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No Gains, All Lifts

Written by Mr. WellCultured, Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 in Q&As

Dude, I keep lifting but I can’t seem to gain muscle mass. [I do a 5-day split]. What’s happening?

The answer: you’re overdoing it. A lot.

The little secret embodied in pretty much every single good workout routine — Starting Strength, Madcow, Glenn Pendlay 5×5, etc. — is that you only really need to do a few compound movements with very heavy weight to gain muscle mass. For most lifters (and I mean non-professional and/or non-juicing lifters), a 3-day-a-week routine focusing on compound lifts is more than enough to pack on muscle mass and to make you strong as an ox. Five day splits should generally be reserved for bodybuilders at the top of their game and juiceheads. Don’t sit around doing a bunch of isolation movements, don’t do dumbass “high rep, low weight” routines, and certainly don’t waste your time with machines. Just hit the basics, hard.

So basically, cut down your routine, eat a lot more, and lift super-heavy only three times a week. The gains will come.

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