Today I will share another great article from my friend, Natural Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe John Hansen. In this article, John shares 3 common natural bodybuilding mistakes that prevent gains.

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3 Common Natural Bodybuilding Mistakes That Prevent Gains
by John Hansen, Natural Mr. Olympia / Mr. Universe
MP6 Program Creator

There are many excuses used in regards to the difficulty of building bigger muscles. Some say that you have to born with very rare genetics in order to have the ability to get big. Others claim that you have to use a lot of anabolic steroids to have any chance of building an impressive physique.

However, there are also many mistakes that can be made along the way to building muscle mass. These errors may be the real reason that so many aspiring bodybuilders find it so difficult to build more muscle.

Many of us make the mistake of following what the professional bodybuilders do in our quest for more muscle. This seems logical but the reality is that the pros often have advantages that most of us don’t have. Trying to mimic their training routines and nutrition programs often leads to frustration and failure.

I made the same mistake when I began lifting weights at the young age of 14 years old. I had no idea what type of training program I should follow to build bigger muscles so I simply copied the exact workout routine of the current Mr. Olympia. I was soon training twice a day, six days a week to speed up my muscle building gains. Unfortunately, my results were slow and disappointing.

Here are the three main mistakes that most bodybuilders make in their quest for building more muscle mass. If you are performing one or more of these training errors, this could be what is holding you back from building more muscle.

 

Mistake #1 – Doing Too Many Sets – The idea of “more is better” is common in our society. The harder you work and the more time you spend trying to achieve a goal, the more successful you will be. If you want to get better grades, study more. If you want to make more money, work more hours. If you want to build bigger muscles, do more sets and make your workouts even longer.

Unfortunately, building muscle doesn’t work that way. Muscles grow bigger in response to stress. This stress adaptation response can be compared to getting a sun tan or developing calluses on your hands. When the body is subjected to stress, it responds by adapting to that stress and becoming stronger. The skin darkens in response to the exposure to the sun, calluses develop in response to the friction against the skin and your muscles grow larger in response to the extra resistance placed on them.

If the stress is too intense or too long, the muscles may actually break down more than build up. This can happen if the muscles are not given enough time to recuperate from the workout or if too many sets are performed during a workout. When you do too many sets in a workout, the intensity level actually goes down because it is impossible to train extremely hard and long at the same time.

By reducing the amount of sets that are performed in a workout, you will be able to train much harder and put more into each set which equates to more stress on the muscles plus saving enough energy to rebuild the muscle tissues. The key to really building more muscle mass is to impose more stress on them by overloading them with more resistance and then giving them enough time to recuperate and grow. Using too many sets will burn up your energy reserves without helping you to build more muscle.

 

Mistake #2 – Relying on the Pump – Getting a good pump in the muscles is one of the best benefits to lifting weights. The muscles get larger when they are pumped up and it feels both mentally and physically satisfying to achieve this condition. Arnold Schwarzenegger jokingly compared getting a pump to a sexual orgasm in the film “Pumping Iron”.

Although pumping blood into the muscles is a factor in building bigger muscles, some bodybuilders mistake a pump for growth. The key to building more muscle mass is to subject the muscles to more stress than they are accustomed to. This increased stress will force the muscles to respond.

Merely pumping up the muscles by using less resistance may feel good but it does little for real muscle tissue growth. In order to get those muscle fibers to thicken up and develop, you have to place more resistance on them as opposed to just pumping them up with more blood.

It’s no coincidence that the biggest bodybuilders in the history of the sport got that way by training with very heavy weights. They may have changed their training philosophy AFTER they built their incredible muscle mass but they never would have gotten that way in the first place by simply pumping up the the muscles with light weights.

 

Mistake #3 – Not Keeping Track of Your Progress – Sometimes the emphasis with a training program is to just “kill it” or train very intense instead of actually making progress. Everyone wants to train hard in order to build more muscle mass. However, the bottom line should always be how effective is the workout?

