7 Rules of Bodybuilding

taken from Ironman Magazine, December 1995

1.Eat at least five times a day, every two to three hours. You must keep your system saturated with amino acids and glycogen from protein and carb sources, respectively, if you want to push muscle growth to abnormal levels. You never know when your body will need these precious nutrients. What's more, not eating every few hours can cause the starvation mechanism to kick in, which signals your body to begin consuming its own muscle tissue.

2.Center your bodybuilding program around the big compound movements, such as squats and presses. You should strive for maximum efficiency of effort, or to work as many muscle groups as possible with as few sets as possible. Squats, for example, train not only your quads but also your lower back and glutes, so direct work for the muscles that assist during the squat should be minimal. This leaves more of your recovery ability to help in the growth process when you're out of the gym.

3.Don't do more than 30 all-out work sets at any workout, and less is usually better. Overtraining is the number one reason most bodybuilders can't pack on muscle weight.

4.Don't train more than two days in a row. Your muscles aren't the only things that have to recover after a heavy workout; your entire nervous system needs a rest too.

5.Have a protein drink immediately after every traning session. Research indicates that boosting insulin levels right after an intense workout promotes muscle protein synthesis, which leads to faster growth.

6.Take a break after four to six weeks of high intensity training. Either take a full week off or downshift your intensity for two weeks. This lets you recuperate fully and in many cases promotes a new growth spurt.

7.Keep your cruise control on. Try to keep your cool during the day no matter what. Getting overly excited can stress you out and cause excessive energy burn, energy your body could be using to fuel extraordinary muscle growth.

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