T Nation

Great Muscle Building Tips?


#1

Hey guys, what are a few tips that have worked for you personally in achieving your weightlifting goal? Mine personally are CONSISTENCY and Progression, making sure I get in the gym and his every muscle hard each week while increasing weights and reps over time.

Thanks


#2

[quote]LeeKaz wrote:
Hey guys, what are a few tips that have worked for you personally in achieving your weightlifting goal? Mine personally are CONSISTENCY and Progression, making sure I get in the gym and his every muscle hard each week while increasing weights and reps over time.

Thanks[/quote]

That’s pretty much the main thing. Consistency and progression.

Some of the things that helped me…

Getting my diet right, meaning I had to eat a lot more. Personally, when I started eating tons of carbs is when I first started making good gains.

Using compound exercises.

Making the base of each workout one or two compound exercises. Even if I felt like shit, if I did five sets of military presses and that’s it, I would be OKAY.

Squatting and deadlifting. Started consistently squatting way too late so now I’m playing catch-up.

Getting enough rest. I used to work out almost every day, like 3 on 1 off. Eventually the gains stopped. When I went to 1 day on, 1 day off, I started making great gains again.

Varying rep ranges… sometimes. For bodybuilding, 8-10 is the main rep range, BUT sometimes you’re gonna have to do sets of 5 to get your strength up to have more muscle cells to hypertrophy or you’ll find sets of 15 or more work great for certain body parts.

Oh yeah… this is VERY IMPORTANT!! Training in a balanced way. You need to do just as much pulling as you do pushing. Doing tons of bench presses and neglecting back, for example, will create a muscle imbalance. Your shoulders are gonna slouch forward. At that point they’re gonna start hurting and that’s when you get injured. You wanna avoid muscle imbalances.


#3

Biggest tip?

PERSPECTIVE. This is one of those “it’s a fact no matter how much you may not want it to be” ones.

-Your body can only synthesize a couple of lbs of new muscle per month, in AN IDEAL ENVIRONMENT (best genetics, best diet, best training, best “supplements”…)

Yes, it doesn’t sound like much, and yes it goes against all of the supplement ad copy, or even the #'s that the Pros throw out (levels of hydration and outright lying can come into play here -lol), but just imagine what a pound of chopped beef looks like. Now imagine spreading it out on top of your biceps. Now do that with 2 other packages on your pecs and delts. Now imagine how impressive those 3 lbs would look if you were seriously cut up. Doesn’t sound so bad anymore does it?

This is never a reason to hold back, or any of those stupid excuses people suggest when they don’t want to believe evidence based science, but it is a reason to not fall prey to some of the obviously stupid claims and promises that abound.

S


#4

“More is not better, only better is better.” JM Blakely

It’s easy to jump all over the place, do all kinds of exercises and get sweaty and out of breath. But that’s not how you get stronger. Work on just a few things, but do them right.

“If its not an advantage, its a disadvantage.” Louie Simmons

Don’t mess around. Go to the best gym you can find. Don’t waste your time with limited, shitty equipment or grab-asstic gym clowns. Train with the best equipment you can get, with the hardest working, strongest people around. If you lift at home, get the equipment you need to really train. If your setup limits what you can do, its limiting your progress.


#5

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
“More is not better, only better is better.” JM Blakely

It’s easy to jump all over the place, do all kinds of exercises and get sweaty and out of breath. But that’s not how you get stronger. Work on just a few things, but do them right.

[/quote]

I think this is spot on, remember that the Pareto principle applies to lifting, 80% of your results will come from getting the basics right. Don’t get distracted with the 20% until the 80% is sorted.


#6

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Biggest tip?

PERSPECTIVE. This is one of those “it’s a fact no matter how much you may not want it to be” ones.

-Your body can only synthesize a couple of lbs of new muscle per month, in AN IDEAL ENVIRONMENT (best genetics, best diet, best training, best “supplements”…)

Yes, it doesn’t sound like much, and yes it goes against all of the supplement ad copy, or even the #'s that the Pros throw out (levels of hydration and outright lying can come into play here -lol), but just imagine what a pound of chopped beef looks like. Now imagine spreading it out on top of your biceps. Now do that with 2 other packages on your pecs and delts. Now imagine how impressive those 3 lbs would look if you were seriously cut up. Doesn’t sound so bad anymore does it?

This is never a reason to hold back, or any of those stupid excuses people suggest when they don’t want to believe evidence based science, but it is a reason to not fall prey to some of the obviously stupid claims and promises that abound.

S[/quote]

This is one I have to keep learning, again and again. The myth of “fast muscle gains” is so pervasive in the fitness/supplement industry, and the desire for instant gratification so strong in our society, it’s difficult to accept the reality that building muscle is a very gradual process. I still do stupid things like “bulking” – gaining more weight than I need to – in the hope of extra growth, even when I know in the back of my head it’s just going to mean more fat to lose later.


#7

[quote]LeeKaz wrote:
Hey guys, what are a few tips that have worked for you personally in achieving your weightlifting goal?[/quote]
We had a kind of similar/little more general thread a few weeks ago:

Consistency, and understanding that you’ll be doing this for the long haul, was a very agreed-upon factor. That ties in to what Stu was saying. Building “just a couple” quality pounds a year for 10, 15, 20 years ends up making a huge difference, so there’s no need to rush trying to gain 20 pounds in two months.


#8

You can also check out the article “Training Proficiency Simplified” by Anthony Ditillo. It’s short, but full of good stuff.


#9

EAT.


#10

Consistency but not rigidity. Be open to change in your training, never get married to a method or approach. No matter how much you might love one particular program or style of training, sometimes you will need to change it and (for me at least) that can be really scary. Also, patience. Its a long game.