The 100 Laws of Muscle- Part 1

Posted: March 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

1. 1. There is no perfect training program. In fact, very intelligent, very successful coaches often disagree with one another. That means you’re going to have to learn a lot, think for yourself, and experiment. Don’t like that? Take up jogging.

2. 2. The effectiveness of any training program is directly related to the effort you put into it. If a program “doesn’t work” it’s probably because you’re half-assing it. Effort trumps everything.

3. 3. Three words: Ass. In. Gym. Stop using “research” as a procrastination method. Yes, read articles and learn as much as you can, but most of what you learn will come from dedicated ass-in-gym time.

4. 4. Any workout can make you tired. But a good workout program will make you better.

5. 5. Working out to look great may be shallow, but so is wearing makeup, taking selfies, and grooming of any sort. Pick your shallow.

6. 6. When the average person thinks “I need to lose weight” they assume they need to start running. A better answer? Start lifting.

7. 7. Stop it with the sissy gloves. Calluses are your body’s way of saying, “Fixed it. More please.”

8. 8. Beware of gimmicks. Training that drastically changes your body won’t include many “functional” exercises with balance balls or wobble boards. You’re not in rehab. You’re building muscle and strength.

9. 9. Bodybuilding is functional. Its most obvious function is to make you look better. This is true for females just as much as it is for males. Big muscles aren’t weak muscles. And building them is not for the weak minded.

10. 10. Training may not always be fun, but it will always be rewarding. Lifelong rewards beat temporary fun.

11. 11. Balance brutal workouts with long slow walks, preferably outdoors.

12. 12. Long distance cardio makes you good at long distance cardio. Conditioning work – short, fast, and brutally intense – makes you good at everything.

13. 13. The cardio paradox: The more efficient you become, the less fat you burn with the same amount of work. Efficiency is great if you’re racing, not if you’re trying to lose body fat.

14. 14. Better to be “bulky” with muscle mass than to lose muscle mass, lower your metabolism, become weak, and then get bulky with body fat.

15. 15. The more muscular “bulk” you have the easier it’ll be to trim the fat. Working muscle is metabolically expensive. If you have fat to lose and no muscle underneath, it’ll take a lot more effort.

16. 16. Women who look great in yoga pants do more lifting than yoga.

17. 17. The best ab exercise is three sets of stop eating so damn much. That said, if you want obvious abs, you’ll need to hypertrophy them with weighted exercises.

18. 18. Strength and hypertrophy aren’t mutually exclusive. You can get stronger in the higher rep ranges that are proven to make muscles bigger.

19. 19. Hypertrophy promotes fat loss. By building more muscle tissue your body will produce more of the hormones that burn fat. Which means muscles become more visible as they grow and the fat on top shrinkssimultaneously.

20. 20. Effective workouts can be a mix of violent powerful movement and controlled steady movement. Compound and isolation exercises, full body and split routines, 1RMs and burn-outs… there’s a time and place for everything and you’ll probably end up doing it all if you stay in this game long enough.

21. 21. Partials, iso-holds, super sets, drop sets, and mechanical drop sets are techniques that increase the time your muscles spend under tension. Employ a blend of them into your workouts for hypertrophy. Standard sets using full ROM are good, but noticeable hypertrophy requires more intensity. Some people call these bodybuilding techniques “bad form.” And those people are small.

22. 22. If your training and diet are causing you to burn up muscle tissue then you’re not getting leaner, you’re just getting smaller. And your metabolism is going to be slower as a result. Build or retain muscle, always.

23. 23. The easiest way to improve the appearance of your entire body is to build a strong butt. That’s also an easy way to improve your squat, deadlift, lunge, sprint, and kettlebell swing.

24. 24. People get great results and build impressive bodies with many different training philosophies. But they all have one thing in common: they bust ass. Working hard works. Period. Don’t forget that part.

25. 25. If there are a dozen pieces of workout equipment in your home gathering dust, just accept that you need a gym membership.

