to contract.

A sign that this does make a difference is that last time, there used to be days when I don't feel sore at all during the day after the workout, which left me to wonder if I trained my muscle correctly. Now, even after nine years of loving and being in the sport, I feel sore the day after every workout.

So whichever school of thought it is that you're following, remember, push your target bodypart to its limits, each and everytime you hit the gym.

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