5. Avoid exercises you are not structurally suited for.

Just because others swear by certain exercises, like the bench press or squat, doesn’t mean you are obligated to do them. There will always be exercises that each of us just isn’t suited for due to our individual biomechanics. For instance, I discovered early in my career (the hard way) that I wasn’t meant to squat. Instead, I switched to leg presses, hack squats and Smith machine squats and managed to build my legs without getting hurt.

6. Never neglect or underestimate the importance of nutrition.

Train as hard as you want, but you can’t build muscle without providing your body with the proper building blocks in the form of protein, carbohydrates and fats. You need to be just as dedicated and consistent with your eating as you are with your training to see results. While you are awake, you must eat every 2-3 hours, no excuses. It means more time spent preparing meals, but that’s what it takes. Quality food will build quality mass— stay away from fast food and junk unless you want to look like garbage.

7. Be all business in the gym.

You see a lot of guys these days doing more talking, texting and telling everyone on Facebook how hard they are training in the gym than actually working out. If you want to socialize and fuck about at the gym, that’s your choice— just don’t expect to build much of a physique. When I was competing, I didn’t talk during workouts and didn’t even make eye contact with others in the gym. I was there to get the job done, and that’s that way it needs to be if you want to get bigger than the average gym rat.

8. Don’t constantly search for the “next wonder routine.”

It seems like every time I turn around now, there’s some new workout or training style promising to deliver superior results. Many aspiring bodybuilders are confused and worry about which one they should follow, fearing that they might be missing out on the best one. Some of these workouts have you calculating out everything and make things complicated just so they sound more scientific. That would be fine if they actually did work better, but so far none of them have turned out to be better than the basics. Train hard and briefly with a few basic exercises, then get out of the gym so you can eat and rest. It’s that simple!

9. Get your rest and limit your partying.

Just as you won’t see good results without proper nutrition, you also need to get enough sleep. Staying out all night and being exhausted will hinder your gains. If you insist on staying up late, you had better be able to take a nap the next day at some point. Otherwise, inadequate sleep means you won’t recover and grow. As for alcohol and recreational drugs, both can also seriously affect your gains. You need to decide what’s most important to you and act accordingly.

10. Use supplements.

Food is the most important part of your nutrition, of course, but don’t miss out on the benefits of modern supplements. Protein powders can help you get all the protein and meals you need, and other types of products like creatine, L-glutamine and pre-workout formulas can all allow you to train harder and recover more completely. You should also be using all the basics like a multivitamin, extra vitamin C and a B complex, a joint formula, and fish oil. A healthy body simply grows better.

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