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How To Murder Your Muscle Gains

May 19, 2008
Some guy in the gym finishes a hard set of barbell squats and re-racks the weight. He feels realy tired and he takes a big swig from his water bottle. He looks down at his watch and presses the start button to begin counting down backwards from 2 minutes.

He read that 2 minutes is the ideal rest time between sets in the gym, and he wants to get it exact. Once that watch beeps at the 2 minute mark, he'll be back in the squat rack to perform another set. He stands up tall and paces around trying to catch his breath in preparation for his next battle with the weights.

Time is up. His still feel weak and his heart is still beating a lot, he doesn't feel completely ok, but the watch beeped and that means his has to go back and perform another set, it does'nt matter how he feels.

He unracks the weight and squats down. His legs still burn and he wishes that he could have had more time to prepare for this set. He puts forth a mediocre effort, re-racks the bar, and sets his watch for another 2 minutes. Bobby, just like a ton of other aspiring lifters in the gym, is making a deadly, critical mistake.

The only thing he is doing is to force his body to train at an effort level really far for his maximum potential, and his muscles are rarely being stimulated to grow.

Muscles grow because of an adaptive response to stress. You lift X amount of weight for Y number of reps, and your body adapts to this level of stress. In order to see continual gains in muscle size, you must continually force X and Y to higher and higher levels.

What you have to do then is to lift as much weight as you can again, and again, and again.

If you don't rest enough between sets, you will not reach your maximum strenght potential sacrificing the amount of weight you can lift, and also sacrificing the amount of muscle you can build. So, to begin the next set qhen you are still tired is the big mistake you should not make.

A watch will never tell you when you are ready to begin the next set. Instead of it, listen to your body and you will know when to follow your training.

The set rest period theory is also highly flawed because it does not take into account the fact that certain exercises tax the body much more heavily than others and therefore require more rest between them.
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