The Ultimate Guide To Muscle: Rest And Recovery

Well, you made it.  Part 1 has you killing it in the gym maximizing your genetic potential.  Part 2 has your body so fueled with good food your gains are massive bro!  Part 3 has you saving a ton of money by supplementing SMART and with a plan.

That’s it I guess eh? Nothing else left to do. Here is the single, absolute, iron clad commandment of building muscle you MUST do.

Rest And Recovery

While I was never one to overtrain, I can honestly say that as a hardgainer, I was doing too much in the gym and not getting enough rest and recovery. All the proper nutrition and training in the world will do nothing if you do not give your body a good chance to rest and recover.

If you are in your 20s, this will be a lot less time than a guy like me now in my early 40s. This is also why if you are needing a nitric-oxide booster to give you energy in your workout, your low energy is not a need for supplementation, but rather a need for rest!

If you are not fresh, full of energy and ready to rip into the weights when you walk into the gym, you should turn around and go home.

The truth is, when it comes to training, all you need to do is lift just enough weight to overload your muscle to exhaust it completely. That is enough. Once you have exhausted the muscle, any further training PAST exhaustion is just continual damage to the muscle in question. Do this long enough over a long enough time line and you will not only not grow, you might just shrink!

Your body is your number one indicator of progress and whether you should be training that day or not. Are you gaining weight? Is DOMS—delayed onset muscle soreness—a distant memory for you now? Do you keep adding another 5, or maybe even 10 or 20 lbs, on the bar to your previous lift every time you return to the bench or squat rack?

If this is you, you are getting enough rest and recovery. Unless your training goal is maintenance of what you have built, you should always be striving for more weight on the bar for more reps, every time. If that is not happening, and you are eating and training right, you need to step back and take a rest.

Resting, taking a break, may be the only thing you need to do in order to break through a training plateau.


For you young guys in your 20s, this is going to be the hardest part of advice to hear in this series:

You are not getting enough sleep.

Science is proving beyond a shadow of a doubt just how bad the Western approach to sleep and rest are for human health and functioning. While I can’t find the reference right now, I remember reading somewhere that every hour of sleep you get before 10 pm is equal to 2 hours of sleep after it.

I started to go to bed by 9 or 9:30 pm in order to get up at 5 am for work. I found not only was I able to get up easier, but I had more energy for the entire day. I actually felt rested. When it comes to building muscle, the vast majority of advice is on nutrition and training, but no one mentions that all of your eating and working out only bears fruit while you are sleeping!

Are you working out three times a week? Four times a week? Eating five meals a day? Supplementing properly? Leaving the gym exhausted? Then why are you staying up until 12 or 1 am watching Netflix? Why are you getting drunk on the weekends and staying out until 3 or 4 am?


Yes, yes… I hear you screaming.  You are in your 20s, your body can “handle it.” I am here to tell you it cannot. It will not. And living this life will take a toll not just on your efforts in the gym, but on your overall health and masculine vitality.

True Story

I was talking to a coat check girl at a popular club I frequented and in chatting her up, she just happened to drop a very common question for a lady in her early 20s talking to someone she believed was around her age.

“So, what are you studying at school?”

I was like…. “What studying?  What do you mean?”

She was… “You know… university.  Your courses? What are you taking?”

I had to smile. I said to her “I am not studying anything. I am not in university.”

To which she immediately replied “What? Really? How old are you?

It is natural I guess to assume someone who looks similar to your age would be doing the same thing you are, going to university and studying for a career. What surprised me was the immediate request for my age when she found out I may NOT be as young as she was. My not being in university, and this implying I am PAST that stage of life, surprised her.

I asked her to guess. I always do now because the responses are so freaking hilarious. She was about 5 to 7 years off if I remember and when I told her my real age (28 at the time) this was her exact response, word for word…

“Really. Wow. You’ve got good genes. Your daughters will thank you.”

Thinking back on that time now, it was not good genes, it was simply clean living. No drugs. No alcohol. No smoking. Plenty of sleep. Good diet and exercise. I am now in my 40s and when shaven and clean cut, I can easily pass for my very early 30s and women still routinely guess a minimum of five, sometimes a full decade, younger than my real age.

I digress for a minute here to try and pass on a life lesson most men, 99% of them, never want to hear. The key to a truly masculine and manly presence well into your advanced years is clean living. You don’t need the alcohol to loosen up and socialize. Staying up late to party your entire 20s WILL shorten your lifespan and degrade your looks.

I did not have much luck with women in my 20s. Now in my 40s, and continually shocked and surprised by the reaction young women get to my presence when they meet me, I would not trade one second of my life now for more success with women when I was younger or to have “partied” late and hard in my youth chasing after them.

Start getting some good rest. Go to bed consistently, even on weekends. That does not mean never go out again to party or leave a party at 9pm because you gotta be in bed (although if you are seriously training, you might just have to because your body demands it).

Don’t take my word for it. Just look around you at guys older than you. How many older men do you meet in your life that actually look their age, and not 5 to 10 years older (or more) than they are?


I want to thank you for reading this four part series on building muscle.  I have reached a stage in my life where I want to share what I have learned and pass on what I can to a younger generation. Your forties should be celebrated, whether you succeed in the grand ambitions you set for yourself, or are reduced to humble circumstances by fate.

Struggle is the meaning of Life

defeat or victory is in the hands of God

but struggle itself is one’s duty and

should be one’s joy

This was kanji in a framed print on my sensei’s wall. This series on building muscle lacked specifics for a reason. I don’t want to give you my prescription for building muscle. I want to give you the foundation you need to figure out how to build muscle for yourself. For your body and your unique genetic potential to achieve.

