The Fundamentals of Training for 95% of Your Results
There’s too much “gossip” thrown around online and in the gym about cool sounding techniques people are using to (apparently) get incredible results.
Ignore it. Most of it is not relevant to you (or any of us “normal” people).
Get the fundamentals in place before you start playing with anything else.
You may hear people talk about things they are doing, like this:
“I’m just having this pre-workout before I go to the gym and then I’ll have my post-workout shake, mixed with creatine.”
“Today is a low carb day because I’m not training. Tomorrow I’ll be eating high carbs because it’s leg day. I’m going to eat some fast carbs before my workout and then I’ll have some slow digesting protein before bed.”
“My routine is a 6 day split with pre-exhaustion sets followed by drop set super-sets. I change my program every 3 weeks and always make sure I hit every muscle from multiple different angles.”
“I saw that Kai Greene does 20 sets of 10 on bench press, so that’s what I do now on all of the four big lifts.”
“Have you seen Eddie Hall’s breakfast? I should eat more for breakfast!”
There’s several things relating to your diet and your training that are going to make 80 – 90% of the difference.
They are the big, simple things you need to do. The fundamentals.
The fundamentals of training for muscle gain or fat loss:
- Lift weights with good form and get stronger by using progressive overload
- Be in a calorie surplus (for building muscle) OR a calorie deficit (for fat loss)
- Eat enough protein (2.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight is probably optimal, but you could see results on 1.5 grams per kilogram of bodyweight.
- Be consistent with both your training and your nutrition. Don’t skips workouts or take weeks off and expect to still make progress. Same goes with nutrition. Your actions need to correlate with your desires.
- Sleep, rest and recover.
Those things are going to give you 75 – 85% of your results.
You can then focus on making those things as optimal as possible. The optimal amount of sleep, optimal amount of protein, optimal strength training program, optimal calorie surplus etc.
That’s probably going to get you your next 10% of results.
The LAST 5% of results (possibly less, maybe even 1-2%) is where you look at the more advanced “cool” things that you might hear about the pros doing.
For 99% of people, there is no point worrying about these. They should spend more time on the things that will get them 85% of results.
For interest, the last 1-5% of results will be from things like:
- Meal timing
- Protein timing (e.g. pre-sleep) and protein type pre-sleep (slower digesting)
- Supplements (many of which may do nothing)
- Calorie cycling
- Carb cycling
Before you start worrying about any of these things, you should be asking yourself:
- Do I know what the right amount of calories for my goal is and am I eating this?
- Am I even tracking my calories?
- Am I consistent with my training and not skipping workouts and taking hiatuses from the gym?
- Do I know how much protein I’m getting and is this enough to gain or maintain muscle, depending on my goal?
- Am I tracking my lifts and ensuring that over time I am getting stronger?
- Am I lifting with proper form, not cheating reps and I’m actually feeling the muscles work?
- Do I recover adequately and take scheduled deload weeks?
If you can’t answer yes to all of those, then there’s no point in worrying about carb cycling or waking up in the middle of the night to consume some protein.
The pro bodybuilders who do things like that, are never skipping workouts, they’re lifting weights properly, they’re ON POINT with their nutrition and macros. They already have all of the fundamentals absolutely dialed in to 100%.
That’s why they’re looking for the next 1-2%. If you’re NOT dialed in on the fundamentals, your time is going to be far better spent working on getting better at those first.
You may be only getting 50% of your potential results currently, or 20%. Worry about getting the fundamentals spot on and you can get closer to the 90 – 95% range. That’s when you can start looking at what else you can do.
There are some things you just shouldn’t ever do
… Unless you’re a world class strongman or a bodybuilder on drugs.
I think you know what they are. Things like eating 10,000 calories a day, or eating a kilogram of beef in one sitting. Don’t be stupid.
By the way, trying to train or eat like The Rock trains isn’t going to work for you. It works for him because he is The Rock. You are not The Rock, so don’t train like The Rock.