When I first started coaching people, I used to overemphasise the importance of certain nutritional choices or training strategies. I used to say things like, carbs are the devil and cardio is ‘needed’ to lose fat. This isn’t because I was an eccentric, excitable person who likes to exaggerate. I just thought I was right and was forming my opinion based on the ideologies of the “gurus” in the industry. The more I learn, the more I come back to the basics and all the research helps ground the pillars of knowledge and aids in debunking myths.
Today, I formulate my opinions based on the scientific evidence that presents itself, as well as what I’ve anecdotally observed by working with many clients over the years.
To that end, when working with clients, I ensure before anything else, that they are nailing the basics. Once the basics are set, all the other sexy stuff can be added when/if needed.
So without further ado, here’s my 6 evidenced based muscle building pillars of success:
1. Progressively overload
- With your training plan, you want to be progressively overloading, simply put, attempt to lift more or do more reps than you did on the previous session.
2. Train hard
- Training intensity is huge, if you’re not pushing yourself close to failure or achieving complete failure during each session, you’re drastically limiting your potential.
3. Eat adequate protein
- From 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight, around 1.8 grams is a good number to aim for.
4. Get plenty of sleep
- This is age dependent, but ideally you’ll need to have between 7 to 8 hours sleep per night.
5. Create a slight surplus
- You CAN develop muscle tissue and strength in a deficit, but from an optimality point of view, it’s much better to create a slight caloric surplus.
6. Remain consistent
- I’d be remiss to write a post without mentioning consistency. In fact, I owe my current physique to this!
As you can see, I’ve not said anything advanced, anything sexy and I’ve likely not mentioned something you don’t already know. But what makes post like this so important is that they highlight the basics. Most people have a good knowledge of what they need to do, just sometimes we need to be reminded that what we're doing is the right thing. The misinformation can lead people to focus on the wrong areas. Don't be influenced by the newest sexy trends, just nail the basics and I promise you'll do well!