Over the years I’ve become aware of 15 insights to muscle building and have decided to share them with you here on GSI. These are the truths that I have come to fully grasp and understand throughout my years of training and ultimately living an active lifestyle. Check them out and let me know what you think.
Game Strength Insider’s 15 Insights of Muscle Building
1. Building Muscle Has A Lot To Do With Genetics
Don’t get me wrong, if you eat well and train hard you are going to build muscle. However, If your parents are naturally thin or have a small body frame then most likely you will have the same traits. This doesn’t mean you have no chance of building a strong muscular body. It just means you might have to work a bit harder.
2. Metabolism Tends To Have An Effect On Your Size
If you have difficulty gaining weight whether it’s fat or muscle, then you most likely have a fast metabolism. Your body is burning calories faster than you can consume them. There is a very simple solution to this quandry – eat more!
3. There’s No Miracle Supplement Or Secret Program
The best way to achieve results and change your body is to work hard and remain mentally disciplined.
The purest form of knowledge is experience. Start moving some weight around, try new things for lunch, go for some hikes, mix you sets & reps up et cetera. Find out what works best for you. You are provided with plenty of opportunities to try new recipes, training programs and new exercises on the daily here at GSI. There’s no substitute for hard work.
You might be thinking that steroids will give you the body of your dreams with little to no effort, but I must burst your bubble and let you know that the guys that are juicing are hitting it harder than everybody else. The true edge gained with juicing in my opinion is your recovery time.
4. More Training Doesn’t Always Mean More Muscle
This is one of the most difficult concepts for many of us to grasp. The purpose of weight training is to stimulate muscle growth that’s all. Once that has been done, your muscles need to repair and new muscle needs to be built which only happens when you are resting.
5. Isolation Exercises Aren’t Going To Get You Big Fast
The best exercises to put on the most amount of overall size in the shortest amount of time are multi-muscle exercises or full body routines if you will. These are the exercises that require more than one muscle or muscle group to get the job done. These lifts put the most amount of stress on your body. This is the stress that will shock your nervous system into releasing the greatest amount of muscle building hormones.
Note: Because of the grueling nature of full body routines, many a lifter has shown the tendency to fatigue and compromises form & intensity when doing so. Don’t be that guy – dig deep! Remember, we are going to live a couple years of our lives like most people won’t so we can live the rest of our lives like most people can’t.
6. Free Weights Build Muscle Quicker
Free weights are preferable over machines because they make your body work harder during the attempt to balance and stabilize the weight. They require greater concentration and allow the stimulation of supporting muscles. Machines are good for beginners to help with form and basic control, but limit the effectiveness of the exercise.
You will get into arguments with folks trolling forums who say they don’t see any difference in size so it can’t possibly be better. But how about you go and ask athlete what he or she thinks. Guess what, I have and an overwhelming amount agreed that free weights are the way to go if you want to perform at your very best.
7. No Pain, No Glory
Lifting the same weights over and over isn’t going to get you big. In fact it will likely have the exact opposite effect.
To build muscle you need to go heavy and light. This stimulates Type IIB muscle fibers which cause the most amount of muscle gain. Lifting heavy is when your body fails after 4-8 reps. This also stimulates your slow twitch muscle fibers which is going to release the greatest amount of muscle building hormones, break down more muscle to be repaired and in turn grow larger et cetera.
8. Long Training Sessions Are A NO-GO
The idea is to stimulate muscle, not hit it from every angle possible. This is only a concern for developed body builders looking to tone muscle. Long training sessions cause catabolic hormone levels to rise dramatically. Catabolic hormones are responsible for breaking down muscle tissue resulting in MUSCLE LOSS. Your weight training sessions should go for no longer than 60-75 minutes max (unless your Ryan Lapadat).
9. You Don’t Need Aerobic Activity To Lose Fat
The time spent running or swimming is muscle building and recovery time lost. Building muscle is the fastest way to lose fat. Lifting weights increases muscle mass and more muscle mass means more fat calories burned.
10. 3 Square Meals A Day Alone Isn’t Going To Help You Build Muscle
Eating is an important part of muscle building. You need to eat more often and eat more protein. You should be eating roughly every 2.5 hours which is about 6 meals per day. Spreading your meals throughout the day will improve muscle assimilation, and make sure that your body always has the calories it needs for muscle building and repair.
I plan 3 main meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner.Then, I work in 3 snacks between each meal.
Take this example from yesterday.
4 scrambled eggs
2 pieces of organic wheat toast
a protein shake
half cup of almonds and an apple.That’s a hearty meal!10:00 am SnackSnack:I drank a liter of water andhad a supreme protein bar(not my first choice but it’s what was available) for a snack.Lunch 12:00pmLunch time:
I ate 2 cups (cooked) of brown rice
a chicken breast (diced)
watercress and drank another liter of water.2:00 pm Snackit was snacktime again€¦Can of tuna packed in water and
half a pack (single tube) of whole wheat ritz. No sauces
Slammed a liter of water4:00 pm DinnerHere’s what I had€¦1.5 cups of lentils
2 boiled chicken breasts
A salad with carrots, onions, jalepenos, tomato, bell pepper, broccoli and raddish. No sauce tonight.
Tall glass of milk
2 Tall glasses of water.
6:00 pm Snack Protein Shake & Tuna
10:00 pm Protein Shake
11. Intensity Is A Must
Intensity is very difficult to put into words. You either get it or you don’t. According to the dictionary, intensity is the extreme degree of strength, force, energy, or feeling. A measure of the amount of energy transmitted. Exceptionally great concentration, power, or force. Intensity is all of these. All of these make a difference in your workouts.
Intensity keep you pushing hard and keeps your focus laser like. keep the intensity, it’s a natural performance enhancer!
12. Plateaus Will Occur – You Can Always Overcome & Improve
Don’t go cutting your wrist if you happen to run into a plateau. Rather, get stoked because now you get to be creative and use you brain for your brawn. Evaluate your current training routine, if you’re like me or heed my advice you’ll already have a quick reference in the fitness journal you’ve been keeping.
Start mixing up muscle groups trained, reps, sets, rest days, style of cardio et cetera. Have fun with this, it’s a great opportunity to broaden your horizons.
13. Excuses Are Like @$$holes (everybody’s got one & they stink)
Don’t blame anybody or anything other than yourself for your lack of progress & “failures.” You are responsible for your own actions & experiences within your own universe. Take that to heart and truly be at your best, always!
14. Consistency Is The “Secret” To Achieving Long Term Results
Consistency is the glue that holds everything together. I can’t be any more clear than this. Do not expect to see results without hard work and dedication no matter how convincing the sales pitch is. Our muscles are going to get bigger and stronger over time.
If you take the time and put forth the effort, but don’t do it consistent basis, then your results will be minimal. You can’t expect to follow proper nutrition, progressive resistance training with moderate aerobic exercise for one week then stop for a week then start for two more weeks then stop for another week and yield awesome results.
15. Enjoy The Ride!
Life is all about the journey and your training is no different. The importance of the link between enjoyment and success in training is under-appreciated.
We are all at risk of burnout when training hard for an extended period of time. By burnout I mean a loss of motivation to train and a loss of enjoyment in our training. This usually happens when we hit plateau’s et cetera.
Now that you are aware of the 15 insights of muscle building be sure to apply them and keep your training fresh & stimulating.
Keep training hard!
-David “Muscle Building Insights” Aston