In How to Build Muscle Part V we discussed the importance of rest and recovery in a muscle building program. In How to Build Muscle Part VI we will discuss the importance of consistency, time and tracking progress.
Without consistency, you’ll get nowhere. Consistently progress the weights you’re lifting. Consistently stick to your diet and the amount of calories you’re consuming. Consistently go to the gym and keep to your weight training program. Got the idea? Good.
Building muscle not only requires a lot of effort, it also takes a lot of time. As mentioned in Part II, the average man can hope to gain between 0.25 and 0.5 pounds of muscle per week. So, don’t think you’re going to be hitting the gym for a few weeks and then look in the mirror and see a new toned muscular body. It’ll never happen. Thinking it will or expecting it to is only going to lead to disappointment or eventual failure. Instead you need to think in terms of months and years.
Tracking your progress is very important. Here’s how:
Keep a workout journal – Every single man that wants to build muscle must keep a workout journal. A note pad will do. Just record the date, the exercises done, the weights used for each set, and the number of reps per set. Why? – Progressive overload.
As you already know, making some form of progress each workout is very important. But how are you supposed to do this without tracking what you did the pervious workout? A workout journal will tell you that you lifted x weight for y reps on exercise z, therefore letting you know what you will need to do this workout in order to progress and beat what you previously did. Don’t ignore this – it can be very easy to forget what you did in your last workout and it only takes 5 minutes to write/type this info out.
Take measurements – Buy a tape measure – the type that you can wrap around body parts. Measure at least once per month and at the most, once per week. Measure whatever body part you feel like –arms, waist, thighs, calves etc. It doesn’t matter where you take the measurement from, as long as you take each measurement from the same spots every time – be consistent in your approach. Also, it’s always best to take measurements in the morning on an empty stomach.
Take pictures – You always see yourself in the mirror so it’ll be hard to notice your own progress. This is why it’s useful to take pictures of yourself. Pictures will show you exactly where you were and exactly how far you’ve come. Taking one picture on a monthly basis will show any improvements that you’ve made.
Weigh yourself – Get on the scales once per week, and do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (before eating or drinking anything). The key to successfully tracking your progress is consistency, so make sure you weigh yourself the same way, the same spot, every single time. If you weigh yourself naked, always weigh yourself naked. Pick a day to do it, and weigh yourself that same day each week.
Keep a record of your weight in your workout journal. Remember that when building muscle, you should be gaining between 0.5 and 1 pound per week. Keep an eye on your weight. If it’s going up too fast then you could be gaining fat. If it is then make a small calorie reduction until you’re within the recommended range. If you’re not gaining any weight at all, make a small calorie increase until you’re with range.
How to Build Muscle Series – Conclusion
We hope you’ve enjoyed the Muscle Building series – We’ve covered all the basics and pretty much everything you need to know about building muscle. If you follow our guides, we guarantee that you’ll build muscle, improve your fitness, look more attractive, feel more confident, and attract more women. Have any questions? Please ask in the comments below!
And, Don’t Forget…
We’ve recommended a couple of eBooks in this series for further Reading – The Truth About Six Pack Abs by Mike Geary (Weight training guide) and Anabolic Cooking By Dave Ruel (Diet plan guide). Both are written by fitness experts and are highly recommended. You can check these eBooks out by clicking on the links below:
The Truth About Six Pack Abs – The #1 Rated Abs Program
Anabolic Cooking – The Best Cookbook for Bodybuilding & Fitness