I was a child in the 1980s. The 80s were the glory days of muscular action heroes. If you ever saw Arnold or Sylvester Stallone in a movie you saw them with their shirts off flexing and throwing bad guys over their shoulders. What young boy wouldn’t want to be like them? The implication was always that their big muscles gave them the ability to be heroes or at least contributed heavily. Otherwise why would there be so many shirtless action sequences?
I was no different. I started bodybuilding when I was in my early twenties. I had no idea what kind of commitment–and pharmaceutical help–it took to look like the musclemen in the magazines. The drugs never would have interested me but the commitment required to change my physique was not that much more appealing at the time either. I went to the gym several times a week and did a lot of the usual suspect lifts: bench press and curls of course.
Still, I grew. I got bigger muscles because anything works…for about six weeks. Once my progress stopped I had to reevaluate my methods.
The magazines like to pretend that there is a secret formula that will instantly result in a chiseled physique. Of course that is not the case. After ten years of trial and error–and after gaining over 30 pounds of muscle–I have learned what works. And what works would fit on a pamphlet which is why you don’t see a lot of fitness pamphlets floating around. There would be nowhere for the ads!
If you want to build muscle it is literally this simple:
- Lift progressively heavier weights. Get strong!
- Perform a variety of exercises that work your entire body.
- Get enough rest! This is usually what is most often overlooked. Don’t go back to the gym until you feel 100% again.
- Eat! Eat as much of every good healthy food as you can. If you do these four simple things you will make progress that you’ve never dreamed of. I’ve done it myself. It’s so simple and reliable that we often overlook it in favor of the methods proposed by people who are simply trying to sell us a magazine.