Bodybuilding is more common nowadays than it used to be. There are more resources available, yet it’s become over-complicated. There are so many different training styles and diets, yet bodybuilding is commonly classified as either a bulking or cutting phase.
While I understand it’s hard to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, there is mass confusion between taking up space and actual development.
For example, why would someone pack on 20 lbs if their arms are still the same size? Most guys who are between 200 – 300 lbs are not necessarily carrying 20 – 50 lbs more muscle than someone who weighs less.
Yes, there are exceptions, but there is only so much muscle tissue you’re going to carry until you start taking EXTREME MEASURES. These are things 95% of bodybuilders aren’t going to do.
I don’t mean moderate steroid use here, I’m talking about thousands upon thousands of dollars to add 20 – 30 lbs more lean muscle to your body than most veteran trainers.
When you start walking around at a lean 250 lbs, it’s a whole new level. What it takes to maintain that is more than most people are willing to spend or go through. I’m not talking about the difference between 150 – 200 lbs here. I’m talking about well beyond that.
What most people do is pack on shit weight and call it muscle. But they’re lying to themselves because once they cut the fat, they’re left with the same lean mass anyone else would have that didn’t go to ridiculous measures.
This is where the confusion sets in between packing on weight and calling it muscle, and actual muscular development. There are also these rules when it comes to gaining size or losing body fat.
A lot of guys trying to gain size won’t include push-ups or pull-ups in their routines because it’s been drilled into their heads that these aren’t for muscular individuals, but more for “toned” guys who have thinner cross-fit type bodies.
It’s more common to see someone who is trying to gain size stick to heavier lifts, skip out on exercises they deem useless, and go through the same motions as other guys who’ve had the same principles pounded into their heads.
If there is any secret to training for development, it’s this; stick a dick in your ear and fuck what you heard! There are no rules. And if you have rules, lose them and open your mind.
Just because you throw push-ups in your routine before bench pressing, doesn’t mean you can’t gain muscle mass. Just because you do bodyweight pull-ups instead of 300 lb lat pulldowns, doesn’t mean you can’t gain muscle mass. And God forbid you start a workout with fly’s instead of pressing all the time.
It all works. If you’re challenging yourself and pushing your boundaries, you’re going to get results! Intensity is the key here and it’s more critical than the motions.
While I don’t believe in sticking nothing but isolation movements into a routine, I also don’t believe that substituting an exercise for something that everyone has always done is going to inhibit you.
We all know that heavy compound movements build muscle fast. But this doesn’t mean that other movements don’t work. How can something be useless if you’re challenging yourself and working a muscle?
Compound movements involve more muscle groups, but other movements that you put intensity into are still going to get your body to respond.
I wouldn’t go with just one or the other. I also wouldn’t place 100% of my training emphasis on one or the other.
I don’t believe in low reps for building and high reps for cutting. I believe in changing it up to keep my body guessing and not relying on one training method.
I’ll do low reps and high reps, freeweights and machines, and bodyweight movements in my routines. It’s common for me to throw something crazy in the middle of a workout and then work on something that most people do to begin their workout.
For example, I might do 3-4 sets of incline dumbell presses, then do push-ups for 5 minutes straight, and then finish with a 5 x 5 scheme of heavy flat presses (or as heavy as I’m able to go being pre-exhausted from push-ups).
Most guys won’t train this way. They look at push-ups as a taxing exercise that dips into their strength on a flat press. I say, pull whatever you have left, forget you ever did the push-ups before the flat presses and bang those fuckers as hard as you can!
There are no rules in the gym. That’s my mentality.
“Don’t train arms the day after back.” “Don’t train shoulders the day before chest.” “Don’t eat food after a workout, drink a shake.” Stupid fucking rules!
Do you want to know when my body really started to take off? It’s when I stopped listening to all the rules and started treating each training day like it was a new day. I stopped letting my mind play tricks on me and would bust ass every workout.
If you go into the gym to train back that day and you did biceps the day prior, what’s your mind going to tell you? It’s going to tell you that your back workout isn’t going to be as good because you trained biceps the day before.
Forget everything you did before! It’s a new day and you’re in the gym to annihilate! I’m willing to bet that you train better if you think this way.
If you were a Spartan warrior and went into battle, would you think about the cut on your arm from the last guy you fought? No, because you’d lose focus on cutting the head off the guy who was in your way!
Each day in the gym is the next warrior you’re fighting. Stop playing by the rules, forget about your wounds and CUT THE NEXT GUY’S FUCKING HEAD OFF!
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9 thoughts on “There Are No Rules When It Comes To Muscular Development”
Good Shit Man! I’ve always loved your train of thought especially when it comes to training. I started thinking this way of training a year ago and just saying the hell with all of those bullshit rules that these so called fitness experts came up with. They try to make it complex and technical when it’s not even hard at all. The key is busting your ass and putting in work and just like you mentioned in your article, NO RULES. I absolutely agree with you. This was a damm good article. Keep up the good work bro.
I’m 52 years old and follow your plan for the last three months. I don’t lift crazy weights. But a lot of people are noticing my body is changing. I’m a type one diabetic 1 and have challenges with that.. But I committed in living healthy. Thanks J.D.
I agree 100%!!! Wish I would have had access to all your knowledge, philosophies and practices 30 years ago when I began gaining interest in lifting. Probably would be a whole different person today. (that would be a good thing in a lot of areas)
Btw, thanks for the ridiculously fast reply to the email I sent you a while back and for the info it contained!
Having perfect form doesn’t matter when it’s a heavy ass weight I haven’t lifted before. Doing the next level NEVER looks perfect or pretty.
hi its tom Tzitzikas I’m asubscriber and receive all your emails and letters I just finished taking super mandro a great product with results is red pct to take after taking super mandro and its ok to take liver pills please let me know I love all of your letters everything is complete with right answers and right help and its real not fake and straight up whats the next step after super mandro ? thanks a lot
use 3 caps of Red-PCT a day for 30 days straight, begin right away. Red -PCT is super effective, I use it in place of arimadex all the time, it’ll keep those estrogen levels down while your natural testosterone recovers within the following 4 wks off cycle
Great post. Thank you JD for sharing your knowledge.
What’s up John,
When it comes to compound movements, what are good numbers to shoot for as a beginner lifter by the end of the year?
Ex: Bench 225×5, Pullups BWx12, Deadlift 315×5
I understand that to get big, you need to get strong as a base. From clients you’ve coached, if one is hitting their calories and lifting heavy consistently, what have you seen?
Usually Mon one year the max bench is around 225lbs, 275-315 squat, and deadlift varies from 225-400+ lbs