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Key Principles of Building Muscle


1. TRAINING -(Progressive) overload

Muscle growth occurs when muscle fibers are broken down and then rebuild themselves a little bit bigger and stronger in case a similar type of damaging stress re-occurs.Practically speaking, this means you need to continually overload your muscles, and overload them in different ways, in order to continue to grow.You have different choices to stress your muscles in different ways:

  • Increase reps

  • Increase sets

  • Increase weight

  • Decrease rest periods between sets

  • Increase the rep speed (how fast you move the weights)

2. RECOVERY – Rest

After the stress of the workout, your muscles need time to rebuild. If you continue to break down the muscle fibers before they are recovered, they will simply break down more.This will eventually lead to overtraining and burnout – mental burnout as well as physical.If you are sore from a previous workout don’t work those same sore muscles.If you aren’t sore, but you know you took your muscles to the limit (pushing sets to exhaustion) just make sure you get 48-72 hours of rest before working the same muscles.


You need nutrients to grow!It seems to be common knowledge that you need protein to grow, but the amount is highly controversial.The U.S. DRI is 0.36 grams per pound of bodyweight.Most people involved with sports nutrition will tell you that the DRI is grossly inadequate for athletes. While protein recommendations are controversial, the standard practice for athletes is to get 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.Bodybuilders will argue for more, and biohackers will argue for less.I’ll simply say that I think everyone should aim for 1 gram per pound – especially if you have fitness goals.

Fat and carbohydrate are your energy sources.Again, recommended intakes are highly controversial.I’m gonna leave this topic alone for right now.I’ll simply say that I recommend higher fat and lower carb intakes for almost everyone.

Make sure you are getting adequate vitamins and minerals – specifics are beyond the scope of this short blog post, but if you do nothing else for your nutrition, at the minimum you should be taking a multivitamin/mineral complex.Some general guidelines for multivitamins:

  • If it comes from a supermarket or drug store it’s probably garbage.

  • Look at the B12 source – it’s a good indicator of the overall quality of the multivitamin.

  • You want methylcobalamin NOT cyanocobalamin

  • How many pills to take for the amounts on the label?Generally, if the label says you should take one pill, it’s garbage – it will probably be a super-compacted pill that never gets fully digested.

Here ya go. Take these muscle building basics and go build some muscle!

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