Flex Wheeler, one of the most prominent names in the bodybuilding industry, says that people have a complete misconception about muscle growth. What does he mean by that?
Do people think that all you need to do to grow is hit the gym a couple days a week? Use as many “high-end” supplements as you can afford? Eat all the protein in the house that you can get your hands on?
Two of those three are almost correct.
Here’s the thing, people got to the gym in order to grow — at least some do. They think that they should incorporate various intensity techniques, go heavier, train more frequently, etc. All of which are true, however, that’s only part of the deal.
I’m sure that a figure such as Wheeler gets flooded with questions on how to grow the mass on their frame — be it questions on training or the use of gear.
And you know what Wheeler’s answer is?
“It doesn’t matter. You don’t grow in the gym, you grow at the dinner table.”
How bow dah? Who would’ve thought that growth didn’t happen in the gym? Gym newbie me, that’s who. I’m sure a lot of readers are sitting with a perplexed look on their faces, wondering just what the heck Wheeler means by that. Let me elaborate.
When you lift weights, you’re essentially putting your body through a process of catabolism — the breakdown of tissue within the body. However, in the case of resistance training, you’re inflicting micro-tears within your muscles. You know that feeling of soreness that you experience a day or two after training? Well, that’s a result of the muscle damage that you caused by lifting weights.
Now you see that while you’re in the gym, lifting weights, you’re ‘breaking your body down’ in a sense. How do you build it back up?
Flex answered that question a few lines up; “you grow at the dinner table.”
Nutrition is absolute key in the game of bodybuilding — or any other sport that requires an optimal level of performance.
If you keep track of your training more than you do your nutrition, then you’ve got a sad thing coming.
Keeping track of both, however, is the best way to go. Keep track of what you’re eating and what you’re lifting. You’ll see change in your physique in no time. But there’s something else that needs to be kept in mind when chasing gains is your ultimate goal; rest.
Without an adequate amount of rest, your nutrition and training efforts will quickly be brought to its knees, and your results—and ultimately, your confidence—will take a blow to the nuts so hard that it will echo into your offspring’s offspring.
In this scenario, what do you do?
It’s easy. Create a schedule for yourself and follow it as strictly as you possibly can. If your training times are sporadic, tighten it up a bit and go to gym at the same time each day. It’s just as important to keep your meal timing consistent. Note that I said timing and not frequency. I’m not a big preacher on meal frequency as everyone has their own set of needs. You can eat fewer meals with larger portions, or more meals with fewer portions. That’s up to you.
With regards to rest, not all of us live the lifestyle of a professional bodybuilder, so we don’t have the luxury to take a nap or two during the course of our day.
Again, what do you do?
You get your ass into bed as early as you can possibly afford to.
I know that this isn’t feasible for all of us, as some people work two jobs, others have new-born babies, other’s work night shift and so on. This is where you have to get creative. Do what you can with what you have. As simple as that.
Now you know what it takes to grow muscle mass. Train, eat, sleep. But above all else, stay consistent.