When your first decide to satisfy your inner desire to build large muscles and become one of those men with “big guns” flexing for the girls, you start doing careful research in the quest for the perfect bodybuilding routine.
Logic says that in order to learn the subtleties of any craft, you have to go to the masters. If you want to become a doctor, only doctors can teach you. If you want to become a computer programmer, you read thick books on the subject written by experts. If you want to become a martial art master, you go to the grandmasters. Consequently, to build big muscles you go to the big men a.k.a. bodybuilders or thong warriors, if you insist on being mean.
There is one big problem, however. That problem is called superficial analysis. Every men out there has an agenda. This can become incredibly frustrating in your search for the truth. Everybody claims to have the secret, but very few are actually sincere. The sport of bodybuilding certainly does not enjoy a large number of people telling the truth. Thus, the never-ending propaganda in mainstream muscle media has been going on for a long time.
The business model of the muscle industry has not changed to this very day: sell supplements and hollowness to the naïve teens with the use of “roided” freaks as promoters. This is why it is so hard to trust the masters when it comes to bodybuilding. They know how to get big, but the law and the bank does not allow them to tell you. That leaves you with a taste of metal in your mouth. The good news is that once you have received the cold slap of awakening, you become more enlightened in other areas of your life. Suddenly, you start spotting the same pattern wherever you look. It is a lesson that can serve you for life. If you choose to ignore it, you risk becoming a perpetual lifelong sucker.
For business reasons only, you will never find “the perfect bodybuilding” routine or something close to it in muscle magazines. Those have been corrupted and operating on the principle problem- reaction – solution since day one. First, they show you the men with big muscle who enjoy great appreciations thanks to their perfect bodies. This creates a problem because you want to join the club, but you do not exactly how. Don’t worry! They have the solution for you – liver tablets and amino acids.
As a result the only thing you can find in magazines are garbage routines meant to increase the volume of the muscle catalog you are holding in your hands with so much hope. Ironically, you will never find the perfect bodybuilding routine on this site either. I do not have it and I never will. All I can provide are principles that can help you create what I call “the liquid bodybuilding” routine.
Life is a cycle made out of periods with different priorities. What was important yesterday may not be on today’s agenda. Therefore, in order to achieve your goals, the routine you are following must be changing as well. You can think of it as a shoe – you wear one type during the cold winter and a very different one in the summer, or at very least this is what people who have money for more than one pair of shoes do. Consequently, anything close to a perfect routine would resemble a large wardrobe containing different footwear and clothing for every situation.
In my opinion the most important elements of a successful bodybuilding routine are:
- Exercise selection;
- Frequency & recovery;
Every exercise is nothing but a tool meant to help you build your house. If you do not have the right tools, the likelihood of producing a good product is low. Exercise selection should be based on your goals, experience and current physical state and abilities. While I do not believe in the existence of irreplaceable exercises for the most part, learning the basics is required.
Instead of looking for a shortcut, you should learn all classic compound exercises and make your own decisions when you are ready. Nothing is obligatory besides having the fundamentals down. You can certainly succeed without doing exercises like the squat and the deadlift for the rest of your life, but being able to do them correctly will only help you in your career as an iron mover. Once you have the basics down, you can evaluate what you are getting out of each movement and make your choice. Be honest in your assessment. Only then, you can come up with a proper exercise selection, which is key to less sucking bodybuilding routines.
Progression & Narrow Focus
The next condition for the creation of a routine that makes sense is progression. Whatever you do, it is worth nothing in terms of actual improvement, unless you are becoming better. In the muscle world progress is measured in muscle size and strength increase. If they are not present, your routine is keeping you at the same place, which is often the case with mainstream bodybuilding workout plans. They consist of so many exercises, which actually hinders your ability to progress due to the lack of focus. We all want to be famous singers, actors, writers, models…etc. but in order to make a real progress in one area, the rest have to occupy the back seat. Narrow focus is your friend. I would rather be the guy who got his pull-ups from 8 to 20 repetitions, instead of the guy doing 20 exercises for all heads of his biceps and triceps.
This world is dualistic. Which means that every actions has a reaction. You work you rest. If you routine is built in a way which stops you from recovering, it is never going to work. In addition, that recovery ability is heavily dependent on your personal lifestyle. If you are an office slave, you can do more work than a construction worker. Whatever the manual says, add rest days when needed. Many people fail because they treat routines like doctrines without taking into account their own abilities.
Simple routines are always the best. It is much better to do two solid exercises for a muscle group instead of 20 just to look hardcore. The biggest losers in the gym are those who try to make every machine and weight set happy. They move from one exercise to another, thinking that quantity is the key to success. This is due to the false belief that more always equals better. This is not the case but we all have a quantity chip installed in our brains.