Few guys want to accept the harsh reality - muscle mass is directly related to strength gains. This isn't just a scientific fact, but also an anecdotal one: legend Arnold Schwarzenegger and his mentor Reg Park could both Deadlift over 700lbs and developed world class physiques as a result. Few guys understand that pump, soreness, reaching failure and even rep range do NOT matter if you're not getting stronger. Several of my StrongLifts Members gained more muscIe their first 5 months on StrongLifts 5x5 than their 5 previous years doing those silly bodybuilding split routines - while training less!
With 2011 coming closer, I ask you - are you lifting more weight today than at the start of 2010? Are you Squatting more than 6 months ago? Has your Deadlift increased? If not: what the hell have you been doing this year?
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To gain muscle mass, you need to increase the resistance systematically by simply adding weight to the bar. This - Progressive Loading - is the real secret to raw muscular bodies gains. Here are the other imperatives... Barbells - natural movements, force you to stabilize the weight yourself, allow for heavier weights than dumbbells, and the only way to Squat/Deadlift heavy. Compounds - allow for heavier weights than isolation exercises because you're using several muscIes at a time, prevent musc1e group favoritism. Food - critical for maximum recovery and growth, eat like a horse first, then get at least 1g/lb of protein per day - and this doesn't need to come from shakes.
Rest - most guys do way too many exercises and train way too frequently, musc1e need rest for growth - less is more. Technique - you can lift more with proper technique and gain more muscIe using a full ROM than with partials because the distance the bar travels is longer. Consistency - expect, on average, 25 pounds of raw muscle gain your first year of training, you got to be consistent, this is a marathon not a sprint.
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