18th September 2015 - Don't train like a pro!
Train For You
I used to read all the popular bodybuilding magazines, like Flex and MuscleMag and when I was just starting out I used to base my workouts on the ones described in the articles written by professional bodybuilders.
You'd have Vince Taylor describing how he uses double sets for virtually everything, Kevin Levrone advocating higher reps on triceps and Ronnie Coleman advising to use the most weight possible. One thing virtually all of them agreed on, however, was huge numbers of sets and exercises per bodypart. So there I was, doing anything between twenty to fourty sets per bodypart. It was crazy!
I would train for hours at a time, desperately trying to copy what my favourite pro's training regime, wondering why I wasn't growing despite my massive efforts.
It took me a long while to realise I was training like a pro, despite not being anywhere near the size of one. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Most pro's having been training for ten years or more, and 99% of them are on serious amount of drugs. They can only train for so long because of their experience, drugs, food intake, genetics and everything else they have learned over their time as a bodybuilder. Indeed, many of them would probably benefit from reducing the number of sets they perform but when it's your living at stake, I guess you can hardly blame them for worrying about not doing enough work in the gym.
You need to train according to your needs. Listen to your body, monitor your strength gains and weight gain. Adjust your training intensity and workout duration according to how quickly you are growing, and factor in all the other influences such as other exerice, stress levels and diet. Don't train like a pro until you are one!