Probably the most common question I get asked in the gym is “how did I get so big, and what is my secret”. I get a kick out of it because people expect a short response. Typically I reply that the proper response is a long conversation to have… because there is no “secret”.
In today’s world of instant gratification we are used to getting everything quicker and more efficiently than ever. As the times change this only gets more and more true. Unfortunately not everything in life can be accomplished overnight or instantly with the click of a button. There is no magic pill to grow your body to its genetic capacity and beyond.
If there was a one word answer to this question it would be “consistency”. You need to work out both intensely and intelligently for years in order to grow quality muscle. I’ve been training consistently for over 25 years, and my physique has been a slow work in progress over my decades of training.
When I started working out I was 12 years old and naturally very skinny. After a few months of training I noticed initial results, which typically happens followed by a plateau as my body decided it had accumulated enough mass at the time. It took years of consistent heavy lifting, eating properly, getting sufficient rest and recovery, along with proper supplementation for me to grow to 200+ pounds.
Eventually I plateaued at this weight until I started experimenting with anabolic androgenic steroids at the age of 23. After training naturally for 11 years my body did not want to get any larger. Introducing anabolics took me from where I was at then roughly to where I am now. After 15 years of experimenting with anabolics I can say that I’ve tried almost everything on the market and have a good understanding of the pharmacology of each compound that I have used.
Many people assume that steroids are the magic pill, but this is not true. I’m sure we all know more than one person who uses/abuses steroids who don’t even look like they train. Some people take them and don’t train, assuming they will just magically grow new muscle. Some people take them irresponsibly or without knowledge of how they work so they don’t get much out of them, except for negative side effects.
Using exogenous testosterone is becoming more and more common as doctors are now prescribing it as part of HRT (hormone replacement therapy). Older men whose test levels have dropped can now easily get prescribed testosterone for HRT to help improve their quality of life. Some clinics also prescribe HGH (human growth hormone), and in the United States a list of other steroids can be prescribed. Some doctors are even prescribing it to teenagers and even children now who have low testosterone levels.
All of the performance enhancing drugs in the world won’t do you any favours unless you train very hard in the gym. And not for a week here… and a week there. You need to train consistently, 3-5 days a week, 12 months of the year, for years and years, to really grow quality, mature muscle tissue.
You won’t grow any muscle tissue unless you have enough protein in your body. You need to have a certain amount of macronutrients, and calories per day for your body to grow an excess of muscle tissue instead of maintaining your current tissue or even losing tissue. A number of essential micronutrients are also required in the diet, as they are the catalysts for the many chemical reactions going on in your body that cause hypertrophy.
Sleep does the body good, and without having enough of it you will not grow. Getting a good night’s sleep is paramount to maintaining a healthy body, especially for someone who’s putting their body through the stress of regular training. The amount of sleep required differs for everybody, what is important is being able to get into deep REM sleep. This is when your body repairs and grows itself. Not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your health and especially your gains.
Training consistently , supplementing properly, eating healthy, and getting enough recovery is all that’s required for you to grow and put on quality muscle in the gym. If you’re consistent with all of these factors for years and years, you will achieve your desired result!
This is probably not the answer most people would prefer to hear! There is NO magic pill to getting huge and muscular. You need to WORK HARD! You need to follow a sound training program and be sure to not neglect the other factors involved. You need to be CONSISTENT with everything for years to really grow and build a physique that is worth being proud of.