Developing superior muscle, becoming bigger, stronger and more attractive.
That’s what you want isn’t it?
Taking off your t-shirt at the beach and listening to “what the fuck?!” from everyone there. Seeing women starring at you because you look sooo damn hot.
Walking on the streets and making people wonder if you are a Hollywood star or a fitness model who is doing holidays incognito in their town.
Girls coming over to touch your big and powerful muscles. Smirking as receive compliments from everyone about how great your body looks.
Isn’t that fantastic?
Oh, what? It never happens?
How is that possible? You are busting your ass off at the gym every day. You eat chicken and rice and eat 7 meals per day like the famous magazines say.
Why don’t you grow bigger then?
Don’t worry, you are not alone. Thousands of men start working out to improve their looks and end up suffering poor results due to the overabundance of misinformation.
They end up paying a lot of money for expensive supplements or just give up on their goal of a strong and muscular physique.
But you don’t want waste unnecessary time and money, right? I sure as hell don’t!
When I first started building my body I was in your exact same shoes.
The principles I am going to share with you are the exact same principles that I have used to mold my own body into a lean, mean, muscle machine. I wish someone had shared these tips and tricks with me from the beginning, progress would have been faster and easier.
Fortunately for you, you have these principles at your disposal and you can implement them right now in your training program. They will give you results much faster than following generic advice and workout routines from crappy magazines.
Use these principles, make them yours and see your body grow constantly and see yourself become stronger and more attractive.
Let’s get into them:
1) Keep your Workouts Under an Hour
Working out 6 times per week is probably (not necessarily) going to make you lose your incentive and motivation especially if you spend 2 hours per day in the gym.
The fact is that the quality of your workout will drop off the longer it lasts. Too many exercises, too much volume, too many sets and excessive fatigue. Following the path of doing a bodybuilding type workout with 5 chest and 4 triceps exercises is a one way ticket to the No_Gains_Ville.
You are not a bodybuilder and you don’t use steroids to help you handle that volume so your body won’t progress following this method.
You are in the gym to train and not waste your time talking to your pals, starring the blonde babe running on the treadmill, texting to your girlfriend or scrolling your Instagram timeline.
Concentrate on your goals. Using only 2-3 exercises for each muscle group is fine. You don’t have to do 4 sets of deadlifts, 4 sets of barbell rows, 4 sets of t-bar rows, 4 dropsets on the rowing machine, 4 sets of dumbbell rows and then 15 extra bicep exercises; you’ll wear yourself out and feel like shit.
2) Use a Variety of Rep Ranges
Which do you think is better? Training with light-moderate weight for many reps or training with really heavy weight for low reps?
Neither! If you want to maximize results use a variety of reps to trigger both myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
The first one is triggered with low repetitions and results in strength gains and long-lasting muscle while the second is triggered with more reps(8+) and results in the well-known “pump” because it fills your muscle with fluid which results in making the look even bigger.
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is the reason that you may lose size if you stay away from the gym for a few weeks.
Put simply, if you use only low rep schemes you will have strength gains but you will lack size. On the other side applying higher reps schemes may result to muscular hypertrophy but lack of strength gains.
Our goal is to gain both.
Your body adapts to rep ranges when you use one number too frequently.
The best approach is using a variety of reps. Use low reps(4-8) for your heavy compound lifts like deadlifts or bench press and then finish your workout with higher rep exercises.
3) Focus on Compound Lifts
Compound lifts are the ones which will give you the majority of your strength and muscle gains. They are necessary to help you become bigger by first helping you becoming stronger.
They activate a lot of muscle fibers and deliver great muscle development and allow you to put a lot more weight on the bar.
What are compound lifts?
- Overhead press(shoulders)
- Bench press(chest)
- Barbell Rows(back)
With these 5 exercises alone you could craft a strong and well rounded physique that would rival that of the Greek gods!
4) Don’t Stick Only to One Exercise Category
Just because you are working your big muscle groups with compound lifts it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t add some isolation exercises to improve lagging parts and give an extra pump to your muscles.
Exercises like bicep curls and calf raises are necessary for achieving a whole developed and proportionate physique without lagging parts.
Since you don’t overload these exercises with the same huge weight like you do with deadlifts or bench press, you will allow your nervous system an easier recovery period allowing you to train longer and harder.
An ideal workout routine consists of:
- Bodyweight Training
- Compound Lifts
- Isolation Lifts
The combination of these 3 groups of exercises is the only way to achieve strength gains, myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, and small muscle gains all at once. You should work your body as a whole trying to improve every inch of it.
With regards to bodyweight exercises; add some pull-ups and dips to your program. These two exercise can will benefit your strength gains and aesthetic appeal immediately.
Note for beginners: pull-ups work your back and biceps while dips work your chest, triceps and shoulders.
If you haven’t started doing pull-ups and dips you should definitely start now even if your progress is slow in the beginning.
Just like any other form of exercise you will improve with time. And when you reach the “superman” level where you can start doing weighted dips and pullups….your physique will quite literally blow people’s eyes out
….maybe not literally, but you get the point.
