As the saying goes, “methods are many, principles are few, methods may change, but principles never do,” this has just as much validity with weight training and bodybuilding as it does anything else. Every day we hear of revolutionary new workout programs, exercises, tricks, quick fix’s, you name it. Though I can’t say I agree on many of the different “methods” of gaining weight and building muscle mass these days, the principles for reaching your goals will always remain the same.
As a result, I have created what I call, “The Ten Success Principles for Fast Muscle Mass Building.” I have listed these principles so that even the skinniest hardgainer can apply and grow from. Follow these principles, ingrain them in your mind, and you will be on the right track for long term success from your efforts. If you’re wondering what is the best way to build muscle fast, then your answers are below. All you have to do is apply these principles.
Principle 1: You Don’t Know what You Don’t Know – Become a Student
When we realize that you don’t know what you don’t know, we can become more teachable and absorb knowledge that we can apply to better our results from the gym. If you have the “know-it-all” attitude, that simply means you are stagnate and your mind will never grow past its current state. Become a student for life to weight training and bodybuilding, read as much material as you can about each subject: training, diet, supplements, the whole works. One word of caution is this: be careful where you get your opinions and information. Only seek those with proven results, and watch out for “arm chair experts” and “magazine bodybuilders.”
Principle 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Far too many trainees today just wonder aimlessly around in the gym doing whatever exercise they like and working out whenever they feel like it. If you don’t have a target, you’re going to hit it with amazing accuracy! In other words, if you don’t know EXACTLY what you are trying to achieve by going to the gym each day, you’re never going to get anywhere. Always make sure you’re on a program, and stick with it to the end. Figure out your “why” and you will be able to overcome any “how.” Always go to the gym knowing exactly what you are going to do down to the last rep of the last exercise.
Principle 3: You Get What You Picture
As David Schwartz says in his fantastic book, The Magic of Thinking Big, “Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figuring ways and means and how-to…Disbelief is negative power. When the mind disbelieves or doubts, the mind attracts “reasons” to support disbelief.” Always go to the gym with a positive attitude and a firm belief that you are progressively gaining muscle mass. Wipe out all negative belief about your success or you will pay the price of getting exactly what you pictured.
Principle 4: There is No Great Success without Great Commitment
If you are not committed, you can be swayed. Fix in your mind exactly the results you want, and commit to yourself that you will do what it takes to get it. When you are committed, truly committed, no petty thought or inconvenience will ever stop you on your way to your goal. You will be unstoppable and your end in mind will be a forgone conclusion. As Yoda said, “There is no try, only do.”
Principle 5: You Are Only Defeated When you Accept Defeat as a Reality, and Decide to Stop Trying
Failure is a HUGE key to success. The price of success is thousands of failures. Those not willing to pay that price will not succeed in getting the body they want. As long as you learn from your experience you will always be moving forward. Continue to learn and perform, and do this cycle over and over and over until you succeed. Success is often right after where most people quit. Remember, “Quitters never win, winners never quit.”
Principle 6: Less is More – Quality, not Quantity
When you goal is to gain weight and/or build muscle mass, always keep your workouts short. All your muscles need is an intense workout with compound exercises and 110% effort, a few days a week. Don’t think that by training 7 days a week for 2 or 3 hours a day will produce better results. Focus on a few exercises, a couple days a week for no longer then 1 ½ hour, tops. Overtraining is one of the major causes of failure when trying to gain weight and build muscle. Don’t confuse ambition with workout time, it’s not how much time you put into the gym, it’s want you put into the time you’re at the gym that counts.
Principle 7: Major on Compound Exercises
Though there are literally thousands of workout programs you can find today, one truth that will never change for gaining muscle mass is that compound exercises have and will always be the best of the best. Exercises such as squats, the bench press, and bent-over rows will always remain at the top of any successful bodybuilders list. Focus on these and other core compound exercises and you’ll never be disappointed in your results.
Principle 8: Hard Work
Nothing beats good old fashioned hard work and what better way to express it than weight training. Unfortunately, the media today is always trying to make your workout and exercises “easier.” If you to build a mass of muscle, you’re going to have to poor out some blood and sweat and tears, no two ways about it. As long as you follow a few solid workouts for muscle mass and are using safety cautions and common sense, then push yourself to your limit each and every workout. You’re never going to ease your way to true muscle mass, even if you trained easy for a thousand years.
Principle 9: Progressive Overload
If you want more muscle mass, you’re going to have to continue to add weight on a regular basis, period. This is one of the most basic but overlooked principles in gaining muscle mass. Get in the habit of progressively adding weight whenever you can. The moment you settle and stop pushing yourself is the moment your muscle mass gains will begin to stagnate. Resistance is the only opportunity for growth. The worst thing you can do is hit a goal without setting another one in advance.
Principle 10: A Proper Diet
I couldn’t leave this one out. After all, the food you eat is the direct fuel for your muscles to grow. You can workout until the cows come home but without a proper diet plan for building muscle mass your body simply will not grow, it’s not physically possible too! It is an absolute must to know the correct food to eat to build muscles properly. Refer to the first principle and learn all you can about dieting for muscle mass so that you can get the most for your efforts in the gym.