Archives for 2011

5 Motivational Tips You Need To Know to Build Muscle

Creative Commons License photo credit: jontunn

So now that you’ve learned about nutritional principles and weight-lifting strategies, there’s just one more tool you need to equip yourself with before hitting the gym and reaching those fitness goals that you’ve only dreamed of before… and that’s motivation.

Now I’ve always believed that motivation is a mindset and that people who weren’t motivated were just weak minded and willed… turns out motivation and motivational tools can be taught and they’re just about the easiest thing to learn!

So whether you’re struggling just to get into the gym in the morning or you’re seeking that extra mental push to put you over the top and get that one last rep, or your diet is taking its toll, here are the top 5 motivational tools I use when I feel my mental game slipping:

Motivational Tip #1: Set Definitive Goals

Do you know why most people fail to achieve their New Year’s Resolutions to “lose weight” or “gain muscle” or “get healthy”?

Because those goals are so broad that people often don’t know where to start… and then they get discouraged before they’ve even lifted a finger.

Half the battle is in setting your goal. Instead of saying “gain muscle”, you should be saying, “I want to gain 20 pounds in the next 6 months and keep my body fat the same”.

Instead of saying I want to get healthy, maybe say, “I want to be able to run an 8 minute mile” or “I want to train for a 5K marathon 2 months from now”.

Motivational Tip #2: Set Short and Reachable Goals:

Now that we’ve established a clear goal for ourselves, we can further refine and better outlook by breaking that goal down further into a bunch of sub-goals.

So instead of saying “I want to gain 20 pounds in the next 6 months and keep my body fat the same”, tell yourself, “I’m gonna gain 5 pounds of muscle this month”.

We’re all driven by success and its success that fuels us. Setting achievable goals isn’t cheating. It’s being smart by allowing yourself to achieve a larger goal in stages!

Motivational Tip #3: Get a Workout Partner

And make sure that partner has similar goals to you. There have been number of mornings when I haven’t wanted to get out of bed or it seemed hard to do the last rep on every set.

But having a workout partner makes me get up because I have a responsibility to them… and it’s that same workout partner that helps me eek out those last one or two excruciating reps.

Motivational Tip #4: Keep Things Fresh

One of the best motivational killers is getting into a routine.

If you’re in the gym every day and you’re doing the same workout week after tiresome week, things are going to start getting boring… and when they do, that’s when motivation levels drop and people quick.

Change up your workout every week and do get a new scheme every 2 or 3 months. It’ll give you and your body something new to tackle which will help keep you going as well!

Motivational Tip #5: Take a Break

Here’s a secret that I’m sure a huge number of fledgling gym rats don’t know… your muscles don’t grow while you’re working out… they grow WHILE YOU’RE RESTING.

So take a week off to recharge both your body and your mind every 2.5 to 3 months.

It’ll give you an appreciation for the extra time you have and at the same time it’ll allow your body to grow and recover from the pounding you’ve given it!

Until Next Time,


Underground Muscle Growth Technique: INTENTIONS

Hey guys,

I just had to share an underground video I just checked out explaining a pretty cool muscle growth technique called: "INTENTIONS"

A little while ago Jimmy (my training partner) once told me his philosophy when it came to building muscle. He said "Rich, think of your muscles as being a wet sponge. And with every exercise you do it's like squeezing that sponge out. So with that being said in order to build muscle the goal of your workout should be to squeeze ALL THE WATER you possibly can out of that sponge when you're in the gym"

What Jimmy was talking about was putting the maximum amount of TENSION on your muscles during each exercise.

FACT: The only way to build muscle is to create the greatest amount of "tension" or torque in a muscle within a given period of time.

Putting the "maximum" amount of tension your muscles is tough. And if you don't know what you're doing or how to do it then your results will suffer.

In fact if you have a lagging or "stubborn" body part then this might be the answer you're looking for because the video below explains not only why you have lagging body but also how to fix it... with an "underground muscle growth technique called INTENTIONS.