5) Huge Mass Building Movements First
We talked about the importance of compound lifts and bodyweight exercises. These exercises like pull-ups, squats or bench press must be done in the very beginning of your workout just after warming up.
They need to be done first to maximize results in mass and strength gains because these exercises are highly demanding on your body. If you start doing deadlifts or bench press and you are already fatigued from other exercises you will be lifting under your true potential.
Start with them and start as heavy as you can. Your goal must be to continuously push the bar a little higher and increase the weight every 1-2 weeks.
Moreover, you don’t need to do more than 2-3 of them in each workout because the first 2-3 will exhaust you and make your sweat like a hooker in church.
If you continue with another one or two compound exercises you won’t be able to lift at your true potential and you will be dead at the end of your workout.
Start with 2-3 compound lifts & bodyweight exercises and then add 2-3 isolation exercises for the muscle groups you work that particular day and you will be fine.
6) If You Want to Grow Have a Specific Routine
While it’s important to continuously challenge your body and change your workout once every 2-3 months to avoid plateaus you have to stick to it if you want to make solid progress.
Allowing your body to continuously improve and become stronger by constantly exposing it to the same pattern of exercises for a certain time period is very important to achieve muscle growth.
Once I made the mistake of going to the gym without a specific routine. I just knew that I had to train my upper body that day so I walked into the gym and did some random upper body exercises. The next time I would work my upper body I would do a different routine.
This was a big mistake and it wasn’t surprising at all that my progress for that period was from tiny to non-existent.
If you change your program every second week or every workout you will notice very few improvements in your physique. Find a program and stick to it at least for 2 months before you change to a new one.
Moreover, don’t make the mistake of sticking to a program for more than 3-4 months because you will inevitably plateau and your muscles won’t be developed. Your body will be used to the same lifting patterns after a while and won’t grow.
7) Track Everything
At least for the first 6 months or year you should track progress of everything you do in the gym from what you eat to how much you lift for each exercise.
This is necessary to put yourself into a series of positive habits and to become responsible and accountable for your progress. If you don’t track your progress your results will falter.
When you track your progress you are able to see improvement and alter your program when needed.
- Keep progress pictures: 2-3 poses are ok. I prefer the double biceps front/back pose and the side triceps pose.
- Measure yourself: Measure your chest, waist, hips and arms. Your chest should be measured on nipples level, waist slightly down the belly button, hips at their broader spot and arms must be flexed when measured.
- Track your calories: Use an application like MyFitnessPal that’s easy tp use and calculates the calories and macronutrients on its own. You just enter how much you eat and the app takes care of the rest.
- Track your lifts: Every time I workout I track ALL my lifts on another app I have in my phone called Evernote. I open a text file, write my program there and under each exercise I write how much reps/sets I do along with the weight in each set.
When you track your progress and see that you have added an inch to your arms or that you constantly lift more weight you get really pumped up and your confidence hits the stratosphere.
8) Repair and Growth
While sticking to your workout and following the above principles is very important for building a great physique this is only the first part of developing superior muscle.
You also have to give your body the necessary fuel to force muscle growth and aid recovery. This is done mostly through your nutrition but your sleep also plays a big role.
No matter how hard you workout if you don’t offer your muscles the necessary nutrients to help them grow you won’t see any results.
Every macronutrient is important and that’s why you should follow a balanced diet. Following diets like low-fat or low-carb might cause problems sometimes. Carbohydrates are essential for providing energy and replenishing muscle glycogen while fats and cholesterol are needed to produce testosterone.
Your protein intake should be relatively high all the time whether your goals is fat-loss or building muscle. 0,8 gram of protein per lbs of bodyweight are adequate to support your existing muscle and give superior muscle development.
9) Your Environment Plays a Big Role
It’s impossible to become a bodybuilder in a room full of marathoners. The place you train is essential and should be filled with like-minded people who train hard and want to grow stronger.
If you decide to go to Planet Fitness and develop a great physique you will probably fail.
They say that you are the average of the 5 people you spend more time with and the same applies for your gym.
If you work out in a place full of sissies you won’t become better than a sissy. If you work out in a place full of testosterone where you see like-minded people killing the weights you will also kill the weights!
Your lifting partner also plays a big role( if you have one). Having a great lifting partner who is energized and loves training will help you be more motivated and push yourself harder every time you hit the weights.
This applies for everything. From building superior muscle mass to being better at your job or getting a scholarship. The people you surround yourself with can either bring you up or drag you down.
Find a place with people who are motivated and determined to achieve their goals and you will be packing size before you even know it. Find a great partner and you will pack even more size.
Building superior muscle isn’t nuclear science. You don’t need to follow expensive programs or pay for overrated supplements. Sticking to the basics and focusing on simplicity is what will help you develop a Spartan like physique, become stronger, bigger and more attractive.
Focus on these 9 principles and watch your muscle size skyrocket along with your confidence and self-esteem.
Which parameter do you think that is the most important? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.
*note*: all images in the article are royalty free stock photos