I'm a rather skinny guy (1m88 for 74 kg). My goal is to gain muscle mass, with a focus on my upper body. I work out 2 times a week (sometimes 3). I also do 1 hour of badminton each week (but usually no cardio when I work out). I've been doing this for approximately 6 months now.
I'm giving more details below but in short my question is this: I was advised by a trainer at my gym to work out less than I currently do. Is this sensible advice ?
My current workout
I have followed internet advice (including from here), and my intuition in order to create my workout, which usually takes from 1 hour to 1:45 depending on my motivation. I usually do
- ~ 8 exercises, 4 sets per exercise
- 10 repetitions
- 45 seconds break between sets.
This has given me results I'm happy with so far. I have only gained about 3 kg in 6 months. But my musculature is clearly more defined and my muscles are bigger. I have no idea if I could've had much better results than this.
Advice I got from a trainer
Today as part of my gym membership I had a trainer create a workout program with me. I basically just told her what I have written in my first paragraph above (focus on gaining volume in the upper body). She proposed a workout based on
- 10 exercises, only 1 set per exercise
- Aim for 6 to 9 repetitions in each exercise
- Doing the exercises slowly (4 seconds extension, 2 seconds pause, 4 seconds contraction)
- This is slower than I usually do, and probably the most useful part of what she told me
- She didn't suggest taking breaks between exercises
Doing this takes me only about 45 minutes. I thought this was not a lot, and asked her if she suggested doing the routine twice when I felt like it, and she said it wasn't necessary. To compare roughly, her proposed routine is around 100 reps in total, whereas mine is about 3 times more (although easier ones).
So to summarize: my gut feeling is that what she proposed will not give me better results than what I'm currently doing, as it's just so much less effort. Is there a good reason to do less ? Or should I go ahead and keep doing what I was doing before (or maybe double up on what she proposed) ?
Edit: answer from the trainer
After asking here, I went back to the gym and did the suggested new routine. As I was dissatisfied at the end (feeling like I had it in me to do more) I went and asked another trainer what he thought of this. I'm adding his answer here too.
Basically he said that the single serie I had to do in each exercise had to be so hard that I wouldn't be able to do even one more rep for the rest of the whole session. This means that if I still have energy like I do, I'm not pushing myself hard enough on that single serie.
He also said the goal with this program was to improve form and "learn" to use my muscles properly. Something that is easier to learn by doing 10 reps well than 40 bad reps.
Also one thing that I hadn't been explained properly is that this program is only for the first 6 to 8 weeks, and that it would change afterwards.