Bodybuilding: intermediate level
When you start bodybuilding or enter an intermediate phase, everything seems to work, at least for a while. We change our format of repetitions or program, food plan, we try new supplements and we gain muscle no matter what. Only, the more advanced you are in bodybuilding, the more difficult the progress is! When you get to that stagnation, the rules have to change if you want to keep moving forward. We have taken the time to list some solutions and the mistakes not to make.
- 1 Issues no. 1: take a step back and review your training
- 2 Issues no. 2: avoid stagnation and maximize muscle gains
- 3 5 mistakes that keep you stagnant
Issues no. 1:
take a step back and review your training
You are at an intermediate level if you have been practicing strength training for more than 6 months. It’s time to take stock, so as not to fall into stagnation.
The quest for results must be your source of motivation
You can have the best program, it will never be enough to realize your full potential. Your focus, your discipline, your tenacity and the ability to listen to your body count much more in your results. Wherever you go in bodybuilding, it’s not a program that will get you there, it will only be YOU, your attitude and your desire to succeed.
Be thorough, take notes
Monitoring its progress is absolutely essential to optimize its results. This will allow you to set goals for each workout based on what you achieved in the previous session.. The numbers don’t lie and give you an accurate indication of where you are and where you want to go. What’s more, rating your performance encourages you to train harder ; you become more responsible to yourself.
The execution of the movement is crucial, the form a little less
Execution means making sure the targeted muscle is stimulated correctly. Doing cheat moves is helpful when you have a solid muscular foundation. You just have to be sure to keep the tension on the chosen muscle. People are mostly obsessed with “technique” or “form” on an exercise. But beyond appearances, what matters is the degree of efficiency generated by this exercise. An intermediate or advanced practitioner generally has enough muscle development and knowledge of his body to recruit muscle adequately, even by cheating slightly on the form of an exercise.
The negative phase is as important as the positive phase
It’s easy to forget the negative phase when concentrating to lift a load. Only, we neglect the part of the movement that recruits the most muscle fibers. Maintaining tension on the negative phase of the movement radically stimulates the muscles. When you fully contract your muscles on the positive phase, you shorten those muscles. On the negative phase, you lengthen them. Numerous studies on this subject show that this double stress is formidable to stimulate muscle growth. You will never pass a certain level if you do not learn to control this movement.
Issues no. 2:
avoid stagnation and maximize muscle gains
Learn how to train and eat optimally to kick-start muscle building
and avoid stagnation
Eat more, in several times, and well balanced
Most bodybuilders have the best results by eating 5-7 times a day. Eating often allows the stomach to adapt to the large calorie needs needed to build muscle. Protein synthesis is positively impacted by the frequency of meals, which is the assurance of gaining muscle mass.
Make yourself a full pre-workout shake
What you ingest before your sessions contributes enormously to your energy level. It’s the same for supplements, which also provide immense benefits. Ingredients to consider include: BCAAs which are crucial for energy and muscle repair, beta alanine which improves muscle endurance, creatine which supports muscle volume and strength, and a nitric oxide precursor such as arginine.
Balance your nutrition
Pay special attention to your diet and don’t just think about protein! They are certainly the essential macronutrient to build muscle, but neglecting carbohydrates and lipids will harm you in terms of muscle building and recovery. Try to keep in mind that you need quality carbohydrates and fats.
Work your muscles with optimal frequency
Muscles need a strong stimulus to grow. Train at least 4 times a week, focusing primarily on large muscles. Wait between 36 and 48 hours before working the same muscle again, in order to promote optimal recovery. The more often you can use your muscles without inhibiting their recovery, the faster you will gain mass.
When you stagnate to gain muscle, switch to
– A cycle of strength : the stronger you are, the greater the loads you lift. Many outstanding physiques have been forged by years of strength.
– A dryer : losing fat makes the muscles more visible and improves insulin sensitivity, making the body more anabolic. Anyone who has competed in bodybuilding will tell you how easy it is to gain weight and muscle mass after a good cut.
– A classic hypertrophy workout muscular : Gaining muscle boosts metabolism.
– Explosive work : learning to lift explosively and a great way to get stronger.
5 mistakes that keep you stagnant
Mistake #1: You always do the same number of repetitions
It is demonstrated that muscle growth is maximized when performing sets of between 6 and 12 reps. Although this theory is supported by research, the evidence is not always conclusive. While this set of reps is effective for gaining mass, training exclusively in this manner will eventually lead to stagnation. Doing shorter reps, between 1 and 5 per set, optimizes strength development and improves your ability to use heavy loads over longer sets. Series between 15 and 20 repetitions are also an asset, increasing the lactic acid threshold and thus improving tolerance to muscle fatigue while promoting time under tension. Muscle development is optimized by incorporating multiple repetition formats.
Mistake #2: You do the same exercises all the time
Changing your exercise selection from time to time has many benefits for mass gain. It is absolutely necessary to avoid that the muscles get used to the same movements, making them resistant to the stimulus. The variety of exercises therefore makes it possible to recruit all the muscle fibers and thus progress more quickly.
Mistake #3: You insulate too much or not enough
The selection of movements in bodybuilding includes two schools. One believes that the only way to gain muscle is through multi-joint movements such as squats, deadlifts, military presses, and barbell exercises. The other group believes that the key to muscle growth is to isolate each muscle with highly targeted exercises such as push-ups, flys, and any movement on a machine or pulley.
In fact, incorporating both types of movements is complementary and more effective than choosing one over the other.
Mistake #4: You’re not using escalation techniques
Here are some effective techniques to intensify your training:
The super series (superset) : it is a question of carrying out an exercise followed by another without a rest phase.
The decreasing series (dropsets) : do a series at muscular failure, immediately reduce the load and continue the series until the new muscular failure.
The negative series : make eccentric sets heavier than your traditional concentric sets.