Coming up with the perfect bodybuilding program and diet can seem like a chore. Planning how many days a week you’re going to workout, what exercises you will include in your program, how long your rest periods will be, how many reps you should perform on each exercise, and so on.
But you should remember that half the battle is just getting started, so avoid going into many details that are just going to hold you up on playing the game.
The sooner you can get into the gym and start with your program, the sooner you will start building muscle and seeing your body transform into your ideal physique.
That said, you obviously do need to make you are following some sound strategies so that the workouts you are doing will help you build muscle. If you pay heed to these rules, chances are you are going to be on the way to success as long as you are also sure that the nutrition part of the equation is included as well.
Tip #1: Focus On Lifting More Weight Over Time
The first tip that will make the single biggest difference on your rate of muscle gain is whether you are able to consecutively add more weight to the bar.
It’s not going to matter how many fancy principles you use, if you aren’t increasing the sheer amount you are lifting over a few months of time, you are going to plateau, and will not build muscle at the rate you expect.
When you hit your plateau and aren’t able to bump the weight up higher, that’s when you start tinkering with other strategies such as drop sets, supersets, etc., as a means to help increase the body’s potential, so that in a few more weeks, you can bump it up to the next weight level.
Tip #2: Go One Rep Short of Failure
While it is true that you have to push the muscles past their comfort level in order to see progress, you can run into a number of problems when you are lifting to failure each and every set.
The first major issue is central nervous system fatigue. Workout programs designed to go to failure each and every time will be very draining to the CNS.
After a few weeks of such a program, it’s highly likely that you’ll find the CNS is so exhausted that you can’t even lift the weight you used for the required number of reps.
The second problem is that if you do this on the first exercise out in the workout, you’re not going to have much for a second, third, and fourth exercise after that.
Instead, aim to go one to two reps short of failure. This will still get you pushing your body hard and working at the intensity level needed to build muscle, but enough that it won’t completely destroy you so that you have to end everything prematurely.
Tip #3: Only Perform Exercises That Work at Least Two Muscle Groups at Once
Focus on compound exercises, as you only have a limited amount of time you can spend in the gym each day due to both time and recovery restraints, so if you waste your time that only work one or two smaller muscle groups, you aren’t exactly maximising your potential.
Instead, follow the rule that for 80% of your workout you’ll only perform exercises that work at least two muscle groups.
Tip #4: Fuel Your Body Right Before and After The Workout
Make sure you’re fueling your body properly both before and after the workout. Failing to get in the amino acids that your body uses to synthesizes new muscle mass with or the carbohydrates that provides the energy to formulate the new muscle tissue is a critical error that will garner lack of results.
Tip #5: Never Go More Than Two Weeks Without a Change
Fifth is the plateau busting bodybuilding tip. If you ever reached a point with your workouts where it feels as though you are just not gaining any more muscle, it’s a sure sign you are in a plateau.
In order to prevent this plateau from occurring, your job is to make sure something in your program is always changing. This could be the order which you perform the exercises, the amount of rest you take in between sets, or even the type of exercises you are performing.
If you can’t bump up the weight in a successive session, it’s time to change something else. If you do that, you will be sure you get the results you’re looking for.
Tip #6: Remember to Take a Rest
Finally, always remember to rest. Far too many people make the mistake of training too hard, too often, without allowing time for recovery.
If you don’t allow your body to rest before you go back in the gym, instead of getting stronger, you’re just setting yourself to the path of failure, which breaks you down further and getting weaker.
Ideally, you should take one day off between each weight lifting workout, but if you prefer to do an upper/lower split that has you working out a greater frequency, then just be sure you have at least two full days off a week.
Also, for the cardio-minded, this does not mean go and do 45 minutes of intense cardio activity. This means rest if you must, as in a light walk, jog, or swim.
If you try to push your body hard in other activities on your designated days off, it’s going to impact progress.