Thank you for reading. Strength and honor.

Read More: The Top 3 Muscle Building Mistakes Men Make

73 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide To Muscle: Rest And Recovery”

  1. At age 35 I’ve learned that if I’ve had a crazy week with sleep deprivation just to hit the sack and not bother with training even if I miss up to a few days.
    Pushing it without enough rest just furthers the decline.
    If you don’t feel like attacking your workout like a tiger, something is wrong.
    Wish I had learned it sooner.

  2. The one problem I have is that after working out after work, I have trouble falling asleep. My body is tired, but I am still ‘stoked’. If I go to bed at 10 I often won’t fall asleep until 11:00 or 11:30. It is kind of annoying because unless I get 9 hours of sleep after a workout I am really dragging the next day.

    1. This is me exactly this moment! I was about to fall asleep when I got home from work but now I’m Saturday morning fresh!

    2. Yes… that is the problem with most after work gym schedules. If you can’t get in ASAP after work before supper, you are left with a later evening workout that you can’t avoid the high from for a few hours. I would try to see if you can get into the gym in the morning or even see if it’s possible to get an extended lunch break and work later. Hard to do in a corp environment when management does not want to treat anyone as “special”, but you might be able to sell it as a health/productivity thing that encourages others to do the same. Sell the bottom line and you might get your afternoon workout.

  3. Routine and schedule, can’t emphasize this enough. Weekdays are electronics off at 9pm, bed at 10, up at 630am. Never tired.

    1. Well, as long as you’re not Nathan Explosion drinking bleach, you should be okay. For the life of me, I can’t ever get to bed early, and I have trouble waking up. I live cleanly and I exercise routinely.

      1. I have a similar problem, some people simply function better at night – you can force yourself to adapt to an early to bed, early to rise schedule, but it’ll never feel quite right and the second you slip up you’re back to square one.

  4. Second the thoughts on alcohol. I drank heavily in my 20s and 30s. I quit when I was 41. I am now 46 and have more energy than I did at *any* time in my 30s, and better than even much of my 20s. If that helps one man quit before doing what I did, well I accomplished something.

    1. Drinking just loses its appeal after a while. Catch a buzz, feel like shit the next day. Recover for the day and repeat all weekend long. As you get older, the recovery period is much longer.
      I just don’t enjoy it as much anymore. Plus now I learned what damage it does to your liver and it’s enough to not engage in it again.

    2. Quit back in August. In just a few weeks my max lifts increased 20%. Feel better physically and mentally than I ever have. Have more money and get a lot more shit done in life. Missed it for a short time, but now even the thought of a beer makes me cringe. Plus we have legal weed here so if I want to go crazy before a concert or go to a friend’s party, I just bring a fat joint.

      1. You can take any kind of drugs. You can snort cocaine and inject smack up your arsehole, and your health and looks can recover from it if you jack it all in. Once alcohol fucks up your looks though, they stay fucked!

  5. “If you are not fresh, full of energy and ready to rip into the weights when you walk into the gym, you should turn around and go home.” I was gonna take a break tomorrow but it’s leg and core day so I”l skip rest day for a day. To be honest, when the machines are taken I usually squeeze some side and front planks and a few crunches and it’s fairly satisfying and easy.
    Also, I do 40 push up before bed which helps me sleep but it in the 2 week I’ve been doing them my energy has been lower.
    Good advice on lifting author, keep it up!

  6. “Early to bed, early to rise” is the real deal. The wife and I are in bed by 9-930 every night and I am up at 5 to walk and train the dog for 45 minutes. Throw in an automatic coffee maker for a fresh to-go mug and its an awesome way to start the morning. Keeps you feeling great the whole day.
    It’s actually kind of hard to look back now and realize all the fucking time I wasted in my prime years.

  7. “Your forties should be celebrated, ”
    What about one’s fifties?
    Good article.

    1. Ahh… well that’s when we discover this stuff pays dividends for *decades*, right?
      I’m in my fifties and happily out-lifting the (non-juicing) 20-somethings in the gym, and out-fighting the 20-somethings in the dojo…

  8. Great Conclusion to the Series Maximus, you are completely right in saying Sleep is a Huge Factor in making Progress in the gym/strength, I’m just starting to realize that now, and as you mention the earlier a Man goes to bed, the more energy the next day he has. Western culture has everyone convinced staying up till 3 in the morning is cool, and if you don’t your missing out, but if a Man seeks Strength through training, and wants to have energy the next day without feeling sluggish, then he must absolutely get his Rest in.

    1. also your balls produce testosterone when you are dreaming, another reason to give up marihuana

      1. I think it is in pulses throughout the night, and peaks, IIRC, around 5a.m.
        This explains the morning boner (excuse me, I’m British) btw…
        Length of sleep is directly correlated and research in the area shows testosterone levels declining steeply for every 30mins or so below the optimum level (whatever that is… varies by individual)

  9. All the girls that party hard when they were young, by 30 they look 50.
    I’m 35 and i don’t focus on building up at the gym cause i find that small amount of fat goes to my face so i focus on looking fit! I usually get told i look 20-25 years old. When i was more muscular i looked 25-30 where i prefer to look younger (fit) to pickup 18-25 year olds 😀

    1. I can do one better. I’ve seen 19 year old girls that looked 40 because they started too young and too hard.

    2. I can’t stress enough the importance of just losing the belly fat. At 32 I was 40 pounds heavier. Lost the fat, gained muscle, subscribed to the paleo diet and now at 43 I can get girls in their early 20’s. As a fit older guy you have the benefit of experience. Experience plus youthful looks is a killer combo. I am killing it at 43 versus 23.

