“The” Big Secret For Building Muscle And Strength
“The” Big Secret For Building Muscle And Strength
Ready for the big secret? Here it is:
There is no best workout.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to more important things…like what’s really important. Want to build muscle and strength? Here’s what works:
* Persistence. Get to the gym and stop making excuses. Missed workouts, week in and week out, are unacceptable. If you aren’t persistent in your efforts, the rest of this list won’t matter.
* Progression. What is progression? Simply stated, it’s trying for more. Progression is pushing yourself for more reps, and more weight when possible. Progression involves maximizing every set of every workout. If you waste a set, you waste an opportunity to get bigger and stronger. Always push yourself of every set for more.
* Simplicity. Start simple and evolve your training based on needs. Don’t waste time jumping into complex workouts with crazy volume, thinking it’s a fast track to big gains. It’s not. Hard work on simple programs and approaches will make you bigger and stronger than you could have ever imagined.
* Basics. The basics are heavy, compound lifts like squats, dips, deadlift, bench press, rows, overhead press and pull ups. To maximize your progress you want to use the best tools for the job. Substituting less effective lifts because the are easier is a surefire way to slow your progress.
* Food. You can train as hard as Arnold Schwarzennegger or strongman Bill Kazmaier, but if you don’t eat enough you will have a very difficult time building muscle and getting strong. Forget about having razor sharp abs for now. Build first, then chisel (if that is your goal). Fixate on a low bodyfat percentage, eat like a bird, and you will look like a bird. There is no doubt about it.
Follow these rules and you maximize nearly any workout ever created. Ignore these rules and even the best workout plan will seem useless and ineffective.
When utilizing the Primal/Dungeon Training Workouts, make sure to apply these 5 principles at all times.
No Best Workout?
So if there is no “best” workout, does it really matter at all how you train? Of course! The 5 principles presented in this article can help you make the most out of any workout, but they aren’t magic. A poorly designed workout filled with an overabundance of isolation lifts and huge amounts of volume is still less effective than any of the workouts presented on this site.
By applying the 5 principles, you will be able to amplify gains using almost any training system, but this does not mean your gains will be maximal. Think of it this way…a hammer might be able to open a can of tuna, but it’s not the right tool for the job. Obviously, you should have used a can opener.
Along these same lines, a high volume training split might be able to help you gain some muscle and strength, but if you are a natural lifter, it’s not the right tool for the job. Many gym rats pretend it is, but the vast majority of those entranced by this method of training are small, weak and making little to no progress.
It’s Time To Get Results
You're reading this article for a reason…you are tired of working hard because nothing seems to help. You are not building muscle and your strength has plateaued. Your arms are stuck at 13 inches and your bench press at 185 pounds.
It’s time for a change. It’s time to build some size and beef up that bench press.
You can make amazing gains during the next 12 months. Set aside the silly notion that you are a hardgainer. Follow the Dungeon Training plan and stop over-thinking things.
Still don’t believe you have potential to turn things around? I did, and I am far from being a genetic freak. Here is where I started:
* Skinny/Fat Ectomorph. I was 5’10″ and weighed 150-155 pounds when I entered college. I had no muscle at all, and was at least 20% bodyfat. Despite being thin I looked pathetic with my shirt off.
* Weak. I was very athletic and active as a teen, and spent a lot of time running, playing sports and…lifting weights. Despite my efforts, I still couldn’t bench more than 95 pounds at the age of 18. I was naturally weak.
* Small-Boned. The smaller your bone size, the less potential you have for adding muscle size and strength. My wrist size is approximately 6.3 to 6.4 inches, which is about as small-boned as you can get.
I now have 18+ inch arms, and have bench pressed 430 pounds. People assume I am genetically gifted. How did I turn things around? I was mentored by a college English professor who also happened to be a bodybuilder.
My mentor advised me to focus on progression of weight using basic lifts. In addition, my college cafeteria was buffet style and I ate and ate and ate and ate.
The result…after only 8 months my mentor approached me and asked if I was taking anything. I wasn’t of course. I was simply following a successful protocol; the principles provided in this article.
After 18 months I had 16.5 inch arms, a bench press over 300 pounds, and a squat max approaching 400 pounds.
I want to offer you a challenge. Take a starting picture, weigh yourself and take arm and leg measurements. Then dedicate yourself to the application of my 5 principles. Simplify your training. Focus on heavy compound lifts. Eat like a bear. Stop missing workouts. Relentlessly focus on progression of weight.
Forget about the scale for a while. Forget about the bodybuilding magazines, endless studies and forum debates. Completely sell out to the Primal/Dungeon Training system.
In 6 to 12 months take a second picture, weigh yourself and take your measurements….and let me see your progress. I want to hear about and see your results.
And if you have questions along the way, let me know. I am here to help.
Done and done.
GREAT article, i completely agree !!!
Awesome read. I wish I would of came across this about 5 years ago lol. But I'm also glad of what ive had to go through to get where I'm at.
Very basic and direct! Thanks Steve!
pretty much what i'm doing and it works.
Sound reasoning, looks like. And aligns closely to some of my - very limited - experience so far.
Just one question (though I think I already know the answer...) - does the formula change at all if someone is not only starting with checked boxes for "ectomorph", weak, and small-boned, but also rapidly approaching 40 years old, with no background of lifting, sport, or anything like that, but instead, a heavily sedentary lifestyle featuring the odd addiction and other stupidity here and there...?
What if it was more like closing in on 50yo when starting, with all of the above? Or 60yo?
The first version is, well, *me* a year or so ago :), and the others just hypothetical.
Not trying to open an argument, stir up trouble, or anything like that. Simply curious. Again, I *probably* know the answer to the first one. The other versions, I feel increasingly less sure, but actually have no idea, to be honest.
Aside from these two minor changes, the formula works. Get back to Basics!
As another Geezer turning 50 in a couple of months I agree with Bama's suggestions. One other thing I would add is we don't heal as fast as our younger counterparts. It's more important to maintain good form, stay away from exercises that cause [bad] pain, stay mobile, and do some preventative exercises. Listen to the body, if it's telling you something is hurt, rest it.
Diet I think is a little more important to us, a little easier to put on fat if you dont keep an eye on it....although I will say, I have upped the eating lately, and I can 100% see a difference in my strength!
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