When it comes to gaining muscle you are your own worst enemy. It’s not something you do on purpose, and it’s probably not even something you have much control over.
I would go so far as to even say if you grew up in the same shoes as Arnold and did everything the exact same way he did you still wouldn’t have one Mr. Olympia title to your name. I’m not referring to the training, the diet, or even the steroids.
I’m talking about your genetic potential.
It’s as easy as walking down the magazine isle to see what I’m referring to. The guys with the billboard-sized chest, arms as big as your thighs, and thighs as big as your waist. Why is it so difficult to see that these guys aren’t the genetic norm?
Besides the massive amounts of performance enhancers most of them use/abuse, they more than likely share some genetics with sasquatch. I’m joking of course, but it’s important for people to wrap their heads around the fact that your genetics determine far more than what we typically believe.
You see it all the time; fat, skinny, tall, short. Why is it so hard to believe muscle size and strength is largely predetermined by your genetics? Not to mention going even further, and accounting for how our bodies adapt and react to environmental influences like our diet, smoking, and exercise. All is decided by your genetics.
What we do and how we do it can have a huge effect on our bodies, but our genetics govern the scale of that effect.
No matter how hard you fight, there is no overcoming what your momma gave you.
So, is that it? Should I just give up?
Absolutely not! I’m willing to venture a guess and say your not even close to reaching your genetic potential. Even with your genetic predisposition you can still pack on lean hard muscle. What’s more, if you’re genuinely the “scrawny” type I’ve got good news.
Studies have shown that you can pack on lean muscle mass with minimal fat much easier when compared to others. You just have to know how to do it. You have to be smart about your training and how you’re eating. You have to change the way you look at food, and trust me it’s much easier said than done.
Top tips for building mass
You have to eat. I can’t say it enough. Three big meals a day with large snacks in between. It helps to carry a lunch box with you and eat every two hours. Set an alarm and when it goes off start eating.
For snacks shoot for healthier options such as nuts, fruits, veggies, and so on. If it’s a full meal use this guide for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.:
Protein: Two palm-sized chunks of meat
Carbs: One fist-sized serving (try for whole grain, but take what you can get)
Veggies: Three fist-sized servings (raw, canned, or frozen)
Fat: About a quarter cup of healthy fat (olive oil, avocado, etc…)
As an added bonus supplement with three protein shakes a day. One as soon as you wake up, One at lunch, and one before bed. If you’re bloated and full 90% of the time then you’re doing it right.
2. Upper/Lower split routines
I can’t stress enough how much of a waste spending a day on arms is. Cut that shit out for good. If your workout buddy insists on doing an arms day you need a new workout buddy.
Start working out four days per week. Monday and Thursday for upper-body, Tuesday and Friday for lower-body. If you want to get big you need to lift big and do it often.
Start doing more compound movements. These are exercises that hit more than one muscle group such as the deadlift, squat, bench press, and bent-over row. Everything else needs to take a back seat.
These compound movements help release muscle building hormones such as testosterone way better than pussy-ass bicep curls. Way to go, you can curl 120 pounds whoopty-fucking-do. Now, what about those toothpicks you’re standing on?
If you aren’t working harder by doing bigger movements more often, your body will not grow. It’s as simple as that.
Put down the video games and your smartphone. Get 7-hours minimum every night. Your body goes into repair mode at night when you sleep. That means you need that time to rebuild the damage from your awesome fucking workouts.
4. Do it every day
For every percentage point of effort you put into this, expect a return of 0.10% if you’re lucky. It’s impossible to put an exact number on it, especially since I know nothing about you but, let’s say you put in 100% you can expect about a 10% increase in gains. Sounds hard doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is.
If you’re not actively working towards a goal, you’re actively moving away from it. Nothing is ever static. You have to do this every day if you want to win this battle.
5. Have someone hold you accountable
Anyone who every did anything great had one thing in common, a mentor. You need someone who can not only push you but knows how to push you. Without proper guidance, you are only getting part of the picture. Without someone who has experienced it and has unwavering faith in the practice, achieving your goals becomes more and more of an improbability.
Find someone that knows what they’re doing and can coach you in the right direction. If no one comes to mind check out my Personal Training page. I offer different training packages with varying degrees of coaching to suit your needs.
It’s time to stop making excuses and start getting what you want.
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