1. GET LOTS OF SLEEP
Recovery is one of the most underrated elements of gaining quality lean muscle mass. If you aren’t sleeping enough at night, you rob your body of the primary time it uses to repair muscle damage so you can hit the gym feeling stronger than you did before.
Actors bulking for major film roles are often ordered by their trainers to sleep at least 10 hours per night! That may not be an option for you, but start prioritizing sleep more, and it’s highly likely you see great gains in both strength and size. A fatigued body will never be a strong one.
2. Find the best fitness friend
A workout buddy is hugely helpful for keeping motivated, but it’s important to find someone who will inspire—not discourage. So make a list of all your exercise-loving friends, then see who fits this criteria. Can your pal meet to exercise on a regular basis? Is she supportive (not disparaging) of your goals? And last, will your bud be able to keep up with you or even push your limits in key workouts? If you’ve got someone that fits all three, make that phone call.
3. When to weigh
You’ve been following your diet for a whole week. Weigh to go! Now it’s time to start tracking your progress (and make sure pesky pounds don’t find their way back on). It’s best to step on the scale in the morning before eating or drinking—and prior to plunging into your daily activities. For the most reliable number, be sure to check your poundage at a consistent time, whether daily or weekly.