cardiovascular exercise, those of you who are looking to focus on gaining muscle should minimize it to 3-4 sessions of 20-30 minutes per week. Focus on activities like a recumbent bike, walking, or an elliptical rider and keep your heart rate between 130-150. More cardiovascular activity than that will start compromising your ability to gain muscle mass since your body then will have to start utilizing nutrients that would otherwise be used for muscle growth in order to support the extra cardiovascular activity.
7-Focus on perfect form and on contracting the muscle. As obvious as this statement sounds how many people do not follow it! Remember, this is bodybuilding and thus you need to focus on perfect execution of the exercises so that your muscles (and not your tendons or joints) are the ones doing the work. Never sacrifice form in the name of using more weight! Also remember that because muscle stimulation is the name of the game, you need to contract the muscle as you move the weights. Moving the weight from A to B is not good enough. Really focus on squeezing and contracting the muscle being trained. Even though you will not be able to use as much weight if you do this, I promise you that the results will be well worth it.
For learning to engage the muscles better, please take a look at the Zone Tone Technique.
8-Your body type will determine your training frequency. This is an area that is seldom discussed in training articles. In order for the best gains to happen, you need to adapt your training frequency based on your body type. So for example, a guy like me who is naturally an endomorph (slower metabolism) can train 5-6 days a week. However, a naturally skinny guy with a raging metabolism (a hardgainer) is better served with 3-4 sessions a week.
9-Choose a training schedule that you can stick to. Again, this is one of those "secrets" that sound really obvious but that is disregarded over and over. While some programs may look really good in paper, if you cannot stick to it due to other time commitments such as family, work, etc then you need to choose a different routine. If you know that all you can do is 3-4 sessions of weights a week, then follow that training frequency. There is no sense in trying to follow a 5-6 day a week program if you will always end up missing 1-2 sessions a week. At the end of the day, that will only lead to frustration and to reduced gains. So be sure to choose a program that you know you can follow consistently since consistency is the key to major muscle gains!
10-Record your sessions and track your progress. Keeping a training journal is a great tool! Recording your workouts is great not only for accountability, planning, and motivation, but it also helps you to see where you are and where you have been. Imagine if you follow a program, get in the best shape of your life, and then you don't remember how you got there. Could you imagine how you would feel if for whatever reason you lose your shape and then do not know how to get back to it? In addition, a training log allows you to easily see where your progress is going. Are you gaining strength? Are you losing body fat? All of these items can be easily looked at when you keep a training log. Finally, a log allows you to troubleshoot the program if your progress is not moving forward. If you keep detailed accounts of your workouts and nutrition plan, if you are losing strength and you notice in your training log that you have been consistently missing a meal or two each day, then you know what the fix to the problem is.
Now that you know the 10 training secrets to building massive muscles, start implementing each and every one of these in your bodybuilding program and see those muscle mass gains pile up!