For the longest time, my poor body ached and ached all over every day.
My lower back was always tight, I had debilitating shoulder injuries, and a strange sharp pain in my bicep every time I did any sort of pressing movement.
I felt like a god damn old man at the age of 26 and I had no idea why or how until I took a look at my workout routine and really gave it some thought.
Full Body Training
As a beginner, I built most of my muscle mass by completing full body barbell workouts 3 times a week.
Each workout consisted of heavy squats, heavy presses, and heavy rows/deadlifts.
Every training session was a test of will and strength and they would sometimes take over an hour and a half to complete.
While full body training helped me gain 60 pounds of mass and completely transform my body, I ended up paying the price for those grueling training sessions down the road.
You see, I am an extremely loyal person and when I find something that works for me in life it is very hard to change my mind on a subject.
Unfortunately, my loyalty to full body training ended up being a curse and held me back for many years in the gym as I was constantly dealing with injury after injury.
I simply thought it was the one and only way to train.
Banishing Pain and Injuries Forever
After suffering my last serious shoulder injury a few years ago I had finally had enough.
In a perfect world, our joints would be stronger than steel and we would be able to train hard and heavy every day of our lives without any negative consequences, but as we know, the world is far from perfect.
While concentrating on heavy compound barbell lifts multiple times a week does accelerate your strength and muscle growth greatly, that style of training simply can’t be followed forever.
The more advanced you become in the weight room the more rest your body will require to stay healthy in the long term.
Guys from the past eras of bodybuilding, before steroids were abused, actually understood this well and only trained 3 days a week. That schedule was great because it gave their bodies plenty of time to rest and recover.
Once I finally decided to follow in their footsteps and scale everything back, I felt like a new man.
I no longer have constant lower back pain, my shoulders feel amazing, and I am generally pain-free everwhere else.
In other words, I actually feel like a young man in his 20s instead of an old man with a lifetime of wear and tear all over his body.
Old vs. New
Below I will outline my old training routine followed by my new updated routine that has me feeling great again.
* I Was lifting 5-6 days a week on average while doing this routine. Looking back now it actually looks pretty crazy to me.
Incline Dumbbell Bench 5×5
Barbell Row 5×5
Barbell Standing Press 5×5
Barbell Curl 5×5
*The light squat day is important. I have found that squatting once a week causes my legs to get extremely sore which really sucks.
I also dropped the volume on all of my heavy working sets which has increased my ability to recover and caused my muscles to look bigger and fuller.
Bench Press 3×5
Incline Bench Press 3×5
Barbell Row 3×5
Barbell Back Squat 3×5
Standing Barbell Press 3×5
Barbell Curls 5×5
Light Squat day 3×10
As you can see, my training days are much more concentrated on specific lifts rather than constant full body training.
I am no longer squatting heavy every single workout which is a huge burden off of my shoulders and I have also cut down on my pressing frequency which has actually caused both my bench press and standing overhead press to go up!
Take Advantage of Your Early Years and then Make Adjustments
Heavy high-frequency workout routines definitely have a place in your training life cycle at the beginning of your bodybuilding journey.
I know that completing them during my first few years of training is how I built foundations of muscle mass all over my body.
However, you must always listen to your body and change things up when it tells you too.
Bodybuilding Should Make You Feel Good
Bodybuilding should build your body up instead of constantly tearing it down.
You should feel loose, limber, confident, and strong at all times.
If you plan on natural bodybuilding for the rest of your life, Understand that less is more.
Bodybuilding is a marathon, not a sprint.
From The Man Himself –