I have been working out with maximum intensity 6 days a week, but I don’t seem to be gaining at all? My workouts are good because I’m always sore the next day. Am I not taking the right supplements or perhaps not taking in enough protein? I usually get around 300 grams of protein per day. Plus, I weight 175 and my body-fat is around 13%. I’d appreciate any advice that you might offer.
William, I know you will appreciate me telling you the cold, hard truth so you can make maximum gains. Right? Ok, here goes…
I hate to burst your bubble, but you are not training with maximum intensity if you are hitting the gym full-force 6 days a week.
Now, please don’t misunderstand what I just wrote above to mean you are not training diligently. Quite the contrary, you are obviously very dedicated and willing to “pay the price” to reach your goals. That’s why I really want to (hopefully) steer you in a better direction!
Training with maximum intensity is brutally difficult! In fact, if you are truly training at peak intensity levels, you would NOT be able to do it 6 days a week. This becomes even more critical if you are training without anabolics (more on this later).
While I believe certain supplements are very important, no supplement or amount of protein you could take can compensate for the degree of overtraining you’re most likely experiencing!
In other words, mega-dosing protein will NOT accelerate the muscle building process. You see, your body is strictly limited by how fast it can first, recover lost resources, and second, ‘remodel’ itself with larger, denser muscle tissue.
This is one of the main advantages of anabolic steroids and a major reason they’re so tempting for athletes. They dramatically accelerate this recovery/ building process.
Even so, you’d be amazed by what you can achieve with very intense and intelligent training done the right way!
All too often, people make the classic mistake of gauging the success of their workouts based on how sore they ‘feel’ the following day. The main thing soreness indicates, if anything, is that you’ve got a lot more recovering to do before your body can overcompensate enough to produce muscle gains.
A much better way to gauge the productivity of your workouts is by closely measuring increases in strength. In other words, for a workout to be productive it must be progressive.
Simply put, you should be seeing measurable increases in either the weights you’re using or repetitions—or better yet BOTH— EVERY SINGLE WORKOUT!
So here is what I suggest: Take at least 1 full week OFF. I promise you will not shrink or lose any gains. You MUST do this now and finally allow your body to replenish the resources it needs to recover, let alone grow.
Then, resume your training regimen. Only this time factor in 2 extra recovery days between ALL of your lifting sessions moving forward. If you still aren’t making sufficient progress, it may be necessary to consolidate your workouts by reducing your training volume.
If I can leave you with one thing to take away from this answer, it’s this: You stimulate growth IN the gym. But, you actually grow OUTSIDE of the gym, when you are recovering.
Most people have heard this statement before. However, I can also tell you most people do NOT make anywhere near the gains they could because they don’t understand this… or they simply choose to ignore it altogether. (Fact is it actually takes longer to recover than most want to believe, especially without anabolics in the picture.)
Finally, if it’s taking you over an hour to complete a workout, you’re doing too much.
How do I know? Believe it or not, my average weight-training sessions typically last no longer than 20-30 minutes!
Prove ‘Em Wrong,
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