This is a no nonsense post. The muscle building "secrets" contained in this post really are the secrets.
You might not believe me because they are so simple and obvious, but I wouldn't lie to you. I've been around scores of top natural bodybuilders over the course of my life. I've talked to, detailed, documented, profiled and interviewed hundreds and hundreds of big names.
The information contained in this post is the essence of what creates their success.
What We Know About Successful Bodybuilders
The following statements are true for nearly every successful bodybuilder I've ever met.
They are consistent. Every successful bodybuilder I've ever met has been training for an extended period of time. They have remained consistent for 5, 10, 15 and even 20 years. They rarely miss workouts, or scheduled meals for that matter.
They are strong. While most of these bodybuilders will tell you, I don't train for strength, they are inhumanly strong. Pound for pound, most of them give me a run for the money in the strength department. I have never met a weak, successful bodybuilder.
They evolve their training. Each of these athletes has a very distinctive form of training that suits them, and only them. They have meticulously evolved their training over the years to fit their specific needs and weaknesses.
They embrace the hard exercises. One of the questions I ask most top bodybuilders is, what are your top 3 exercises for mass? 90% of them respond with squats, deadlifts and the bench press. Some prefer front squats over squats, and many prefer incline bench presses over bench presses. Each of these lifts is hard, and is certainly not avoided.
They don't guess. When it comes to meal plans, top bodybuilders don't guess. You don't hear them say "I think I am eating X amount of calories or Y grams of protein." They know exactly what goes into their bodies.
They supplement heavily. While each of these athletes will be the first to tell you that food supplements aren't magic pills and powders, at least 95% of the bodybuilders I've met use 4-10 different supplements a day, or more. Someone is likely to call BS on this, but I assure you it's a reality. These guys take every small advantage they can get. If you don't believe me, go ask a top natural pro yourself.
They eat frequently. Yes, they eat frequently. I understand that as of late intermittent fasting has become an extremely popular option in the muscle building world. I'm certainly not trying to bash the fasting community by revealing the truth about how these guys eat. It is what it is. 99% of the successful bodybuilders I've met eat 5, 6, 7 or 8 times a day. The only bodybuilder I've personally met who doesn't eat this often is Layne Norton. I believe he eats 3-4 times a day.
They are gray. Gray? Yes, gray. Nearly every top bodybuilder knows that there are few black and white answers in the world of muscle building and nutrition. What works for one guy might not work for another. They understand that most questions have gray answers, not black or white solutions.
What This Means For You - How To Build Muscle
So, boiling this wisdom down into bite sized chunks, here are the magic muscle building secrets:
- Don't miss workouts.
- Be patient.
- Evolve your training based on needs, not whims.
- Use challenging exercises; take the hard path, not the easy route.
- Don't "guess" if you're eating enough food or protein to gain.
- Spend all your free money on supplements. Just kidding, folks. Just kidding.
- Consider eating frequent meals. Broscience or not, it's working for the pros. If it works, it works.
- Understand that not everything in the muscle building realm has a black or white answer. Find out what works for you with trial and error.
Questions or comments about this article? Post them below and I will respond in a timely manner. You can also reach me via the Muscle and Strength forum.