Taking each set to failure, using drop sets and chasing the pump during a workout may make you believe that you are progressing because the workout was so hard. However, this may not necessarily be the case. Are you getting stronger week after week? Are your muscles getting progressively bigger over time? Does it seem like you are making progress because you are training so hard or are you actually making progress?

The best way to ensure that you are making gains and going in the right direction is to record your workouts and keep track of your progress. By writing down what you are dong week after week, you will be able to see for yourself if you are making gains with your muscle mass and strength.

The muscles will respond to progressive resistance. By consistently overloading the muscles, they will have no choice but to respond to the increased stress by growing and getting larger. You don’t necessarily have to train so hard that your eyeballs are bulging out of your head. As long as the muscles are working consistently working harder, they will get bigger.

 

—-END OF ARTICLE—-

 

If you found this article useful be sure to check out John’s program below:

Get the MP6 Program Today + FR E E BRE + John’s Podcast <<<

 

If you get John’s program through one of the
links in this email, or via the links on my video with John below,
I will get you a complimentary copy of my own
program “Body Re-Engineering” (valued at $39.99).

Furthermore, I will give you a NEVER BEFORE HEARD
Exclusive 60 Minute Podcast of John Hansen where
he shares solid tips on training, nutrition and supplementation!
[Editing interview as we speak so I will send it out
by Monday.]

Just make sure that when you pick up MP6 you forward
your receipt to hugo@hugorivera.net with the title
“SPECIAL MP6 OFFER” and I’ll get it sent over to you asap
(within 24 hours)! I will then send you also the podcast as soon
as I have it ready (Friday).

Note: Offer expires Sunday, Feb 23rd.

 

Get the MP6 Program Today + FR E E BRE + John’s Podcast <<<

 

And before I leave, for those of you who may have missed out on my last video, you can check it out below. Tons of great muscle building information!

Take care and train hard!!!

Today I will share another great article from my friend,
Natural Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe John Hansen.
In this article, John shares a super important training
secret for getting non-stop gains.

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And by the way, John sends a huge thanks to all of you
who have gotten his system which is on sale only until
Sunday at midnight! After that, the bonuses go away
and the price doubles so take advantage of this now!

Get the MP6 Program Today + FR E E BRE + John’s Podcast <<<

Remember that if you get John’s program through one of the
links in this email, or via the links on my video with John below,
I will get you a complimentary copy of my own
program “Body Re-Engineering” (valued at $39.99).

Furthermore, I will give you a NEVER BEFORE HEARD
Exclusive 60 Minute Podcast of John Hansen where
he shares solid tips on training, nutrition and supplementation!
[Editing interview as we speak so I will send it out
on Friday.]

Just make sure that when you pick up MP6 you forward
your receipt to hugo@hugorivera.net with the title
“SPECIAL MP6 OFFER” and I’ll get it sent over to you asap
(within 24 hours)! I will then send you also the podcast as soon
as I have it ready (Friday).

Note: Offer expires Sunday, Feb 23rd.

Get the MP6 Program Today + FR E E BRE + John’s Podcast <<<

With that said, here is John’s article about non stop gains:

1 Training Secret to Non Stop Gains
by John Hansen, Natural Mr. Olympia / Mr. Universe
MP6 Program Creator

Building muscle mass is not like saving money. If you consistently
deposit money into a savings account, even one with a minimal
interest rate, your savings will continue to rise. However, if you
consistently weight train for many years, you will not necessarily
continue to build more and more muscle mass. In fact, it’s more
than likely that your body will actually resist the push to build
more muscle size as you become more advanced.

When we first began weight training, the results came so easy. All
we had to do was show up at the gym and start throwing weights
around. It didn’t matter if we really trained hard, if we used
proper form, if we did too many sets and reps. We could train every
day for hours at a time, doing endless exercises and sets for just
one muscle group (50 sets just for the biceps!) and our muscles
sprouted like flowers in spring time. It was a wonderful experience!

Unfortunately, the good times didn’t last. It might have taken a
year or perhaps only months but eventually the muscle gains came
screeching to a sudden and definitive halt! The disappointing
results may have made you take a closer look at your exercise form
or even cut back on the number of sets you were doing so you don’t
run the danger of overtraining.

However, despite doing basically EVERYTHING right, gaining muscle
can still be a frustrating experience for the advanced trainer.
Your body adopts the attitude “been there, done that” and refuses
to budge even though you are now doing forced reps, drop sets,
supersets and every other high intensity training technique you can
think of.

Yet, despite your years of training experience and your body’s
stubborn response to building muscle, there is a basic tenet that
applies to developing more muscle mass, whether you are a novice
beginner or an advanced bodybuilder. It is the Rule of Progressive
Resistance!

Even though your muscles may seem like devious little creatures
that bob and weave their way around your attempts to make them
bigger, the truth is that they don’t have a mind of their own. Your
highly sought after muscle cells are merely composed of fibers,
liquid and other sarcoplasmic substances. If they are stimulated
correctly, they will grow. End of story!

So, how can you make your experienced muscle fibers, who have been
through it all after so many years of consistent, hard training,
finally begin to respond again? The answer is to progressively
overload them with more resistance. Those stubborn muscle fibers
won’t have any chance but to grow bigger and stronger from the
overload placed on them.

The best way to consistently overload the muscles with more
resistance is to CYCLE your workouts. By slowly but progressively
adding more resistance to your workouts, week after week, the
muscles will slowly adapt by getting both bigger and stronger. If
you have been trying to “force” muscle growth by training harder
and harder, this may finally be the solution for you to start
growing again.

The muscles don’t know what “hard” training is. They just respond
to more stress. If you impose greater amounts of stress on the
muscle, it will have no choice but to respond by adapting to that
stress. The adaptation response in this case will be to increase
the size and strength of the muscles in response to that increased
stress.

Cycling your workouts will allow you to slowly impose more
resistance (stress) on the muscles over several weeks (a cycle).
This method of progressively increasing the resistance on the
muscles will naturally allow the body to increase strength without
trying to force the muscles to respond.

By using both a Power Cycle and a Mass Cycle, you will be
developing both muscle strength and size with the overall goal of
building bigger muscles. The key to developing either strength or
mass is in the amount of repetitions performed. More weight and
less reps (3-5 repetitions) will develop greater strength and
power. Slightly higher repetitions (6-10 reps) is more conducive to
building more muscle mass and size.

We always begin with the Power Cycle first because the goal during
the training cycle is develop more strength in the specific
mass-building exercises. The more weight you can use for the proper
amount of reps, the more muscle mass you will build. By devoting a
set amount of weeks to primarily building up strength, you will be
able to use that increased power to build more size.

For example, let’s take everyone’s favorite exercise, the Barbell
Bench Press, and illustrate how you could use the Power and Mass
Cycles to build more size and strength into the chest. To start
off, pick a weight that you can do 6 repetitions with in the
Barbell Bench Press. For example, if you could do 225 pounds for an
easy 6 reps, that would be a good weight to start off with in Week
1 of the Power Cycle.

Power Cycle
Week 1 – 225 pounds for 3 sets of 5 reps
Week 2 – 235 pounds for 3 sets of 4 reps
Week 3 – 245 pounds for 3 sets of 3 reps
Week 4 – 235 pounds for 3 sets of 5 reps
Week 5 – 245 pounds for 3 sets of 4 reps
Week 6 – 255 pounds for 3 sets of 3 reps

The Power Cycle will last a total of six weeks. The six weeks is
actually two 3 week cycles in which the resistance is gradually
increased over the length of the cycle. This gradual progression
will allow the body to slowly increase strength without getting
stuck by trying to lift too heavy of a resistance too fast. It’s
important to coax the body to get stronger on it’s own by using a
program that will accomplish the goal of increasing power.