    3. I know a girl that is 22 but looks like she is 38. My buddies and I call her Lego Face

  10. I’ve seen men in their 40s who look like 20s. Much more common for men than women. Women in their 40s look used up.

    1. the wine/milk dichotomy is true, but i still think most of this is due to lack of effort from the women. i’ve known a few women in their 40s who are still quite sexy. all of them lift like men and work hard on their diet.

    2. I’ve met a few, too. All of them put it down to clean living. Not like monks – they just got exercise, ate their veggies, went to bed at a reasonable hour and avoided getting drunk.
      Some white guys living long term in Asia are much healthier than their fat families back home due to the improved lifestyle. Others get sucked in by the easy availability of alcohol and look like fat, wrinkled, dried up turds.

  11. I have the unique advantage of my family’s genes as well as taking care of myself. The men and women in my family tend to age incredibly well. My mother is 54, but could pass for a well preserved late 30s; My uncle is in his late 60s but looks like he’s barely out of his 40s. So in conjunction with religiously taking care of myself I expect to retain my youth for quite some time.

      1. Both sides of the family as well – whenever my dad would take his mother out they were often mistaken for husband and wife. The woman has gone to incredible lengths to stay healthy and look younger naturally. Impeccable diet all her life, light-weights and yoga for an hour every day, while still keeping a spotless home, and cooking every meal for my grandfather. I look at the degenerate that is the modern western female specimen and contrast it with my grandmother and I’m sickened, how far they have fallen.

  12. Max, having just turned forty, I’ve been asking the same questions and making the same observations. I too look a decade younger, and I too was never the party type. We’re living parallel lives. Thx

  13. Great article. I had to laugh about the age thing. I too am in my 40’s and the college girls working at the grocery store always guess me at 24. Looking younger than my age only furthers my resolve in striving to stay in the best shape possible.

    1. I think a lot of the perception that you are young is also just that. You FEEL young when you are in shape and healthy. And if you are HAPPY and loving life, you can just roll back the clock with young girls like no one’s business. I remember when I asked another girl to guess my age (she started at 27 I think)… and as I kept thumbing her up… when she said 35 and I STILL thumbed up… her jaw… literally dropped to the floor… and her eyes popped out of her head. “I can show you my drivers if you want.” I said with a laugh. Fuck I love my life.

      1. Haha yes I have had similar experiences. The other aspect of this are the crazies with massive insecurities, and you have probably ran into this too, the ones who think just because you’re handsome and in shape you must be a cheater. The last one of these types I experienced accused me when I bought a different brand of liquor for us to consume on a holiday. Even though we were both halfway through the bottle she asks: “so who did you buy this for?” LOL

        1. I think I can one up you on that count. I was out with a Hungarian red head that told me straight up… she won’t date a smart guy cause he might cheat on her without her being able to detect/figure it out. Who then went on to tell me “no secrets, no secrets!!!” like it was the most important value in her life… while she was out seeing other guys (which of course I knew about). We were never serious (just a few dates, she being the daddy issue girl I commented about) but I always learn something from every woman I meet, no matter how brief the experience.
          I have never considered myself a good looking guy. Still don’t. But as I came into my own as a man in my 30s, I had to admit, I was pulling or attracting interest (and just plain starring) from girls that in my 20s I would have considered completely out of my league. Now no woman is out of my league and if she even wants a chance at my TIME, she is going to have to be pretty spectacular. This is why girls that WASTE their prime years just blows my brains apart. As a gender, a woman can seriously not fuck up worse than not having locked down a naive guy before he is 30 and she is 25. It’s the only way to get a guy BEFORE he has enough experience to know what he is dealing with in the creature called woman.
          I think if a man can find his centre, and experience enough of those insecure type of tells from girls (they all have them when intimidated)… one’s fear of ever being rejected or that a woman “has all the power in a relationship” goes flying out the window faster than a monkey can fling his own feces.

        2. It sounds like your Hungarian crazy and my last crazy were both cut from the same cloth. Another crazy that still emails me to this day I had dated a couple decades ago. Like you, nothing serious just a few dates, her crazy showed through and I moved on. I have never responded to her but she continues to email that old address years later. Some days it’s “you were the one” and the next (sometimes the same email) she flip flops and calls me a coward, and to man up etc.
          I too have certainly learned a lot from the women I have been with, and continue to do so. Completely agree on your other points.

  14. Good stuff on the site this week. I always try to remain active with 3-4 days of weights and 3-4 days of running, utilizing the Pomodoro technique while working. I don’t overdo it on the drinking, and I maintain a healthy diet. Sleep is my only issue; I never have a set bedtime and I do have difficulty waking up.

