Golden Rules Of Lifting - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Golden Rules Of Lifting


      by Skip La Cour Bodybuilding.com

      Skip La Cour is a six-time national drug-free champion bodybuilder who has won 15 bodybuilding competitions in his career. His 10 books, eight top-selling DVDs and five audio seminar courses have helped thousands of people at all training levels reach their goals.

      Skip also owns and operates the Mass Machine Nutrition supplement line, available through the Bodybuilding.com online store. Mass Machine Nutrition was nominated for "New Brand of the Year" in the 2012 Bodybuilding.com Supplement of the Year Awards.

      Way back in May of 2008, Bodybuilding.com invited me to create my own thread on its forum. The hope was that I could provide answers to readers' most pressing bodybuilding questions. I don't think any of us had any idea then what a phenomenon it would become!

      Five years, 8,000 posts, and a half-million views later, The Skip La Cour - Mass Machine Bodybuilding thread contains much more than questions and answers. There are more than 200 instructional and motivational videos and even weekly podcasts produced specifically for the thread. Readers post videos of their own workouts, and I often provide them with individualized coaching and critiques.

      Over that time, the thread has become an integral part of how I interact with the bodybuilding community. When I created the six-month Mass Machine Nutrition Bulking and Cutting Program Challenge in 2012, the Bodybuilding.com forum became the contest's front lines, with more than 100 videos and 24 conference calls still available on an offshoot thread I'm confident it will also play a central role in my new challenge, 49 days to Supreme Confidence.

      To commemorate reaching 500,000 views, I'm offering up my 10 most valuable tips from the thread. Here they are, in no particular order.

      1 / The Scale is Not Your Best Indicator of Success

      Some people place far too much importance on the number they see on the scale. What they forget is that it's not about gaining weight; it's about gaining high-quality lean muscle weight. The number on the scale changes from day to day and even from hour to hour. Yes, you should weigh in regularly, but not obsessively. The mirror is a far better evaluator for measuring success.

      2 / Muscle Soreness is Not the Best Way to Judge Your Workout
      Muscle soreness is a direct result of small breaks in the muscle fibers during your training session, but soreness is an unreliable measurement tool. Yes, it probably means that your workout has reached a higher level, but keep in mind that if you worked out for the first time in a year, you'd be sore, regardless of your workout's effectiveness.

      Also, effective and consistent training often produce less soreness as you progress. That doesn't mean your workouts are losing effectiveness. It simply means you're getting stronger.

      3 / The Best Workout is the One You Actually Do
      No matter how good your program is, it won't get you results if you don't perform it confidently, enthusiastically, and above all, consistently. Results are the only thing that matters. If what you do works for you right now and you're committed to it, then keep doing it. As you gain more experience, you can build up to whatever is the "optimal" program. Remember, it's important to stick with the fundamentals and take them to higher and higher levels if you want to succeed. The videos, podcasts, and posts on the thread delve much deeper into this topic.

      4 / Less is MoreóReally!
      Shorter sessions with fewer exercises, sets, and reps are the best way to build mass in the shortest time. I call this "Mass Machine Training." I learned this in my own career. When a person is forced to up their game without using more reps, sets or exercises, they find out what they are truly capable of in the gym.

      It wasn't until I made myself stick to a 4-6 rep range with heavier weight and fewer exercises in a shorter period of time that I started to get incredible results. I offer 13 free routines just like this for you on my website. Mass Machine Training is awesome because it builds mental and emotional strength along with promoting physical strength and muscle gains.

      5 / Supplements are Only One Part of an Effective Program
      I make money selling supplements, but I'm telling you that they are not a replacement for good training, healthy eating, or mental focus. Mass Machine Nutrition makes outstanding and highly-effective supplements, but they're simply an important addition to all of those other things, and they only benefit you once you have your goals and system in place. How's that for giving it to you straight?

      6 / Intensity is the Key to Growth
      The foundation of all good training programs is their intensity, regardless of whether they're long or short, split or whole-body programs. All training should be a sprint, not a marathon. The more you "sprint," the more effective your training will be. Training in a marathon-like manner nets you less progress in a longer period of time.

