Have you ever been ashamed to take off your shirt in the public? Have people laughed at you and given you hurtful nicknames because of your physique? Do women never even give you a chance because of the way you look? And do men treat you like rubbish just because they think they can push you around?
It’s not your fault that you’re skinny. It’s a sad story to tell, but the truth is that you’re not the one responsible. And the truth is also that you would be able to put on muscles almost at will if you know the right things. Unfortunately though, the truth has been hidden away from you. This is probably because of money.
It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly misguided vast majority of the population is in the gym to develop their muscles. Everyone is desperate for that wide, powerful and muscular physique, yet very few understand how to properly channel their efforts to get there.
For most aspiring muscle builders, it’s all about building a huge chest and arms. Week after week they slave away on endless sets of bench presses and barbell curls in search of the rippling muscle gains they want so badly.
While a well-developed chest and arms are clearly an important part of any complete physique the truth is that these muscles only play a small role when compared to a much larger and intricate muscle group that most people severely neglect in their training programmes.
The principles behind the Muscle Growth Formula are so simple. It’s much more interesting to say ‘Add 6 inches to your biceps overnight using this obscure exercise that you won’t ever be able to do properly’.
If you want to appear as wide, thick and powerful as you possibly can, nothing will allow you to achieve this faster than a well-developed back.
In fact, 70 per cent of your upper body muscle mass resides in this area!
Nothing can replace the upper body thickening effect of big, bulging lats and a set of wide, tall trapezius muscles.
There are four major movements that you must perform to properly develop your back.
I cannot possibly stress the importance of this lift enough. There is not a single exercise out there that can even come close to matching the effectiveness of a basic bent-legged barbell dead lift.
The dead lift would work you from finger to neck to toe and is irreplaceable in developing strong, thick back muscles. The dead lift would stimulate growth throughout the entire back complex and should be the cornerstone of your routine.
A Vertical Pulling Movements:
These exercises mainly target the lat muscles and would help you to attain that wide, v-tapered look from behind. Examples of vertical pulling movements are chin-ups (overhand or underhand), lat pull downs and v-bar pull downs.
To get the most bangs for your buck, I recommend a basic overhand chin-up. This is the bread and butter of vertical pulling movements and would stimulate growth in the lats like no other exercise.
A Horizontal Pulling Movement:
Otherwise referred to as ‘rows’, horizontal pulling movements place their emphasis on the upper/middle portion of the back and also stimulate the lats. There are a ton of different rowing movements to choose from: bent over barbell rows, dumbbell rows, seated machine rows and cable rows just to name a few.
For maximum results stick to a basic free-weight rowing movement. Bent over barbell rows is usually recommended, but bent over dumbbell rows are acceptable choice as well.
A Shrugging Movement:
While not quite as important as the above mentioned lifts, a shrugging movement should still be performed at the end of the workout to target the upper traps and develop that mountainous, diamond-shaped look from behind. A basic barbell or dumbbell shrug will do the trick.
All together, Dead lifts – 2 sets of 5 to 7 reps, Overhand Chin-ups – 2 sets of 5 to 7 reps, Bent Over Barbell Rows – 2 sets of 5 to 7 reps, Barbell Shrugs – 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps.
For optimal gains in back size and strength, the above routine is ideal.
It may not seem like a lot, but as long as you take every set to muscular failure and focus on quality rather than quantity, this routine provides more than enough stimulation for maximum back growth. I’ve used this same routine for many years and continue to see steady progress in both back size and strength.
Make sure to keep a written record of every workout that you perform and focus each week on increasing either the weight that you lift or the number of reps that you perform within the given rep range.
Perform this workout once per week with full effort and I guarantee that your upper body will appear thicker, wider and more muscular than ever before.
Are you making any of these costly mistakes?
Killer Mistake 1:
Probably the most common mistake I see people making is over training. Have you ever gone to the gym seven days a week in the hope that you would be better for it? In most areas of your life, this sort of thinking works well.
If you want to get good marks in school, studying harder will help you get there. But building muscle is different. I’ve found through experimentation that training less is actually the answer.
Obviously, you can’t train for two minutes a week and expect to get results, but if you can get yourself down to the gym three times a week for 30 minutes each time, you’ll be one step closer to the body you truly want.
When I first told people this, they didn’t believe me. But after trying it out themselves, they were pleasantly surprised. If you gain only one thing from this site, make sure it’s this.
Killer Mistake 2:
If you’ve ever tried to put on muscle without seriously considering your diet, then you’re wasting your time. While you don’t have to be super- fussy, but if you’re making a couple of crucial mistakes in your diet, you don’t stand a chance of putting on solid muscle.
This is especially true for ‘hard gainers’. If you think you are one, think again. In almost every case of this I’ve seen, not eating enough is the main problem. So, if you’ve been working out well but still haven’t seen any results, start eating more.
How much you need to eat varies from person to person, but if you can’t gain weight, you need to eat more. Add this to the right amount of training and you’ll be another step closer to taking off your shirt at the beach and strutting around like you own the place.
Killer Mistake 3:
What percentage of your muscle gains do you think will come from supplements? 50 per cent? 60 per cent? If you think the answer is anywhere near that number, you’re sadly making mistake number three.
While supplements aren’t evil they won’t build you the muscle that you may think they can. They aren’t magic pills, they won’t make up for being slack at the gym and they will almost never live up to the claims made in their advertising.
Think of supplements just like you would for food. Would you expect eating chicken to give you some magical muscle building power? Of course, not but for some reasons, many people believe this of supplements.
So, next time you see a big advert for a miracle supplement, remember this mistake and it would hopefully save your wallet from another beating.
Basic Equipment That Your Home Gym Should Contain
An Adjustable Barbell With Free-weight Plates:
A cast iron set is probably a good idea and you must also make sure that you purchase enough weight so that you can continually progress from week to week.
This is much more efficient and cost-effective than purchasing an entire set of dumbbells. You should be able to buy the barbell and dumbbells together in a single set.
A Bench With Incline Adjustments:
A good sturdy bench is a must-have for performing bench presses and other seated movements. If possible you should purchase a bench that can be set on an incline and also contains safety catches if you plan to be training alone.
A Chin-up Bar:
These can usually be purchased for 15-20 dollars and can be placed inside of a door frame.
A Squat Rack:
This is usually the trickiest piece of equipment to purchase, as a full squat rack can be pricey. Squats are irreplaceable movements and should always be a part of your workout routine, especially if you don’t have a leg press machine handy.
If you can’t afford a squat rack then you’ll have to be creative. The bottom line is that you must have some sorts of apparatus that would allow you to safely un-rack a loaded bar and drop the bar onto a safety catch (or the floor) if your strength gives out during the lift.
Don’t ever squat without a safe place to drop the bar! Most full squat racks would also provide a chin-up bar on top, so you can kill two birds with one stone if you decide to purchase one.
So, there you have it, the five pieces of basic equipment that are needed to set up a home gym. As long as you have these basic tools in your arsenal you can perform an equally effective workout without ever having to join a traditional gym to develop your muscles.