50 Short and Sweet Muscle Building Tips

Fifty short tips to keep in mind on workouts, exercises, nutrition, and supplements. These are meant to be simple do’s and don’ts – there are exceptions to every rule. For more information, read more in-depth articles available on learn.stsfit.com.

  1. Compound exercises are great for growth.
  2. Squats and deadlifts are the best exercises for bodybuilders.
  3. Learn proper form. Ask around, watch videos, or read articles.
  4. Stop missing workouts.
  5. Stop complaining about muscle soreness and don’t use it as an excuse to skip the gym.
  6. Eat a variety of whole foods to get your nutrition.
  7. Drink more water than you think you need.
  8. Sleep at least 8 hours a night. Take naps if you need to.
  9. Add butter, olive oil, sour cream, or cheese to meals to add calories.
  10. Not all supplements are bad, but claims can be misleading.
  11. Training is an art, not a science. Change your workout based on what your body is telling you.
  12. Progression of weight and volume is key to building muscle.
  13. Fat is not bad. Healthy fat is needed for healthy bodies.
  14. Cardio won’t kill your gains. It will help your overall health.
  15. Dips are the upper body equivalent of a squat: a compound exercise that can build you up fast.
  16. Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want – they’re loaded with nutrients your body needs.
  17. Salt (aka sodium) is necessary for your body. Balance it with potassium.
  18. Triceps make up two-thirds of your arm size. Make sure to train them appropriately.
  19. Work your compound exercises before your isolation exercises while you have more energy.
  20. If your form starts to fail, stop.
  21. Don’t bounce your bench presses off your chest. This is ineffective and possibly dangerous.
  22. Eat different sources of protein for different nutrients: lean meat, poultry, eggs, and fish.
  23. Beginners need more rest than you think. Your body needs time to respond.
  24. Train compound exercises with moderate reps and heavier weights.
  25. Train isolation exercises with higher reps and lighter weights.
  26. Never think you’ve mastered a form. Form gets harder to maintain the more weight you add.
  27. Look for ways to make your workout harder, not easier.
  28. Do cardio after your weight lifting routine to save your energy for muscle building.
  29. Add volume only after you’ve built a good amount of strength.
  30. There is no magic number of sets. Listen to what your body is telling you.
  31. Taking a full week off from the gym can help you heal from pain and come back stronger.
  32. Believe that your workout will work.
  33. Eat when you’re hungry. Just make smart choices about what you’re eating.
  34. Great, easy snacks can include fruit, protein shakes, nuts, and cheese.
  35. Overweight lifters should use heavier weights and lower reps to encourage strength.
  36. Log your workouts to track your progress.
  37. Pick partners who are accountable and motivating. No one needs someone holding them back.
  38. Always try to improve on what you did last.
  39. Rapid weight loss tends to lead to rapid muscle loss. Losing 1.5 to 2 pounds of fat is sustainable.
  40. Train your abs 1-3 times a week. They are a small muscle group and bigger muscle groups are more important to train.
  41. Try rest-pause training if you’re tight on time.
  42. Don’t miss meals. Stay consistent.
  43. Use a pre-workout to give you a boost if you’re often tired.
  44. Testing your max all the time is unnecessary. Focus on building muscle instead.
  45. Get a life outside of the gym.
  46. Train like you want to keep training for years. Be consistent!
  47. Use the “shake and bake” rule. Protein “shake” right after training and a “baked” meal 30-90 minutes afterwards.
  48. Eat protein before bed. Casein protein shakes are a great option for slow digesting protein throughout the night.
  49. Start simple with supplements. Whey protein and a multivitamin are enough.
  50. Attend a local competition. Even just being there is good motivation.
Derrick Glass
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