When 15 serious weight trainers come together and each shares an
invaluable tip for building muscle, it's likely that the key to
unlocking your potential may well lie within this article.
Building muscle is a catch-22 scenario. On one hand, it can be
achieved with an incredibly simple formula. I wrote about this formula
in my 3 Undisputed Rules to Getting Big
On the contrary, for high intermediate to advanced lifters, it"s a
constant battle of experimentation, consistency and discipline, and
many other ingredients that are achieved throughout the journey.
Which brings us to an important point: weight lifting is a progressive
journey. Building muscle is complex in its own way and often requires a
lot of trial and error when striving for the ideal formula. Here are 15
of the best tips we cumulated together for your own personal benefit
We hope you enjoy the insightful tips from years of graft, research and
anecdotal experience our fantastic community have contributed to this
Progressively lift heavier weights
I figured it was fitting to start the thread off with the most
important tip of all, which is to progressively lift heavier weights.
You can complicate building muscle as much as you like, but this
remains the most profound, straight forward aspect of them all. Provide
a perpetual stimulus for your body to change by lifting heavier
weights, and growth will ensue. Trust me.
Get adequate rest / sleep every night
If we"re starting basic then it"s for good reason " the basics are the
foundation upon which everything else is built.
Getting adequate rest and sleep every night has been perpetually shown
in scientific studies to lower stress, increase testosterone, allow
efficient recovery and provide a positive hormonal balance.
Lifters often neglect this aspect as we struggle to balance the
stresses of modern society with our quest for mass. But if you can"t
get this salient point right, then your results will always be subpar.
Remember, we grow when we"re out of the gym, not in it! Sleep provides
an abundance of aforementioned, hormonal benefits. It"s your best
friend when it comes to building muscle, so embrace it and get 8 hours
Daz26: Get adequate protein per lb of bodyweight
While the concept remains imperatively true, there is some debate
surrounding this point as to what is adequate for growing lifters.
A lot of what"s optimal depends upon the lifters current situation and
goals: the goal may be mass gain; the individual might be attempting a
long, gruelling cut; the lifter may simply train for maintenance or
performance measures. Whatever the scenario, we have to come a
reasonably acceptable and understandable estimate. & an abundance
of research " both anecdotal and empirically " at least gives us some
indication as to what we should be striving to achieve on a daily basis.
Without further ado: 1gram of protein per lb of bodyweight
(irrespective of any goal, % of lean muscle, etc), is an adequate
starting point for any trainee. Get specific when you need to.
4. Mc91: Don"t
underestimate the importance of post-workout nutrition
This is another perspective in recent times that has caused debate, but
the fact remains that trainees and serious lifters have long sought to
utilise an advantageous situation in the post-workout period where
hormones are thought to be in a primed position for anabolism.
The solution has usually been to utilise this period and flood the body
with an array of anabolic nutrients. Many post-workout formulas have
been specifically designed for this.
Want a sales pitch? Biorhythm"s After Glow is the best rated, most
anecdotally praised formula and repeatedly bought item ever from the
BodyActive store after over 3 years since its arrival. If that"s not a
credible testament to this point, then I don"t know what is.
Squat and don't neglect the importance of training legs
This point is self-explanatory, but there remain some individuals who
seem to forget that their legs are often half of their body.
Why would you not want to train legs? Sure, it's hard, but you didn't
choose to build muscle because it was easy, did you? You did it because
it would elicit a positive change in your life.
If you continue to neglect leg training, then your results are always
going to be subpar. Not only that, but you'll be undercutting your
overall development massively. Leg training is so potent it can
stimulate upper body growth. &, indeed, as Matt says, the Squat is
the ultimate movement for enhancing every aspect of strength, power and
muscular growth. Just do the damn lift.
It's true that keeping things basic is often best, but it's also true
that we're all individual at least in the context of body disposition,
proportions and structure.
