Carb back loading, carb cycling, hypertrophy, supersets, giant sets bla bla bla, its all very complex. Suddenly growing muscle tissue has become a rocket science when it needn't be. Infact all this science often hinders people rather than helps.
This is simply due to the vast amount of information on the internet done by thousands and thousands of fitness experts, gurus and coaches. This blog is by no way a means to discredit them as many 99% of them are fantastic science based programmes with great results when adhered to.
The problem is when (particularly men) go on a muscle building programme, they try to get too intricate and end up spoiling their results. Trying to remain super lean is going to effect muscle growth, after all a calorie surplus is required to grow new muscle tissue. Same goes for exercises, any weight based training programme should help to get results, but why go for complex training regimes, when the simple ones will deliver the same kind of results. Hypertrophy is hypertrophy however its been dressed up, just bare that in mind before you start the "short cuts to muscle growth" article in the magazines. Another issue is that many people try something, don't see results immediately and move on to another programme straight away, rather than doing one set programme for atleast 6-8 weeks.
What I'm trying to explain is that for the general population a little bit of good knowledge is better than a plethora of knowledge whether its good, bad or ugly.
How did being ignorant help me?
The best muscular gains I've ever made in my life were in my early years of training in my late teens and early twenties. I know many will credit it to higher testosterone levels, early muscle growth spurts (muscle growth is maximal in first 2-3 years of training).
However I would put most of my gains in muscle down to ignorance. Complex training programmes, clean nutritional plans and heavy supplementation were all alien to me at that time. The only knowledge I had was through some older friends who trained. I learned that i needed more protein, i learned that i needed to do predominantly compound exercises, and i learned that i should aim to get my weights higher every 2-3 weeks.
These protocols really helped my muscular gains, I was eating a lot when I was hungry, which was often due to all the training.
I was supplementing in whey protein to help with protein synthesis and recovery (go to www.sci-mx.me and use promo code "robsmx" to get 30% of your supplements order).
I was doing lots of deadlifts, squats, rows, pull-ups, bench press and supplementing them with supporting exercises. Lastly, I was ensuring I was increasing the weights when i felt comfortable with the current weight. I wasn't too concerned with being shredded or staying lean.
In my opinion, this was the reason I made a great solid base of muscle, it was only later, 2-3 years down the line when I started implementing strategies to lean out or use more complex programming.
So to sum up, in my opinion, be ignorant to build the best base of muscle:
Fuel your body, eat as much as you can from reasonably good sources and ensure there is a good source of protein in every meal or snack
Train smart, do many compound exercises, with a few supporting exercises
Overload progressively, dont to anything too crazy, just try to lift heavier every few weeks
Try this super simple programme for a while
Day 1 - BACK & HAMSTRING
Pull-Up (overhand) 5 x Max Reps
Chin-Up (underhand) 3 x Max Reps
Seated Cable Row/ Bent Over Barbell Row 5x 8-12 Reps One Arm Dumbbell Row 5x 8-12 Reps Deadlift- 5x 10-15 Reps
Leg Curls 3x 15 Reps
DAY 2 - CHEST & BICEPS
Incline Bench Press 5x 8-12 Reps
Bench Press (barbell or dumbbell) 5x 8-12 Reps Chest Flys 5x 8-12 Reps
Barbell Curls 5x 10-15 Reps
Dumbbell Curls 5x 10-15 Reps
DAY 3 - LEGS & CALFS
Back Squat- 5X 10-15 Reps
Leg Press/ Lunges 5x 10-15 Reps
Leg Extensions 5x 10-15 Reps
Standing Calf Raises 5x 10-15
Reps Seated Calf Raises 5x 10-15 Reps
Sit-Ups 5x 15-30 Reps
DAY 4 - SHOULDERS & TRICEPS
Shoulder Press (barbell) 5x 8-12 Reps
Dips 5x 10-20 Reps
Lateral Raises 5x 10-15 Reps
Shrugs 5x 10-15 Reps
Skull Crushers & Close Grip Bench Press 3x 15 Reps Each Tricep Push-Downs 3x 10-15 Reps