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Greater long-term gains

I think most lifters who follow this blog don’t go to the gym and say: “Let’s do something easy today.”

We go to the gym to train the body with intensity and then give it time to recuperate. We don’t want to only build big arms but we want to build arms so huge they are hard to carry around.

We live in a society that is obsessed with instant gratification. We are all guilty of focussing on achievement in the here and the now instead of setting a goal over a longer period and embracing the progress we make while we are working towards reaching that goal.

Instantaneous achievement is so ingrained in our society that we often ignore slow progress. In the gym it is all about the maximum weights we can lift now instead of slow but steady gains. We often don’t have the patience to make slower (but greater) long-term gains.

How many lifters do you know who are lifting 50 or even 100 kilograms more in the gym today than they were a year ago? I don’t know many.

If you build up slowly you are also building capacity to do more work. Over time this will add up.

We also easily forget that lifting weights is an activity that benefits not only athletes who want more strength but also bodybuilders who want develop better bodies to win shows and recreational lifters who just like the challenge.It is the perfect safety valve to let off steam and reduce stress. I personally don’t know of anyone on this planet who is capable of training with weights who would not benefit from doing so.

But you have to build a foundation of strength first with a lot of volume to make progress and teach your body to move through space, going up in poundages, slowly but surely.

Small, consistent gains give the body just enough stress to grow and just enough time to recover. If you dive in head first and push your body too far you will only end up with an injury.

Are we, at the end of the day, in the gym to impress others and hurt ourselves or are we here for the long haul?

Werner Beukes

Werner Beukes is editor of Muscle Evolution. After obtaining degrees in Journalism and Public Relations he acquired a solid background in journalism working for a number of newspapers and news agencies before joining Muscle Evolution where he combines his love for training and writing to produce content for South Africa’s Number 1 Bodybuilding Magazine.

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