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Stimulate or Annihilate: 3 Signs You’re Doing it Wrong

There has to be a reason you’ve chosen a lifestyle that will stimulate you to inflict pain and discomfort on a daily basis, that keeps you coming back for more. That reason has a lot to do with your purpose and all of the actions that can be found behind that. When you go to the gym, with clearly established goals in mind, what do you use as a measure of your success that day?

What are you trying to achieve each session? Are you on the path to physique greatness? Are you prepared to take your body to its limits? If you are truly invested in building size, strength and fortitude, then you have to understand how your actions stimulate you for building muscle must follow a fine line between stimulation and annihilation.

You may be overdoing it already, or you may not be doing enough. To help you better understand this concept, here are three signs your body will stimulate you in a way that you need to be aware of to ensure your path is following the right direction.

Excessive Pain

There is a lot to be said about the amount of muscle soreness you experience in the days that follow a training event. Many of us, myself included, gauge the overall effectiveness of the prior day’s workout by the level of good pain that we can feel in the targeted muscle group. That’s not to say that you need a certain amount of pain to stimulate you, it’s just an encouraging feeling that we’ve all become accustomed to for training assurance.

That said, you can go too far with things in the gym with the weights to the point that the pain you are experiencing actually becomes a hindrance to the rest of your training week and interferes with your ability to train other body parts just as hard. Depending upon how you have your training schedule set up, that long lasting pain may also create a situation whereby you have to completely change your routine to allow for additional recovery.

In situations such as these, it is more than likely you’ve taken things too far, have gone way past the point of stimulation and have caused more muscle trauma than need be. So the next time, just scale back either the volume, load or intensity and just do what’s needed to trigger growth and not complete destruction.

Stimulate A Loss of Motivation

Training as hard as possible is definitely at the core of our purpose in the gym and we all want to leave feeling like we’ve done everything possible to accrue gains. In our own zest for training, we oftentimes go too hard for too long to the point where we start to maybe lose a little bit of interest in working out altogether.

The aches and pains don’t ever seem to go away, we’re always stiff and sore, sleeping patterns take a hit, we’re lethargic and tire more than usual and perhaps overtraining is taking its course. When you don’t feel like training, which for most of us flies right in the face of everything we stand for, then chances are you’re taxed out and your system just needs a break. You’ve annihilated your CNS and you need a chance to recover from that.

So, whether you take a few extra days off from the gym, back off on your training frequency, settle down the intensity you employ or a little bit of everything, a lack of motivation is a true sign you’ve gone overboard with your efforts and it’s time to ease up on things for the time being. In this way you’re going to stimulate yourself into a rest period.

Nothing Changes

We are in the business of forcing our body to do things it just doesn’t really want to do. We are naturally set to seek and maintain homeostasis which by and large, should be a very comfortable situation to be in. When you enter in training, forced feeding and everything else that accompanies this type of lifestyle, to its fullest capacity, it’s only a matter of time before your return on effort begins to diminish.

The typical mindset is that if something isn’t working, we’re just not working on it hard enough. Stimulate yourself with more effort, more intensity, more weight and more everything is always the go to plan. If you’re doing everything that should be done to build and progress, yet you find that things just aren’t changing, then again it might be a sign that you’re body has had enough, is going to resist everything your throw at it until you give things a break.

The goal is to put certain actions in motion so that when you train you can stimulate growth as close to a linear fashion as you possibly can. That can lead us to doing more and more and more with each day that passes. Unfortunately, more isn’t always better and you’ve likely experienced this a time or two if you’ve been at this whole bodybuilding thing long enough.

Everything we do initially is going to be trial and error until we find what’s right for us and what works for right now. Training as hard as possible is not just a physical venture but one of ego as well that will stimulate us. We always want to know that we didn’t leave anything up to chance and looking back, never want to feel as if we could have done more.

That’s why so many of us train for days on end without taking a rest day, continue to push food past limits that we should probably just stay at and seek out ways to do more to be better. One of the greats of our sport was notorious for using the phrase, “Stimulate don’t Annihilate” and unfortunately sometimes that easier said than done.

Your best bet in finding out how to stimulate yourself and what this means to you is to simply go at this as hard as you possibly can for as long as you possibly can until you stop seeing progress. Only then, after literally giving it all you’ve got, will you be able to determine how much is too much and what more can be done where.

Author: Dana Bushell

Gym Star Team Member