When it comes to building the physique of your dreams and becoming strong as an ox, there are a million millions of tips I could give you. But if I had to narrow it down to a handful of things, these would be the five (5) most important pieces of advice I could give you and any individual in their fitness journey.
These tips are stuff you should focus on both in and out of the gym because for the best results possible, we need to keep things balanced.
Train hard and heavy
This is probably the number 1 tip I would give to a person looking to start going to the gym. Either that or to invest in crypto, not sure. If you want to see results in the gym, grow your muscles and get bigger and stronger, you can’t come in and just go through the motions. You can’t grab a random dumbbell and do sets of 30 reps, mindlessly doing the exercise just to do it and move on.
When you come in, you need to push yourself (just yourself though, do not push others or you may get kicked out, especially if you send them down a flight of stairs). You need to be challenged by the weight you are lifting because if it doesn’t feel hard, you are not making your muscles do the necessary adaptations to grow, you are not giving them a signal that says “we need to improve so next time we can do this easier”. I would say that you need to go hard or go home but 1) this is too cliché now and 2) don’t go home, stay, train and grow. So just go hard, it’s the only option.
The easiest way to know how hard you should go and how heavy you should lift for each exercise, how many sets, reps, etc is by getting a training program with a built-in structure and progression model. You can find practically an unlimited amount of free programs and templates online, depending on your goals and how experienced you are, find one that looks interesting and roll with it.
Eat appropriately for your goals
This tip may be just as important as the first one. While training is necessary to get the physique you always wanted, the nutrition aspect of things is just as important.
If you want to lose weight, you will have to be in a calorie deficit. Potentially eat a bit cleaner meals, with higher protein, so that you can be more full and keep as much muscle as possible while only (or at least mostly) losing fat. Your diet does not have to be squeaky clean, boring, and all the bad words that come to mind when we think about diet, but, you can’t only have junk food and candy and expect to lose weight just because you hit the gym.
You can’t outtrain a bad dietEvery person giving fitness advice ever
On the other side of the same coin, if you are skinny and want to grow, bruh.. just eat, my guy, you have to gain weight, I guarantee you, you will not be a beast at 130lbs bodyweight, I know this from experience, I tried to stay at 140lbs for almost a year before deciding it’s time to stop being scared of gaining weight and start eating more. I did gain strength even when I was not gaining weight, but if I had started bulking earlier, I could have gotten more strength, much faster.
Plus, I didn’t gain any size, since I still was the same weight, so, if you care about that, you better start having some more corn dogs throughout the day. Yeah, corn dogs are the new superfood that every person needs to get appreciable amounts of muscle. It’s the industry secret, you know, the things you see in articles, “bodybuilders hate him, ” etc.
There are a lot of reasons that you might not want to gain weight. You might have a small appetite, you might be afraid of losing your abs, and many more potential issues that hold you back, but the answer is one and is very simple. moar corn dogs.
If you are interested in reading more about why you might not be gaining weight, you can also check this article right here, which goes more in-depth ininto the true reason behind it.
Focus on strength
This tip goes even harder for the skinny people out there, you have to focus on increasing your strength and chasing PRs and higher numbers in the gym for two (2) main reasons.
1) Strength and size are tightly correlated, by getting stronger, you will automatically get bigger. You will not see anyone benching 3 plates and have a small chest, it just doesn’t happen.
Going with strength as your main focus makes progress easier to track and training becomes more fun when you get all those new PRs and hit weights you never thought you would, it’s one of the best feelings there is.
2) Your mind is not to be trusted, young man. You should not focus purely on aesthetics to measure your progress, this is one of the most common ways beginners (especially skinny guys) mess up in the gym, resulting in them not getting the results they were hoping for and staying small in general.
Why is that though? the answer is simple and it makes a lot of sense if you sleep on it. In general, everything makes more sense if you sleep more. Anyways, the reason is that the pursuit of improving your aesthetics is non-deterministic. In human words, this means that there are more than one ways to improve your aesthetics. You can either gain muscle or you can lose fat. At the end of the day, with either of those actions, you will end up with a better physique than before.
This is one of the most important tips for building a great physique, yet it is one of the things that everybody tends to ignore and not care enough about. Which coincidentally is what my ex told me I was doing to her before she left me.
So, we all have heard the classic “you need 8 hours of sleep per day” with the promise that your health will improve, the sky will be more blue, the sun brighter, and swiss chees will have more cheese per block.
These are all fine and dandy, but what about getting jacked out of your mind? Numerous studies show that lack of sleep can interfere with your endeavors in your fitness journey. Such a study is this one which shows that can have an impact on cognitive functions, endurance and strength, which all play their role in building your dream physique.
I know what you are thinking right now. “How much sleep is enough? What is the least amount of time I can sleep and still make gainz?”. And to that, I would say that you should put on your PJs and go to bed. Ok, I’m kidding… you don’t have to have PJs. On a serious note though, if you want to improve your body, anything less than six (6) hours won’t cut it. By the way, am I the only one that loves hearing the phrase “it won’t cut it” in a British accent? It just sounds too good.
Anything less than 6 hours won’t cut it as I said. But 6 is not good enough either, it’s a borderline pass and I am including it for the sole reason that a lot of people have trouble sleeping more than that. If you only sleep for that much, you are not doomed but it would be in your best interest to improve on that. Aiming for 7 hours instead is pretty good, it will significantly improve both your recovery and energy levels and mood, so that is a good first step. Similarly, going from 7 to 8 hours is again a massive difference and can have a big impact on your results.
Anything above 8 hours, still improves your recovery but there are diminishing returns. This means that the returns are diminishing. You could go for 12 hours of sleep per day and this would probably be the most beneficial for your physique but there won’t be much difference from sleeping 9 or 10 hours instead, so, it depends on your goals. If you are competing at the top level of a sport (e.g. world competitions) or really really want to squeeze out every inch of gains you can get, then it might make sense to sleep that much.
Personally, to find a balance between having enough time in my day and recovering properly, I aim for 7 hours of sleep, but you should decide for yourself how much sleep makes sense for you.
Learn to listen to your body
Listen to your heart when he’s calling for you
Listen to your heart, there’s nothing else you can doRoxette
Wrong! You can and should also listen to your body and pay attention to what it’s telling you.
If you are getting consistent signals that you are getting too tired from your workouts, maybe you should have 1 or 2 lighter sessions, drop some fatigue and come back stronger.
If you experience pain in your joint or tendon or any irregular pain while doing an exercise, stop doing the exercise. Or find a pain-free way to do it. It is not worth it to snap your back or damage your elbows to hit a new PR. Just acknowledge the issue, fix it and move on, it’s pretty simple honestly.
Unfortunately, most people are almost possessed by their ego and instead of working smart, they come in like a 90’s band
Rock your bodyBackstreet boys
(Yes, we have apparently entered the music section for this article)
If your body is telling you that something is wrong, you should listen to it, learn to pick up these small signals and cues, act on them and I promise you, more gains will be made and you will have much more fun in the gym
As I said before, there are a lot more tips that I could give you but these are probably the most important. Follow them and gains are practically guaranteed for years to come, so go ahead, do the work and don’t forget to enjoy the process