There are a few universal guidelines that are absolutely essential to pack on lean muscle mass.
In order to have that Hollywood elite athletic physique, you don’t need spend all day in a gym, but you do need to have a very thorough diet and exercise plan in place that works.
I’m giving you the information you need to build muscle, but it is up to you to go apply it and make the results happen.
Here are the 7 muscle building guidelines you need to follow to get ripped:
#1 – Strength Training Above All Else
This one is straightforward to understand, yet many guys make the major mistake of spending so much time doing cardio. You don’t need to do cardio to get ripped. Actually doing too much cardio has been shown to break down muscle tissue. You need to focus on doing resistance-based training. Whether it’s with weights or your own bodyweight.
That’s not to say that cardio exercise is bad for you to do for your goals. You can still get many benefits from doing regular cardio. However, it’s important to not do too much cardio if you are trying to build a lean athletic physique.
If you want to have cardio in your workout routine I suggest doing it separately from your lifting on a rest day and no more than 20 minutes of high intensity cardio. Otherwise, you risk the breakdown of muscle.
#2 – Work Out Hard and Fast
You need to focus making your workout sessions short, but very intense to maximize results. When it comes to lifting weights, it is by nature a quick routine. Short intense workouts always trump long low intensity workouts. Besides, who wants to be at the gym for more than an hour each session?
I don’t know about you, but I have a busy schedule. My time is valuable and so is yours. Don’t overextend your welcome at the gym. Plan to workout at the gym for around 45 minutes and no longer than an hour. This is the sweet spot for getting ripped without over training.
#3 – Stretch Often
You absolutely NEED to stretch before working out. I cannot stress this enough. If you’re lifting heavy ass weights without stretching then you run a high risk of injury. I personally like to do dynamic stretching before I lift and finish off with some static stretching once I am done lifting.
It pays to stretch. Not only is it beneficial for flexibility and to prevent injuries while working out, but it also helps you increase your muscle’s range of motion. This allows you to get the most out of each and every rep you do.
The more free range of motion you have, the greater the resistance each rep has. With the more resistance in each rep, the more muscle gets built over time.
Now that’s a simple formula everyone can wrap their head around. Bottom line is it pays to stretch.
#4 – Get the Full Body Workout Experience
Don’t make the mistake of neglecting certain muscle groups in favor of other ones. You want to make sure you pay equal attention to your muscle groups to prevent injuries from occurring and to get a balanced looking physique.
A majority of injuries at the gym can be prevented by making sure all of your muscles are evenly worked out each week.
The best way in ensuring you get a balanced physique is to do compound exercises. This is especially true for beginners.
Compound exercises target multiple muscle groups. If you’re incorporating squats, deadlifts, clean and press, and other compound exercises, you’re targeting your smaller muscles as well as your bigger ones.
Bottom line is to spend more time on compound exercises instead of isolated exercises until you’ve got at least a year of consistent lifting under your belt.
#5 – Drink Plenty of Water
You’re working out hard. You need to make sure you get enough water through your system. Many people don’t keep properly hydrated when working out and that can be a problem.
Not only do you sweat out a lot of water, but water helps deliver nutrients to your muscles and gets food through your digestive system.
If you don’t get enough water throughout the day, you won’t be getting as many nutrients as you should from the food you consume.
That is why it is so critical that you make sure you’re drinking enough water. It is always better to drink more water than you think you need.
#6 – Rest Days Are Just as Important
Don’t overdo your workout. Look, I get you want to get progress as fast as possible and you think that the more time you can cram at the gym working out will give you quicker results, but if you overdo it you’ll find yourself not getting the results you expect and open yourself up to unnecessary injuries that could set you back months.
Rest days are when the real muscle growth occurs so don’t skimp on them and get a good nights rest each day.
#7 – Eat More Calories Than You Burn
This one is the basic principle for gaining muscle. To bulk up you need to consume more calories than you burn because muscle isn’t built out of nothing. So start to consume lots of high quality calories and not empty calories.
Find your basal metabolic rate and add 500 additional calories to that to get the amount of calories needed for a ‘clean bulk’. Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories you burn on a daily basis. My free report Top 8 Mistakes That Are Holding You Back From Building Your Lean and Ripped Physique has all the information you need on how to properly calculate your basal metabolic rate. I suggest grabbing a copy of it if you haven’t. You can find it below this post.
By eating lots of high quality calories, creating a calorie surplus, and following an intense regular workout plan, you can expect to gain around 2 pounds of lean muscle mass a month.
If you end up gaining more weight then that I suggest cutting back your calories as you’re consuming too many and the excess will be stored as fat.
The Bottom Line
If you follow these 7 muscle building guidelines, you’ll be on the path to getting more lean muscle mass in no time.
So what are you waiting for?