If you are immersed in the world of muscle building magazines or online bodybuilding culture, then many of the items on this list may surprise you. Magazines, many Internet articles and even e-book gurus do such a good job at making you think that lifting is complicated, and without their advice or information you are sure to fail. The opposite is, in fact, true.
You really don't need to worry about much as long as the basics are in place. With that said, here are some things to consider as you explore Muscle & Strength. Remember that these rules and tips are aimed at beginning to intermediate lifters and are not meant to tell advanced bodybuilders and powerlifters how to train.
1) Start each workout with a maximum of 2-3 high impact, heavy compound movements.
2) Limit your total exercises per day to around 4-5.
3) Most people only need to train 2, 3 or 4 days per week.
4) Don't train for a new one rep max week in and week out.
5) Don't train your deadlift above 90%. There is very little return on investment.
6) Train the entire body rather than training body parts.
7) Build an incredible strength base from head to toe.
8) Training frequently is generally slightly more optimal for muscle building.
9) You need rep work for form practice and muscle building, even if you're "only" training for strength.
10) You need a potent strength base, even if you're "only" training for muscle.
11) If you are a teen you shouldn't be counting calories. You should eat until full and eat when hungry.
12) If your weight is bothering you, lose the fat so you can move on.
13) Training templates are only starting points, not complete road maps.
14) Eating plans are starting points that need to be tweaked.
15) Focus on training evolution based on needs.
16) You can never have enough back strength.
17) You can never have enough tricep strength.
18) Balance your upper body training between back, chest and shoulders.
19) Don't overwork your arms. This is a fast track to tendonitis.
20) You never master form. Keep working on it.
21) Progressive overload is essential, regardless of the approach.
22) Without consistency very little will matter. Get your butt to the gym and stop missing workouts.
23) You don't need to confuse your muscles every 8-12 weeks by changing workouts. This is complete nonsense.
24) Natural muscle builders can't get as big as their steroid-using counterparts. It's physiologically impossible.
25) Train highly technical lifts first in your program (snatches, overhead squats, power cleans, etc.).
27) It doesn't matter how much when you eat, or how often you eat, as long as you are eating enough calories and not undereating macronutrients. Use common sense and listen to your body.
28) Try to make 80% of your diet consist of nutritionally dense, low/no processed foods.
29) Nutritional supplements aren't magic, but that doesn't mean they are useless.
30) Firsthand experience is more valuable than blindly following the opinions of other lifters. Try reasonable things yourself.
31) If something is working, don't change it.
32) Don't deload or take a week off every time you have a bad workout. Bad workouts are part of the journey and don't mean anything is necessarily wrong.
33) Train for gains, not for pain. Progress and live to fight another day.
34) Never waste a set.
35) It's ok to use a few "pet exercises" each week, even if they aren't the most effective. As long as the first 80% of your training is solid, a fun exercise won't hurt anything.
36) Which workout system is best? The one that most motivates you to train.
37) You will not become catabolic and ruin your workout if you miss the "anabolic window of opportunity."
38) You don't have to bomb, blast and blitz a muscle from every possible angle.
39) Simplicity is usually the best answer, regardless of the question.
40) You can't change the shape of a muscle using specific exercises, you can only make that shape bigger.
41) You don't need high volume training. You just think you need high volume training.
42) Compound exercises are better choices than isolation exercises.
43) Don't try to turn a compound exercise into an isolation exercise in an attempt to feel only a single muscle group.
44) Don't turn an isolation lift into a pseudo-compound movement by using too much weight.
45) If you can't get in a quality workout within 60 to 75 minutes, you have no business working out longer.
46) Eating fat is not evil.
47) Protein will not damage your kidneys.
48) Training to failure is absolutely not needed. Progression is.
49) There are no magic workout programs, but there are inefficient ones.
50) The slowing of gains is normal. It doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong.