The most powerful strength training tool available

Explain why a pen and a sheet of paper are the most important tools for achieving an impressive physique.

Keywords :
muscle, muscle building, fitness, health, bodybuilding, weightlifting

The debates about bodybuilding will never stop. The endless discussions about how an effective bodybuilding program should be structured will most likely continue until the end of time. Just browse Internet chat rooms, flip through any bodybuilding magazine, or talk to the salesman at your local dietary supplement store. No matter who you talk to or what you read, it seems like everyone is an expert these days.

If everyone is an expert, confident in their own ideas and beliefs, how can the average beginner know who to listen to? He is instantly faced with endless questions that don't seem to have a clear answer.

How many days should I train per week? How many sets should I perform for each muscle group? What type of rep range should I use? What are the most effective exercises for stimulating muscle growth? How long should my workouts last?

These questions go on and on, until he is finally led to believe that building muscle is an infinitely complex process that requires rocket science precision and an intimate understanding of human physiology. I mean, that's what it takes to build muscle, right? It's wrong ! Believe me, there are answers to these important questions, and if you are willing to put in the time and effort, you will most certainly find them. But that is not the subject of this article.

You see, amidst all this confusion and endless debate, the majority of lifters end up losing sight of the bigger picture. Beyond all the specific training principles, such as rep range and exercise selection, there remains one crucial principle, one that lies at the very heart of the muscle growth process. If we do not pay due attention to this principle, or worse, if we ignore it completely, building muscle becomes practically impossible.

The basic principle is that muscles grow by adapting to stress. When you go to the gym and lift weights, you create "micro-tears" in the muscle tissue. Your body perceives this as a potential threat to its survival and responds accordingly by increasing the size and strength of muscle fibers in order to protect itself against a possible future "attack." Therefore, in order to continually increase muscle size and strength, you should aim to progress each week by lifting a little more weight or performing an extra rep or two. In doing so, your body will continue to adapt and grow in response to the ever-increasing stress.

Building muscle is above all about getting stronger!

So what is the most powerful bodybuilding tool there is? It's simply a pen and a sheet of paper!

Every time you go to the gym, you should write down exactly what you accomplished and strive to improve on it the following week. If you're not always improving, then you either stay the same or get worse. Each week you should have a specific plan of attack ready to execute. You absolutely cannot afford to start throwing weights around without a specific goal in mind.

The specifics of building muscle are important to understand and implement, but no matter what training style you currently use, the ultimate deciding factor between success and failure is progression. You can sit around all day obsessing over specific principles, but the bottom line is that if you don't get stronger every week, you absolutely won't get bigger. Take a close look at your approach to training. If you don't pay close attention to the amount of weight you use, the number of repetitions you perform, and strive with every ounce of your energy to improve those numbers every week, you are completely ignoring the foundation even from the muscle growth process. If you want to achieve the best gains in muscle mass and strength possible, a pen and a piece of paper are the most important tools you can have in your arsenal.
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