#7 – Do every difficult exercise (and master it): Anything that will improve your current condition will hurt or cause discomfort somehow. Do the difficult stuff and embrace it. Squats, deadlifts, clean and presses, Romanian deadlifts and bent-over rows. Don’t stay on the easy track.
#8 – No isolation work: For a few weeks ditch all the isolation stuff – cable extensions, concentration curls and even lateral raises. Focus on the big (and I mean big) compound moves such as benches, rows, overhead presses, squats and deadlifts. Go big and then go home!
#9 – Wear a watch: All that texting and talking takes a toll on your muscle-gaining efforts. Do you really know how much time you take in between sets? Not monitoring rest periods can easily be one of the biggest crimes committed against muscledom. Wear a watch, time your sets.
#10 – No phone: If I had my way, everyone would train sans cell phone. Not only will it allow you to focus it would also cultivate a community of like-minded people helping each other. Did the bodybuilders of the golden era seem distracted or antisocial? Didn’t think so.
#11 – Workout semi-fasted: Have you ever trained on a full stomach? Did you feel sluggish, unable to get a pump? All that food in your stomach has attracted a massive amount of blood to help with digestion. Training semi-fasted (a very small meal an hour or two prior to training) will help with hormone regulation and blood flow.
#12 – Do compound sets (for big moves): A compound set is simply two sets done back-to-back for the same body part or group of body parts. Oftentimes these are performed with smaller, single joint moves such as incline curls compounded with standing barbell curls. Don’t be afraid to play with some big exercises like barbell squats compounded with leg presses.
#13 – Go machine gun: An age-old style of training can still build muscle today. If you train with a partner try resting between sets only long enough for your partner to finish his set – no longer. This I-go-you-go style (sometimes referred to as machine gun sets) is a good way to increase pace and stop wasting time.
#14 – Cut weight, go strict: Sometimes you will find yourself putting a little too much “English” on some exercises. Heaving the weight up on rows? Lifting your butt off the bench on barbell presses? Reduce the weight, relearn perfect form and get growing again.