To me, it seems like there are two fundamental truths about body recomposition (whether that be bodybuilding, powerlifting, athletics, or any pursuit which requires the addition of muscle):
Changing your body requires discomfort and pain. Period. In order to get your body to adapt to carrying more muscle and less fat, you need to give it a reason to. Whether that be when dieting (hunger), bulking (inordinate fullness), or training (pain/soreness), people seem to forget this fundamental law.
Changing your body requires consistency and, by corollary, an embrasure of this discomfort and pain.
I realized after following innumerable programs and recommendations you can’t get around these two fundamental laws. I think just as important as getting in the gym and doing this stuff is finding the appropriate psychological coping mechanisms to deal with this discomfort.
Only recently have I started really “grinding it out” in the gym. Professor X has mentioned this a number of times, where he discusses “training hard.” I think what we’re really getting at is that if you’re training for say, hypertrophy, and your program says do 12 reps, but you have more in you, you better grind that shit out.
Reading this online magazine/forum, with all of its information, can make one lose sight of what it means to really stress the body. A lot of programs, diet books, and other widgets, gadgets, and gizmos try to circumvent that pain/discomfort factor and make you think it will be just a little bit easier on their particular program. Regardless of what program or diet you’re doing, to add weight you need to eat more, to lose weight you need to eat less, and to build muscle you have to tear it to pieces in the gym.