My goal every time I train is to build maximum muscle. This is true if I am six weeks from a show or in the off-season and that’s why my workout approach never changes. I always train heavy with the Max-OT principles year ‘round because it’s the best way to train to stimulate maximum muscle growth.
Although training stays the same all year, my mindset and visions differ depending on the season. When I am getting ready for a contest my mind becomes fixated on images of detailed, shredded muscle with striations and vascularity becoming increasingly more visible almost daily. I picture the thickly muscled and highly separated physique I want to display onstage with each body part crisply defined and hard as granite.
Those pre-contest visions served me well but they are tucked away for a later date and thoughts of building massive, powerful slabs of beef are currently at the forefront of my psyche.
If you’ve followed my training journals in the past you know I am big on visualization and often use imagery to help create a powerful pre-workout mindset. This is true in the off-season as well, but the images I find most motivating are different.
When I think of maximum muscle-building it conjures up visions of the biggest, thickest guys in the business from today and days past. Envisioning Herculean bodybuilding greats keeps the motivation high during the off-season. For example, when I’m training back I often think of those hardcore black and white pictures of Dorian Yates heaving some serious tonnage. Dorian may not have possessed my favorite physique but I appreciate and respect his work ethic, intensity and his extreme amounts of muscle, especially his ultra thick back. Truth is Dorian isn’t someone I think about during pre-contest training, however, I find images of him in the off-season very inspiring. He knew how to train hard and heavy and that was evident with one look at the density and thickness he had from head to toe.
I know progressively increasing overload is the catalyst for continual muscle growth and visualization techniques are a tool I use for greater motivation to work hard every day and strive to push more weight. I realize every workout counts and builds upon the next so in order to make the most of this off-season I need to stay connected to my goals.
Let’s not forget or downplay the importance of the mental aspect of a maximum muscle-building plan. I think the mental component of training is more obvious during pre-contest stages with the ever-increasing physical demands and pressures of an approaching show but the mind also plays a vital role in the off-season too. A lack of focus and execution during the off-season means not taking full advantage of the opportunity to pack on as much lean muscle as possible.
I am sure each of you has images that fuel your flames of intensity. What ever those images are, use them to help you pound out one great muscle-building Max-OT workout after another.