In this ultimate guide to building muscle, I am going to provide you with no bs ACTIONABLE steps on how to build up your body.
Yes we are going to be building muscle…. but more specifically LEAN muscle!
Lean looks best. It’s honestly easy to put on size for most guys but we are looking to put on real lean muscle that makes you stand out.
If you put on a bunch of mass that isn’t lean muscle you might not be happy with the way that you end up looking.
Building lean muscle obviously has a ton of advantages…. Looking good, improving confidence, being more attractive to women, getting respect from people, improving athletic ability, etc. The list goes on and on!
Regardless if they admit it or not, every guy wants to look like a superhero.
We all see that there is a ton of mainstream fitness advice nowadays.
Everyone portrays themselves as a “fitness guru” and different people have different ways of explaining fitness.
I’ve been lifting weights since I was 17 years old so I know what I am talking about when it comes to this subject.
Right now I am 24… and more specifically I don’t think I’ve taken more than a week off from the gym in 4 years STRAIGHT.
A lot of people try to tell me they know what they are talking about with fitness when they’ve been going to the gym off and on for like 7 months.
Ask anyone that I know and they will tell you I’ve been jacked for years on end.
Take consistent action towards building up your physical and mental faculties and you’ll start to stand out.
There actually is a lot of great fitness advice out there but there is also a lot of bad advice.
People will try to tell you things like “oh you can lift 3 days a week or not go hard and end up getting jacked.”
I am here to deliver you the real authentic truth on what I’ve seen and what it takes to build your body.
With that being said, let’s dive into the ultimate guide to building muscle!
Ultimate Building Muscle Guide: You ACTUALLY Have To Be Disciplined And Put The Work In (Lift With Intention)
I am making this the first highlighted section for a reason. Building lean muscle takes hard work. Period.
Just like anything else in life… if you aren’t willing to put in the work then you might as well just give up now.
This isn’t going to be some sugar coated article saying that it’s sunshine and rainbows to achieve the look that you want.
Part of the reason I started this website is so I can be real and authentic with people. I’m not here to come at you with some quick fix.
Yes- in this ultimate guide to building muscle I want to make it perfectly clear that you have to put the work in like a champion in order to get jacked up.
However, if you end up developing a PASSION for building muscle like me (and a lot of others) it won’t be as hard as you might think.
Once you gain momentum… you won’t want to stop nor will you be able to.
To this day it honestly amazes me what I see at the gym from other people. This is not me trying to bash others I am simply using it as an example.
Most people I see are literally taking 5 minute breaks in between sets and staring at their phone the entire time. NONSENSE!
On the way to the gym I start to get into the Zone because I am blasting music and getting ready for battle.
When I get to the weights … I am ready to conquer and smash anything that gets in my way.
For the longest time I’ve attacked the gym like a lion or tiger that is going after it’s prey. I’m there to achieve greatness.
I don’t take breaks in between sets. If I am working on my chest I’ll drop down and do 20 push ups in between my sets. Or I’ll hop over to the pull up bar and do some pull ups in between.
That might sound crazy but it is truly the way that I’ve been lifting for so long. Get to the weights… smash them and then get out of there. Don’t dilly dally.
If you want some motivation to fire you up before working out I recommend you check out this video by Cory G Fitness.
I love this stuff man. You want to know part of the reason I love going so hard at the gym? Is because it gets me in that zone where I can start thinking and dreaming about what I want from life.
It’s so easy to get in the realm of positive thought as I’m going to workout. Building your body and building your mind are so tied together it’s almost crazy to think about.
Go to the gym to dominate and you’ll come back to me and know EXACTLY what I’m talking about my friend.
The more I grow and mature the more I’m excited about what’s ahead in my journey. See photo below of me feeling good about life.
*Don’t make lifting your whole life… do it to ENHACE your life*
*Me wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey partying in Cancun, Mexico*
Ultimate Building Muscle Guide: Focus On The Muscles That Will Have The Most Impact On Your Aesthetics
As you can see from these pictures I have a solid foundation of chest and back with shoulders and arms that have pop to them.
You will also notice I don’t look like a bodybuilder on steroids. I do look lean, athletic, fit, muscular, etc.
To be perfectly frank… I was on a SARMS cycle in these photos but I will cover that in a later section.
A big misconception in mainstream bodybuilding is that you need to “switch up” the muscles that you are training on a daily basis. In my experience, this is not true.
Focus on lifting the basics which include chest, arms, shoulders, and back.
For someone starting out… I’d honestly recommend lifting your chest EVERY SINGLE DAY in order to build the basics (lift the other areas too). The chest is a major foundation point in this ultimate guide to building muscle.
Focus on building up a big and strong chest and you will watch everything fall into place.
