One morning, while reflecting on my 21 years of bodybuilding, I thought, “If I could go back in time and teach myself what I now know about bodybuilding training, I’d get to where I am now in a fraction of the time!” How’s that for starting your day on an utterly depressing note?
Tears aside, I don’t want you to have to wait so long to become a savvier trainee. That’s why I’m sharing with you the nine most important things that I wish I could teach my 16 year-old self – so you can learn from my experience.
1. Train in ALL Rep Ranges
Everyone develops a preference to train in a certain repetition range. Maybe you like the strength and density that comes with heavy, low-rep training? Or perhaps you prefer the pump and muscle fullness that higher-rep training brings? Either way, realize that each repetition range has benefits, especially in terms of muscle growth.
To get larger muscles, train holistically. A good rule-of-thumb is to spend about 1/3 of your training time in the 2-6 rep range, 1/3 in the 7-12 rep range, and the other 1/3 with sets of 13 reps or more.
This will ensure that you’re growing in just about every way a muscle can grow, including myofibrillar hypertrophy, which comes from using heavy weight for low reps, AND sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which comes from doing higher reps with a more moderate weight.