Last Update On April 23, 2012
Why The Classic Bodybuilding Routines Are Complete Waste Of Time
Pretty much anybody has tried a “classic bodybuilding” routine which can be easily found in a popular magazine such as Muscular Development and in 99% of the cases the stuff fails to produce any kind of decent results and in this article I will explain why.
1. Too many exercises
Most bodybuilding routines consist of too many exercises. For example below is the chest program of Branch Warren as posted by MuscleTech:
Incline Barbell Bench Press: 4 x 8-10
Barbell Bench Press: 3 x 8-10
Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 x 8-10
Cable Crossovers: 3 x 15
Weighted Dips: 3 x 20-25
Total sets: 17
Total reps: 200-210
While Branch Warren is a professional bodybuilder we aren't and doing that much will hinder progress rather than stimulate it. Also it's really hard to keep a consistent training log when you do around 5 exercises for chest. If next time my bench press goes up but my incline goes down did I make any progress? What about cable crossovers? Dips hurt at the end but I will keep them cause I'm tough.
Solution: Cut the exercises. Cut the sets. Cut the reps. Cut the crap.
For example a much more “human” chest workout would look like that.
Barbell Bench Press: 3 x 6-8;
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 x 8-10;
Remember that as a natural athlete you can only do so much. Professional bodybuilders are on steroids most of the time so their recovery is faster. Not to mention the work capacity they developed over the years.
2. Training For The Pump
There is a misconception that pump and soreness are worth a shit. They are not. Many professional bodybuilders go nuts about the pump but truth be told the pump is nothing more than increased blood circulation and that can be achieved with a 10 pound dumbbell. Will you grow? Hell no. The intensity (percentage of 1RM) is so low that you can't grow. There is just no muscle to be repaired.
Forget about pumping unless you are injured.
3. Less focus on strength
Most bodybuilder would hate to admit it but they are scared of doing low reps and stick to 10-15 reps “to avoid injury”. Yeah, right. Listen, I don't care how much burn in the quad you feel from squatting 135 for 3 sets of 25. It ain't gonna make you grow. You gotta go heavy to recruit the fast twitch fibers otherwise join a marathon club and keep wondering why your legs are still smaller than the biceps of a teenage girl in depression.
4. Too much ab training
It amazes me even to this day how many people still don't get it - ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN. Nobody gets ripped abs from mindlessly doing crunches. It's all about lower levels of body fat. Let the crunches to the people selling stupid products like AB Swing and just lose some weight. Abs will come.
5. Training To Failure And Beyond
Dorian Yates made training to failure and beyond popular. While the main concept of H.I.T. (High-intensity training) is great, training to failure is as useful as masturbating to failure. Nothing good ever comes out of it except injuries and frustration.
Don't train to failure and leave it to steroid loaded freaks.
6. Too Much Machines
Machines are finels and there are some great ones like the Nautilus pull-over but most of them place too much strain on the joints due to the fixed pattern.
7. Split routines produce result but are boring as hell
Let's face it: total body training is more fun than having a biceps and triceps day. It's also a well known secret that similar training produces faster results and builds more skill and awareness.
8. Focusing on insignificant things
Training your biceps peak with spider curls is great but let's leave it to people who have built some base and already “reported” some growth in the area. You wouldn't paint your car if it has no tyres, would you?
9. Taking Too Much Supplements
Supplements suck. Plain and simple. Protein is the only supplement that makes sense but it's only useful for big guys who need 400 grams a day. If you consume 150-250 protein a day save your money - regular food works too.