      Mass Machine Training forces you to step up and use your physical, mental, and emotional abilities to their fullest. You'll be surprised by just how much your performance in the gym will improve when you are locked in. Some bodybuilders require tough love to understand this, and because I know firsthand what it takes to get results, my coaching often involves this tough love. I promise, it is well worth it.


      7 / Lack of Experience Makes You Think You Should Train Longer
      I firmly believe that shorter, more intense workouts are the key to achieving phenomenal results in a shorter period of time. I don't think that any workout should last more than an hour-if that.

      A lot of people think that my 25 years of experience allows me to get results from a short workout, but they're looking at it from the wrong perspective. It's not my experience that allows me to shorten my time in the gym without sacrificing effectiveness. It's your lack of experience that makes you feel you must stay in the gym longer. This is because you lack confidence in your ability to effectively train. The key is to force yourself to be just as effective in less time. That's when you hit the level of intensity you need to get results from a short workout.

      8 / Your Mind is the Most Important Muscle to Engage

      Having the right mindset is the key to effective training. If you phone it in, you might as well go home. Unfortunately, most guys believe they are "working hard" in the gym even when that's not the case. That's OK. It's why I make myself available to you on the message board.

      It's my job as your coach to help you discover what you are capable of achieving. I take that role seriously. You have to be completely focused on every rep, completely tuned in to every muscle. You also have to believe in yourself and what you do. You can engage all the muscle fibers you want, but you won't see dramatic results unless you engage your mind first. If you're not mentally ready when you walk into the gym, take five minutes to get ready or you'll waste your time and energy.

      9 / Shorter Rest Periods Aren't Necessarily Better
      There's a huge trend toward on taking the shortest rest between sets, but I say you may need to make them longer. You should rest long enough to get close to 100 percent of your strength back, but not so long that you lose your concentration and focus. In heavy weight training, with the goal of absolute muscle failure, you need to get most of your strength back before moving on to the next set. This is because you have to train as heavily as you can to build real muscle in the most effective and efficient manner. You must learn to train this way to build the most amount of muscle in the shortest period of time.

      A lot of guys feel that shorter rest periods help them lose fat faster, but that's why we diet and perform cardio. When you lift, your goal is to build muscle, not burn fat.

      10 / Don't Underestimate the Importance of Nutrition
      Good training isn't just what you do with your body; it's also what you feed your body. You've all seen guys who work out like mad but their bodies just don't show the results you'd expect. This is usually because they lack the nutrients to get those results.

      Experts say that the way you eat accounts for as much as 80 percent of how you look. My experience bears this out, to the extent that if I had to choose between working out and good nutrition, I would take good nutrition. Learn the important basics of good nutrition and follow them consistently! This is why I talk about nutrition so often on the thread. It's a huge part of the bodybuilding world.

      Source: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/top-...-training.html
      Comments 21 Comments
      1. 6andaHalf's Avatar
        6andaHalf -
        So intensity is key and yet longer rest periods to regain almost 100% of strength back is needed? Isn't that an oxymoron?

        I've been cutting rest time down to raise my intensity and shorten workouts. I would say I have 75% of my strength for my next set and use about 30 sec rest time. I used to use 1 min, always.
      1. mtinsideout's Avatar
        mtinsideout -
        For a short workout where the object is to build muscle mass means you'll be lifting heavier weights. The longer rest is required to lift the heavier weights for 4-6 reps to failure. If your resting for only 30sec you probably wouldn't be able to perform your next set if you truly lifted to failure in 4-6 reps on your last set. When they talk about intensity I think they mean lifting truly to failure on each set, not necessarily the pace of the workout.
      1. mtinsideout's Avatar
        mtinsideout -
        Originally Posted by 6andaHalf View Post
        So intensity is key and yet longer rest periods to regain almost 100% of strength back is needed? Isn't that an oxymoron?

