What makes a workout a success?

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If you judge the success or failure of an individual workout by how heavy you were able to lift or by how sore you feel the next day, you are failing to appreciate the bigger picture when training for maximum muscle mass, says John Meadows

John Meadows is a national champion bodybuilder and works with many of the best physique athletes in the world. He is based in Columbus, Ohio.

Iron Insights

Strength isn’t everything
When I was younger I used to determine how good a workout was – especially legs training – by how heavy I was able to lift. Getting stronger is a good thing, but it’s not the be all and end all when training for hypertrophy.

My biggest mistake

I spent the best part of 20 years also thinking that the more pain and aches I had the next day, the better the session was. I was completely wrong. Soreness doesn’t equate to success, especially if you take a long time to recover.

Focus on the pump
It’s really hard to judge a single session in isolation because progression and muscle gains can only be fully determined over a decent period of time. Now I look at the quality of my pump to get a good idea of how well I am performing.

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