At the age of 6, when I first moved here to America from Italy – I saw my first muscle magazine and I was mesmerized by the idea of getting big, strong, muscular, and lean.
Sadly, I have some crappy genetics and gaining muscle and losing fat has always been an uphill battle for me. But I’ve never given up and in the process, I’ve learned everything there is to gaining muscle and losing fat, naturally.
This also probably explains why I became an anti-aging, endocrinology doctor – which is the study of hormones.
And I’ve coached professional and Olympic athletes, including lots of bodybuilders.
Learn From My Mistakes
And during the past 3+ decades, I’ve made a million mistakes. I’ve done everything wrong because I read all the stupid advice in the muscle magazines or from guys who had gotten genetics and were taking tons of drugs.
Basically, it was all bullshit! Lies!…
So today, I’m here to pass on all of my wisdom, so you can learn from my mistakes.
I’ve updated this topic for 2023 and simplified the entire process of gaining muscle to 4 simple and clinically proven “ingredients”.
It Works For Everyone!
No matter what you read or do, these “tactics” will produce 90% of all your muscle. You’ll get the most “bang for your time”, so please pay attention and save yourself the hassle in the future.
By the way, what I’ll reveal today works for EVERYONE, every single time — young and old, man or woman.
It works for guys who have crappy genetics and it’ll work even better for guys who have “good” genetics.
However, I’m going to keep today’s article very short and just give you the main bullet points. Enough for you to absorb the information, take action today and start getting results.
4 Primary Ingredients For Building Muscle
Ingredient #1 – HORMONES
Before anything can be said and done, you must have the right hormones for building muscle. They need to be optimized and this primarily has to do with the increase in testosterone levels – both men and women, young and old..
We all have different genetics and please don’t compare yourself to someone else who might have great genetics and then think there’s something wrong with you.
Just like someone who is a genius and has a high IQ, some people are just born with lots of muscle cells and the perfect hormones for building muscle and losing fat.
If you don’t optimize your hormones, anything else you do will NOT work and it’ll be a waste of effort, time, and money.
In fact, the right and optimal, youthful hormonal environment will make you grow muscle without doing anything – no exercise, diet, or supplements.
And, this is exactly what happens when you hit puberty, and all of a sudden you start getting muscular, leaner, more aggressive, hornier, etc.
It’s ALL about the hormones.
And this is why women can do the same exercise, diet, and so forth as a man, and they will NEVER get anywhere near the muscle size — they don’t have the right hormones.
Anyway, I’ll expand on this topic in about a minute, so don’t go anywhere.
But let’s move on to the second most important ingredient and that’s EXERCISE
Ingredient #2 – EXERCISE
In order for muscle to grow, it FIRST needs to be “stimulated” and that requires exercise. The correct form of exercise ALSO produces important hormones and growth factors, that will build muscle.
And in order to do this, you need to lift weights.
Now, this can be with dumbbells, barbells, cables, machines, or your own body weight. It doesn’t matter.
- You should exercise 3-4x weekly, no more.
- Keep your workouts to about 45 minutes or less.
- Work quickly, with about 60-90 seconds of rest between sets.
- Squeeze the muscle, don’t just lift it. FEEL it. Contract it. Be strict. Go for a good pump.
- You should do about 6-15 repetitions for your upper body and 10-20 reps for your lower body.
- Go close to failure on your sets. Maybe 1 rep short.
- Do about 6-10 total sets per muscle.
- Mix things up and try various different exercises and reps – see what works for YOUR body.
- Be patient.
Everything I’ve stated has to do with optimizing your anabolic hormones (testosterone, growth peptides, etc.) and minimizing your catabolic hormones (cortisol, adrenal hormones, etc.)
Okay, now that you’ve stimulated the muscle, and have produced the right hormones, it’s time to FEED your muscles.
Ingredient #3 – DIET
If you don’t feed your muscles, the workouts will cause you to LOSE muscle.
In fact, this is what happened to me when I first started. I thought I’d lift weights to make my muscles grow and then eat less food to lose fat.
But all I did was get smaller and weaker. I was like an anorexic.
However, you don’t need that much extra food. Increase your calories by about 250-500 days and see how you look and feel after a month. If you’re not getting fat, then good. If you are, lower the calories a little.
This has to do with YOUR body, so listen to it, and pay attention. As far as WHAT to eat. Okay… this is where all the confusion comes. Most people eat way too much protein.
The people who tell you to eat more and more protein, are SELLING you protein supplements … or, they’re idiots.
Listen – the time you’re growing the FASTEST in life is when you’re a baby – right?
And mother’s milk is only 5% protein. One cup has only 2.5 grams of protein – the rest is fat and carbs.
With that said, the MOST you’ll ever need is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 150 lbs, you need 150 grams. NOTHING MORE got it!
Hell, this even includes guys who are taking a ton of steroids.
Your protein should come from grass-fed bison, salmon, whole eggs, whey isolate, and collagen protein. These are my favorites. Whatever you do, NO processed meats.
Next, you need fats. Most people don’t eat enough good fats and/or are eating too much of the bad fats. Your diet should be about 25% fat, from healthy sources such as coconut, olive, macadamia nut oils… raw nuts and seeds (no peanuts and or cashews) … and avocados are good too.
Finally, you need carbohydrates. Stay away from processed carbs and simple sugars.
Eat vegetables, white rice (NOT brown), yams, sweet potatoes, small amounts of fruits, legumes, and other whole grains.
Simple, easy, and effective.
Ingredient #4 – REST
Now that you’ve stimulated and fed the muscle, you need to REST it. Just like a baby, you need your rest to grow.
As far as sleep, get as much as you need. Some need 6 hours and some need 9. Go to bed before midnight and wake up naturally.
Also, this means that you don’t go and play sports every day, party all night, and burn out your resources — which are needed to build muscle.
Again, rest improves your anabolic hormones (testosterone, growth peptides etc.) and minimizes your catabolic hormones (cortisol, adrenal hormones, etc.)
And we come back full circle again to your hormones.
There are lots of hormones in the body — but the main one that controls muscle size is testosterone. … And NO, it’s not GH, MFG, IGF, etc., etc.
Yes, there are growth factors such as Myostatin inhibitors, but that’s not something you can control – it’s a “genetic” thing, so let’s not talk about it.
Testosterone is the hormone that turns a “boy” into a MAN!
It’s the main hormone that differs in quantity for men and women. Thus, why women can NEVER get as big as men — UNLESS they take lots of steroids, which are derived from testosterone.
Some guys produce more testosterone than others. And ALL guys produce LESS testosterone as they hit their mid 20’s.
Sadly, not only do we start to produce LESS testosterone, but we also produce MORE of the negative hormones such as estrogen, cortisol, etc.