A classic ‘Cro-cop’ pic.
… Excluding those on steroids.
Yes, some guys have better genetics than others. Mine are shitty. My first 7 years working out yielded no muscle gains, while other guys I grew up with put on muscle like it was nobody’s business.
But, good genetics and shitty genetics aside, guys who are jacked do share a few of the same characteristics when it comes to their routines and their lifestyles.
1. ‘The Jacked’ know how to avoid plateus
A big difference between my training routine when I was younger and my training routine now, is variety. When I was younger I’d do the same workout for months on end. I’d maybe get some results in the beginning, but they’d disappear right around the 4th or 5th week, which was frustrating as hell.
Mixing up your weekly splits, how you’re training, lifting heavy sometimes for higher reps others, but also what exercises you’re doing and the tempo you’re completing them at is very important to your overall success.
Anyone can gain a few lean pounds, but if you’re going to put on some serious lean muscle mass you’re going to have to learn how to avoid plateauing.
2. Eat enough to gain weight
Too many skinny guys think they eat enough to put on weight, but the reality is that an active person with a high metabolism has to eat a lot to actually gain consistent pounds.
When I figured out exactly how much I actually had to eat using a BMR calculator as well as figuring out how many calories I burn through activity on a weekly and daily basis, I was then able to pinpoint exactly how much I should be eating. If you’re not eating more calories than you’re burning, then you’re not going to put on lean muscle mass.
3. ‘The Jacked’ know that building muscle is one part working hard and smart, and one part recovery
A HUGE mistake I made early on was spending too much time in the gym. I was in there 5,6, even 7 days a week if you include boxing or basketball practice. I’d get sick every couple of months because my body was worn down, not to mention the fact that I was a twig for so long.
Now I rarely get sick, I spend less time in the gym, and I’ve put on 40 pounds of muscle since I began doing things right.
It’s not that it takes less work, it’s just that quality training outdoes pure quantity any day.
The goal is to build lean muscle mass not just any muscle mass – agree?
Get the majority of your calories in early on. Have a big breakfast, a solid pre-workout meal, and a big meal after you train. That’s when your body needs the most nutrients because you have just depleted it of them through intense exercise; after that, begin to taper down your calories, ending with a small snack a couple hours before bed time that is high in lean protein and good fats but lower in carbohydrates.
But make sure you’re getting enough calories in each day!
My ‘go-to’ late night snack: a bowl of cottage cheese (I’m not big on measuring) + handful of almonds + blueberries.
What mistakes have you made in the past that you have now corrected?
And how did you figure out how to correct them?