  15. Another great article Maximus and spot on with the advice.
    The rest and sleep thing seems to have become ‘lost wisdom’ in modern bodybuilding, but was well known in the ‘Golden Age’. Steve Reeves advocated the approach you just have and was well known for taking long sleeps and even daytime naps.
    I think it may be significant that his was the last pre-steroid generation, and not coincidentally the last that stressed health and ‘physical culture’ over monomaniacal focus on mere size.
    As drugs became more prevalent, and seen as the key to unlocking the ‘bodybuilder look’ the other aspects lost emphasis. I think the obsession with supplements, even to the exclusion of the good training, good food, good rest approach you have been advocating, is an echo of the ‘drug culture’ in modern bodybuilding.
    Anyway, sound advice especially to the young guys here. Now in my 50s I continue to apply the approach you advocate and it hasn’t let me down yet…

    1. Guys like Reeves, John Grimek, Reg Park and Bill Pearl were actually ahead of the the average guy who emulates the routines of modern pro bodybuilders when it comes to training and making gains.
      – they didn’t rely on supplements
      – they especially didn’t rely on those damn pre-workout drinks
      – they didn’t use fancy yet inefficient split routines
      – they didn’t use machines
      Not that supplements are a complete waste of money, but most of it is garbage and doesn’t even work.
      What the guys from the older generation DID do was:
      – compound exercises (squats, deadlifts, overhead press, bench press)
      – full-body routines
      – higher frequency per muscle group instead of hitting each muscle group only once per week
      It has been scientifically proven that you make much better gains by hitting each muscle group multiple times per week rather than just once. And this is especially true if you are an individual who has average genetics and you don’t rely on performance enhancing drugs.
      Interestingly the last couple of years there has been a resurgence of full body 5×5 routines, like Jason Blaha’s Ice Cream Fitness 5×5 program, StrongLifts 5×5, and MadCow 5×5. These programs are popular because they actually work. You go to the gym 3x per week and a workout rarely lasts longer than an hour. In combination with a sound diet and enough rest you will get great results.

      1. 100% agree…
        And I’d rather have a body like Grimek, or Reeves or Pearl or Park any day! Modern ‘bodybuilders’ look like sh*t.
        I think *all* the 5×5 programs are basically modern re-works of Reg Park’s original 5×5 routines… again, as you are noting, essentially built around the powerlifting and other compound lifts.
        I seem to recall the great Reg Park was the second man *ever* to bench press 500lbs – the old school guys were every bit as strong as they looked!
        Again, as Maximus is saying – sensible workouts centred around the big compound lifts, sound diet and lots of rest is the true way…

        1. Ironically even though they train like their idols, the vast majority of trainees do not end up looking like bodybduilers. This is simply because the guys you see in the magazines have superior genetics, which among other things means that they will grow even by looking at a pair of dumbbells.
          The average person simply does not have those genetics. Add to that those inefficient routines, and there you have it. Now it makes sense why so many guys slave away in the gym without gaining a significant amount of muscle. Also, the guys in the glossy magazines use steroids, even though they will deny it.
          The older guys have superior genetics as well. They are not as big as modern pros simply because they did not have access to the assortment of drugs that are on the (black) market today. So they had to rely on solid training routines to make the most of it. There was much less room for error.

        2. Yes, one has to question the routines in the magazines (although I haven’t so much as looked at one since the 80s!) and even if they are correct the guy doing them is juicing.
          I think the other things new trainees miss is the sheer amount of *time* it takes to put on significant amounts of muscle… Honestly you are doing great if you put on 5-10lbs of *actual* lean muscle in a year (and even that is not sustainable). So if you start at 140lbs getting to 200lbs is at least half a decade away…
          Of the modern crop, apart from our own Maximus Decimus of course, I’m a big fan of Brooks Kubik who is also an admirer, and preserver, of the old ways. Charles Poliquin (AKA Strength Sensei) deserves honourable mention too, especially as he seems to be channelling Vince Gironda into the modern scene…

        3. It’s not worth wasting your money on those magazines anyway. A lot of the stuff they write about is readily available online. And there are youtube channels that are much more informative as well. Although you have to sift through a lot of garbage to get to the good stuff.
          10 lbs of real lean muscle in a year is great for a healthy, natural adult trainee. Most people do not realise this. Jason Blaha has the following to say about that:

          And this is what 30 lbs of muscle actually looks like:

          Vironda had some good ideas which were good, like his 8×8 routines to boost lagging body parts. On the other hand he was against doing squats because he thought that it made the hips wider. And this is not true. At least not to such a degree that it made a huge impact.
          Charles Poliquin certainly knows his stuff, and he has the track record to prove it. The guy makes sense, and what he says is based on science.

        4. Really enjoyed the videos – thanks for sharing.
          I always find it so funny when I hear people saying they think Frank Zane’s physique would be relatively ‘easy’ to attain.

        5. Yes, it’s quite amusing how some guys talk about Zane. They think that because he has less mass than Arnold, it means that his physique is attainable. And yet there are not many people who look like him and the guys who say that don’t have that look either.
          Bottom line is that he had great genetics, there is no disputing that. He is not a mass monster and isn’t big boned. But he does have wide clavicles, small hips, thin skin, and no bodyparts that overpower others.

        6. “Easy”… and I hate to say this… I think is a symptom of the younger generation. I think too many young people do have a seriously warped sense of just what the old generation accomplished and what it took. I don’t believe I ever said what Frank Zane accomplished was easy, nor would he. But the “perception” as you say that it is is coming from guys under 35 looking for quick fix “life hacks”. To a guy who is 40 or older, the concept of a generation of human beings looking for life hacks is why there is conflict between boomers and millenials. You can’t hack life. You have to LIVE it, and WORK for it. And if you do, over years, you too can have a body like Frank Zane and do it drug (and even supplement if you wish) free.
          THAT said… I know the young generation has been screwed over royally. Gen X truly is in the middle. Boomer’s don’t like us. Millenials don’t like us. No respect I tells ys, no respect.

