There you are, hitting the gym like a beast, dieting like there is no tomorrow, but still the gains aren’t coming. What could be wrong? Sometimes we think we are doing exactly what we need to do to build monstrous mass, but is it possible that we may be missing one or two elements of our training that we didn’t realize are as important as what they actually are? In this article we are going to run through 5 tips which will help you double your gains.


MAKE PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD PRIORITY NUMBER 1

Did you know that the principle of progressive overload is not just about lifting as heavy as possible? A common problem that I see far too often in the gym is that guys tend to push the same weights week in and week out. Yes, these guys are pushing as heavy as possible, but nothing changes in their routine. If you push the same weights for the same reps with the same time workout period (time of overall workout), you can do it for years on end and still not see any results.

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NEW STIMULUS?

The reason for the lack of results is that there is no physiological advantage for our muscles to grow bigger. The reason that muscles grow is that they are subjected to a new stimulus which forces them to adapt, and therefore grow to cope with this new stress.

By focussing on the principles of progressive overload, you can elicit tremendous gains in muscle growth. But now you are probably thinking – “but these guys can’t push heavier, so what can they do?”. If you have found that you are struggling to gain any more strength and have reached a plateau, you can implement progressive overload by doing more reps with the same weight, by doing more sets with the same weight or by decreasing your total workout period, meaning you rest less between sets. All of these will increase workout intensity and provide the stimulus needed to promote growth.


DO MORE COMPOUND LIFTS

If you are training like a beast in the gym, you should already be incorporating a number of compound lifts into your routine. If you think you are training like a beast but aren’t doing the big moves like squats,deadlifts, shoulder press and bench press, then believe me; you are training more like a cub than a beast.

These power lifts are best done with Olympic bars and heavy weights. That being said, I am in no way promoting using weights which are above your ability. Go as heavy as you possibly can while still maintaining proper form. These lifts utilize a number of muscles in the body which leads to a release of testosterone and growth hormone, both of which have powerful anabolic effects which lead to serious gains in size.



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MORE ISN’T ALWAYS BETTER

There are a few things in life where more isn’t always better, and training is definitely one of those things. In actual fact, when you are trying to pick up muscle mass, training 3 to 4 times a week is more than enough. Instead of training day in and day out, rather focus on training less often but harder in each session. Yes, the sessions are going to be seriously tough, but don’t stress, you have a day off to recover thereafter.


HORMONE RESPONSE

By keeping your workouts short, you will avoiding the negative effects which accompany the release of cortisol. Workouts which exceed 60 minutes start to promote the release of the catabolic hormone cortisol. This means that your body will start to deconstruct muscle tissue rather than build it.


RECOVER PROPERLY

Did you know that muscle doesn’t actually grow in the gym while you are training, but is actually grows while you rest and recover. Eating adequate protein and getting a good 8 hours of sleep will fuel growth much more than training for hours on end. Let me put it this way, if you are breaking your muscle down (which happens every time you train) too often, your body doesn’t have time to repair itself. Muscle breakdown occurs within a few minutes of training but the repair and rebuilding process can take anywhere from 24-72 hours.


GET YOUR MACROS RIGHT

Like I said, you may be dieting like there is no tomorrow but are your macros right for your goal? We all know that building muscle requires a mix of three things – protein, carbohydrates and fats, but the key is to consume these both in the right amounts, to ensure adequate calorie intake, and in the right ratio.

Most people might be eating clean, which is great if you are trying to maintain a relatively lean physique, but if you are dieting for muscle mass you need to exactly how much of each macronutrient you eating each day. Now be honest, are you keeping track of these on a daily basis? Instead of“guesstimating”, get more disciplined and firstly calculate exactly what calories you, as an individual, require to build muscle and then use a macronutrient ratio which is suitable for muscle gain to determine how much protein, carbs and fat you need to eat. A good macronutrient for muscle gain is 30-40% protein, 40-50% carbs and 10-20% fats ratio.


Important Note: A cookie cutter one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to cut it. You need a diet which is tailored to your individual requirements and goals. These take into account elements like age, weight, activity level and goal. Unless someone has the exact same stats as you, their diet isn’t going to work for you.


DON’T RELY ON SUPPLEMENTS ALONE!

I lot of people often come up to me in the gym and ask what supplements I am on, like that is the reason I have achieved a good physique. However, the question they should be asking is what do you eat and how do you train. The answers to these questions would have been 1000 times more beneficial.

SUPPLEMENTS BACKED BY SCIENCE

With that said, this doesn’t mean that I totally discount supplements from my arsenal. There are those that have been scientifically proven to work, and then there are those that simply don’t. Most people believe that supplements will help them achieve almost magical results in just a few weeks. I am sorry to burst your bubble, but this is just not going to happen.

Supplements supplement a sound training and nutrition regimen. If implemented correctly, they can help to speed the process up a wee bit. But be warned, achieving a lean, muscular physique can take years, even with the use of supplements.

So what supplements would I suggest? My top three must-have supplements would be whey protein, creatine and a good multi-vitamin.

 


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