*Keep A Training Journal:
Detail and record your workout routines and poundages. Each week refer to them and select a few lifts on which to increase the weight. A log will provide a good indication of your training progress and of which exercises are working for you. This allows you to eliminate lifts that are not producing results.
*Eat Several Meals A Day:
Eating this way insures you are providing your body with adequate nutritional support. Frequent small meals provide a consistent supply of nutrients for the most efficient muscle growth. Many diets provide inadequate, below maintenance levels of calories and nutrition. This results in catabolism of muscle tissue.
Try to eat at least 1 gram of protein per lean pound of body weight daily. This is critical for people engaging in high-intensity resistance exercise because they need increased amounts of protein to support muscle growth. This goal can be easily met by supplementing the diet with amino acids or protein. Eat right, and treat your body with respect. Proper exercise will not counteract bad eating habits and poor eating patterns.
Have conversations before and after workouts if you like, but once the workout begins, become self-centered, serious and selfish with time.
*Vary Your Program:
You must become your own exercise scientist. After a period of time, muscles become conditioned to the same routine and exercises — in other words they become immune to the workout. Gains become null. This can be overcome by periodically varying the order, exercises, and muscle groups. Keeping new angles and new exercises incorporated into your routine causes "muscle confusion" which forces muscles to break down more easily.
*Increase Your Weight:
Only by increasing the weight as often as possible will you provide muscles with the stimulus to protect themselves from future assaults by building up more muscle mass. This is the single most important fact for increasing muscle size and strength.
*Train Hard, Not Long:
Cut back on the amount of lifting you do and raise your intensity level. High-intensity muscular contractions are an absolute requirement for stimulating rapid, large-scale increases in muscular size and strength. Muscles respond to stimulus. Completing an arbitrarily chosen set of reps will not make muscle grow. You must take the last rep to failure — this is the most productive lift. Keep workouts relatively short. Overtraining in the quest for size can halt progress. Overtraining is a common and often fatal mistake made by novice and intermediate bodybuilders. Heavy lifting should not exceed much more than 30 minutes
*Train For A Complete Physique:
It is great to develop exceptional muscle mass and tone, but it is a sorry state of affairs when there is so much body fat on your frame that the muscles you have worked for so hard don't even show. Add some aerobic training to your routine. Twenty minutes of aerobics daily is usually plenty. Calculate your aerobic heart rate by taking 220 minus your age and multiplying that by 70%.
*Focus On The Muscle Group You Are Working:
By concentrating on a specific muscle, you will automatically isolate it more. Do not rely heavily on machines. Free weights are more efficient for muscle growth.
Proper breathing is very important. Breathing supplies oxygen to the muscle cells, which is necessary for muscle contraction, and helps deliver energy and build the muscle. Exhale when you lift the weight. Inhale when you lower it.
*Concentrate On The Negative:
Most of the damage, and thus gains, in muscularity is caused during the negative (eccentric) portion of the lift. It is more important for growth to control the weight when lowering it than when pressing it upwards (concentric/positive). Concentrate on the negative portion of the lift. That is, lower the weight more slowly than you press it up.
*Maintain Constant Resistance:
A lift should be performed with constant tension. Pressure should remain constant on the muscle group you are training throughout the exercise. Many times this can be avoided by not locking out the joint in a effort to rest momentarily.
*Full Range Of Motion:
People make serious mistakes by not completing a full range of motion in their lifts. They either miss the top or bottom range.
*Focus On Form, Not Weight:
While you should always train as heavily as possible and increase the weight as often as you can, you must also perform the exercises using good form. Heaving a lot of weight can make you feel macho, but improper form will keep you from developing the best physique.
*Achieve Peak Contraction:
This is a training principle that turns the average "rep" into a growth-producing blitz. Rather than merely moving the weight up and down, you should actively squeeze it hard for a second at the peak of contraction.
*Rest Is Critical:
Allow at least 72 hours of rest before training the same muscle group. Some people may need more recovery time. Very few can get by with less.