1. Use compound exercises that recruit maximal muscle fibers. Save the isolation exercises for when you have a solid foundation.
2. Focus on getting stronger.
3. Eat a carbohydrate and protein dense meal post-workout.
4. Allow at least 48 hours between intense workouts for recovery.
5. Use free weights. Machines are fine, but free weights are where the gold is.
6. Drink enough water. Stay fully hydrated.
7. Eat. If you’re not at least eating maintenance calories, it’s going to be hard to put on muscle.
8. Focus on quality nutrition, and not just calories and macronutrients. Nutrient density is key.
9. Sleep at least 8 hours a night.
10. Train your legs. Don’t be a beach bodybuilder (ie only train chest and arms).
11. Get under the bar and squat.
12. Eat the majority of your calories around your workout.
13. Eat shortly after your workout to maximize muscle glycogen storage.
14. Eat enough protein. Aim for at least 1 gram/lb of lean body mass to maintain protein synthesis.
15. Periodize your workouts. Create structure out of variation to continue getting stronger.
16. Eat your essential fatty acids (EFAs). Fish oil is your friend.
17. Be consistent with your exercise and nutrition. Don’t skip days.
18. Make sure you’re getting stronger from workout to workout. Add weight, reps, or reduce rest periods.
19. Lift with intensity.
20. Get under the bar and squat. Did I already say that?
21. Lift heavy.
22. Be patient. If you put on .5lbs of muscle a week, you’re doing great.
23. Keep a training journal. You need to know the weight and reps you’re trying to beat.
24. Don’t just wing your workouts. Have a plan before you get to the gym.
25. Keep a food journal.
26. Utilize active recovery.
27. Be realistic. We all have our genetic limits. However, chances are, your limits are further away than you think!
28. Supplements are not necessary, but fish oil, protein powders, and vitamins won’t hurt.
29. Train to failure. This is debatable, but used sparingly, the results don’t lie.
30. There’s no need for gender specific workouts. Muscle is muscle.
31. Get under the bar and squat :P
32. Take body fat measurements so you can track your lean body mass gains.
33. Take before and after progress pictures so you can see if your training program is on the right track.
34. Limit cardio. If you want some cardiovascular training, up the intensity of your workouts.
35. Implement dynamic stretching to improve performance.
36. Give your body a reason to grow. Don’t let it adapt.
37. Use exercises like the bench press, squat, deadlift, rows, and variations thereof.
38. Give your central nervous system a break too. Several back to back days of intense lifting can burn you out.
39. Take a week or two off every few months for complete recovery of your muscle, tendons, joints, and mind.
40. Get a workout partner if you need a little extra push.
41. Optimize your natural hormones (testosterone, growth hormone, IGF-1) with short but intense workouts.
42. Eat solid food. Protein shakes are fine, but they aren’t replacements for real food.
43. Time your carbs or implement carbohydrate cycling to keep fat gain minimal.
44. Educate yourself. If you’re reading this, you’re on the right path. Read everything you can about fitness.
45. Have fun with your workouts. If you don’t enjoy them, you won’t stick with them.
46. Make pre-workout nutrition just as much of a priority as your post-workout nutrition. Fuel your workouts.
47. As a beginner, use 2-3 full body workouts a week. Turn that into a split with more recovery as your experience level advances.
48. Don’t be afraid to eat at night. Weight gain occurs as a result of excess calories, not from eating after 7pm.
49. Use proper form. Exercise your muscles and not your ego.
50. Last but not least, get under the bar and squat!