Is Bodybuilding Making You Lazy? (Includes The Anti-Lazy Program)
Are you a lazy bodybuilder? No, I’m not suggesting that all bodybuilders are lazy but many subscribe to the get-big-by-any-means-necessary mentality which sucks you into a self-imposed lifestyle of too much food, too much rest and the avoidance of many social events.
In other words, maybe bodybuilding is holding you back from living your life?
The real culprit? You. If you allow the bodybuilding lifestyle to completely engulf your body, your mind and your everyday living then you may need an intervention of sorts. No, I won’t call in your entire extended family as they read to you their personalized, hand-written letters complete with tears and a tissue. I will, however, unofficially try to diagnose you through listing a few symptoms.
So, take a seat on the table, take a deep breath and answer these questions to the best of your knowledge. The doctor will see you now.
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7 Signs You Might Be a Lazy Bodybuilder
Sign #1 – Do you take long rest periods so you can lift as heavy as possible?
You don’t bother keeping track of rest periods. You want to be absolutely ready before your next lift.
If you’re winded you will wait until you’ve completely caught your breath before the next set. The same rule applies to dumbbell curls as it does for heavy squats.
Sign #2 – Do you stay in the lower rep ranges all of the time?
You believe very low reps with the most weight is the only way to build muscle. You like full 45 pound plates on each side of the bar – it makes you look stronger.
You don’t mess with 5 pound plates – you will sacrifice form and control just to get more weight up. You oftentimes do single and doubles on bench presses as a part of your regular so-called muscle building chest routine.
Sign #3 – Do you avoid any extra intra-workout training?
You can’t waste time with anything else in your training. Rest between sets is just that – no other activity is allowed. Any work between sets will be severely detrimental to your next set of bench presses, squats or rows.
You can’t waste a single ounce of energy on anything else no matter what others say.
Sign #4 – Do you not participate in any extracurricular activities?
Any non-gym activity is kept to a minimum or avoided at all costs. Any energy stores you have must be used for building muscle.
Muscle grows from rest so the more rest the better. You take naps whenever you can; you take the elevator instead of the stairs and avoid any pick-up games in sports.
Sign #5 – Is your diet always in surplus?
You must eat and stay in a positive nitrogen balance at all times. To do so you overeat at each meal just in case the zombie apocalypse happens and you miss the next meal. Not to worry, any of the extra calories you consume will only be used for more muscle growth.
Sign #6 – Do you not sweat junk food?
Since you are in your bulking phase it’s okay to indulge in junk food. The junk will only increase your gains.
Besides, the holidays are just around the corner, why try to get lean now? There will be enough time for that later.
Sign #7 – Do you always cover up?
It’s getting cooler outside so everyone will be in pants and jackets soon. You look bigger covered up anyways and those lean guys look skinny.
Do they even lift bro? No, you’ll stay covered up, even in the gym.
How to Bodybuild for a Better Physique (Without Being Lazy)
Do any of the above statements sound like you? I call it the perpetual offseason bodybuilder. The guy who thinks they will lean-out one day. Well, one day isn’t one of the days of the week. Maybe you are a little like this. Maybe you are so busy trying to bulk, you forgot what it’s like to get lean and show off all that hard-earned muscle.
Now that we’ve established a diagnosis, let’s work on your prognosis. Below are a few suggestions to consider when revamping your muscle-building program. These remedies are guaranteed to help you build muscle, get leaner all the while having a life in the meantime. No, you aren’t going to lose your gains or shrivel-up and waste away. Trust me. Now take your medicine and get well soon.
8 Remedies for a Better Physique
#1 – Supersets/compound sets
If it was good enough for Arnold it’s good enough for any of us. Supersets (training opposing muscles back-to-back) and compound sets (performing sets back-to-back for the same muscle group) not only pushes your body to the next level, it saves a ton of time and burns some serious body fat.
#2 – Cut down on rest between sets
Hypertrophy (muscle growth) isn’t achieved through long rest periods and max lifts – that’s reserved for strictly strength gains. In order to properly fatigue your muscles you need to limit your rest periods to 30 to 90 seconds. This recruits, stresses and fatigues more muscle fibers for the potential for growth.
#3 – Higher reps
Another misnomer is that you have to lift in the lower rep ranges at all times. Sure, this is necessary and beneficial times but try staying in the 6 to 12 rep range for the majority of your sets. This places more stress on the muscle tissue versus tendons and ligaments.
