by Russ Howe

As a personal trainer it’s easy to read the things in fitness publications and wonder why so many people are lost when it comes to figuring out how to build muscle in the gym. The truth is it’s needlessly over complicated. Today we’ll be showing you the basic rules to help put you on the right track.

Furthermore, we’ll write today’s article in our trademark jargon-free style to ensure nothing gets lost in translation!

As a fitness instructor I think that the number one problem in the fitness business is poor communication. For some strange reason, many trainers feel they need to give themselves a pat on the back for their knowledge by needlessly making fitness out to be some kind of rocket science. By over complicating every little detail they lose their clients in the shuffle and the fact is they cannot get results because they don’t know what their trainer is talking about half the time. In today’s article you’ll get no jargon, enjoy it.

When it comes to packing on lean muscle there are a few rules which will keep you in the right direction.

The first rule is sleep. If you fail to get enough sleep you’ll be holding yourself back without even realizing it. That’s the thing with these rules, they’re a lot simpler than you think. Many of them, including this rule, are things you can literally correct right now. Try to get around eight hours of sleep each night whenever possible.

Once that is in check you can move onto the next step which, again, has nothing to do with the gym itself. Now we focus on rest. The importance of rest cannot be understated, therefore it is highly recommended that you make sure to let your body rest when training for size and strength. Days off are just as important as training days.

Next we focus on the need to alter your training schedule to reflect your goals. After all, there is little point in going to the gym and firing out rep after rep if your goal is to get bigger. You need to adapt your training to a program which has your goal in mind. Strength training is performed best when you target your repetitions at an eight-to-twelve rep zone rather than performing hours of lighter weights, which are better suited to those looking to shoot for endurance over size.

When it comes to the exercises, too, you should have your strength and size goal firmly in your mind as you write out your exercise program. By putting more emphasis on large compound movements you will enjoy greater results. This is because the larger exercises such as deadlift and squat recruit more muscle fibres than small isolation movements like lateral raises. Keep this in mind as you write your program out.

The main area where people go wrong, guys in particular, is their diet. That’s correct, you need to diet even when you want to get bigger! Drinking a protein shake after your workout is great but you need to watch what you eat outside of the gym, too. You don’t want to put fat on, remember, and in order to keep your gains lean you’ll need to focus on quality food.

So if you’re still wondering how to build muscle now you know the difference between those running around the gym with no results to show for it and those who seem to get results without ever stalling or hitting a plateau. The best part? You didn’t even have to hire a personal trainer to find out!

Creator: Russ Howe PTI is the UK’s most subscribed Personal Trainer. Learn how to build muscle with our free video guide showing the five rules to a more muscular body.