Don't be afraid to experiment with various nutritional protocols,
training methodologies and supplement strategies in your quest for
Listen to your body
You can intertwine this to so many points, and in particular the
concept of rest. Listening to your body is something every experienced
trainee in the iron game knows to do; it's often the inexperienced
lifters that don't know when to back off.
It can be as simple as a week away from the gym or utilising the
concept of de-loading, just ensure that you're listening attentively to
your body, as it ultimately holds the key to building muscle.
Work out your daily required macronutrient goal and hit that target
every day consistently
This is such an essentially overlooked component and I'm glad Jeff
It really is as simple as this rule of thermodynamics: if you eat more
calories than you expend, you'll gain mass. If you eat less calories
than you expend, you'll lose body mass. Choosing what side of the fence
you want to be on is essential to achieving your goals, but it's also
imperative that you consistently hit that target, otherwise, you're
leaving things to chance and that ain't good enough!
A simple baseline diet for bulking and macronutrient totals has been
outlined in this thread. Enjoy and adhere to Jeff's powerful advice.
Keep your goals realistic, but never stop working towards achieving them
Baby steps are often the way forward in the iron game. Setting small,
realistically attainable goals is best, because outrageous one's '
while very nice always in theory and imagination ' are often too
dependent on that all too frequent concept of 'genetics' we love to
hoist into every conversation.
Don't be unmotivated by supposed genetic limitations; just be aware of
them and work your ass off to achieve every small increment in poundage
increasing on the bar, and every pound of lean muscle that adds to the
scale. A journey of a thousand miles always begins with the first step,
and eventually they cumulate in something much more prodigious if
worked at tirelessly.
Animal: Train consistently with focus and determination, and always do
the best to your body's capacity
This follows on nicely from the last point.
It's true for any venture in life, but getting big, contrary to belief,
while relatively simple, is not easy.
It requires a fire to be lit and a passion to be ignited. If you want
this positive change to become part of your life, you better be
prepared to show these qualities in abundance. Anyone who's achieved
them so far will tell you exactly the same.
Become best friends with a foam roller and hockey ball.
Rory is basically raising attention to the essential habit of staying
injury free; which often requires some very basic soft tissue work that
can be performed by the user themself in their own spare time, or at
Self-myofascial release will leave you feeling healthier, more mobile
and also prolong your training career and life quality. Integrate it to
your programme and prepare for an enormous change.
Your body adapts to the stress you place it under.So if your goal is to
add muscle, train for hypertrophy, not for power and not for muscle
endurance, and certainly not for cardiovascular endurance.
This may be one of the most difficult to define ' albeit most important
' points on the list.
The body is indeed a very adaptable mechanism, and so much has been
written about hypertrophy in recent years, usually all controversial
and thought-provoking to some degree. There are so many theories flying
around, it's difficult to distinguish what's accurate and what's not.
Want to keep things simple? Adhere to principle 1 of this article:
lifting progressively heavier weights will continue to provide the most
prominent stressor to your changing physique. A good insight on what
may be an optimal rep range can
be found here.
Essential advice from Orangio. Lifting with good form prevents injury,
allows for adequate progression of weights, and will also make you
stronger. These are all imperative points we've already discussed to
some degree of depth, so make sure you're always consciously analysing
your form and talk to experienced and intelligent lifters as well about
what you can do to improve your form.
Enjoy your training. If your training becomes boring chances are your
progress will stall. If you get bored, change things around
It's a fantastic point and one which is very true to a large extent.
I'm as big as a proponent of any of keeping things simple, but
progression is also inherently linked to your motivation and
psychological wellbeing too. If you're not focused, chances are you're
going to stagnate and regress. Enjoyment is a key factor to achieving
anything in life, so make sure you're in this for the right reasons.
Stick to the basics
With that being said, never, ever forget the most important compound
movements that have built and continue to build the finest, most
powerful physiques on the planet. Squats, deadlifts and bench pressing
are unparalleled. Do yourself a favour and include them in your routine
with a template for progression, and these alone will be enough to make