1. Don’t spend more than an hour in the gym, or your body will start releasing a stress related hormone called cortisol, which is associated with muscle loss. The 60 minute rule applies to any high intensity exercise.
2. Remember that bodybuilding is an art and requires serious concentration to achieve a proper mind muscle link. The mind-muscle link is important for recruiting muscle fibres when lifting heavy weights. Over time, with practice, you should be able to recruit more muscle fibres from each muscle, allowing you to lift more weight on each exercise.
3. To continually build more muscle, you need to keep increasing the intensity of your training. It is therefore essential to your progress as a bodybuilder that you achieve maximum intensity in each and every work set at the gym.
4. Use an ever increasing training intensity, suited to yourself. For someone who hasn’t been to the gym in the last few months, just going is ‘high intensity’. After a month or two, supersets are worthwhile. After super-setting for a couple of months, include drop sets, pre-exhaustions, timed sets, post-exhaustions, super slow sets and everything you can imagine on every work set. Training to a higher intensity than your body is used to signal your body to grow more muscle. Training to too high intensity too quickly can leave you over-trained, which makes you feel like you have flu and is awful.
5. Every 3-4 weeks, perform a testosterone boosting workout, followed by 3 days rest for maximum results. By this, I mean go to the gym and do 10 sets of super slow fullsquats, starting with a weight that allows 12 slow, controlled reps for your first set and adding weight each set until you can only manage 2-3 reps on your 6th or 7th set. Then, reduce weight and increase reps again up until your 10th and final set. Take a 90 second rest between sets and complete the workout within 20-30 minutes.
6. Finish each workout with a fast set of 100 light, controlled reps on a body part worked in your previous workout, i.e. if you trained your back Monday, then on Wednesday you train your legs, and then end your leg workout with a set od 100 light pull-downs, aiming for a maximum muscular burn.
7. Emphasize the negative part of your reps for maximum muscle gains. 1 rep super slow sets, such as a 1 minute-rep on the pull-ups, i.e. 20 seconds in positive phase and 40 seconds in negative phase, really work the muscles and give big results.
8. A true high intensity workout should involve no more than 12-18 work sets. If you can do more than this, then you aren’t trying hard enough. Each work set should leave you out of breath, sweating, maybe a little light headed due to blood flow to muscles.
9. For some reason, many people avoid training their legs, despite them being the biggest muscle in your body and having a big effect on overall progress.
10. Warm up for each work set by performing 1-3 sets with 20%, 40% and 60% of your work set weight. Do not reduce your work set ability, but feel the movement and prepare yourself mentally for the work set.
11. Use a full range of movement for each and every exercise, without stressing your joints. Follow this principle 95% of the time, other than for forced reps at the end of a set.
12. Use partial reps occassionally, to allow your body to feel a heavier weight for maximum overload, or to achieve more reps on the same weight, for bigger muscle pumps.