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My friend Yuri Elkaim the author of Eating For Energy a great book and plan for weight loss and overall eating lifestyle for energy shared this article he wrote, because he care’s about you. Yuri cares about your health and your well-being. It’s for that reason he shares this article. “I’ve got a great article that will make you question your workouts! In today’s article, I’m going to reveal the single most important factor in building muscle – and it’s probably not what you think.”

By: Tollie Schmidt

Founder Tollie’s Out of the Darkness Project

CEO – Tollie International Inc. & International Speaker

“Empowering Greatness – Creating a Dream Infused Life”

Do you want to build muscle?

Even if you don’t want to become a bodybuilder your answer should be yes!

But why?

Because if you’re goal is to get lean, toned, perform better, or lose weight and burn fat, you need muscle!

Thus, building muscle is the name of the game. As I my good friend Vince Del Monte says, “We’re all bodybuilders!” because we’re essentially in the game of building muscle and burning fat. Make sense?

Ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way, I want to tell you that building muscle isn’t really that difficult. No matter if you’ve got “skinny guy” genes or haven’t been able to build bulk in the past, you CAN build muscle in the future.

But it starts in your head!

Muscle Building 101

For those of you who want to know how to build muscle, here’s the recipe:

1. High volume strength training (ie. 10-12 reps, 5-6 sets)

2. Lots of food (preferably quality food)

Putting on muscle comes down to breaking down your muscles through strength training and then rebuilding the “damage” with lots of quality nutrients.

I weigh 165 pounds. If I wanted to put on 20 lbs of muscle I would need to eat a lot food. Specifically, I would need to eat about 70,000 additional calories over the course of a few weeks (since 1 lb = 3500 calories). That’s not easy to do.

But perhaps more important is the fact that in order to build muscle you first need to really challenge them. That’s where your high volume training comes in.

And this is where the power of what’s in your head comes into play.

This is perhaps the single biggest reason that most people who want to build muscle don’t. They don’t have the mental fortitude to push themselves WAY out of their comfort zone.

Actually, everyone has the mental fortitude, but it just needs to be brought to the surface with some compelling reasons WHY.
Building muscle is all about getting out of your comfort zone

This subtitle really says it all!

Have you heard me (or other experts) talk about the fact that it’s those last 1-2 reps that make all the difference?

I call it the “extra 1%”.

The reason this extra 1% is so important is that when you THINK you can’t do anymore, you must, because that’s where your muscle truly reach new limits.

As an example, if you continually push 150 lbs for 3 sets of 10 reps on the bench press, how on earth are your chest muscles supposed to get stronger and more developed?

Initially, you’ll see some improvements, but those improvements will begin to taper off as you get more adept at this exercise and pushing that same weight.

Two of the fundamentals concepts of fitness training are known as OVERLOAD and PROGRESSION.

In order to build muscle and get stronger, you must progressively overload your muscles with new challenges.

To do this though, your mind must be the engine to drive you and push you to new heights.

If that little voice in your head keeps telling you to STOP when your muscles start to burn, then forget about it!

However, if you the ability to embrace the “pain” and have the mental strength to keep pushing, then you can achieve some outstanding results!

SIDE NOTE: Sure we’re talking about muscle building, but the truth is that this applies to ANY and ALL aspects of your fitness. Running, sports, burning fat, etc…

Thus, the reason I say that building muscle is all in your head is because it is. You need to be able to get out of your comfort zone to grow. Your muscles need to find new challenges because when they do they will rise to the occasion to meet them.

It’s really that straight-forward. You muscles cannot do anything else but adapt to the stress you impose upon them.

Here’s an example of how this could work…

Let’s say you want to build a bigger and stronger chest, I might put you through the following chest workout over a few weeks.

For simplicity, we’re just going to use the bench press (alone) for this example. I’m also going to randomly choose 135 lbs as our starting point.

WEEK 1 – 10 reps x 5 sets @ 135 lbs (2-3 times per week)

WEEK 2  – 12 reps x 5 sets @ 135 lbs (2-3 times per week)

WEEK 3 – 10 reps x 6 sets @ 150 lbs (2-3 times per week)

WEEK 4 – 12 reps x 4 sets @ 150 lbs (1-2 times per week) => regeneration week

This is a very simplistic bench press workout model. In reality, you’d probably be able to lift a little bit more each workout but let’s not worry about that for now. Notice how each week we increase either the number of reps OR the weight.

We’re stressing the muscles in new ways (ie. more reps or more weight) every few workouts. If you were to continue with this model for 6 months your chest muscles would be FORCED to adapt and would be able to lift close to another 125 lbs! That’s a bench press of 260 lbs – just by training properly.

But that’s only if you can push yourself mentally each and every workout.

Doing 5-6 sets and forcing yourself to complete NO LESS than 10-12 reps in each one is not easy to do. Especially, after the first few sets. What most people would do is lower the weight and continue. However, this is where having a spotter can make a huge difference.

Having someone to assist you in the last few reps and to make sure you don’t give up early can be the difference between building muscle and simply staying where you’re at!

So if you find yourself giving up before the last few crucial reps then I would highly recommend you seek out a spotter, a trainer, workout with a friend, or use my Fitter U or Fitter U Fitness iPod workouts. That way you’ll get the needed push when it matters most.

With proper training and a strong mind you can overcome any obstacles in your way, including “skinny” genetics!

=> Is your mind holding you back or propelling you forward? Leave a comment and let me know what goes on in your head during your workouts.

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