Keep it Simple in the Gym for God’s sake!

by Anders JP Eskilsson

It seems to me that when people of today finally buy gym memberships they often do it for the wrong reasons. It strikes me at times that new members are there for the purpose of either filling out their Instagram accounts or because they forced themselves to go there without intending to put any effort into their training. But hey!, they are actually there, and that can ease the anxiety over being totally out of shape (in a small way at least).

I am sure that most of you who have been training for a couple of decades have seen the new breed of lazy people occupying their time watching social media news feeds on their phones or texting while using equipment. The younger generation needs to take the problems of social media into consideration. Get your priorities straight. Turn off your Instagram before you get so caught up with what´s going on there that you can’t train properly.

Another piece of advice for those who are just starting their bodybuilding journey is to use high quality sources for inspiration. For instance, instead of watching Instagram, bodybuilders should watch Arnold’s Pumping Iron or Yates’ Blood ‘n Guts… or one of Ronnie Coleman’s documentaries about his training and lifestyle. Watch him almost fall asleep in his cough while eating rice, chicken, and his KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce after training. I’m just kidding, but really… if you are new to the game of bodybuilding, and even if you´re aiming to become a classic physique competitor or men’s physique, turn to the legends to gain the best knowledge and inspiration and to get a taste of what really hard and dedicated training is all about.

Your focus should be on watching the ones who have accomplished great things in our industry by winning the big pro shows and not in seeking inspiration from bearded hipster douche-bag called Fernando on Instagram. Here’s an example: The correlation with nutrition and gaining muscle demands in general that you should eat high quality foods. You don’t eat freaking pizza every day, even if it’s simple and tastes good. No, for example you buy either chicken, beef or fish combined with pasta and rice. The name of the game is High Quality!!! I never saw either Dorian or Ronnie running around with lime green shakers talking selfies all the time or being distracted by technology.

Other problems can be that newcomers might get too fixated on learning new exercises and therefore might miss the importance of the basic movements. If so, they might do shitty lunges before they can even do real squats. Basic – basic – basic is the key to success!

In contrast, the most important variables when it comes to building muscles are 1) lift progressively heavier, 2) eat a lot of food, and 3) get your 8 – 9 hours of sleep. It’s all about these basic elements and not whether or not the colors of our gym clothes match or how to do a reversed hack squat on one leg or on which filter you should use for your next selfie.

The bench press and the squats are still numero uno when it comes to building a great chest or massive legs. Machines or complicated newly invented movements are secondary. Try them out as complements to the golden basic exercises.
So keep it simple.