        I've been cutting rest time down to raise my intensity and shorten workouts. I would say I have 75% of my strength for my next set and use about 30 sec rest time. I used to use 1 min, always.


        Intensity doesn't necessarily mean the pace of the workout. Any workout that utilizes heavy weights with 4-6 reps to failure is going to require a longer rest period to get your strength back.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Well, I understood his point well. For a Mass gaining cycle, intensity should be met with weight rather than rest period or volume.
      1. mTmatthews51's Avatar
        mTmatthews51 -
        Originally Posted by 6andaHalf View Post
        So intensity is key and yet longer rest periods to regain almost 100% of strength back is needed? Isn't that an oxymoron?

        I've been cutting rest time down to raise my intensity and shorten workouts. I would say I have 75% of my strength for my next set and use about 30 sec rest time. I used to use 1 min, always.
        Intensity in a clinical setting is referring to %1 rm &/or effort put into a set or sprint (%top speed) not overall.
      1. 6andaHalf's Avatar
        6andaHalf -
        Well I guess if you do things the same for long enough than results obviously diminish. I've always lifted heavy 6 rep sets with almost 100% recharge in between sets.

        Now that I only give myself 30 sec rest and shoot for the same weight/ rep scheme I've gotten increased results in size. I do see all of your points though. After I get comfortable lifting the same weight and reps with 30 secs as I did with the 1 min rest, I will raise the weight and go back to 1 min rest. Seems to work for me as a progressive load.
      1. mr.cooper69's Avatar
        mr.cooper69 -
        Excellent article, seriously.

        6andahalf - intensity refers to % of 1RM lifted (in other words, how hard you work on a set by set basis).

        Longer rest periods = higher intensity.
      1. drewsicle3210's Avatar
        drewsicle3210 -
        Good rules to lift by
      1. JD261985's Avatar
        JD261985 -
        Is he really all natural?? Sorry but I can't believe this
      1. 6andaHalf's Avatar
        6andaHalf -
        Originally Posted by mr.cooper69 View Post
        Excellent article, seriously.

        6andahalf - intensity refers to % of 1RM lifted (in other words, how hard you work on a set by set basis).

        Longer rest periods = higher intensity.
        I do understand...

        So a workout @ 70% 1rm to failure is still not considered "high intensity" because its not 90-95% for less reps and still ultimately reaching failure??

        As much as I understand, it is still confusing by definition of the word "intensity". If sprinting on uphill is considered HIIT then what is sprinting on flat ground? Not as "high intensity"? I understand you are using near 100% "effort" either way but you will not last as long uphill just like lifting your 70% 1rm to failure vs 90% to failure. Both still forms of full on "intensity". I can still lift @ 90% of 1rm for 1 rep and it still not be a form of "intensity".

        Although I may not be using the definition like the fitness world does, you should be able to reach high levels of intensity through many rep ranges IMO.
      1. 6andaHalf's Avatar
        6andaHalf -
        Originally Posted by JD261985 View Post
        Is he really all natural?? Sorry but I can't believe this
        Haha right? Looks a bit too gnarly to be giving me advice on natty lifting.... or 99% of people on this forum
      1. jsals22's Avatar
        jsals22 -
        I applaud hard work but find it very hard to believe that he is "all natural"
      1. mtinsideout's Avatar
        mtinsideout -
        Originally Posted by 6andaHalf View Post
        Haha right? Looks a bit too gnarly to be giving me advice on natty lifting.... or 99% of people on this forum
        HAHA gnarly indeed...
      1. mTmatthews51's Avatar
        mTmatthews51 -
        Originally Posted by 6andaHalf View Post

        I do understand...

        So a workout @ 70% 1rm to failure is still not considered "high intensity" because its not 90-95% for less reps and still ultimately reaching failure??

        As much as I understand, it is still confusing by definition of the word "intensity". If sprinting on uphill is considered HIIT then what is sprinting on flat ground? Not as "high intensity"? I understand you are using near 100% "effort" either way but you will not last as long uphill just like lifting your 70% 1rm to failure vs 90% to failure. Both still forms of full on "intensity". I can still lift @ 90% of 1rm for 1 rep and it still not be a form of "intensity".

