You can bounce around from fitness website to fitness website and obtain all the knowledge you want, but until you stick to one solid routine consistently, none of it will matter.
If you want to build serious muscle, the first thing you need to do is choose one way to do things and stop changing things up as you read new “strategies” along the way. Consistency is the key to success when it comes to building lean mass for hardgainers.
Today I am going to simplify your life a bit by giving you 7 strange tricks you can do in and out of the gym in order to maximize your potential to grow. Some of you may already follow most of these, some only a few and sadly some none at all. Every single thing on this list WILL increase your muscle building potential and NONE should be overlooked.
The more of these steps that you follow, the faster you’ll build the body you strive so hard to achieve
Like I mentioned before, some of you may already be implementing SOME of these into your program, but I can guarantee that most of you are not implementing ALL of them. However, if any of you are following all of these “rules”, please let me know in the comment section and also share your success and any other steps you recommend.
Strange Trick #1 – Stretching AFTER your weight lifting session
Although this may be the most overlooked rule, it could make a huge difference in your progress. Most people make the mistake of stretching before their workout while their muscles are cold, huge mistake. This will make you more susceptible to injury and has also been shown to decrease your strength by almost 30 percent. However, stretching AFTER your workout is one rule you MUST start following.
Why is it important? When you stretch your muscle fibers, your body releases a primary anabolic hormone for building muscle and burning fat. This hormone is a growth hormone called IGF-1 and it is very important to your body’s natural recovery after strenuous activity. Stretching also activates more muscle fibers that create new muscle cells. These muscle cells also play a big role in your body’s recovery.
Muscle Fibers =Muscle Cells
Muscle Cells = Muscle Mass
4 Rules for Stretching to Build Muscle <== Click Here
Strange Trick #2 – Focus on Compound Movements
Compound workouts are those that target 2 or more muscle groups simultaneously. These compound lifts are crucial NOT because they will save you time in the gym, but because these heavy lifts will force your body to recruit more muscle fibers as an aid for the strenuous lift.
Other benefits of compound lifts include
• Growth Hormone Production
• Increased Testosterone Production
• Activation of Smaller Muscle Groups
Most of you understand the importance of producing hormones like GH and testosterone. They are simply the most important muscle building hormones your body can produce and by increasing the production, you can literally yield steroid like results without the nasty side effects.
As for the activation of smaller muscle groups, the explanation is quite simple. When you walk into the gym and decide you are going to work biceps, you typically will start off with some sort of a curling movement. This is known as an isolation workout and it solely targets that ONE muscle group. Because a muscle like the bicep is fairly small, it requires very little muscle fiber activation therefore less muscle cells are created (if any at all). The idea is to start off with a heavy compound exercise (that target the given muscle group) such as pull ups, chin ups, or bent over rows. These lifts will force your body to recruit additional muscle fibers so that they can help with the heavy activity. Once those muscle fibers are activated, they will remain active during the “not so heavy” isolation portion of your workout. This will give you the opportunity to create more muscle cells and break down more fibers for explosive growth.
Compound Lifts You Can Use
Triceps – Bodyweight Dips, Close Grip Bench Press
Biceps – Pull ups, Chin ups, Bent over Rows
Shoulders – Military Press, Arnold Press
Strange Trick #3 – Proper Muscle Building Diet for YOUR Somatotype
If one of these rules is more important than the next, in my opinion this would be the absolute most crucial. Why? Well, without a lot of these “rules” you could still manage to make SOME small changes. Without the proper diet, you are completely hopeless. The biggest mistake you can make as someone who is trying to build muscle, is follow a generic “3000 Calorie Diet” or plan created for a different body type.
An ectomorph usually needs almost double the amount of calories another body type might require. Typically a high carb diet with a mixture of both simple and complex carbs is ideal.
• Hardgainer Diet Plan <== Click here
Check out this quick presentation by Kyle Leon for more details
3 Biggest Muscle Building Diet Mistakes YOU ARE Making <==Click Here
Strange Trick #4 – Taking Advantage of your anabolic windows
First let me explain exactly what being anabolic or anabolism is. This is the state your body is in when it is growing. Unfortunately there are only a few windows of opportunity in your day to put your body in an anabolic state. Not to mention that by failing to take advantage of these windows, you could potentially put yourself in a catabolic state. Catabolism is the opposite of anabolism; it is the state in which your body is sacrificing muscle.
Your goal: Simply to stay anabolic as much as your body allows while avoiding catabolism.
Phase 1 – come 15 minutes following an intense workout.
Growth Phase – Takes place 1-3 hours following phase 1.
