Frustrating, isn’t it?
You want to become strong. So you work out every day squeezing time from your busy schedule.
But as you walk to the gym, you feel a tinge of fear.
A question pops up in your head. “Am I doing something wrong?”
Because you’re just not seeing the results you want.
Your lifts are not progressing. You’re not building muscle. And you’re not getting stronger.
You rack your brains thinking what could be the problem?
Maybe you’re doing the wrong exercises. Maybe your diet sucks. Or maybe you’re not buying the right supplements.
Do you have to give up on getting bigger and stronger?
Here’s my advice—Don’t.
Because you can become big and strong as hell.
All you need to do is be aware of the 3 workout myths that are stealing your time, strength, and money.
So are you ready to become strong?
Myth #1: You need to work out every day
You go to the gym every day but you’re not getting stronger.
You got your workout program from a fitness magazine. So it should work, right? I mean a bodybuilder wrote that program. And if you can’t trust a bodybuilder, who can you trust?
But here’s the bad news.
Most bodybuilders are juiced up to their eyeballs with steroids. Their workout programs might work for steroid users but they won’t work for you (assuming you’re natural).
And their workout programs will not make you strong. Because bodybuilders have puffy muscles but are not as strong as you think. Bodybuilding is just an illusion to look big.
So dump the workout program from that fitness magazine because it’s not going to work for you.
The time-tested workout to build strength
The workout that works best for natural people is a full-body workout that uses heavy, compound exercises.
Yeah, you know, exercises that work several muscles together. Exercises like squats, dead lifts, bench press, overhead press, and barbell rows.
Compound exercises are great because you’re working out multiple muscles with one exercise.
And since they are quite taxing, you need to spend a day to recover for your next workout.
This means you spend less time in the gym.
You just need to perform full-body workouts three times a week to get strong. Hell, you could get away with two times a week if you’re really pressed for time. But three times per week is what works best.
Each full-body workout takes less than an hour. So it saves even more of your time.
Don’t waste your time doing warm-ups
Everyone says you should do warm-ups, right?
“Run on the treadmill for 20 minutes to get warmed up”.
But that’s bad advice. Because warm-ups using cardio exercises or stretching are actually bad for you. They’ll lower your performance in the gym and may increase the risk of injury.
Now, don’t get me wrong. You do need to warm-up before performing full-body workouts.
But you don’t need to spend minutes on the treadmill. And neither do you need any stretching.
The best way to warm-up is using the full-body exercise itself.
So, if you’re going to perform squats, warm-up with squats. If you’re performing the bench press, warm-up with bench press.
This warm-up helps you in two ways:
- It helps warm-up your muscles till you reach your working set. This will improve your performance of the exercise.
- It helps you get comfortable performing the exercise with the proper form before you hit your working set. This will lower your risk of injury.
So how do you warm-up?
Start with light weight. And then progress your way up to your working weight. So if you’re going to squat 100 lbs, start your warm-up squats with 20 lbs, then 40 lbs, then 80 lbs till you reach your working weight of 100 lbs. You can perform 5 to 10 reps for each warm-up set.
The one thing you need to get strong
There’s just one thing you absolutely must do to get strong.
Do it right and you’ll make awesome strength gains. Do it wrong and your strength gains will suck.
It’s progressive overload.
It’s a fancy word that means you try to better your performance with every workout. So if you bench press 100 lbs in a workout, you try to bench press 105 lbs the next workout.
You challenge your body to handle heavier weights and your body responds by getting bigger and stronger.
When you’re a beginner, strength gains will come rapidly. You’ll lift heavier weights every week. But sometimes you’ll not be able to.
Don’t worry because there are other ways to achieve progressive overload.
You could try to increase the number of reps or sets that you perform. So instead of 5 sets of 5 reps, you could try to go for 5 sets of 6 reps or 6 sets of 5 reps.
Keep progressing over a sufficient period of time and you’ll get strong as hell.
Myth #2: You need to eat big to get big
Hate it or love it.
You need to eat food to get bigger and stronger.
More food gives you more calories. More calories will give your body the fuel to perform better in the gym. And help your body recover and become stronger after intense workouts.
But how much food should you eat? Do you need to stuff yourself till you’re bursting at the seams? Eat big to get big?
