Common sense tells us that if we want to be as good in something as other people we should train like them. Generally that’s true. To swim as good as your friend you have to practice like him, to be as good fighter you should join martial arts and even start jogging few times a week to be better.
Fortunately this rule doesn’t apply to professional athletes, especially bodybuilders. Bodybuilding is different that any other sort of sport and its not only a sport, it’s a lifestyle, it’s an art that takes many years. Unfortunately not everybody knows about it. Really many people falls into the same trap thinking that if they want to look like a pros they have to train like them. I’ll give you few reasons why copying them – their workouts or technique of exercises – can be one of the worst mistakes you can do.
They are already big
Did you ever think about this? Professional bodybuilders are already really big, they are massive, unreal. Pure muscle mass isn’t priority for them any more. They care more about definition, symmetry or density. Do you think when they started bodybuilding their workout looked exactly the same?? No, it didn’t. For the first two years of training you shouldn’t do anything else but building muscle mass using compound exercises like Squat, Deadlift, Military Press, Bench Press, Row. Machines or isolation movements are used sporadically. We focus more on shape when we already have a decent size.
Most of professionals lifters achieve the peak of their form in the middle 30s what means that they work out for over 10 or 15 years. After so many years of training their muscles need extremely hard stimulation to keep making progress. The same volume used on a beginner would send him to hospital or even kill. You don’t need as many exercises to build mass. 9 sets per each muscle group is definitely enough, anything more than that will cause an opposite effect – too fatigued muscles will not grow.
Fortune spend on steroids and supplements
Each bodybuilder spends over $20000 a year for supplements and steroids. Of course not from his own pocket. Their sponsors like bodybuilding magazines, gym owners or equipment manufacturers pay for everything including a doctor in case of any side effects or heart attack.
However don’t be put off by that, you will build really muscular body without taking steroids or spending a fortune on supplements. Just take your time. Treat this sport as a lifestyle, don’t expect immediate results and you’ll transform your physique to the level you only dreamed about.
Unknown training cycle
During the year lifters go through different training periods like building strength, endurance, muscle mass, definition or burning fat. When you watch a clip on youtube of bodybuilder working out you can’t be sure what cycle he’s on at the moment. So copying him could bring you an effect you’re not necessary looking for.
Imitating the technique of exercises can be harmful as well. We don’t know what is their current objective. Let’s say that he’s emphasizing outer chest on the clip, how can you be sure that next time he will not focus on the lower part of this muscle. He might use partial repetition scheme this week but maybe he will train with a full range of motion for the rest of the month. You never know. So again we have to be very careful because after watching one or two video clips we can’t be certain how he trains most of time. We don’t know his workout priority.
If you spent last 15 years of your life on building an engine for the fastest car on Earth would you make a tutorial on youtube ‘how to do it yourself’? For free? Why would bodybuilders who sacrifice whole life and spend incredible amount of money to be the best of the best share their information with the whole world just like that. Furthermore don’t you think that they can record few videos with a wrong way of training just to mislead the competition. Think about it.
But don’t get me wrong, you will hear from many of them some good tips and general advice but you can’t take all of it 100% serious.
Are they good looking?
Do you know any woman who likes the look of professional bodybuilders? I don’t. As much as people notice or stare at them, nobody thinks that they’re attractive. What we want to achieve is muscular, strong body, confidence and general good physical health. We don’t really want to look like a monsters.
The only thing we could copy from the pros is their workout during the most important phase of bodybuilding – the beginning. Unfortunately we can find thousands different current routines but none about how they started when they were skinny, fat or ugly.
I hope I’ve explained to you briefly why copying professionals can be a big mistake, bring us an unwanted results or even hurt us. So don’t waste your time doing workouts from bodybuilding magazines. Stick to training principles and remember that in weight lifting more doesn’t mean better. Muscles grow when you train smarter, not harder. And if you really want to look like a pro, start like a pro, don’t train like them straight away.