Confusion and Bodybuilding Problems

by Jeff

Question:

HI guys, I do hope you can shed some light on my confusion and bodybuilding problems. I am 5ft 10" 45yrs old and have been training a long time, with a vast knowledge of exercises and various programs from GIRONDA style and techniques to modern ideas.

I train 2 body parts at a time 3x a week, and sometimes train full body 3x a week with just the heavy basic exercises for reps of 3x5 -5x5 or 2x6 mainly for strength.

My problem is my weight and size I desire. I am 18 stone, certainly as heavy as I would ever like to be, in fact I would probably look better at 14 or maybe 16 stone at my height as I was never a big guy.

When I left school at age 16 I was only 9 and a half stone and good genetics don't favor me or run in my family.

I don't have the muscle size or shape I desire. I want a better V shape to my back and it could also be a little wider. As for my chest I just cannot seem to develop the area around the clavicles.

If the only way to get bigger is to add body weight then I am confused as I see in some mags and in gyms or on the net, guys which are natural trainers, but lighter than me and yet they have larger better developed physiques than what I have. Obviously body builders can't continuously add weight to get bigger; if this was the case they would be as large as full grown elephants with 100 inch arms if you get my meaning.. there is a cut of point where weight increase will stop.

So how do I add more muscle size without the added weight? It needs to be pure muscle weight devoid of any or as much fat as possible and hopefully with an overall reduced body weight.

Answer:
So you've been training for a while, and it appears you mix it up often, good.

It sounds like you should be adding a little extra cardio to lose the extra body fat, and when you do that, the muscles will become more visible, giving the appearance you're after.

The only reason why some of the guys in the magazines, in the gym, or on the net, appear more muscular, yet lighter than you, is because they have less body fat. If you lose the body fat, you will be able to see your muscles better, because you won't have that little extra layer covering it up.

Once guys lose that extra body fat, they tend to look BIGGER because you will SEE so much more muscle detail.

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Focus on the body part that you want to develop when performing your sets. Concentration goes far when performing your repetitions. It's as if you are sending a signal to that specific muscle, allowing it to work more efficiently, and productively.

Sometimes using lighter weight and focusing on the intended muscle group will challenge the muscle MORE than heavy weight training using multiple muscle groups to force the weight up...

The difference becomes evident when you begin feeling that muscle burn when pushing out a few extra controlled reps. Using this method allows you to isolate the muscle you want to develop instead of using multiple muscle groups to be responsible for the lift. However, you need the best of both worlds.

Heavy training builds mass, but mass without being sculpted doesn't give off the muscle detail that you want.

Occasionally adding more reps to each set, or re-arranging the order in which you do the exercises in, will cause rapid muscle gain. There's more to building muscle than just increasing the weight, consider it one method of many.

The body responds to change. Change the way you approach your sets, your reps, which body parts you do together, which intensity methods you use, which exercises you do etc...

For the clavicle area, try different angles when doing incline bench presses. Adjust the bench to different degrees each time you perform a set to hit the muscle a little differently each time. Visualize the muscle as you are working it. Do a mixture of dumbbell and barbell exercises. Work your weakest areas at the beginning of your workout.

For the V shape, it's just a comparison between the widest point of the lateral muscles, and a thin waist. You may already have the V shape, but are holding onto extra fat. Simply add a little cardio, and the V shape will most likely become more and more visible.

Do lots of dead lifts, pull ups, barbell and dumbbell rows when building your back. Pull ups are especially good for widening the back.

You should be shooting for 8 to 12 reps for your first set of each exercise the majority of your workouts.

Occasionally, you can do power sets of 5 or 6 reps which would mean an increase in the weight you typically use. Again, mix it up!

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