I was doing some SS cardio after a brutal leg workout today....and it got be thinking of all the things I've learned in the two years I've been bodybuilding. If I'm perfectly honest with myself I didn't know jack crap about anything the first year. In these past few months I've learned so much from this site, various books, other websites and the occasional magazine. Heres the things most important or that I can remember atleast....
1. The best thing I could have done to gain muscle was to never touch a machine. There is always a better exercise with free weights that you are doing on a machine.
2. If you get your squat depth on track it can be one of the best muscle builders out there. Most people (myself included) don't even come close to doing a good squat.
3. SS, HIIT and other forms of cardio can be great muscle builders, fat burners and all around a great exercise for your whole body.
4. Alcohol can really screw an otherwise good workout.
5. Lifting really heavy stuff is great for muscle building and even better for strength gains.
6. You can save a good half an hour if you lift instead of talk during a workout.
7. Don't bring others that will hold you back or distract you.
8. Always look up when you enter the locker room and an old man is changing. Chances are, even if he is shaving he is butt naked.
9. Only use straps when absolutely necessary. Otherwise you are only making yourself dependent on them to lift.
10. A good set of headphones will do wonders for keeping you pumped and focused.
11. Even if you aren't a competitive bodybuilder, posing in the mirror helps to point out flaws and weak points.
12. Good form is important for safety, strength and muscle building purposes. You're only cheating yourself.
13. Dead lifts are only bad for you if you round your back while doing them. Err duhh.
14. The majority of people out there don't understand why we do what we do. Don't bother trying to explain it to people.
15. The greatest advice to give someone is to work hard. For the longest time I was going through the motions.
16. Don't be afraid to fart, grunt, or yell a little while you lift.
17. If you aren't atleast a little nervous before a workout you probably aren't pushing yourself as much as you could be.
18. Not locking out on heavy movements saves you alot of pain/problems later in life. It also helps with muscle building since you keep the muscles under tension longer.
19. Support is a very valuable asset. If you have it, don't lose it.
20. Rest and sleep goes hand in hand with leading a better lifestyle, recovering from injury or making strength/muscle gains. If you aren't gaining and everything else is right, get some more sleep.
21. The best thing I could ever do for my arms is weighted dips, and heavy rows. Notice I didn't say curls.
22. Easy there superman. You wonder why your chest doesn't grow? Try not working it 7 times a week twice a day.
23. Humping and pumping are good for your health. Thanks ahnuld. You really opened my eyes.
24. If you think a pump is as good as an orgasm. You probably need help. I've gotten a pump many times and I've never fallen to the floor in ecstasy. Sorry governor.
25. After lurking around the AAS forum I can safely say that I will not use steroids until I actually know how and why they work. I'm good without the gyno.
26. I have more respect for pro. bodybuilders then ever. For all their hard work the vast majority of them go un-recognized as much as they should be. You're average person thinks if they took steroids they would be just as big.
27. Order atleast one book from lyle mcdonald. You'll thank me later.
28. The 20-rep squat program is not for idiots. TRY IT.
29. No matter how big or strong you get their is always someone who is better, bigger or stronger then you. So, just because you're bigger then the average person that doesn't mean you're big per se. Self improvement is never ending.
30. Built is probably the youngest old person you'll ever see. She could be on to something when it comes to lifting or leading a healthy lifestyle.
31. After a certain point, you could be eating too much while bulking. My last bulk I ate way to much and ended up gaining alot of fat. I think tracking calories is important while cutting and bulking.
32. You don't need to be fat to gain muscle.
33. Gaining muscle while cutting is very rare unless you are new or using anabolics.
34. Most supplements out there give you frivolous gains. I'm not saying they are useless....but if you have to pick between good whole foods or supplements always go with the food.
35. One of the best things you can consume is milk. IMO milk is probably the greatest thing you could drink/eat while bulking.
36. Try to limit your fast food consumption. I think fast food has a place in bulks but only as a very small part of your calories and macros.
37. A calorie is simply a unit of measurement. If you want to get technical. However, 500 calories of lean chicken is much different then 500 calories of soda. Remember that when you work out your day.
38. As far as cutting is concerned diet is key. But, for someone to say cardio is useless while cutting is not only over-exaggerating but hasn't actually done cardio properly.
39. Weight lifting is probably one of the best things you could do if you're stressed.
40. Bring a log or journal when you lift. That way you can be sure if you're making progress or not.
41. Change things up. The worst thing your body can do is adapt to a routine.
42. Personally, I've found that taking off a week every two months actually helps my lifts. Some people like to do active rest which is fine too. Just remember to cut your body some slack every couple weeks.
43. Bodybuilding in its simplest is actually pretty basic. As long as you are lifting hard, tracking your calories and not over training you should be making gains. If you aren't making gains then your diet, training, or rest is out of whack and you should fix it ASAP.
44. Great physiques take many months and possibly years to develop. Even if you are 100% perfect with everything, it could be a long time before you're satisfied. Just be patient and consistent and focus on short term goals. But don't forget to keep the bigger picture in mind.
45. If you are going through any type of injury you should really take it easy on that body part for a few weeks. Its better to take it easy for a little bit then to have a possibly serious lifetime injury.
46. Massages are great after a workout. Get a girl that wants to give you one. It can improve your relationship with her and improve your muscle building.
47. Know your body. Know what you respond well to. This could take a couple months to figure out but its well worth it.
48. If you fall off the horse just get up and get right back on it. Yea it sounds cheesy, but you can't let life distract you from what is important to you.
49. Learn to accept other peoples potentially bad lifestyle choices. It's there life. If they don't want to be healthy then let them. Just be there if they need you.
50. Keep an open mind.
Thats probably all I'm gonna write. I have more if I actually sat down, but it would take forever to type up EVERYTHING I've learned. Some of you guys might disagree with things I've written down but from what I've read, seen, and tried most of these points are true. That being said I don't know much compared to the majority of people on this forum. Feel free to add anything you guys feel relevant. I'll probably bookmark this for my own reference, so I know not to make the same dumb mistakes as I have in the past.