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15 Muscle Building Secrets

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 article.

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 and enjoyment.

We hope you enjoy the insightful tips from years of graft, research and anecdotal experience our fantastic community have contributed to this article.

1. Adam: 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.

2. Ben: 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 per night!

3. 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.



5.
Matt87: 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.

6. MartyK: Experiment

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 muscular development.

7. Johno_76: 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.

8. Jiffj: 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 added this.

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.

9. MartyK: 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.

10. The 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.

11. Rory: 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 the gym.

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.

12. Mike: 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.

13. Orangio: Use good form

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.

14. Keefjd: 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.

15. Ranter: 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 you grow

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