by  Flex Wheeler

The Cerebral affect.

Over 90% of the questions I’m asked at the gym or via email are about the best weight lifting routine to get huge and strong. How many sets, reps, drop sets, super sets, rest time, frequency, duration etc…

My answer is always the same. It doesn’t matter. You don’t grow in the gym, you grow at the dinner table.

People, it’s never the training routine that’s limiting growth, it’s always the recovery phase, eating and sleeping. The vast majority of people who want to get bigger and stronger already train hard enough to grow, they just don’t eat and sleep enough to grow. They carry a notebook and want to show me every rep and set of every workout and routine they’ve done for the past three years, but there’s not one page with a record of their meals. I feel bad for them because I know they work hard in the gym and they rarely miss a workout, but the notebook just documents all the muscle they’ve broken down and has no record of what they’ve been doing to build it up.

It really is this simple:

Lift heavy intensely 4 to 5 times a week no more then 1.5 hour. Eat lots of food and sleep as much as you can.

That’s it. There’s nothing more to add. I’d love to be able to just stop there and trust that the person asking the question will do exactly those two things and get huge and strong.

But, there’s always a million nit picky questions to follow, the answers to which really make very little difference. People have become well informed and read everything they can about the sport, so they want to hear me confirm or negate every last theory, belief, bias, research study, proposal, hunch, testimonial and Dr. Oz episode they’ve ever watched. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. It’s always a good idea to educate yourself and keep track of your training and diet, but there is no holy grail. Using a bunch of words nobody understands and trying to explain to yourself or others every detail of the Krebs cycle has very little effect on your progress.

I’m as bad as anyone about trying to learn all the latest training and nutritional information, but I understand that 99% of progress comes from those simple rules: Lift intensely, eat and sleep a lot. Therefore, I don’t let myself stray from the basics and I don’t waste half my time chasing the 1%. I spend most of my time and effort making sure I’m doing the 99% as hard and as consistent as I can. Train intensely, eat and sleep.


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