Gaining muscle can be a difficult process for anybody, but if you attempt to do it without a well designed nutrition and exercise program you are just asking for poor gains. I am sure this is something you have heard before, and it is really pretty obvious when you think about it.

But what exactly is a good program?

Well, first and foremost, a programme should be designed with science as the foundation. Everything in the program should be justifiable. Whoever wrote your program should be able to answer questions like:

Why three sets instead of two or 4?

Why 10 reps instead of five?

Why 2 days off instead of 1?

Why 2 minutes between sets?

Unfortunately most training programs are simply thrown together. This goes for the programs written by "professionals" as well. The reason for this is that most people, and even trainers, do not understand how to optimally train the body in accordance with science. Because of this they cannot accurately answer any of the above questions.

Factors such a workout's effects on the hormonal system, the CNS, and immune system are simply not something that most programs account for. This is a very complex and time-consuming process if you do it correctly, and it requires some advanced knowledge, so it is somewhat understandable why most training programs don't adhere to science and therefore won't produce results for 95% of the lifters who use them.

The problem is compounded by the fact that generic programs will never work for everyone, or even most people. You have to know how to adapt and change a program to work with your specific physiology. This means you must have an easy way to test your body to see what type of training will be most productive for you. Again, this process can be complex, but it is well worth the results.

So the next time you are choosing a new training program make sure it is one based on science and that it allows for some individualization of the training process. Otherwise you will find that gaining muscle is harder than it should be.

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