As you progressed in school, you likely found that the required reading was becoming more and more cumbersome. More books, more pages, less time. In your search for some relief, you found Cliffs Notes — the almighty timesaving redeemer of many a student’s report card. These condensed reads offered a quicker way to get through the diffuse material of Melville, Hemingway and Shakespeare by highlighting the main points and trimming out the fat.
Think of this list in the same way, as a summation of the volumes of literature that have been written on muscle building over the years. The 20 tips, presented by section but not in any particular order of importance, encompass the broad spectrum of areas that require your attention for gaining mass: training, nutrition, supplements and equipment. No philosophical debate, no hidden meaning, no tidy denouement of narrative — here, you’ll just find the most authoritative, scientific and time-proven methods for packing on pounds of lean muscle, ready for you to put to use and ace your physique-transformation test.
SECTION NO. 1: TRAINING
1. Warm up properly. As you gain experience, your muscles, tendons and ligaments will be subjected to much more stress than when you first started. To reduce the chance of injury, increase your warm-up time proportionally. As you advance from beginner to intermediate status, three to four light and medium warm-up sets of your first weightlifting exercise of the day, after five to 10 minutes of a general warm-up on the bike or treadmill, can help adequately prepare muscles for the heavy lifting ahead.