Some great ways to starting building a big chest are benching, incline bench, incline dumbbell press, incline flies, etc. Do push ups in between every single set you do. Do push ups in between every set. Push ups, push ups, push ups!
Doing thousands and thousands of push ups over the years is one of the reasons I’ve built a great upper body. Not only will doing push ups build a great chest, they will also build great discipline.
Having a strong and muscular back is just as important as building your chest. It is another foundational point just opposite your chest obviously.
There are many great lifts to building a strong back and you should do a lot of them everyday (just like chest).
Dumbbell rows, lat pull downs, cross cable pulls, and pull ups are a great place to start. Similar to push ups… pull ups are a FANTASTIC way to start building up your back.
In college me & my buddies used to do weighted pull ups with a belt and weight attached to the bottom. Building a strong back is going to make you look fit and masculine.
Make sure you take it seriously.
* Being funny and flexing my bicep during golfing when me & my buddies took a trip to Arizona this past year (I was in a pretty good mood).*
This wouldn’t be the ultimate guide to building lean muscle if I didn’t mention how to build some rock solid arms.
You have to be careful though… make sure you focus on building a big chest before you build huge arms.
Back in the summer of 2017 I started lifting hard everyday and I focused mainly on arms. I didn’t build my chest up as much as I should’ve and my arms ended up being a bit disproportional.
Obviously I fixed this but I just wanted to make sure I included it in the article.
As you build up your chest your arms will naturally start to follow. I recommend doing a TON of curls in between sets for whatever you do.
Take 2 20 pound dumbbells and curl them at the same time during extra sets. This is a FANTASTIC way to pump up your arms.
Ah yes… rounded shoulders like THOR is something that every guy wants to achieve. Having broad shoulders is literally one of the most attractive things to women.
Similar to arms, you want to make sure you have your chest and back foundation really taken care of before you focus on this hardcore.
Once you do have the foundation… You can focus on this a lot too.
A fantastic way to build great shoulders is to do standing military press at the squat rack. My junior year in college I was able to do 185 by 5 reps for this (when I was completely natural).
Building up this lift will DEFINITELY allow you to build up strong powerful shoulders.
Ultimate Building Muscle Guide: Sleep is Crucial
One of the most overlooked aspects in the ultimate guide to building muscle is getting enough high quality sleep. With smartphones, computers, and TVs it’s become completely normal to stay wide awake into the long hours of the night.
I honestly didn’t realize how important sleep was until I listened to this Joe Rogan episode. Not just for lifting and recovery, but it’s literally one of the most important aspects of overall health.
The typical adult in the United States sleeps like 6 hours on average. This is horrible! Getting 8 or 9 hours of sleep is much better for you.
Not only does the normal person not sleep enough… they don’t get enough QUALITY sleep.
In the podcast I’ve linked to you will understand that there are different levels of sleep that go deeper and deeper. We need to get a lot of REM sleep.
Although I’m not sleep expert… check out the tips below on how to improve sleep and sleep quality.
- Mouth Tape For Sleeping– If you have sleep apnea like I do (sleeping with your mouth open) then taping your mouth shut will be a game changer when it comes to quality sleep. We are meant to breathe through our nose while sleeping… taping your mouth shut will allow your body to adjust to this.
- Blue Light Glasses-I’d really recommend getting a pair of blue light glasses. This blocks the light from your TV, computer, and phone so your eyes can start to wind down. Anytime we look at a screen it actually signals to your brain to be awake. Obviously not what we want before we go to bed.
- Turn The Lights Out Early- Stop keeping the lights on until 12. If you want to get to bed by 11, then turn out the lights at 930 or 10. This will help a lot for your body to get into sleep mode.
Ultimate Building Muscle Guide: Diet
“Lift some weights and eat some steaks” – Victor Pride (even though he’s not around online anymore)
How you choose to eat should depend entirely on your current situation and what you are trying to accomplish.
A 17 year old with high testosterone just starting to lift needs to eat everything in sight to start putting on as much size as possible.
On the contrary, if you are in your 20s or 30s and want lean muscle it’s very important that you watch what you eat very carefully.
I’ve came to the conclusion that there is no “right way” or “wrong way” of eating. Honestly everyone is different and there are a variety of different things that come into play when choosing to follow a diet.
For guys in their 20s who are looking to build lean muscle and burn off fat the number one thing I would recommend is doing intermittent fasting. Why this works so well is because it stimulates Growth Hormone in your body and also boosts testosterone.
Intermittent fasting is when you skip breakfast and eat lunch and dinner. So 16 hours of the day you are not eating and then you have your 8 hour window to eat. A lot of guys do calorie counting but I don’t really think that’s necessary. Plus who wants to do that anyway.
