Many novice weightlifters think that getting bigger and stronger means getting on the bandwagon of the latest advances in nutrition and training. But this isn’t the case because a good understanding of the fundamentals in diet and workouts, which have been known for decades, is more crucial. Plus, critical thinking about your decisions and actions is a must as well.
Focus on the Principles
When you have the right principles in mind, you can apply the right methods at the right time in the right manner. Indeed, there are only a few principles for which there are several methods for each one.
The most important principles include:
- Specificity, which refers to the appropriate match between the type of stimuli and the desired adaptation. For example, a power lifter will likely focus on heavy yet low-rep exercises, such as deadlift, bench, and squat.
- Individual response, which pertains to the unique responses of each person to standardized programs. While you may get more benefits from a customized program, you should also avoid going the opposite extreme – think that you are so special that only an exotic, if not downright crazy, workout is your best option.
- Progressive overload, which refers to the continuous increase of the adoptive challenges presented to your body. You have to force the issue, so to speak, by gradually and continually adding more weights, repetitions, and/or sets to your workouts.
And be sure to periodically assess your progress. You may not be improving for one of two reasons – you’re not training hard enough or you’re training too hard.
Focus on the Fundamentals
Too many novice lifters want the fastest routes to their goals, which isn’t such a good thing because it takes hard work to get to Mr. Olympia level. You may be tempted to search for “secrets of training”, “tricks to achieve larger muscles faster”, and “novel ways of getting larger muscles”, among other examples.
Don’t do it! You will find that while tips and tricks can work in the short-term period, these aren’t usually effective in the long-term period, lifting-wise. You will also likely find that your desire for new, even novel or exotic, information will only cause more confusion. Your chances for succumbing to paralysis by analysis, among other ways in which you will do most things wrong or do nothing at all, increase in the process.
Instead, just focus on the fundamentals of weight lifting. Your personal trainer at Gold’s Gym is among the best sources of information in this regard.
In conclusion, you are well-advised to follow the example of successful lifters. This isn’t to say that you should copy their diet and training programs because then you’re setting yourself up for failure. You must have a customized program but it also pays to learn from the example of others.