12 Jan 2007 03:13:43
Multiply Your Muscle Gains Using One Simple But Powerful Tool

Bringing a pen and a piece of paper to the gym will separate those who
make modest gains from those who make outstanding gains. The simple
reason for this is that a pen and a piece of paper will allow you to
keep a detailed record of each and every workout you perform.
Why is recording your workouts so critical to your success?
It's because the entire basis for building muscle is progression.
When you go to the gym, you break down your muscle fibers by stressing
them with weights. This is referred to as "muscle overload". When you
leave the gym, your body will use the nutrients that you consume to
repair the damages that have been done. However, as a natural
evolutionary response, the muscles will be repaired larger and stronger
in order to protect the body against a possible future "attack".
Therefore, in order to make continual gains in muscle size and
strength, you must put 100% of your focus on improving upon your
previous workouts by progressing in either:
a) The amount of weight lifted.
b) The number of reps performed.
If you are able to progress in either weight or reps from week to week,
your body will be given continual incentive to grow larger and
stronger. If you fail to improve, your muscle size and strength will
stay the same.
Think about it, if you were squatting 200 pounds today, and were still
squatting that same weight 3 months from now, do you think you would
have experienced any size or strength gains in that time period?
Of course not!
Your body will only become larger and stronger when it is presented
with a workload beyond that capacity.
If you want "building muscle in a nutshell", that was it.
Train for strength, and size will always follow.
I am continually baffled by the guys in the gym who come in week in and
week out, aimlessly tossing the same weights around and never writing
anything down. It's no surprise that their physiques always look
exactly the same year round.
If you want to build muscle mass as quickly as you possibly can, always
bring a pen and a piece of paper to the gym for every single workout
and keep a detailed record of the exercises you performed, the weight
you used and the number of reps completed.
The next time you go to the gym, sit down before your workout and
review what you accomplished in the previous week. Your goal should now
be to improve slightly upon those numbers by either performing an extra
rep or 2 for each exercise, or by increasing the weight on the bar by 5
If you can successfully accomplish this from week to week, you will be
well on your way to success. The entire goal in the gym is to always
get better.
While the specifics of building muscle are important to understand and
implement (things like exercise selection, rep ranges and workout
structure), the truth is that regardless of what style of training
you're currently using, the ultimate deciding factor between success
and failure is progression.
You can sit around all day obsessing over specific principles, but the
bottom line is that if you aren't getting stronger every week, you
absolutely will NOT be getting any bigger.
Examine your training approach closely.
If you haven't been paying laser-like attention to the amount of weight
you've been using, the number of reps you've been performing, and then
striving with every ounce of your energy to improve upon those numbers
each week, you are completely ignoring the very foundation of the
muscle growth process.
If you want to see the best gains in muscle mass and strength that you
possibly can, a pen and a piece of paper is the most powerful tool you
could possibly have in your arsenal!