Recovery Phase – Takes effect 2 hours following the growth phase.
Muscle Building Diet <== Click here for details on how to take advantage of these phases.
Secret Anabolic Window – Bed Time Meal
Contrary to popular belief, one of the worst things you can do is go to bed on an empty stomach. While you sleep, your body recovers from the day’s strenuous activity and without the proper nutrients, you will quickly be sent into a catabolic state. Think about it, you are asleep for 7-8 hours and practically forcing your body into starvation. In order to keep your body in anabolic state and literally build muscle in your sleep, it is crucial that you consume the correct pre-bedtime nutrients.
I am not saying you should consume an entire meal right before bed, but a small snack that contains slow release carbs, unsaturated fats, and slow release protein rather.
1. You should consume 25-35 grams of whey protein 400-500 ml of milk. The milk contains casein which helps slow down the release of the whey protein.
2. A small portion of complex carbohydrates such as: A small cup of yogurt, oatmeal, or slice of wheat bread. These will slowly enter your system and regulate blood sugar levels.
3. Add some flaxseed oil, olive oil, or spoonful of peanut butter. The fat in these foods will slow down the body’s digestive process. This is exactly what you want out of your digestive system while asleep.
Strange Trick #5 – Keep a workout log (IMPORTANT!)
Most people will read the header to this rule and completely just skip right thru it, foolish if you ask me. You see, keeping a workout log doesn’t seem necessary to most which is very understandable. When I started weight training, I wasn’t the guy in the gym with a notebook writing stuff down after every set. It seemed silly and a bit tedious to be quite honest. Then again, I was extremely uneducated in this field and was getting not results.
Why is it important to keep a log?
The easiest way to put this is, as long as you are getting stronger you will get bigger. The reason this is true is, progressive overload. If you continue lifting the same amount of weight and putting the same amount of strain on your muscles, they will eventually become immune to the stress and find no reason to grow stronger or larger. IF you are someone who is continuously adding strain by simply out performing your last performance, you will see constant growth. As long as your adding strain, your muscles will feel the need to recover and rebuild larger and stronger in order to perform the given activity. A workout log will simplify this approach by allowing you to walk into the gym with a goal. The goal will be to put on lift a heavier workload by adding reps, sets, or weight in comparison to your last session.
Set 1 – 175 x 10 = 1750
Set 2 – 175 x 10 = 1750
Set 3 – 175 x 8 = 1400
Total Workload = 4900 lbs
Next session should be focused on increasing your total workload without sacrificing weight, sets, or reps. The best way to do this is to simply push for extra reps, increase the weight slightly, or add an extra set.
Strange Trick #6 – Be Active on your days off
Active recovery is low intensity exercise either immediately following your workout or on rest days away from the gym. Research has shown that active recovery immediately following your workout or during rest days encourages recovery and reduces muscle lactate levels faster than complete rest.
I recommend that you add 20-30 minutes of low intensity cardio after every workout in order to speed up the recovery phase. This will allow you to rebuild much quicker and give your next workout a better effort.
I understand that sometimes we just want to sit and relax and that is completely fine. However, I do encourage you to take part in an active recovery during complete rest days every once in a while. Believe me, it will go a long way.
Strange Trick #7 – Train with free weights, avoid machines
Before I get into this, let me just say that I personally use machines on occasion during my training session. What I would NEVER do though is replace free weight exercises for these machines.
Although machines are supportive, easy to use, and save time, they (in my opinion) are not ideal for the serious weight lifter/ bodybuilder.
Some benefits of free weights include:
• Versatility – With free weights you have more variety of exercises you can perform.
• Functionality – Free weights allow you to move your body through natural motions.
• Targeting Stabilizers – Because you are supporting your entire body with free weights, they allow you to target even smaller stabilizer muscles. Having stronger stabilizers will allow you to build strength much faster.
Like I said, I do not expect you to completely eliminate machines but just remember that any time you choose a machine over free weights, you are taking away from your muscle building and strength potential.
If you are someone who has been training for a while and just can’t seem to put on any more muscle, someone who is not seeing the results that THEIR program promised, or just a beginner looking to maximize your efforts, follow these 7 sneaky fitness tricks and start maximizing your gains today. These are just a few of the approaches I took in order to gain 40 lbs of solid muscle in 6 months.
If you are already performing these 7 rules and looking for an extra edge in your training, check out my “Bony to Brawny” program. I’m sure you will find the answers you need there and I GUARANTEE you will be on your way to transforming your body in ways you could have only dreamed about before.
Thank you for reading and if this program was even a little helpful, do me a favor and click the “like” button below to show your support.