Can anyone build Muscle? How important are Genetics?
Genetics will determine how far you can go and at what speed in bodybuilding. There is a reason the term “non-responders” was created and yes, they do exist!
There really are some guys that go to the gym religiously, Train hard, Eat correctly, Enough Rest and Recover, just about everything is dialed in and yet these guys can still struggle to grow.
Likewise, there are guys that walk into the gym for the first time, hit a few exercises, go home, skip meals, party and late nights, and grow like weeds!
Genetics unfortunately, do indeed play an important role for the guy who wants to pack on some muscle. In fact genetics play an important role in many areas including the type of weight your body is made up of,
your body’s ability to lose weight, or cut bodyfat, skinny man genetics, fat man genetics.. These may seem daft terms, but there’s more truth in these terms than many believe.
We could go into the scientific data on why some of us respond well, and why others don’t, but that’s not really the point of this article.
This article is designed to give you your best chance at gaining muscle, and if it don’t work, then OK, we found a non-responder. But, don’t be dismayed, even if you are hard gainer, aka a non-responder, following this article and putting into place everything that I touch on, WILL help you to build Muscle tissue.
DIET & TRAINING, REST & RECUPERATION
No matter how hard you train, if you don’t have your diet dialed in, you will not grow.
You wont grow in the Gym whilst you train, sure you are pumping up muscle, ripping down tissue ready for re-growth, but your eating, your Rest & Recover afterwards determines how well you will grow.
Your diet must consist of lots of protein. A good rule of thumb to follow is 1gram of protein per lb of bodyweight. eg the 200lb guy is eating 200grams of protein per day.
Now don’t limit yourself on 1gram per lb. If you can eat more, great, Do just that! Your minimum amount of protein to be eating in order to add size is at least the gram per lb of bodyweight. If your eager 2grams wont hurt!
Regarding Carbohydrates I need to be eating at least 250grams of carbs per day to continue training. Although during a contest prep diet, I will play with my carb intake. Likewise, bulking, and my carb intake will rise dramatically. Fats will often be around 20% of my total calorie intake but this can change depending on my goal.
Hints – Eat quick usable carbs before your workout. Eat your post workout meal within an hour of your training session.
Diet as we have learned is highly important, but of course, just as important is the training session. The amount of guys in the gym I see training upper body day in and day out, or just going through the motions without any real effort, or spending most of the session chatting shit on there phones and then wonder why they don’t grow! Your sessions need to be structured.
Mondays could be Chest and Triceps, Tuesdays Legs, Wednesdays Back and Biceps, Thursdays Calves, Fridays Shoulders and Traps.
Note for me, I like to put calves in on there own day on a Thursday, its a lagging bodypart for many including myself, and thus it gets its own day so I can focus entirely onto it.
I don’t allow my body to get used to a particular format, eg Mondays isn’t always chest day, or chest isn’t always paired with triceps, the idea is to keep the body guessing by throwing slightly alternative Formats into the equation keeping the body guessing and uncomfortable.
You can’t just train a bodypart and go through the motions. This is why i like to log my workouts and i will attempt during every single session to improve on at least one exercise. Even if its just a couple more reps on last weeks weight. Providing i am always improving, i know i am always progressing.
Don’t stay in the number game. Many guys will be doing 3 sets of 10 reps… WHY??? Why 10? OK we know that 10 is a number we can aim for, but don’t sell yourself short. Its the last reps that will build your Muscle, so don’t reach the last rep of your set of 10 reps, and put the bar down if there was another rep sitting in there, it was that other rep sitting in there that would have put more muscle onto your body than any other Rep you did before it combined!!
Pick a weight that you THINK you will fail on when you hit that 10th rep, but if there’s an 11th rep, 12th, or even a 13th, do them as they are your growing reps!
You should keep this same mindset throughout your workout. No matter the exercise, make sure those last reps are truly the last reps, the only reps you could get, you really couldn’t of got one more rep.
Don’t spend too much time on isolation type exercises. Your size will come from the getting the basics done. Of course, isolators do have a place, but for overall size, exercises such as (example:- close grip bench press ) for triceps is always going to trump triceps kickback’s for muscle size.
Rest & recuperation
Just as important as Diet and Training, is your Rest and Recuperation. You can’t grow if your body is never allowed to relax and start the re-growing process.
Whilst you sleep, your body is rebuilding from the days events that were demanded of it.
Finally supplements. Do they have a place in bodybuilding? Yes I do believe so, but often only if your diet above is lacking.
Sure Creatine can be a very useful addition to any muscle building program, but I’m not a huge fan of Whey Protein and BCAA which you can get in much better form and quality from your diet via real food.
If your in a rush, and your only option is the Whey Protein shake, then sure, it’s better than going without, but since we are maximizing our chances of building muscle with this guide, then I will always say Real food only and always and often.