        7. Interesting clip. I think I can agree a lot with this YouTuber on many things. However, I think I see an underlining philosophy which is making it clearer to me why some people (i.e. the naturals) may have strong and vocal opposition to supplements of any kind.
          The whole natty-or-not-natty debate.
          Honest to God, I had no clue this was even a thing. I think it is good that many are calling out the rampant steroid use of those who claim to be natural and are not.
          That said, I think in the zealousness to be a true natural and expose the frauds, some are going overboard, as this YouTuber does on his talk about strength gains from creatine being due to roid use (1:50 mark in attached video), pure, opinionated speculation. This leads to the dismissing of anyone who does claim supplements/creatine have worked for them with the faux argument “you can’t achieve X without steroids. It’s not possible. There is no way that guy/girl could have achieved that naturally.”
          Honestly… I think that is a closed mind that is not open to learning from others and would rather stick to “what he/she knows is natural” and not try/experiment what good supplementation might do for them.
          Again, supplement ONLY if your training is also top notch, which I think is even more important than food or supplementation and is why training started my series on muscle. If you are not training right, there is NOTHING that will help you reach your fitness goals. Nothing.
          Different body types, different genetic potential, is going to create a wide range of physiques that come out of the gym. What’s important here is the accuracy of someone’s claims and being able to give someone the benefit of the doubt.
          I have a feeling if I am able to add another 20 or 30 lbs of lean muscle to my frame (i.e. 200 to 210 lbs at 6’1″), no matter how fast or slow, and get ripped down to 10% BF and post photos… many people here will claim I am not a “natural” and must be “on roids.”
          Which is sad. The above video did speak of the anabolics Zane took, most of them being the most mild sort (if I remember correctly) compared to what is on the market today.
          But what the YouTuber then fails to mention is that Zane did not get his physique ONLY because of taking anabolics. That is the failure in logic. He posts a photo of Frank Zane and puts an equal sign (in his talk, not the actual photo/video) between that photo and anabolic steriod use and that is simply not accurate.
          Zane worked hard in the gym. Ate right. Rested. And blew up his natural genetic potential to the maximum by SUPPLEMENTING with anabolic steriods.
          You can… get VERY CLOSE to looking like Frank Zane naturally. It IS possible. That is my goal as I believe I have the potential to get there over time.
          If someone wants to stay merely average in their physique (which that YouTuber definitely is) and not really try to achieve their best potential because they are convinced they are limited by either genetics or not wanting to use natural supplements for ideological reasons, I can understand their natural reservations and skepticism about someone who has become more than average. But that does not dismiss someone’s claim to be natural just because they look like someone else who has admitted to taking steroids.
          I thank you for this video. I now understand your point of view more completely than before. I have learned a lot from your comments and I hope you have from mine and the articles as well.

        8. Maximus Decimus Meridius: I think I see an underlining philosophy which is making it clearer to me why some people (i.e. the naturals) may have strong and vocal opposition to supplements of any kind.
          It’s quite the opposite. Most naturals are not opposed to supplements at all. They are the ones who are willing to spend their hard-earned cash on the latest fads. They are the ones who often fall into the trap of thinking that the juiced up bodybuilders in those ads owe their physique to some magical potion. If this wasn’t the case, the supplements industry wouldn’t be a billion dollar industry.
          Maximus Decimus Meridius: That said, I think in the zealousness to be a true natural and expose the frauds, some are going overboard, as this YouTuber does on his talk about strength gains from creatine being due to roid use (1:50 mark in attached video), pure, opinionated speculation.
          Actually if your training and diet are top notch, then creatine will certainly not make that much of a difference. It will definitely not make you gain an additional 8% on your lifts.
          Let’s say 2 identical twins have a bench press 1RM of 300lbs and want to increase it for an upcoming meet. So they decide to do the Sheiko program.
          Lifter A does it without creatine and increases his 1RM with 12%. Whereas lifter uses creatine and boosts his 1RM with 20%.
          1,12 x 300 = 236lbs
          1,20 x 300 = 360lbs
          That 8% is a whopping 24 lbs and that is a hell of a lot extra. Legal supplements simply do not work like that. And if they do, they don’t stay legal for long.
          The guy in the clip is someone who knows what he’s talking about. He is a former competitive powerlifter and has been active in that field for more than 20 years.
          Jason Blaha also has a lot of experience with performance enhancing drugs, has used anabolic steroids himself, and he has helped many athletes beat drug testing by advising them what to use and when.
          Maximus Decimus Meridius:This leads to the dismissing of anyone who does claim supplements/creatine have worked for them with the faux argument “you can’t achieve X without steroids. It’s not possible. There is no way that guy/girl could have achieved that naturally.
          It’s actually not very hard to figure out whether someone is on steroids. There are many dead giveaways and here are a few:
          1) Full upper chest, round and massive 3D deltoids, huge traps and paper thin skin are classic traits of steroid users. And the parts of the body that tend to blow up when on steroids are the delts and traps, since these are the areas that contain the highest concentration of androgen receptors. Natural bodybuilders look a bit flat when their fat percentage dips below 10%. They don’t have that shrink wrapped, photoshop look.

          2) Guys who squat more than 3x their bodyweight. And I mean real squats, below parallel. Not those idiotic half-squats that most people do to boost their egos.

          3) A woman with capped delts and veins on the lower abs is most likely on steroids.

