Gym Etiquette

Yesterday, I arrived at the gym to find it a bit busier than normal.  Still, it seemed not crowded enough to really slow down my routine, so I proceeded.  I headed over to the squat racks and found that both were occupied, which was also unusual.  However, I initially had no problem waiting because I’m hugely in favor of anyone who wants to do squats.  Additionally, a delay prior to starting my routine is far more desirable to a delay once I’ve already begun because of the “activity window” that closes quite quickly, though this window is a topic for its own post.  However, my patience disappeared nearly instantly, as what I saw next horrified me. Continue reading

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On staying motivated, or why to ignore the guy next to you

Other than one year during college, I have always been consistent with going to the gym.  During the time I spend in there, I’ll see guys come in, untrained, and pass by my personal bests that have taken years to attain, all in a matter of months.  It is, without a doubt, one of the most confidence-crushing experiences and one of the most unfair truths to the universe.  Some people are just better suited to lift heavy things than I am.  Often times they don’t even care as much as I do, nor do they possess even one ounce of the motivation that I have.  So the question is, how and why do I keep going back?  My personal motivation methodology, after the jump.

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Exercise frequency and how I arrived at my present routine

Exercise Frequency

Back when I was doing Max-OT, I was doing body part training every day of the week.  I believe this to have been semi-effective, but the frequency was on the high side.  I would make some progress, but would need to take time off frequently.  Some who are more genetically gifted than me would most likely benefit more from a higher frequency program, but I cannot count myself amongst this group.

When I was doing high intensity training (HIT), I was only doing one workout per week, which was total body, with one set to compete failure for each exercise.  I was operating under the impression that training to failure was absolutely necessary to provide growth.  In essence, the HIT crowd believes that your body will not provide an adaptive response unless pushed to its limit, i.e., failure to do any more mechanical work.  More on frequency and an effective hardgainer routine after the jump. Continue reading