This is probably the most important thing to do in order to build muscle over time – you have to gradually increase the difficulty of your training. You see, if you don’t change things up, if you don’t make things harder, your body won’t have a reason to adapt. Muscle growth is just an adaptation reaction to the external stress caused by the workout.
LL Cool J, on the photo above, works his ass off and consequently looks more than decent. One thing that can be learned about muscle building from the fit celebrities is their work ethic. It simply takes work to achieve anything worthwhile.
Don’t Miss Workouts
I think it goes without saying – if you miss workouts you are shooting yourself in the foot. Many people quit training because of the lack of progress. Well, there is a reason for the absence of results. When you miss a workout, you are back to the baseline levels from 2-3 workouts ago.
Take it Easy Once Every 3 to 4 Weeks
When you train diligently, your body and mind gradually become more and more fatigued. Yup – your mind too. Your will power takes a beating from the burden of having to adhere to a strict schedule and having to blast past previous achievement almost every time you are in the gym.
The tissues of your body – muscles, ligaments, joints, bones, glands, liver, etc. all fatigue too. So what do you do? Once every 3 to 4 weeks train a little bit lighter. Maybe do half the planned sets, pump less weight or, if super tired, take a week off from training.
Go to Bed on Time Before Workouts
Hey, I’m not saying you shouldn’t stay up late once in a while or go out for that matter. Every now and then it’s OK to pull an all-nighter. But if you go to bed after 2 am – your next training day is screwed. Also, while you sleep human growth hormone (HGH) is secreted.
HGH is important for the growth and recovery and you don’t want to mess with it. But if you interrupt your sleep pattern, you are also interrupting HGH release as it works in cycles – it gets secreted once every few hours while you sleep.
Get a Basic Strength Level First
Building a great body is somewhat like carving a statue except it works in reverse – you will be building a rock first and the statue – after that. You need a to follow a beginner strength training routine first because this is the foundation you’ll be working with.
You know, you can’t carve a big statue out of a small rock. Similarly, you need some basic strength and size before you can start worrying about development of the details and the small muscles such as arms, shoulders, chest and calves.
Get Lean First
Just lose the excess fat to begin with. It should be your number one priority when starting to workout. You will look good naked year round.
You can eat more carbs without getting fatter and you will prime your body for muscle building. This is so because the leaner you are, the less estrogen from fat storage you have.
Don’t Get Fat When Gaining Muscle
This goes along the lines of the previous point. Bulking up by eating like a pig sucks. You’ll look fat. OK, you will look big in clothes but this is one huge hypocrisy that many people who workout share. Other people think they are fit and muscular looking at them in clothes, when in fact they have some muscle and quite a bit of fat on top.
Also, bulking up with fat gain cause a permanent increase in the number of fat cells. Those fat cells will be with you forever unless you have a lipo. And from then on it will be always easier to get fat. So just don’t bulk. Rusty Moore has the best all around muscle building course when it comes to following these principles.