#4 – Stand when you can sit
One of the tell-tale signs of a lazy bodybuilder is sitting for long periods of time between sets or opting for seated exercises when you could be standing. Try standing more. Side lateral raises, dumbbell curls, shoulder presses and any other exercise you can conjure. Added bonus: not only will it burn more fat you will also engage your core more often.
#5 – Stagger abs
Do you regularly avoid ab work at the end of your workout? Try staggering ab work within your workout. In between regular sets of curls, for example, perform a quick set of floor crunches. By the end of the day you will have done a significant amount of ab exercises with no more time added.
#6 – Non-exercise activity
Being tired from a busy day is one thing, constantly avoiding any extra activity because you think it may make inroads to muscle recovery is downright delusional. Enjoy life, do some cardio, go hiking, play basketball with your friends, be social. If you don’t, life will pass you by and you will have regretted it all for the sake of a few ounces of muscle. By the way, Arnold had a blast, even during his competitive days.
#7 – Clean up your diet
Shoveling any and all foods down your gullet isn’t the most effective or the healthiest way to go about building muscle and staying (or getting) lean. If you clean up your eating habits and eat healthier your body will have more raw materials to build muscle instead of having to filter the good from the bad.
#8 – Experiment with less food at times
Yes, you need to eat a lot to build muscle but if you are on the soft, off season side of the spectrum then you could afford to eat a little less at times. Coax your body into tapping into fat stores for fuel. At least for a few days per week dip into a calorie deficit – you won’t shrivel-up and wither away, but you will throw your body a curve ball and send a message that you want change.
No More Lazy Bodybuilding Workouts: The Anti-Lazy Bodybuilder Program
Now, that we’ve identified your symptoms and have prescribed some fixes let’s put it all together for a well thought-out, muscle building, fat torching program designed to get you up on your feet and gaining again.
Try the program below for 6 weeks training 4 days per week: for example, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with Wednesday and the weekend reserved for recreational activity, cardio sessions or light sports activity.
No rest during supersets, only after each superset is complete. Don’t worry about max weights. You will get stronger after a couple of weeks.
Wear a watch or look at the clock nearby to keep a close eye on rest periods. Don’t use your phone – it will be too distracting.
You may get slightly winded during the workout if you aren’t used to shorter rests periods. Don’t get discouraged, just push through and complete each workout the best you can.
|Days 1 and 3 (Monday and Thursday)|
|No More Lazy Bodybuilding Workouts|
|Superset: Incline dumbbell press with close-grip pull-up. Warm-up||2||12|
|Superset: Incline dumbbell press with close-grip pull-up. 60 sec rest after each superset||3||6-12|
|Superset: Flat bench dumbbell fly with bent-over dumbbell row. 60 sec rest after each superset||3||8-12|
|Superset: Feet-elevated push-up with behind-the-back pulldown. 60 sec rest after each superset||3||8-12|
|Compound set: Standing dumbbell side lateral, standing bent-over dumbbell lateral and lying leg raise. Warm-up||1||12|
|Compound set: Standing dumbbell side lateral, standing bent-over dumbbell lateral and lying leg raise. 60 sec rest after each compound set||3||10-15|
|Compound set: Standing barbell shoulder press and floor crunch. 60 sec rest after each compound set||3||6-12|
|Days 2 and 4 (Monday and Thursday)|
|No More LAzy Bodybuilding Workouts|
|Superset: Dumbbell curl with triceps cable pressdown. Warm-up||2||12|
|Superset: Dumbbell curl with triceps cable pressdown. 60 sec rest after each superset||3||6-12|
|Superset: Barbell curl with parallel bar dip. 60 sec rest after each superset||3||6-12|
|Compound set: Seated calf raise with standing calf raise. Warm-up||2||12|
|Compound set: Seated calf raise with standing calf raise. 60 sec rest after each compound set||3||10-15|
|Superset: Leg extension with leg curl. Warm-up||2||12|
|Superset: Leg extension with leg curl. 60 sec rest after each superset||3||10-15|
|Barbell back squat. Warm-up||1||12|
|Barbell back squat. 90 to 120 sec rest between sets||3||8-12|
|Compound set: Static lunge with Romanian deadlift. 60 sec rest after each compound set||3||8-12|