Key #1 – Stay Consistent
This is an obvious, but important rule. If you’re missing more than a handful of workouts each year something has to change.
Perhaps you’re simply trying to hit the gym on more days than your schedule realistically will allow. If so, it’s ok to drop a training day per week and use a lighter schedule. You’ll still experience quality gains.
Remember that results some from progression of weight over time. You don’t need to live in the gym to reach your goals. Do what it takes to remain consistent.
Key #2 – Progressive Overload
Constant progression is essential for continual lean muscle gains. Your body is smart and adapts to change very quickly. If you do not continually challenge it, it will not respond to the challenge by growing new muscle tissue.
Remember this rule: Push every set for as many reps as possible. Stop that set when you feel like you may fail on the next rep, or when your form starts to slip. Always focus on progression when you’re training, this is one of the main keys for success in this program.
Key #3 – Patience
You can’t build 40 pounds of muscle in 6 months, no matter what anyone tells you.
Remain patient. Muscle building takes time. This isn’t to say you won’t experience some fast gains – you will. With that said, the average lifter will “only” achieve 25-35 pounds of muscle gain during the course of his life.
This sounds like a small amount of muscle mass, but it’s not. It’s a very substantial amount of muscle tissue.
Make a long term plan. Set goals to change your physique over the course of 3-4 years, not 3-4 months. Enjoy the journey.
Key #4 – Nutrition
One of the biggest mistakes made by people trying to build lean muscle is neglecting nutrition. The human body is like any other high performance machine. It requires a quality fuel source to perform at it’s peak.
To maximize the muscle building process, you must maximize your nutrition. If you neglect your diet you will severely limiting the results you can achieve.
Key #5 – Rest
It’s a common misconception that you build muscle while you’re in the gym. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The body’s process of building lean muscle tissue takes place outside the gym, when you’re resting and sleeping.
Rest plays a vital role in the muscle building process, don’t get enough of it, and you’ll be limiting your possible gains. Always rest adequately between workouts and get a solid night’s sleep.
Rule #6 – Listen: Train Smart, Listen To Your Body
Never do anything foolish that greatly increases your risk of injury. This includes trying a new exercise with the heaviest possible weight, or pushing your body during a workout when something feels “off.”
If you are experiencing anything unusual when training, including strains, pains, or just feel weak that day, don’t push things. Listen to your body. It’s better to perform a maintenance workout on off days than it is to risk injury.