If there is one thing that separates the bodybuilding way of life from many of the other athletic endeavours one could pursue, it would be the necessity for repetition. Everything we do as bodybuilders relies upon our ability to repeat the same tasks over and over again, with exceptional perfection, to ensure that new growth occurs. Yes, many other sports require you to master a skill and that is accomplished through repetition, but those sports don’t necessarily require the extent to which we as bodybuilders have to repeat ourselves. You have undoubtedly at one point or another come across that old saying whereby the definition of insanity is explained. Well, if that were the case, then you would have to consider an entire industry as insane. Now, we all know that’s not true and I implore you to consider the idea of being exact with everything you do and to do so exactly the same each and every day just to see what happens with your progress. My bet is that this will be a rewarding venture for you and to help further you along with the process, the two most important repetitive tasks I’m referring to are explained below.
More so than any other facet of the bodybuilding way of life is the necessity for your nutrition to be on point, to be precise and to be exactly the same day in and day out. This is where most aspiring bodybuilders go wrong. When you don’t follow a set nutrition plan you are allowing a very controllable variable in your program to become a wild card when it comes to your results. Maybe what you end up eating will contribute to new growth and maybe it won’t. Maybe you’re actually self-sabotaging your efforts without even knowing it. When you just eat whatever you want or simply feast from a plethora of food options at your disposal, you’re never really going to know what’s working for you and what’s not. On the flip side, if you put together a meal plan that contains an exact measured portion of food set to eaten at the exact same times each day and constructed so that your nutrient timing meets the needs of your training session and then you do this exact same thing each and every single day without missing a beat, then you have just taken back control of your gains. This way of doing nutrition is arduous, boring and contains little to no variety within your food choices but I guarantee that when it’s time to make changes to further progress, it’ll be a lot easier to identify what needs to change and what can stay because everything has been the same and the repetitive nature of your diet has set you up for your next steps.
A great training program consists of exercises that are purposefully selected to enhance your body’s ability to withstand resistance and work through planes of movement that are conducive to your body’s natural range of motion. Once you find these specific exercises it is incredibly important to stick with them until the wheels fall off. What I mean by saying that is why in the world would you eliminate an exercise from your training program when it has yielded great results for you? It has never made any sense when a movement is replaced within a program for no real good reason. If boredom and the need for variety and change is the only reason a perfectly good exercise has been taken out of a plan, then I strongly urge you to reconsider that thought. If you are getting great results from using certain exercises or a certain training principle or a certain level of intensity, volume or frequency, don’t change a thing! Just keep doing the same things over and over again, week after week, month after month and so forth until the time comes when you don’t notice any positive benefit. And by the way, this is going to take a long time to occur if you are actually trying to squeeze everything you can out of a certain way of training because you’d be surprised by just how good or how strong you can get by doing the same things over and over again. So until you can reasonably say that you’ve gotten everything out of your current approach to training, just stick with it.
We all want a little (or a lot) of excitement within our lives and the approach you take with your bodybuilding lifestyle should be no different. But in saying that, you do have to accept the fact that much of what we do relies so much on our ability to just keep hammering away at the same old actions and behaviours for as long as we possibly can and that it isn’t always going to be all that exciting. Sometimes it’s just plain old work and sometimes it is literally just a means to an end. The excitement then comes from knowing what the pay off will be as well as all along the way when you take notice of the new muscle or newly found strength you’ve accrued through your repetitive ways. Here’s the thing, if you need change in your training, just buy some new Gasp or Better Bodies gear and have a specific hoodie for leg day, the perfect tank top for chest and shoulders day and a nice sleeveless when it’s your gun run. That right there should be enough to appease that need for excitement and variety but even then, you’re still going to be wearing that same Gasp sweater every time you train legs, so isn’t that just more of the same?
Author: Dana Bushell
Gym Star Team Member