          4) Someone with a Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI calculator: higher than 25 while his fat percentage is below 10% is most likely on steroids.
          5) If someone has the same amount of muscle mass as a bodybuilder from the era of Zane and Arnold, he is on steroids.

          Maximus Decimus Meridius: I have a feeling if I am able to add another 20 or 30 lbs of lean muscle to my frame (i.e. 200 to 210 lbs at 6’1″), no matter how fast or slow, and get ripped down to 10% BF and post photos… many people here will claim I am not a “natural” and must be “on roids.”
          Lyle McDonald, Alan Aragon, Casey Butt, and Martin Berkham are all guys who know a lot about training and nutrition. For example, Berkham is the guy who “invented” intermittent fasting and I’m sure you’re familiar with that.
          They all came up with their own methods to figure out the maximum amount of muscle that someone can gain with sound training and nutrition. Interestingly their results are very similar:

          In any case, if you are in your 40’s and you’ve been lifting for a number of years, you’re not going to gain an additional 20 lbs of muscle. Physiologically it’s not possible.
          Also, 210lbs with 10% bodyfat at a height of 6’1″ means you’re FFMI will be 25. Right in the realm of steroid users.

          Ok, there might be a very small percentage of genetically gifted individuals who have a FFMI of 24 at 10% bodyfat, but those are very, very rare.
          Maximus Decimus Meridius: You can… get VERY CLOSE to looking like Frank Zane naturally. It IS possible. That is my goal as I believe I have the potential to get there over time.
          Please show me some examples then of truly natural bodybuilders who look like him in his heyday. People tend to underestimate Zane. Many think that his physique is attainable and this is due to the fact that he carried less mass than many of his contemporaries, guys like Mentzer, Oliva, Columbu, etc. While overlooking the fact that he had near flawless symmetry, great proportions, and full muscle bellies.
          And for the record, his contest weight was 180 at a heigt of 5’9″. So his FFMI was right around 25.

        9. Uncle. Uncle!!! I give up. Tap out. Tap out. LOL 🙂
          All i am saying is that not EVERY guy who looks like he has muscle and is ripped is on steroids. Or that he ONLY got that way BECAUSE of steroids. Or that you can’t even approach what Zane had UNLESS you do steroids.
          I promise you, if I am still writing for ROK and I manage to hit 210 lbs at 6’1″ with anywhere close to 10% bodyfat, I will post my photos up and you can judge if I am on steroids/GH or not. Sound good?

        10. Quote: “In any case, if you are in your 40’s and you’ve been lifting for a number of years, you’re not going to gain an additional 20 lbs of muscle. Physiologically it’s not possible.”
          THAT… my friend. Is a challenge I accept. Mark the date. Note the time. Start the clock.

        11. Cool. So you’ve been eating and training properly and consistently for the past couple of years then. What are your body mass and fat percentage currently and which method did you use to measure your fat percentage?

        12. Not every guy, that is not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that it isn’t hard to figure out whether someone has been using steroids or not. And most of the guys on youtube who claim to be natural are not.
          And that is yet another clue, by the way. If someone has “natural” or “natty” in his nickname or talks about being natural all the time, he is probably the complete opposite.
          Look at Mike O’Hearn, Lazar angelov, Jeff Seid, and Kali Muscle for example.
          Ok, let’s see those pics of you at 21lbs and 10% bodyfat then.

        13. Your heads gonna explode when I tell you this, I can see it already. LOL
          I have been training since I was 16. Every year, all year? No. If my memory in my old age is not faulty, here is my experience.
          Gym Experience:
          16-20 – consistent gym training, at least twice a week, over 6 to 10 months a year in high school and college
          23-27 – off and on training for about 6 months to a year, with 6 months to a year of rest in between as I was building my career and was able to have time for a gym membership or not.
          27-37 – a solid, three times a week min, 6 months to 12 months stints of consistent training, diet and protein supplementation. Again, I also had 6 months to a year off in between mass phases. Life always gets in the way but when it was not, I trained and trained hard.
          Body weight at 6’1″:
          16-20: 145/150 increased to 155 almost 160 with no proper diet and very little protein supplementation (protein supps WAS my diet, as it usually is for most guys without good information)
          23-27 – metabolism is starting to slow down, was putting on a little BF but noticed it right away and hit the gym. Still no consistent diet or nutrition and protein supp was not optimized. Increased weight from 155 to about 165, as you would expect with poor training, no nutrition plan and poor supplementation. I was NOT focused on actually gaining muscle. I was just going through the motions without paying attention and thought I was doing everything right. Once I checked my ego at the door and told myself “I don’t know what I am doing and need to figure this out”…
          27-37 – Cleaned up my diet. Started eating 5 meals a day min. Supplemented ONLY with whey protein. Over the course of a decade and maybe two to three years of hard, consistent training stints in the gym… I grew first from 160 to 185 lbs (nutrition being the #1 reason), then 160 to 195 (better training and supplementation) and finally this last round 160 to 180 lbs in only two months!
          This is why I feel I can EASILY add another 20 lbs to my frame and hit 200 with everything I have recommended in my series. I have done it before. I have figured out what works for me and it also so happens it should work for must guys based on the science behind my recomendations.
          As for BF, I followed Jeff Caveliere’s tip on rough estimation. ( I am not a calorie counter, nor will I be a BF with calipers or displacement (where do you go for that). I go by what I see in the mirror and I have come down from what I would say is 20 to 25% BF to 15 to 20% BF now in my 40s. My goal now is to add MORE MUSCLE and LOSE FAT at the same time to hit 200 lbs and 10% BF using the advice I have given here.
          It seems this series won’t be over. You have challenged me and I take up the challenge.

