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The Truth About Building Muscle- Don’t Overthink It!

“Build muscle fast! The super secret, super effective way to build muscle and shred fat!”

Blah, blah, blah.

OK, so how many times have you seen headlines like this written 30 different ways? Maybe a bazillion? There’s a reason for that… both men (and women- yay!) want to build muscle and build it quick. Men want to pack it on, women want it as well but are looking for that lean, feminine muscle tone. But cut through all that hype, all those promises of muscle building secrets and there’s just two simple truths:

1) Muscle building takes time and consistency: IE- patience.

2) There is no “secret” to muscle building- (see simple truth one)

Once you understand these two realities, the building muscle becomes a simple matter of following a few basic principles to get muscle building results. The rest is overthinking- an agonizing process where you question everything and anything and immobilize your progress with information overload.

Overthinking is overrated. Stick to the basic principles and watch your muscles build. It’s that simple:

Building Muscle: Muscles Grow With Work

Sounds pretty reasonable doesn’t it? Work muscles, get muscles? The concept really is that simple. You work the muscle, the muscle is damaged (in a good way- these are called “micro-tears”), the muscle works to repair itself, builds more muscle fibers to compensate and… bam! Success. Rinse and repeat.

The trick, however, is to do this right. No amount of lifting can repair crappy form or post-workout rest and nutrition. When you work those muscles, you’ve got to reward them.

Building Muscle: Muscles Grow With Increased Challenge

Doing the same thing over and over will yield the same results… unless you increase the “toughness” of that same thing over and over. By this I mean what’s called “overloading”. I’ve talked about overloading before but the idea boils down to, in this case, increasing weight or reps.

Here’s how it works: Plain and simple, your muscles are overachievers. They don’t like to be shown up. And when they are, they rise to meet the problem head on. That means when you can lift that 25 lb. dumbbell 10 times when you couldn’t a week or two ago, your muscles have adapted, given you more muscle to complete the job. Overloading now dictates you move to 30 lbs. When you can hit 10 reps, move to 35 lbs., etc. In this process, you continually OVERLOAD your muscles and they’ll continually build strength and volume to meet the challenge.

Simply put, keep increasing your weight to failure in the 8-10 range. Never settle for a plateau.

Building Muscle: Muscles Grow With Rest & Nutrition

I know there’s plenty of guys out there who swear by having worked-and commanded to grow- their biceps every day. They’re welcome to do it but you can get the same results (and much less potential for injury) by allowing your muscles a recovery and refueling time.

I get it- you want to get after it! You want RESULTS. But like anything good worth working for, results will come with time and correct training.

Fueling your muscles requires not just protein but carbohydrates and fats. It requires eating enough and eating enough of the right stuff. You can pound calories, but if they’re the wrong kind, all that new muscle gets covered with fat and may not grow with the results you’re looking for. Hello, Nutrition Guide.

You’ve overloaded your muscle, allow it to repair (with proper rest and nutrition) in its effort to come back bigger and stronger.

Building Muscle: In A Nutshell

There’s always going to be a million different ways being offered as the next “best thing” to build muscle. Fact is, building muscle is pretty simple. As I’ve mentioned, there really is no “trick” to building muscle unless you count “work, rest and eating right” as some sort of crazy magic. The real trick is, are you patient and dedicated enough to see your program through and keep pushing? If yes, keeping it simple and pushing play every day will get you where you want to be.

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