This page continues from here: Optimal Nutrition for Building Muscle
The magical ingredients that will really see you build an unbelievably impressive physique:
Yep, plain old time and consistency.
These are the two biggest muscle gaining “hacks” that exist.
Everyone wants results now. We are conditioned to expect it.
We can stream movies instantly, start reading a new book in seconds, effortlessly look up any information we require in a nanosecond. Why can’t we have the body we want instantly too?
Building an amazing physique requires TIME
Fat loss stage can be quite fast, but gaining muscle is anything but.
If you’ve got 10 kilograms of fat to lose, that can be done in 10 – 20 weeks for most people.
Even if you’ve got to lose 100 kilograms of fat, that can be done in a couple of years.
But to naturally build a seriously awesome physique with solid muscle, the kind that you see on the cover of fitness magazines, you have to expect upwards of 5 years of work – more likely pushing 10.
That’s how long those guys worked. They didn’t build magazine cover physiques overnight, or even with a couple of years of lifting.
Just ask anyone who’s actually managed to do it. If you speak to one of these people you will discover two things:
- They have been working on it for a really long time.
- They have been completely dedicated and consistent in their pursuit of this goal.
This means you have to be patient. You’ve got to seriously lengthen the timescale you’re expecting to get results in. Don’t expect big results in anything less than years. Make sure you DO NOT skip workouts often. Don’t keep hopping from one program to another, always in search of the “latest thing” that “so and so” is doing that is “guaranteed to add 20kg to your bench in 3 months”.
Stay focused on your goal and work towards it, making tiny, tiny steps forward from week to week that add up to huge improvements over the years.
10 kilograms of muscle is a lot…
Headlines promising 10 kilograms of lean muscle mass in weeks or months need to be ignored. They’re everywhere, and what they’re telling you you can do, is impossible.
I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. Remind yourself of it constantly. Go to the meat aisle in the supermarket and pick up a steak. Note the weight.
They’re usually 200 – 300 grams. Now imagine around 30 – 50 of those on you. That’s what 10 kilograms of muscle added to your frame would look like. Think that isn’t going to take years of work?
The biggest muscle gaining secret
The biggest secret to gaining muscle is to show up and do the work.
Show. Up. Every. Single. Week.
Rarely (never if possible) skip your workouts. Don’t take multiple weeks off at a time. Don’t expect results overnight.
If you eat in a small calorie surplus, and lift progressively heavier weights over time whilst getting adequate protein and sleep, you’ll see results over the years.
Consistency is key.
You don’t need to bust your arse
You can bust your arse if you want to. Hard work is good. But smart work is more important. Smart, hard work is best.
A lot of people never miss workouts and always leave the gym drenched in sweat. They get good recovery and they eat in a calorie surplus with adequate protein. But they still don’t make progress because they don’t train intelligently. They focus on working hard, not working smart. Progress in terms of the actual numbers and actual volume they lift is not a consideration.
There isn’t much thought put int the weight they choose. It’s just whatever they usually use (what was it again?). Just rep it out until the muscles are screaming, that’s how it works!
This is actually getting them nowhere, even though their arms or legs feel like jelly by the end.
Want to get better results without working as “hard”?
As long as you work smart, your gym sessions don’t have to be hell. You’ll get better results while others watch you and wonder how you’re doing it.
The thing is, a short while into your lifting journey your body adapts to the work in the gym as its new normal.
You need to ensure you’re always moving slowly forward and making it do a tiny bit more than last time.
Track everything you lift. The weight, the sets and the reps. This is what those “hard” workers don’t do. They use how tired or how covered in sweat they are as their barometer, not the hard numbers.
You just need to make sure you’ve made one tiny step forward. Did you add one more rep than last time? Is the overall volume of weight lifted (weight x sets x reps) more than last time?
Track it all, and ensure the total VOLUME is going up (weight x reps x sets)
Combine that with adequate sleep, protein and a small calorie surplus (aim to gain about a kilogram per month, less if you’re smaller), and you’ll be on the long path to an unbelievable body.
Don’t Get Distracted!
You’re almost done – read the last part “What’s Not Important for Building Muscle?“