I can tell you from firsthand experience, it’s not easy packing on pounds of lean muscle mass.

As someone who has struggled mightily in the past, I know a thing or two about a thing or two.

In an effort to save you years of frustration, here are some guidelines you oughta follow.

No fluff, no quackery, no-nonsense.

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1. Consistency trumps intensity

 

If you’re a complete newbie, provided you stay consistent, those gains will come quick.

Once your body has become fully aware of the physical demands you’re putting it through, that’s where things start to become increasingly difficult — you have less room for error.

If there’s only one thing you can takeaway from this, it’s that you have to remain consistent. 

You need to train hard, and you need to do it often for a long time.

As much as it has to do with exercise selection or whatever program you’re following, showing up 3-4 days, 52 weeks out of the year is what’s going to make a difference.

As long there’s a level of progression, good things will happen.

2. Learn to love the basics

 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with variety or wanting to change things up. I’ve done it numerous times in the past, and still do so from time to time.

However, the perception that you HAVE to constantly “switch it up” is complete horse sh*t.

The body is amazingly adaptive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to find a new exercise to do every time you hit the gym.

Get strong at the basics, and learn to love them because they work. You’re not going to change your body doing curls or squats on a BOSU ball.

3.  Cardio is important, but prioritize lifting

 

Everybody will have their own opinion on how much cardio should one do. It’s a never ending debate.

Fact is, I’m not anti-cardio. There are a host of benefits by regularly training in an aerobic environment, and I think it’s a big mistake by not doing any cardio whatsoever.

However, if done in excess, that’s when it starts to interfere with strength and muscle gain.

Most people struggling to gain lean muscle mass, seemingly, fall into the trap of doing too much cardio.

I know I’ve been guilty of it.

For instance, if you’re always starting your workout with a one mile run, it’s going to have a negative impact because you’re expending most of your energy on the activity that’s not going to give you the biggest return.

If you want to optimize strength and muscular development, prioritize resistance training. Keep the cardio to a minimum. Don’t take things out of context, though. If you’re goal is primarily fat loss, don’t even think about skipping cardio.

Other Tidbits:

 

– Subpar nutrition can and will neutralize the best training. Don’t blame the program, blame the incessant need to stuff yourself with cupcakes, donuts and copious amounts of your favorite cocktail/alcoholic beverage.

– You don’t need to train borderline crazy to get quality results. Don’t overdo it. Your training is only as good as your ability to recover.

– Getting to bed on time, drinking more water, and eating your veggies are all the detoxification you need — and it sure does make a huge difference.

– If you’re truly pressed for time, always remember it’s better to get in something than nothing. Don’t play devil’s advocate and come up with reasons why you can’t do it. Make it a priority to get it done.

 

If you’re looking for a training resource that’s revolved around getting the most out of your workouts without wasting your time, I’ll be launching my new digital product on the 28th.

Check it out by clicking the link below.

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>>Assault<<

I’m stating the obvious when I say the vast majority don’t pay close enough attention to their cardiovascular health. Its importance gets lost in the pursuit of becoming bigger, leaner, and stronger.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but we need to appreciate that possessing a sufficient level of physical preparedness can yield a lot of benefits.

Being strong is one thing, but if walking up a flight of stairs leaves you panting, you have some work to do. You don’t want your conditioning to be the limiting factor.

To read the full article on STACKclick HERE.

>>The 4 Best Types of Cardio to Get in Shape Fast<<

1. Assault AirBike or AirDyne

 

What’s awesome about the Assault AirBike or AirDyne is that the harder you pedal, the more resistance you have. Sort of like a catch-22. If you don’t push yourself, you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for. The faster you pedal, you’ll be in the corner wondering what did you get yourself into.

This piece of equipment is also low impact, so if you’re looking for a way to improve your conditioning without beating up your low back or knees. It’s virtually impossible to get injured doing a max-effort sprint on this.

Reverse Tabata Assault AirBike

  • 4 minute warm-up at moderate pace
  • 4 minute work (10sec max-effort sprint, 20sec active recovery)
  • 4 minute cool down

If you’re a masochist, I challenge you to switch up the work-to-rest ratio.

2. VersaClimber

 

The VersaClimber has quickly become my worst enemy. I still get nightmares after my first encounter with them.

Much like the Assault AirBike, it involves the whole body and is low impact. Although, it is a bit more demanding (in my opinion) due to the larger amplitude of movement that is required.  Trust me, it won’t take long before you start to question your sanity once you start climbing.

Simply set up by placing your hands on the handle bar and feet on the pedals. Start at a moderate pace. From there, drive your feet and arms as hard and as fast as you can. Shoot for 6-10 rounds of 30-40 seconds. Rest as needed.

Collapse at the end.

 

3. Sled Work

 

If I was only given a handful of equipment, no question the sled would be on that list. Despite the fact that I envision near death every time I come close to one, I’d be remiss not to praise it.

I’m a firm believer that every gym should be equipped with a sled or prowler. It’s extremely versatile in terms of training variability. In addition to the training effect you can induce for conditioning purposes, it’s also a viable tool to increase your strength. More pressingly, it doesn’t have a steep learning curve — it doesn’t require a ton of coordination and is relatively easy to learn.

Just load it up and get after it.

Push it, pull it, press it, or drag it. You can’t go wrong with either.

 

4. Walking

 

Obviously, walking doesn’t carry the badge of a hardcore workout, and it won’t prepare you for any marathons or sprint triathlons. Unlike the rest of the bunch, though, it doesn’t add a ton of training stress.

In this day and age, seemingly, everyone is under the impression that training has to be gritty. Make no mistake, walking does wonders for the body. Not only does it help with recovery, but it also helps in establishing a base level of aerobic capacity. It’s also underrated for improvements in body composition.

Reap the benefits by walking 30-40 minutes 3-5 times a week.

Whether one’s goal is to get stronger, drop body fat, or to have buns of steel, professional instruction and guidance is huge — because when left to their own device, hardly does it ever yield long-term success.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire and appreciate anybody who takes the initiative to go about it on their own. Regardless of the route taken, I’m an advocate of anything that promotes a healthier lifestyle and frequent movement.

But, just like a ship without a captain, you don’t want to be wandering around without purpose and direction.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had conversations that go something like this:


“Hey Dre, my goal is to lose X amount of weight. I started working out a few weeks ago, but I haven’t noticed any changes.

MeDo you know how much you’re eating?

I’ve been eating healthy”

Me: Do you actually know how much you’re eating?

“No”

MeThere ya go.


With all that being said, the problem that many face — and fail to recognize — when they do hire a trainer/coach is thinking they’re going to get superior results in the blink of an eye.

Now, I’m exceptional at what I do, but come on — I’m not a magician. 

A personal trainer isn’t there to hold your hand. At the end of the day, you still have to put in the work.

I’ve been coaching people a little over four years now, and the one thing I always try impress upon them is that the work you put in the gym pales in comparison to what you do outside of it.

You still have to put in a considerable amount of effort on your end.

If you don’t make an effort to create good habits, the best coach in the world won’t solve your problems.

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be launching my first product, Assault, on November 28. If you’re interested in getting the most out of training to build lean muscle and shed body fat, get a FREE preview HERE before it comes out.

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