Do less for more muscles

By November 11, 2021 No Comments

Why I’m doing less in the gym

& the incredible way it’s increasing my muscles


Life’s been dosing with me pain lately. It’s been forcing me to live a day at a time. (Sometimes five minutes at a time!)

My stress is emotional: family pain, financial pain. The stress is physical, too: I bike everywhere in L.A., and I’m working on my feet 50+ hours/week. 

I’m also not sleeping as much. 

Perhaps, then, it’s no surprise that my lower back injury has been re-triggered. It’s been touch-and-go these last couple weeks. 

My solution: seek the most sustainable, realistic fix.

I recently realized that by decreasing the frequency of my workouts, AND decreasing the weights, I can avoid doing more damage to my back. I can even let it recover. All while preserving — versus risking — my life’s work.

Now, it’s not easy. There’s a voice in my head telling me I’ll fall behind. 

Fortunately, I know that’s not necessarily true, as long as my diet stays on point. (That’s been another dicey area, some days.)

My longterm goals include a broader back, wider shoulders, bigger arms, and more muscular abs. And I need to stay as lean as possible. (I like seeing my veins, and my muscles. So do the guys I want to impress.) 

The fastest way to these goals is to be realistic, flexible and adaptive. 

The fastest way to sacrifice those goals is to have an all-or-nothing mentality. 

Since my regimen is less intense right now, I’m using this as an opportunity. By slowing down my movements on account of the lighter weights, I’m able to focus more on form and muscle burn. 

And here’s a surprising, wonderful side effect: my muscles are getting “good sore” after my workouts! 

It’s an incredible reminder to me that sometimes, it’s good to just take it easy. 🙂 

In case you’re curious: I’m reducing the weights on my lower body lifts by 15-45%, depending on the risk of aggravation to my lower back. I’m reducing the weights on upper body workouts by 10-30%. I’m typically maintaining the same number of reps and sets.

And: I’m trying to take a day off after every 2 workout days. (This is a real challenge, as I’m so programmed to workout 3 or 4 days in a row.) (Full disclosure: I don’t always take my own advice. I don’t do this perfectly.)

And there you have it. 

Now, I wanna know: do you have an injury you’re trying to manage right now? Write me back!

Me, too, 




Author brandenhayward

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