The eat big to get big works fine for bodybuilders on steroids because the drugs keep them lean. But when you’re natural, eat big to get big will only make you fat.
Sure, you’ll gain strength but you’ll gain a lot of fat as well.
Now if all you care about is strength and don’t mind getting fat then eat whatever the hell you want. But if you want to stay lean while gaining strength then here’s what to do.
Track your food to get stronger without getting fat
1. Calculate your TDEE
Your body requires a certain number of calories to survive every day. It uses these calories for your organs to function. This is called as Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is the total of your BMR and the calories you use for physical activities.
2. Figure out your calorie surplus
When you eat more food than your TDEE, you’re in a calorie surplus.
To get stronger, you can eat 300 calories more than your TDEE. This is a moderate number of calories so you gain strength and as little fat as possible.
3. Calculate your macro-nutrients
Eating more calories does not mean you can eat like crap.
To build strength and muscle, you need high-quality food that gives your body the right macro-nutrients like proteins, fats, and carbs. And the right micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Protein is the number one macro-nutrient you need to build muscle and get stronger. You need 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. The rest of your calories can be from carbs and fats.
4. Track the foods that you eat every day
I know you hate it.
You don’t want to track every food you eat.
But here’s the thing.
If you don’t track what you eat, you don’t know how many good quality calories you are eating.
So, you need to track the foods that you eat. Don’t worry because it gets easier as you do it every day. And soon you will do it without even realizing it.
5. Track your progress every day
The best way to stay motivated is to track your progress every day.
It’s as easy as keeping a simple notebook as a workout journal.
Write down the exercises you perform, the sets and reps you perform, and the weights you lift in the journal. You can also write down your body weight measurements in it.
This journal will help you measure the progress you’re making every week.
As long as you’re making progress, keep doing what you’re doing. If your progress stops or slows down, it’s time to change what you’re doing.
Maybe you need to increase your calorie intake. Or maybe you need to lower your workout intensity. Or maybe you need to take a few days off from the gym.
The diet that won’t make you insane
Everybody hates diets.
Who wants to eat chicken and rice every day? Not me.
The good news is that you don’t have to. You can enjoy the foods that you love and still make strength gains.
The diet that works great is flexible dieting.
It’s more of a lifestyle than a diet, really.
As long as you can hit your daily calorie and nutrient requirements, you can eat whatever you want.
Now, hold your horses and don’t start binge eating at McDonald’s.
It simply means that you eat 80 to 90 % of your calories from healthy foods and the remaining 10 to 20 % of your calories from any foods you want.
This ensures you don’t suffer cravings for your favorite ice cream or candy bar.
It’s completely fine to have a piece of your favorite food every day.
As long as most of your calories are from nutritious foods and you’re hitting your daily macro-nutrient requirements.
Myth #3: You need to spend your money on snake-oil salesmen
It’s the worst.
People trying to sell you pills and powders they claim will make you big and strong.
Who are these people?
They are the fitness magazines, body builders, and trainers that want to make a buck selling you supplements.
The truth: Most supplements don’t work. So don’t waste your money on them.
The only supplements that can help are protein powder, multivitamins, and fish oil.
You can make awesome strength gains without them. But some of them can make your life a little easier.
It can be a little tough eating the required protein from food every day especially if you’re busy and on the run.
Protein powder can help you because they are a cheap and convenient source of protein. Just have a couple of protein shakes in the day and it’s easier to hit your daily protein requirements.
A multivitamin can help you get essential vitamins and minerals that you might not get from foods.
Fish oil is good for your heart. It also helps protect your joints and reduce inflammation so you can recover faster from your workouts.
Use them for your convenience. But it’s completely fine if you don’t.
It’s your time to get strong
It sucks when you’re not getting stronger.
But imagine walking into the gym with awesome confidence. Knowing that you no longer worry about doing the wrong things.
Because you’re making amazing progress to get bigger and stronger. And your doing this without wasting time, effort, and money.
Yes, it’s now possible. Because you took the time to read this post.
Now you know exactly what exercises to do, what foods to eat, and what supplements to take to get the results you want.
All you need to do is take that first step.
It’s your time now.
Your time to get shockingly strong.