You can't make continuous improvement by training and dieting in spurts. Unless you're sick, there's no excuse not to go to the gym. Follow your schedule like a clockwork, and reap the inevitable benefits down the road.
A corporate buzz phrase is "work smarter, not harder." The bodybuilding version is "train smarter and harder." You must approach each workout as a challenge to push yourself out of the comfort zone, striving to get as much muscular stress as possible into your workout.
Never just go through the motions - ATTACK the weights! On the flipside of the coin, be aware of the signs of overtraining and know when to back off.
You need a continuous supply of nutrients to achieve optimal growth. Try to eat a small meal every 3 hours.
Eat Enough Protein
Protein builds muscle, and keeping it readily available for your body at all times ties in with the previous habit. Aim to get 35-40 grams of protein with each small meal, or at least get one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day.
When you sleep, growth hormone is released and a lot of the recovery takes place. If you go skimpy on the sleep, you're robbing your body of its best opportunity to grow. To avoid this, make sure to get at least 8, preferably 9 hours of sleep every night.
Staying hydrated is important for everything from digestion to endurance. The bottom line is that your body depends on water to remain functional, just like a car requires oil to run, and as soon as you get dehydrated you're weaker, less mentally alert, and overall in less-than-perfect condition.
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Big muscles doesn't have to equal stiff muscles. Maintain and improve your flexibility by taking your stretching seriously. In addition to getting better blood flow (less soreness) and decrease the risk of injury, your flexibility will help your workout form as well.
Use Supplements As They Are Intended
You can never depend of supplements alone to carry you forward. Supplements should be just that - supplements - to an otherwise sound and balanced diet.
Don't Ignore Cardio
Cardio increases your overall cardiovascular condition, which is crucial in compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts. If your lungs can't process enough air, you'll be exhausted by oxygen depletion, not muscular failure, by the end of your set.
Besides, you're not young forever, and keeping your heart in shape now will give you a great advantage as you grow old. Try to get at least 2-3 cardio sessions per week.
Keep Your Mind Open And Your Spirits Up
Use positive thinking to keep things fun and fresh. Experiment and try new things. Try another gym once in a while.