Hindsight is a bloody marvellous thing isn’t it.
I wish I’d known these
If I could turn back the hands of time. There’s a few things I wish I’d known before I picked up my first 2kg dumb bell. 10 key muscle building fitness facts to my younger self.
1. You need to calculate your nutrition macros specific to you.
Not knowing what you’re putting into your body to get the best out of it. Is like guessing the fuel type and oil levels in a formula one car before pushing it out to race. Without correct nutrition and science, you will hold yourself back.
I wrote a simple step by step post here on how to calculate your macros.
2. You need to eat a minimum of 1g or protein per pound of body weight for effective ‘gains’
Adequate amounts of protein are essential to advance. You not only break down muscles and prompt your cardio vascular system to increase when exercising. You also wear down your immune system, which needs to replenish after. Cells outside your muscles need to be re-created.
Supplying your body
Not supplying your body with enough protein will not only diminish your ability to build better and more muscles. It will also prevent your body from fully restoring to it’s strongest state for immunity. This calculation will come from step 1.
3. You can’t gain muscle and loose weight. You cannot do both at once so don’t bother trying
Do one then the other and repeat the cycle when you get bored. I wasted about 5 years trying to do both. The more you get used to dieting and adding weight the easier it becomes each time. Like riding a bike once you get the hang of it you just get better at it each time.
4. To build muscle you need to eat more calories than you are burning
This is bulking. It increases size, strength and power. Once you know your maintenance level of macros from step 1 add 500 cals on top to build muscle.
5. To get lean and ripped you need to consume less calories than you are burning
To become lean and reveal those muscle gained from step 4 you need to reduce your cals down. From maintenance level reduce by 100 – 500 cals over time.
6. However, you need to diet and loose weight slowly, not fast. Its all about tricking your body
Doing it consistently and planned. Your body is very good at trying to keep you at the same weight level. So much so it will break muscle down to use as energy over fat if you diet down too fast. Think of trying to diet down like being sneaky with your body. Doing it so it won’t notice. Sounds backwards right? This way you’ll retain muscle mass and your body will break down fats for energy.
7. Don’t be scared of gaining weight, embrace it and use it to reach a goal
The more you embrace gaining weight and getting used to doing so the easier everything becomes. Embrace the weight gain and use it for a goal: Size, power, strength, bigger booty, bigger arms, added glucose stores to train for longer, go for longer – stamina. I wrote a more detailed post on the benefits of telling yourself you’re going to gain weight here.
8. You are holding yourself back HUGELY by not carrying out proper maintenance on your body.
You need to stretch, foam rolling and massage your body. This is key maintenance to be done before and after your exercise session. It will help prevent injury, promote growth, allow you to train better, remove toxins and simply make you feel better.
9. Lifting heavy isn’t an effective way to build aesthetic beach body muscles
Sure it’s good some of the time. But to achieve what 99% of people want, which is to build some muscle and look good on the beach. You need to lower the weight. Focus on form. Perform slow negative phases of 3 seconds. Perform controlled exploded contractions back and squeeze the muscle at the top. Think of it like an art performance with slow controlled movements. Feel the muscle being worked. Don’t think “I need to shift this heavy weight as fast as possible and look as strong as possible.” Think slow and fluid.
10. Time under tension is king for muscle growth
That’s why I now use only a TRX, portable kettle bell and resistance bands and these workout plans. Don’t get me wrong I’ve lifted for strength tirelessly in a gym over years. Even got my deadlift up to a 200kg at one point, which isn’t too bad for a little squirt like me. But I’ve never looked as good, felt as good or had barely any injuries as what I have now. By only training with a TRX, bands, bodyweight and a portable kettlebell. That’s my entire gym arsenal. Nothing else.
I’m not saying this is for everyone
But the options there. The main reason I put down looking better and gaining better muscle growth with a TRX. Is due to the fact I’m constantly unstable. I’m constantly using a huge amount of secondary muscles along with the primary muscle to hold my body at an angle of exercise. Simply put I get a lot more bang for my buck
I wrote a more detailed post of the benefits of using a TRX and how you can effectively exercise with it here. Also, hand-in-hand with that effectiveness is using a resistance band to exercise. I wrote a detailed post of the that here too.
11. (BONUS) You don’t need steroids.
Not that I ever touched them or ever will. If you simply want to build some muscle, look better and feel better. Stick to natural goodness with protein supplements as an aid. My go to is always this vegan protein and I use these BCAA and Glutamine tablets.
I have a range of no gym workout plans here
Know any others you wish you’d known? Let me know in the comments. Or more so the ‘hindsight comments.’
I have a range of no gym workout plans here that I use and have developed specifically for people who people who don’t use a gym to train. They range from using bands, TRX, bodyweight and kettle bells down to just using bodyweight or bands.
I recently released a beginner video TRX series that covers all the essential exercises and correct technique for using a TRX here
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