The amount of repetitions to be used for the Power Cycle is
approximately 3-5 reps. This selection of reps is slightly below
what is normally used to build muscle mass. Again, the goal is
power and strength first and muscle size second. However, prepare
to be surprised on how much size you will develop in addition to
more strength when using the Power Cycle.

Doing the right amount of weight for the required amount of
repetitions and doing three sets of each exercise is one of the
primary factors for the success of this program. By doing multiple
sets with the same weight instead of doing just one or two sets and
pushing that set to complete failure, you will be using a technique
that many powerlifters use to build strength. It’s that practice of
doing set after set after set that conditions the body to build the
strength in response to the stress imposed on the muscles. That’s
why doing three working sets for each exercise is vitally
important.

After the Power Cycle is completed, it’s time to change gears and
employ the Mass Cycle. The amount of reps used in the Mass Cycle
will be higher (5-7 reps) than what was used in the Power Cycle.
The increased reps will bring in more blood flow and lactic acid
build-up in the muscles. The muscles will get more sore in this
cycle than the Power Cycle because the muscle tissues will be
damaged more from the greater volume (more on that later).

When structuring the Mass Cycle for your workouts, a good rule to
follow is to take the weight that was used on the FIRST Week of the
Power Cycle and use that same weight for the SECOND Week of the
Mass Cycle. For example, let’s again use the Barbell Bench Press as
an example to illustrate the change from the Power Cycle to the
Mass Cycle for the full six weeks for each phase:

Mass Cycle
Week 1 – 215 pounds for 3 sets of 7 reps
Week 2 – 225 pounds for 3 sets of 6 reps
Week 3 – 235 pounds for 3 sets of 5 reps
Week 4 – 225 pounds for 3 sets of 7 reps
Week 5 – 235 pounds for 3 sets of 6 reps
Week 6 – 245 pounds for 3 sets of 5 reps

Looking at the difference between the Power Cycle and Mass Cycle
above may not seem like a giant improvement. After all, you are
only doing ONE MORE repetition on the Mass Cycle than you were
using during the Power Cycle on some of the weeks. It may almost
seem like a lot of work and dedication for only a little reward.

However, the difference in the two different training cycles is
very apparent when looking at the TOTAL VOLUME for both the Power
Cycle and the Mass Cycle. The total volume is computed by
multiplying the weight used each set by the sets and the reps. For
example, on week 1 of the Power Cycle for the Barbell Bench Press –

225 pounds x 5 reps x 3 sets = 3375

Let’s take the same volume approach with the Mass Cycle on week 2 –

225 pounds x 6 reps x 3 sets = 4050

Only one more repetition has increased the total volume of that one
exercise by 675 pounds! That’s a 17% increase with only the
addition of one more rep using the same weight and the same amount
of sets.

When you see the difference in Total Volume for the Power Cycle vs
the Mass Cycle, the difference is even more dramatic. Using the
Barbell Bench Press example illustrated above, lets look at the
totals in volume for both cycles:

Barbell Bench Press

Power Cycle Mass Cycle
Week 1 225x5x3 = 3375 215x7x3 = 4515
Week 2 235x4x3 = 2820 225x6x3 = 4050
Week 3 245x3x3 = 2205 235x5x3 = 3525
Week 4 235x5x3 = 3525 225x7x3 = 4725
Week 5 245x4x3 = 2940 235x6x3 = 4230
Week 6 255x3x3 = 2295 245x5x3 = 3675

If you are ready to start making some serious gains in both muscle
mass and strength again, then begin cycling your workouts for both
Power and Mass. No matter how long you have been training or how
complacent your muscles may seem to be, they won’t have any other
option but to grow when you start subjecting them to progressively
more resistance. Get ready to start growing again!

—-END OF ARTICLE—-

And before I leave, for those of you who may have missed out
on my last video, you can check it out below. Tons of great
muscle building information!

Take care and train hard!!!

Learn how muscle fiber types relate to your goals/sport and the way that you should train in order to get maximum results! [Read more…]

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