Sometimes I’ll even try to do a 24 hour fast because it allows your body to go into autophagy. What this means is that your body starts to eat itself (extra fat) and clears out all of the unhealthy cells in your body and replenishes new ones. Try fasting for one full day sometimes and you’ll notice your skin and appearance looks a lot better.
It’s also easy to get into a calorie deficit when you fast each day. Not everyone knows this, but literally how you burn fat is being in a calorie deficit. It’s as simple as that.
Now you are probably asking what do I eat on this diet?
Unless you are a teenager (then you can eat whatever you want)… I strongly recommend eating as clean as possible for 5/6 days a week and then having 1/2 days of eating whatever you want.
Eating clean consists of food like steak, chicken, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, rice, and potatoes. Mainly you want to focus on eating foods that come from animals (any type of meat). This is the healthiest kind of food for you and you will build a lot of lean muscle by eating animal protein.
On your cheat day you can eat whatever you want (do this on the days you drink). I like burgers, subs, pizza, fries, ice cream, etc. One thing I would avoid is chips. I wouldn’t ever recommend eating processed food that’s made in a factory. For me it gives me acne so I like to avoid that stuff as much as possible.
On some cheat days you may even notice your muscles are popping more or you look like you have a pump. This is a good thing because it means you are feeding your muscles some extra fuel. But eating this way is not sustainable.
I had to include the diet section in the ultimate guide to building muscle. It’s one section in the article that is going to vary by person so take away what you think will help you the most.
Ultimate Building Muscle Guide: You Might Have To Use More Than Supplements
COUPON CODE: 20% Rats Army SARMS “Leanmusclestallion10” Rats Army SARMs
Before reading this section I want you guys to understand I’m not recommending this for everyone nor is it 100% necessary.
But this wouldn’t be the ultimate guide to building muscle if I didn’t at least address this topic.
Pre workout, amino energy, creatine, protein, etc. All of this stuff is fantastic to help build muscle especially if you are someone who is just starting out.
With that being said… after a few years of hitting the weights hard your progress might start to slow down. You’ve hit a “wall” so to speak and you want to keep going.
As I mentioned mentioned earlier… a couple of the pictures you saw I was on a cycle of Ostarine. If you want to go to the next level then using SARMs is something to consider.
In fact, the best muscle building supplement I ever used was something called Red Growth by Red Supplements. It was a legal supplement when I took it but unfortunately Red Supplements is no longer around. One of the main ingredients in this was (1-DHEA) if you are curious to look it up.
A lot of bodybuilders currently use SARMs to pack on some extra muscle. I don’t recommend this for everyone, but it can be used to really get jacked.
SARMs definitely have less side effects than traditional steroids (which i CERTAINLY don’t recommend). So there are some advantages to using SARMs.
Regardless of what you end up doing, I’d encourage you to lift for 2-3 years naturally and with supplements before you consider taking something like SARMs.
Be careful with hair loss as well. If you are prone to it (like me) you need to have a good idea of what you are doing before ruining your head of hair. I was able to save mine by being smart.
Derek from More Plates More Dates has a ton of great information about hair loss and SARMS.
Check out his site below:
Ultimate Muscle Building Guide: Getting Jacked Is As Mental As Much As It Is Physical
A MAJOR reason I love fitness so much because I’ve seen so many positive things happen to my mind. I put this under one of my pictures at the beginning of the post “don’t make lifting your whole life… do it to enhance your life”. So many guys get addicted to bodybuilding and then they take their eye off the prize on improving their life as a whole.
As I mentioned in the first highlighted point in the article, building muscle and getting jacked is something that takes discipline and willpower.
There is a certain type of MINDSET you will need to adopt if you want to build the body you’ve always wanted. It’s going to take work, but if you are determined it can start to become just a normal part of you.
The type mindset that it takes to build muscle (once understood) will become a priceless asset for you. Discipline, toughness, grit, work ethic, all of these virtues you develop as you lift start to translate into the other areas of your life.
As you can see, the mental component of the ultimate guide to building muscle is something that’s extremely important.
Building muscle builds character. Having strong character is essential in becoming succesful in your life. While I am speaking of character as “being a better person” it goes a bit deeper.
People who have strong character have self respect, confidence, intelligence, and they treat other people very well. These type of people know who they are and don’t hide it.
In order to make the World a better place we all have to start by looking ourselves in the mirror and addressing our shortcomings. This is not always easy!
Although lifting is just one piece of the pie in your overall success… I wanted to express how beneficial I believe it is because of the attributes and mindset ones develops over time.
As you go on your journey of fitness realize that there is no “one way of success” as a lot of people try to say. This is true in the way of life as well. You have to learn and figure things out as you go!
Everyone is different and certain methods will work better for some than others. I feel strongly about the topics in this article because it’s something I’ve lived for the past 5 years of my life.
Hope you enjoyed the article & let me know if you have any specific questions!