Why You Should Change Your Mind
How often do you change your mind on something?
People often think that changing their views on something is a sign of weakness and a indicates a lack of character. I actually think it’s the opposite.
It takes a lot of guts to change your mind, especially if you’ve been vocal on something and ESPECIALLY if that thing is something where people have lots of strong and conflicting opinions.
We’re kind of in love with the idea of people standing firm and sticking to their guns. But how glamorous is it really if a person digs in their heels and refuses to change their stance on something, even when presented with insurmountable evidence that their views are wrong?
The world is complex. We don’t understand all of it yet. Popular belief does not equal truth.
Here are some things that used to be accepted viewpoints:
- The world is flat.
- The sun goes around the earth.
- Women are less intelligent than men.
- Leeches are medicine.
- Public executions are OK.
- It’s ok for children to work in factories.
- Smoking is good for you and can cure asthma.
- Seatbelts are unnecessary.
- Asbestos is a great building material.
I could go on forever. Some of these views are hundreds of years old, while some are only decades (and a few people still believe some of them). The point is, we don’t know everything yet (and we probably never will).
New information can come to light that makes our “facts” fiction. The more old-fashioned views get updated, the better the world will be for people.
Changing your mind is progressive. The key is not to be willy-nilly. Hold to your convictions, but consider updating your beliefs when new evidence suggests they might be wrong.
I’ve Changed My Mind
On that note, I’ve changed my mind on a few things… It’s nothing radical, but I’ve updated my stance on some things relating to nutrition and training. I haven’t thrown out all of my old beliefs, but the more time I spend training, reading about training and diet, reading scientific studies and generally being immersed in the world of health and fitness, the more my views evolve and change over time.
It’s gotten to the point where I now somewhat disagree with some of the information in my first ever digital product, “Simply Build Muscle” which I released in January 2020.
The information isn’t wrong, I would just add some caveats to some of it and downplay the importance of some things whilst emphasising the importance of other things more. I wanted to bring it up to date with my latest views, so I’ve been re-writing it.
This will be the best guide I can give you for building muscle optimally so you avoid all of the common mistakes people make and avoid wasting your time. I’m also updating all of the sample programs and nutrition advice that comes with it!
What I’ve Changed My Mind On
The key things I’ve updated my views are mostly on:
- Recovery – how long you should have between workouts.
- Effective volume of training per week.
- How we should be measuring volume in terms of the number of “hard sets” taken close to failure per week.
- How many sets per muscle group will provide a good training dose whilst being time efficient.
- Which rep ranges you should primarily work in.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve read various studies and noticed from my own experience, that longer recovery between workouts is beneficial, and you don’t need as many training sessions per week as most people think. Most people are training muscle groups while they’re still recovering from the last session. This is counter-productive.
The amount of training volume you need per week is also less than what I used to believe. As long as you’re increasing the stimulus over time and making your muscles do more (in terms of intensity) you will progress. There’s little to be gained from doing more than 10 sets per muscle group per week – and it makes sense to split these across two training sessions.
Also, there’s volume… and there’s effective volume. Lots of sets that don’t go anywhere near failure technically means you are doing a lot of volume – but there is no point measuring those reps/sets. The only volume that counts is hard sets. That is, sets that come within a few reps of failure when the weight starts to move slowly. Sets where the bar moves at the same speed for every rep are not hard enough and don’t recruit enough motor units to be truly effective for building muscle.
Lastly, I have added more emphasis on training near failure regardless of the rep range you’re working in. If your goal is building muscle, what matters is working close to failure. It doesn’t matter whether that set is for 5 reps, or 25 – contrary to a lot of common advice. This is based on a study from Brad Schoenfeld which showed no significant difference for hypertrophy when working in different rep ranges, as long as the sets were taken close to failure. Of course, if you want to lift as much as possible and develop maximal strength, that is also a skill and you should practise that skill by lifting heavier weights.
I’m Re-Releasing the Updated Version on 30th September 2021
If you order through this link before then, you’ll get 30% off the launch price.
If you order after that date, you will get immediate access to the book, but it will be at the full price.