With all the conflicting information out there, that can be quite the challenge. But contained within this heap of tips and advice lay a few golden nuggets.
Heeding the following suggestions will allow you to form a strong foundation for your efforts at bulking-up, and cut your learning curve dramatically. And with a shorter learning curve comes faster results.
1. Don’t constantly change your workout program.
The idea of ‘confusing’ the muscles to get faster results certainly holds some merit, but people can take this idea a bit too far, especially when it comes to building muscle. They change up their routine so much they're not giving anything a chance to work its magic. Stick with a particular routine for at least a couple of months.
2. Be careful of getting consumed by information, and forgetting to apply what you have learned.
If you are just starting out, naturally you are going to go into research mode and learn about different kinds of exercises, proper form, recommended diets and all that good stuff. This is important—it will help you develop an effective strategy, and can really motivate you to keep going. But, many newbies make the mistake of too much information and not enough action.
If this resonates with you, go on a media fast for at least a week, and just focus on the ‘doing'. By now you probably have a good grasp of the basics, so work off that.
3. Your muscles will not explode overnight, and impatience is probably the number one killer of efforts to improve physique.
We expect to be a different person after a couple of weeks and, when that doesn’t happen, our enthusiasm deflates and we give up. If you want to take supplements for bulking, for example, it can take at least a few weeks before you will be able to see that they are enhancing your efforts in any way, so be patient and consistent with their use.
Focus on short-term goals where results will not take as long to see to keep you motivated over the long-haul.
4. No matter how sophisticated or scientifically sound your workout may be, it won't mean diddle if your exercise efforts are haphazard.
A sloppy routine performed with consistency would net better results. Not only will consistency transform your body in the way you want, it will provide mental benefits, like enhanced self-esteem, which will make you more motivated to stick to your workouts, adopt a better diet, and do all the other things that are required to get the body you want.
5. Keep track of your progress.
It's easy to fall into a routine with your workouts, or rely more heavily on it as a form of social interaction. You lose sight of why you started doing this in the first place, and just go through the motions without paying attention to whether what you are doing is actually giving you results.
Make a plan for your workouts. Set specific goals of what you want to achieve, and check in regularly to see how you are doing, and what needs to be tweaked. You can’t reach a goal unless you clearly define it, and analyze whether the steps you are taking are working.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others.
This can be really hard because comparing yourself to others is probably one of the things that got you on this kick in the first place. But, try really hard not to do this. There will ALWAYS be people who have more muscle, are leaner, bigger and stronger, and this is a truth for everyone, not just people like yourself who are starting from zero.
Focus on yourself, and don’t base your efforts around trying to be ‘more than’ others. Be in competition with yourself, always trying to up your own personal best.
If you can take these pieces of advice and actually apply them, you are well on your way to getting the body you want.