“No one wants to admit that muscles grow incredibly slowly, … and that most full-grown men (training properly) won’t gain more than 10-15 pounds of muscle in their lifetime” – Brad Pilon
This is something that’s taken me a while to fully understand. While it’s a little discouraging at first, it also means muscle loss is just as incredibly slow, which eliminates anxiety about missing the occasional workout or protein intake target. Life first, then muscle. Minimalist programming done right over the long-term (years and decades) is all almost anyone needs, but what’s a minimalist program?
My example is I lift 2-3x a week, doing just 4 movements with as much weight as I can; squat, benchpress, deadlift, weighted chinups. I start with a few warmup sets and then 1-3 work sets of 5-12 reps (depending on movement and where I am in the program) resting 2-5min between sets and exercises. It takes me less than an hour to complete each session. As I progress up through strength milestones my plan will become even more minimalist; splitting my stimulus to just 1-2 movements per workout 3x a week.