IFBB pro bodybuilder Evan Centopani has been around the block a few times when it comes to the ins and outs of training. And for those of you who want to get really big, he’s got some advice you should heed.
For Centopani, it’s all about not getting into a rut—about anything. He’s throwing down a challenge for you to be objective about not just your weight training program, but your whole life. Your goal: Never stop looking for ways to change and grow physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Here are five specific things Centopani says can hold back your development:
1. You’re overtraining and not getting enough rest. It’s not enough to just give 100 percent in the gym, you also need to get enough rest. If you’re busting ass in the gym, and then going out partying all night, there’s no way you’re gonna recover. You need actual rest to recover.
2. You’re not training intensely enough. There’s a difference between working out and training. Working out is what your grandma does at the senior center. Training is what Sylvester Stallone did in Rocky IV. People who go to the gym and do the same, half-ass routine will look the exact same five years from now as they do right now. To progress, you need to go where you haven’t gone before. You need to crush it.
3. You’re trying to stay too lean. I get it: You want to maintain a six-pack and a beach body all year round. You also want to get bigger and bigger. Well, it’s damn hard to get bigger and leaner at the same time. If you’re going to get bigger, thicker, and stronger, you need a surplus of calories. If you want to grow, you’ve got to eat; that’s all there is to it. You can shed that weight later.
4. You’re not setting your own standards. You listen to your mom, your girlfriend, your bros…. They’re all going to tell you how great you are, how handsome you are, how big you are, how you should be Mr. Olympia, how you should have won that show…blah, blah, blah. No good bodybuilder ever looked at himself and liked what he saw. You need to set high standards for yourself, and go beyond what other people expect of you.
5. You’re doing what you’ve always done. If you want to get to where you haven’t been before—to get bigger than you’ve ever been, to have more strength, more endurance—you need to do something different. If you keep doing the same shit over and over and over again, you’re never going to get far. Learn about progressive overload. Look inside to see what motivates you. Set aggressive goals, then get to it!