Ben Pakulski Explaining INTENTIONS

The guy in the video is Ben "Pacman" Pakulski (an IFBB Pro Body Builder). I was actually on my way to attend a fitness seminar to meet him as well as a few other Pro Fitness Models and learn some tricks of the trade.

Unfortunately, my trip was scheduled on the same weekend of Hurricane Irene and I had to cancel. But I was so eager to go that I was literally 2 seconds away from hopping in my car to try and outrun the storm just so I could attend the seminar (fortunately my sister and cousin helped talk me out of it)

But that's how much I respect Ben Pakulski and the body building advice he gives.

Ben actually has a free ebook called: 5 Tricks to Double Your Gains

I've read it, and I highly recommend you check it out. Make sure you read:

Page 10: Being Obsessed with...
and Page 24: Not Understanding Muscle...

Because those two sections definitely gave some "AH HA" moments on things that I going to apply the next time I go to the gym. And I have a feeling those will help you out the most as well.

5 Tricks to Immediately DOUBLE Your GainsClick Here to Download Ben Pakulski's 5 Tricks to Immediately Double Your Gains

Til next time,


Can You “Really” Build Muscle Without a Gym?

Question: What type of workouts can you do if you don’t have access to a gym, to gain extra weight and build muscle?

Now here's the problem - You NEED heavy weights to build a significant amount of muscle if you're a hardgainer, or someone who hasn't touched a weight before in their life then you can get away for sure while in the beginning with just bodyweight exercises.

But your body will adapt to those exercises fairly quickly, and it'll be time for you to start exercising with heavier weight (heavier than your bodyweight)

I remember back in high school, I didn't understand this concept that you need to lift heavy weights in order to build muscle.

I remember doing some crazy things like doing a gazillion push-ups every morning and every night, and curling water jugs thinking I was going to get big and buff.

Boy was I wrong!!!

So why wasn't this enough...

Why do You Need to Lift Heavy Weights to Build Muscle?

And to answer this question we need to look at your muscle fibers. Your muscles consists of two main types of muscle fibers, and they are your Type 1 and Type 2 muscle fibers.

Marathon Runner

Type I Muscle Fibers (Slow Twitch)

These muscle fibers have a slow contraction, produce very low-power, but these muscle fibers can be used for a duration of hours. The size of the motor neuron: Small (they don't get that larger.

When you think slow twitch think of a long-distance runner.

Marathon runners probably have the most developed slow twitch muscles in the world, yet they aren't that big and muscular, and it's because the size of type 1 muscle fibers are very small compared to other muscle fibers within your body.

Type I I Muscle Fibers (FAST Twitch)

These muscle fibers have a fast contraction rate, they produce a very high amount of power, but these muscle fibers can only be used for a duration of one minute to a maximum of 30 minutes. The size of the motor neuron: Large to Very Large (compared to Type I Muscle Fibers).

Usain Bolt

Think of a world-class sprinter like Usain Bolt. A lot of power (Type II Muscle Fibers) is needed within the sport of sprinting.

And since Type II muscle fibers grow very large compared to Type I Muscle Fibers that's why sprinters always look bigger than Marathon runners.

With that said you need some type of way to progressively overload your muscle with heavier weight, because it's heavier weight that targets your Type II muscle fibers, which are the muscle fibers that grow the largest.

So if you don't have access to a gym you'll have to find another way to target your Type II muscle fibers. You can use such things as:

  • Resistance Bands
  • Kettlebells / Free weights
  • Home Gym
  • Do some backyard "strong man" stuff (IMPROVISE)

Remember, in order to build muscle or ultimately change your physique you need to build your Type II muscle fibers and to do that you need to lift heavier weight.

If you don't have access to a gym I strongly suggest you invest in a home gym or you can try one of the other alternative I mentioned.

All the best,