So you’re ‘the skinny kid’, or maybe you’re ‘the fat kid’, either way, you’re fed up with not being ‘the jacked kid’. You’ve see a dozens of transformations online, you’ve scrolled through Instagram and seen the body you want, you’ve seen what can be possible with some hard work and commitment. You’re motivated, but you don’t know where to start. Naturally, you want to know how everyone else is doing it, we’ve all been there. If you’re like me, you jump on bodybuilding.com and read as much as you can, you try and gain knowledge on the subject and want to create a plan most optimal for putting on slabs of muscle. It’s not long before you end up confused and frustrated, you’re reading completely contradicting information from multiple sources on the same website! So what can you do? Obviously, you’ll want to head straight to No Bullsh*t Basics, get rid of the ‘noise’ and focus on the 20% that will give you 80% of the results.
Let’s start with a few basic rules:
- It takes time. This is the golden rule, ignore the ’12 Week Transformation’ challenges, ignore the fad diets and routines that promise results in weeks. If you are serious about getting ‘jacked’, you need to understand that this process will likely take years. You will see transformations where the person goes from out of shape to jacked in 12 weeks. One of 3 things has happened here, 1. They are on steroids. 2. They are genetic freaks (this is like 0.01% of the population, sorry princess, this probably ain’t you! If it is, just about anything you do will yield results) 3. They actually haven’t changed at all. What do I mean by that? Check out the video at the bottom of this article by Furious Pete on how this is achieved. Be patient, gains will come!
- Different things work for different people. It actually took me years to truly understand this. I would try and copy what others were doing in the gym because they were jacked, or copied routines not designed for me, only to find out it didn’t work. Stick to the basics and don’t complicate things by doing a routine because someone jacked is doing it, they are much further in their lifting life, what’s important for them to make progress may not be important for you.
- You don’t need supplements. I could go on for hours on why you don’t need supplements and will be writing an article on why. But to keep things simple, you don’t need supplements when you start out, if your routine doesn’t work without supplements it won’t work with them.
- Progressive Overload. What this means is add weight or reps to the bar as often as you can. This is king, you cannot grow without making your muscles work harder. Gaining muscle and strength requires increasing the stress on your muscles over time. You will not make progress if you do not do this, it is the foundation of weight training.
- Work Hard. This one is simple and shouldn’t even need to be said. Workouts don’t need to be long providing you’re working hard. It doesn’t even matter if you spend time between sets on your phone, when you’re moving the weight, put in everything you’ve got while maintaining good form.
- Be Consistent. You have to commit to this! Going once one week, then fice times the next then not at all for three weeks will not get you good results. You need to be in the gym, committing multiple times a week over the long term for this to work.
If you’re only going to read one sentence in this whole article, make it the next one. Lifting will take time, work hard while you’re in the gym, get in there as often and consistently as reasonable possible and progressively add weight or reps to the bar. Follow that sentence alone in all its simplistic glory and you will get results. It’s really all this article needs to say, but you wouldn’t listen if that’s all it did say!
What don’t I need to concern myself with?
When starting out, even for the first 1-2 years. The above basics will get you 80% of the results. You do not need to worry about which specific exercises to do, incline or flat bench? Who cares, pick one, add weight or reps each week. Should I start with high weight, low reps or low weight, high reps? Who cares, pick one and add weight or reps each week. Should I follow a strength based routine or size based routine? Who cares, the best routine is one you can stick to, both will result in strength and size gains… pick one, add weight or reps each week. There will come a time when these things may take your physique to the next level, but this won’t be for years and as your knowledge increases, your standards increase and your goals change, this will be the time to focus on the 1%ers. For now, don’t overthink it, focus on the basics and enjoy the journey!
Note: This article does not mention nutrition which is an important part of lifting. A basic guide on nutrition can be found in the link below. I will be writing another article on nutrition for lifters.
Video Link to Furious Pete Transformation Explanation:
Disclaimer: This article does not take into account your current physical condition or medical background, please consult a doctor or physician before beginning any diet or exercise routine.