I've written previously that there is no one ideal way to train that will work for everyone. It takes experimentation with different training techniques to determine those that produce the best results for you, and this will vary among individuals. Some people, for instance, can make good gains while doing an extensive volume of training. Simply put, they can do more sets, reps, and exercises and still make great progress. Others who follow the identical style of training may find themselves making no progress at all. Many factors come into play here, such as genetics, hormonal profile, dedication, goal-seeking, and perseverance. Some people are what's known as "easy gainers" who seem to add muscle just by brushing their teeth. But in my experience of nearly 60 years of consistent training, I've found that there are always reasons to explain a lack of consistent muscle and strength gains.
These days, I'm amazed at the extent of poor exercise form I see in the gym. At the gym I go to, Gold's Gym in Venice, California, I'd estimate that less than 1% of the members know what constitutes good form in training. One example of this is a complete failure to incorporate eccentric or negative muscle contractions. Eccentric contractions most often involve a lowering of weight and tend to produce more stress on muscle fibers. It involves a lengthening of the muscle. The greater damage that usually results from doing eccentric muscle contractions can cause a greater degree of muscle damage. That, in turn, can result in delayed-onset muscle soreness that can be painful. However, the greater degree of muscle damage that results from eccentric muscle contractions also induces greater repair mechanisms in the muscle that leads to increased muscle mass gains. At Gold's, I have never seen anyone pay any attention to eccentric muscle contraction when they train, so they are getting about half the benefit they could otherwise get during their training.
I could list dozens of other mistakes I regularly observe in the gym that prevents any level of training progress. But the point is that there is always an explanation for a lack of training progress. Anyone, no matter what their pre-existing genetic predisposition is, can make good training progress if they avoid the common training errors. Overtraining is another common mistake. In their zeal to build more muscle and strength, many trainees follow the "more is better dictum," thinking that the more they train, the greater will be their muscle gains. But exercise, in common with many other things, works on the principle of hormesis. What that refers to is that while a certain amount of something can be beneficial, if you exceed a certain point, the effect reverses and becomes negative or detrimental. With training, you can make progress with a certain amount of training, but if you exceed that amount, your progress will cease or you may . . .