In part one, I said that good coaches are not afraid to change their minds when enough evidence is presented and thus, I went over some of the nutrition things I have changed my mind on in the time I have been in the fitness industry. Let’s continue with the training stuff.
You have to train to failure to build muscle
I used to train to muscular failure all the time because I thought it was necessary to build muscle. I still do it, but I incorporate failure training sparingly. Why? Because it can hurt the amount of volume (sets/muscle group) I can do.
Even in the literature, there isn’t much difference in muscle growth when we compare 0 reps in reserve (failure) to a few reps in reserve. So feel free to train to failure but do it intelligently and for a purpose rather than because “Jack the mountain” in your gym told you, “you need to die in the gym!”
A warning: Knowing that you don’t have to go to failure to see gains can be counterproductive because you might start leaving too many reps in the tank. Be aware of that.
Massing and cutting phases are a waste of time, and body recomposition is the way to go
Body recomposition aka gaining muscle and losing fat simultaneously is something I was after for a long, long time. Lean gaining — packing on pounds of lean muscle mass with no fat — sounded sexy too. Truth is, body recomp happens in a few specific populations. In many cases, it’s a waste of time.
I get it. No one likes gaining body fat. But if you want to maximize muscle growth, an energy surplus is necessary. Which, unfortunately, entails some fat gain. But if you decide to go all oh no I don’t want to lose my beloved abs, you can be damn sure you will not make great gains.
Going through dedicated massing and cutting phases is the best way to maximize muscle growth.
Further reading: The Biggest Reason You’re Not Gaining Muscle
Muscle and strength loss during a layoff
My balls shriveled every time I had to take a few weeks off training. I thought I would…