26. 26. Overcoming your own self consciousness at the gym is a sign you’ll do what it takes to overcome other obstacles standing in the way of your goals. This applies to newbies afraid of going to the gym and experienced lifters afraid of doing hip thrusts in public. Get over it. Be awesome.

27. 27. Apply your work ethic to your workout. Don’t give anyone the opportunity to think of you as lazy, distracted, inefficient, or weak… and don’t give yourself that opportunity either. Embrace the work part of your workout.

28. 28. Some of your favorite things to do in the gym are your favorite things because they’re easy. Do harder stuff. Or learn to make your favorite things more brutal.

29. 29. Don’t be so scared of injury and so obsessed with form that you forget to kick ass in the gym. But don’t be a jackass about it either and ignore obvious warning signs.

30. 30. When life gets hard, work hard. Fight back, kick your own ass before anyone else has the chance – you’ll steal their power and build armor.

31. 31. Are you in this for life? The test: Average people look for any excuse not to go to the gym, like a minor injury. Dedicated people find a way to work around injuries… and snowstorms, and holidays, and damn near anything else.

32. 32. Sprained wrist? Use machines that don’t require your grip. Busted knee? Great time to focus on your upper body. Don’t discount unilateral training either. Just be in the gym. Don’t fall out of the routine of kicking butt.

33. 33. Think like a machine, not an emotional wreck who needs permission and approval and happy feelings at all times in order to be consistent.

34. 34. Embrace movement. You’re really going to train hard in the gym, then take the escalator and roll your luggage?

35. 35. The newer you are to weight training and fitness the more important it is to follow conventional rules. Learn the rules so that you know how to bend and break them to your benefit in the future.

36. 36. Bodybuilding, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, CrossFit, strongman. All of these involve people training hard with weights. It’s a small community. Maybe it’s time to stop hating on those who decide to lift weights a little differently than you do.

Diet & Nutrition

37. 37. When it comes to fat loss, genetics may somewhat “load the gun” but you don’t have to pull the trigger and reload twice.

38. 38. If the way you eat is working – body, mind, and ease of effort – then ignore diet trends that complicate things further. Rely on the knowledge you’ve gathered from prior experiences.

39. 39. Change your diet if it’s not working. If you’ve become so steeped in the culture of your particular diet that you continue to use it even when it stops working, then you have drank the Kool-Aid. Practice saying “baa baa” because you’re a sheep.

40. You can find a study to support any dietary strategy you want to believe in. But can you be honest with yourself and admit when what you’re doing has stopped working? Be open to other possibilities. Find what works, then evolve.

41. 41. Start conservatively with your fat loss efforts. Diets that work long term don’t make you feel like crap. If yours does then you’ve gone overboard and you won’t be able to maintain it.

42. 42. If your diet makes you act like a bitch, it’s not going to last for long. You’re going to fall off the wagon. Unless of course you were a bitch before you started.

43. 43. Carb-phobia is a great way to stop building muscle. Working out without building muscle is a great way to look average. Don’t be average.

44. 44. Having flat, carb-depleted muscles may make you look smaller, but it’ll also make you weaker and lower your work capacity in the gym. Being weak and unable to work harder for longer periods of time is a recipe for stagnation.

45. 45. Minutiae only matters when all the obvious pieces of your diet are in place. Focus on mastering one thing at a time. Start with the major stuff. Worry first about that package of cookies or chips you’re killing every night instead of your Vitamin C intake.

46. 46. The term “beer belly” was created for a reason. There’s an obvious way to avoid getting one.

47. 47. Don’t sacrifice year-round leanness for special-occasion leanness. If a competition diet makes you fat after the competition is over, you did it wrong.

48. 48. Know a guy who can eat whatever he wants and still look shredded? Don’t eat like him, unless he’s you.

49. 49. You are not your family. Nor are you locked in to your genetic predisposition. You can choose differently. You can transform your body and your appetite by consistently making better choices.

50. 50. Keeping a food log is the best way to learn how your body behaves with different diet plans. That said, if you have to track every calorie and every macro every single day in order to stay on target, then you’re not learning anything anymore. You’re not controlling your diet. It’s controlling you.

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