        14. What do you feel about Jeff Cavalier? Is he a fake natural?
          How To Bulk Up Fast (Truth about bulk/cut)

          I personally take advice from all directions. Especially if it challenges my point of view. If I feel there is enough merit or I don’t believe/understand WHY someone says/advises something, I will usually give them the benefit of the doubt and if possible, try what they suggest myself to then have my own personal experience of someone else’s advice/point of view.
          I bring this up because the YouTuber you reference (JuggernautFitnessTV)… really sounds like a sour grapes guy most of the time. (Is that a piece of cake on the bicep of the muscle guy cutout in his intro). He seems more focused on “exposing” frauds than on actually giving advice. A lot of his advice is a personal bias based on his interpretations of the science and his own “science” of muscle as it were.
          Case in point… would you take advice on how to build muscle and lose fat from a guy who CLEARLY has a business model he is pushing whose bio reads as follows?
          Jason Blaha is a well respected YouTube celebrity, mastermind of Ice Cream Fitness, and holder of more inter-planetary titles than any bodybuilder or powerlifter in recorded history.
          Or a guy whose bio reads like this.
          Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS served as both the Head Physical Therapist and Assistant Strength Coach for the New York Mets during the National League East Championship 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons and coached some of the game’s most accomplished players including future hall of fame pitchers Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez, and perennial all-stars Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Billy Wagner to name just a few. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
          Jason is the “mastermind” of Ice Cream Fitness.
          Jeff created AthleanX, train like an athlete, move like an athlete, look like an athlete.
          What kind of guy looking for advice on how to build muscle and lose fat would listen to another guy who puts Ice Cream into his fitness business model? The kind of guy that does NOT want to clean up his diet and or training and use the excuse that anyone who looks like Jeff does or better, “is doing a cycle of anabolics.”
          I am just curious if you can see why I would be skeptical of a YouTube “sensation” and not a certified and university educated sports trainer who is training the guys Jason most likely kicks back on the couch to watch every Monday night.

        15. I gotta get there first! Give me at least a day. LOL I am taking a good month of rest right now (only about 2 hrs in the gym total / week). Loaded the bench, squat and deadlift with 10 lbs over my previous 1RM and lifted them easily. What was once very heavy for me when I started at 160 lbs in Dec 2015, is now comfortable at 180 lbs as of Feb 2015. It is amazing what rest can do for strength alone after a mass stint in the gym.

        16. Yes, and I think the notion comes from computing, where it is perfectly acceptable and reasonably to ‘hack’ something for a quick fix. The film is ancient now, but ‘the Matrix’ expressed the desire for *us* to be a ‘hackable’ as computers… amusingly with Martial Arts too! Of course the very essence of Martial Arts is that one works patiently at so-called ‘basic’ movements for *years* to gain a desired effect.
          It says something about the degeneracy of modern ‘culture’ (sic), I think, too.

        17. Nevermind those estimates. If you want to measure your body composition, nothing tops a BodPod. It’s the same piece of equipment used in this documentary:

        18. Jason Blaha’s bio is not to be taken seriously obviously, and neither is the name of his program.
          His program, by the way, is simply a variation of a 3x per week 5×5 full body program like StrongLifts. It’s simple, basic, and it works. Trainees perform mostly compound exercises and there are some isolation exercises included:
          I’ve used Reg Park’s 5×5 program as a base myself to create full body programs for others. It’s been proven to work for decades, so why try to reinvent the wheel?
          Blaha can move some pretty serious weight too. Doing a close grip bench press for 3 sets of 3 reps with more than 300lbs is nothing to be ashamed of:

          I like Jeff Cavaliere and I’ve been subscribed to his channel for quite a while now. He is a no nonsense kind of guy and he is very knowledgeable when it comes to performing exercises. I’ve used his clips many times as an example for others in strength training forums. Especially the ones about rotator cuff injury prevention.
          He has some good points in that clip you posted, it’s what I tell others as well. It’s a myth that is very hard to dispell and I’ve lost hope a long time ago. Legions of trainees still believe that they need to eat massive amounts of food and drink weightgainers and get fat in order to gain muscle.
          Whether he is natural or not, is hard to tell. I don’t know what his bodyfat percentage is. He is obviously very lean but not in contest shape, and he doesn’t have that photoshop look. So maybe around 9% and that’s a wild guess. In that clip he made with CT Fletcher he mentions that he weighs around 165 lbs.

          He is slightly shorter than CT Fletcher, who is around 5’10, so let’s say he’s 5’8″.
          Based on those numbers his FFMI would be 23. Which is still within reason, it’s not over the limit of 25. But again, these are probably not the actual numbers.

    2. I think what you speak of has a lot to do with the takeover and power of marketing and propaganda. It’s no longer about merely communicating a good product you stand by. It’s about selling anything you can trick someone into believing they need. Steve Reeves would still be in the “why would I buy something I can make/do at home” generation. Edward Bernays changed all that. Man… this shit goes so far back…

      1. Completely… I think I said something similar to someone in a related thread.
        Thanks for the video – truly is shocking how blatant and self-conscious the manipulation is – they know *exactly* what they are doing and why…

  16. Good tips, makes perfect sense. The problem with many guys who hit the weights nowadays is that they rely way too much on pre-workout “supplements” to have a decent workout. Instead of going to bed an hour earlier, eating properly, and going easy on the alcohol.
    The marketing departments of the supplement companies have done a great job in brainwashing a whole generation into believing that consumption of a pre-workout drink is an absolut must in order to kick ass in the gym. And they are laughing all the way to the bank. Look at the shelves in a fitness store nowadays; a lot of what you see is those damn pre-workouts.
    People have always been lazy and hesitant to go to the gym, and not getting enough rest not a new phenomenon either. But today there is a band-aid solution to that problem.