        Although I may not be using the definition like the fitness world does, you should be able to reach high levels of intensity through many rep ranges IMO.
        Yeah it's a little confusing I agree. But think of it as % closer to your MAX effort and it makes a lil more sense. Shorter rest does increase intensity but is an glycolytic aerobic (endurance) intensity increase, not your anaerobic power or phosphocreatine sys which builds muscle power n strength
      1. Oscar's Avatar
        Oscar -
        I hate when people talk trash speculating on weather or not an athlete is natty just because they have a physique thats beyond what most of us can achieve without the aid of drugs
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
        I hate when people talk trash speculating on weather or not an athlete is natty just because they have a physique thats beyond what most of us can achieve without the aid of drugs

        True. I think of a few things when that mindset comes into play.

        1) The rules don't change when you are on gear. In fact, things just get amplified. Training, diet and lifestyle all must remain as the cornerstone of your success even with a gram of test in your system.

        2) I know plenty of guys on gear and have been on it for years and look nothing like that guy. This tells me that gear alone doesn't do it, and I know this from experience. Knowledge on training and diet are still very much 80% of the success behind guys like this.
      1. 6andaHalf's Avatar
        6andaHalf -
        Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
        I hate when people talk trash speculating on weather or not an athlete is natty just because they have a physique thats beyond what most of us can achieve without the aid of drugs
        I understand that with his AMAZING genetics, perfect routine and diet and 110% effort for YEARS and YEARS... and YEARS, that there MIGHT be a small chance he could be natural. I still think its a 1 in 50 million "natty" body. His arms are our upper legs.

        Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
        True. I think of a few things when that mindset comes into play.

        1) The rules don't change when you are on gear. In fact, things just get amplified. Training, diet and lifestyle all must remain as the cornerstone of your success even with a gram of test in your system.

        2) I know plenty of guys on gear and have been on it for years and look nothing like that guy. This tells me that gear alone doesn't do it, and I know this from experience. Knowledge on training and diet are still very much 80% of the success behind guys like this.
        Well the point here is not that he works just as hard or harder because he's on gear. Most of us know its SO DAMN hard to look like that even on gear.

        It's because he claims NOT to be on gear.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by 6andaHalf View Post
        I understand that with his AMAZING genetics, perfect routine and diet and 110% effort for YEARS and YEARS... and YEARS, that there MIGHT be a small chance he could be natural. I still think its a 1 in 50 million "natty" body. His arms are our upper legs.



        Well the point here is not that he works just as hard or harder because he's on gear. Most of us know its SO DAMN hard to look like that even on gear.

        It's because he claims NOT to be on gear.
        Then I would say emulate someone that you know is natty.
      1. get_cut's Avatar
        get_cut -
        I question if he has cycled or not, or if he has incredible genetics coupled by an iron program. Could be all of those things. I'd be curious to see his diet.

        These tips were a fantastic read, I utilized this advice in my workout today.
      1. get_cut's Avatar
        get_cut -
        Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
        I hate when people talk trash speculating on weather or not an athlete is natty just because they have a physique thats beyond what most of us can achieve without the aid of drugs
        I think it is just because when you have been working at this as long as some of us (I have been lifting since age 22, am 28), you see some of these guys and you wonder how in the hell they get the way they are. I know this guy has busted his ass absolutely 100% and I admire him in his strength and this article was inspiring as all hell.

        But there are genetic limits to the human body, and sometimes the role models we see ahead of us are not natural (not saying anything about this guy in the article). They've enhanced their hormone levels in their system and basically have created a mutant in the sense of altering their physiology. There are safe ways to cycle, but ultimately those lifters whom have cycled and claim not to can be bad representations to the weight lifting community. Because they inspire people to reach for their physique, which is an unobtainable goal unless they also cycle through gear in addition to having great genetics.

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