    1. So True…. building muscle has been reduced to ‘taking a pill’ (conveniently turning aspiring bodybuilders into consumers to be marketed at) advertised by people who do take pills, just not the ones they are marketing…

    2. Agreed. I tried a pre-workout sup ONCE… my heart did not explode, but even trying just the “tolerance” dose was not for me. I am not afraid to try shit, but I ain’t stupid. Personal experience, and my own research, is my compass in life.

  17. Lay off the Monsters and Red Bulls. No joke, a former coworker of mine almost died of heart problems because he seemed to chug a Monster every hour or so, yet was still exhausted.

  18. As a well kept man in his early 40´s, do you find it easy to date women in their early 20s?

    1. What I find hard now is simply being able to hide from girls!!! Of any age.
      I am not talking dating or sex. I am talking about just going about your day and some 20 year old (or scary as shit some 16 year old) giving you bedroom eyes as you walk by. Or they start checking you out from afar while doing the worst “I’m not really looking at you.” kind of body language. Not every girl is looking at me, I ain’t no Brad Pitt. But I am older now and I am keeping my eye contact checked with young women, especially in the every-masculine-male-is-a-pro-rape-advocate we find ourselves in now in the west.
      The more you masculinize, the MORE attention you are going to get just walking in the room. Your body language, your tone of voice your demeanor. Once you put the capital M in man in your life, women CAN’T ignore you. This is both a plus, and a negative. The plus? A lot more girls are putting you on their radar. The negative? You are going to get a LOT of push back/projection from their past with men “like you.” I think a lot of this has to do with the fact western women seeing an actual masculine guy who is a MAN, not a boy, has a lot to do with it. They just have NO CLUE how to deal with you, so they project every fear, anger and frustration they have at the world onto you. (Of note, this is only WESTERN women. Latina’s, Europe girls, no problem. I find I am a magnet now for these girls and I them. Polarity in gender a factor in attraction. Who’da thunk it?)
      As to your direct question, I think turning 40, if you had ANY left over fear of dealing with young beautiful women, simply disappears. You are not an old guy, but you can no longer be called young. A girl of 20 is now an entire lifetime away from you in terms of life experience. So naturally, you treat her as too young for you and just relax and enjoy conversing with them. I already had no problem with this but being closer in age, women put up the bitch shield. (My 30s were fun but the bitch shield was getting fucking annoying. Chick, just relax, we are just talking. The closer they are TO THE WALL, the bigger the shield.) As you hit the magic 40, both sexes treat the other as off limits, so her guard is usually down as well. And THAT… is when shit gets real. She’s not expecting anything, you are not expecting anything, then something starts happening and you both realize it (she usually getting embarrassed.)
      I think a LOT of young women would date a guy in his 40s (even older), but won’t because of peer criticism. If you can be discrete, the world is your oyster if you are a man in your 40s and in good shape all around.
      That said, I also I think it would be a very disappointing affair. She will be using you ONLY for sex (hear me out). She would just be dating “that older guy.” You are not marriage material. You are not boyfriend material. I think a lot of guys on ROK would be screaming “Sign me up.” But when you get older, you really do just want to have a friend to go through life with that you can also get naked with from time to time.
      I will say this though for the Gen X’ers out there. Millenial women are fucking tired of men their age. I talked with a 19 year old at a convention who was dating a guy in his 50s who said she will never date a guy her age. Met another one in her 20s who MARRIED a guy in his 50s and had kids with him (both catholics). One girl? Outlier. Two girls? Pattern emerging. Three girls? Might be the one I start dating.
      I have great respect for Game in teaching young men how to be more confident with women, but I think there may have been some overshoot with young guys in terms of being too PUA/sex oriented with girls in general.
      The purpose of masculinization, becoming a Man, is not sex per se. It’s about owning who you are and what you want. Women? Are just people you invite along for the ride of YOUR life.

      1. Thanks for the reply, man.
        I´m currently in my 30s and so far haven´t found a woman who´s relationship material.
        I have no intention of dating women in their 30s and would like to keep having access to 18-28 year old girls indefinitely.
        Let´s hope this is possible.

  19. I go to sleep around 9 so I can wake up at 5 to go to the gym. Despite the few jokes here and there on how I’m like an old man, I’m known in the office as the guy that eats healthy and goes to the gym (girls sure love to talk). I’ve only been working here for a month yet I’ve already established my presence as the gym guy. I like it. And this was all possible due to sleep. Way better than drugging up on coffee in the morning

  20. I dealt with a costochondritis ( rib injury that took me A YEAR TO HEAL) because I overdid it with the chin ups and at a bad angle. You can seriously fuck up your life by overtraining. And I’m not even talking about the hormonal changes you can get from never resting. I couldn’t sleep for days because I trained too much and took my cold showers too cold all while eating shit food. Now it seems my body can’t handle caffeine anymore. I drink one cup in the morning and I can’t sleep at all at night.
    Guys even if you feel invincible and badass and so good in the short term it will bite you in the ass in the end.

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