1. Gobble up good food! Muscle growth requires particular nutrients before and after your workouts! Read more about workout supplementation here.
2. Rest between workouts. I cringe whenever I hear someone bragging that he lifts “7 days a week.” First of all, if you have the ability to lift seven days a week, you are NOT working out with enough intensity and your training volume per workout is probably also inadequate.
Secondly, your body needs time to heal itself before you break it down again! Without recovery, you never build back stronger! The rule of thumb is to wait 48 hours between body parts and at least 24 hours between weight-lifting sessions. For example, doing Back and Biceps on one day and then Legs 24 hours later is okay, but doing Back and Biceps one day and following that workout with a general upper body workout is a problem. Many experts recommend that athletes avoid consecutive upper body days; however, I feel I have personally achieved good results bending that rule.
3. Oppress Stress! Freaking out about little insignificant things is a source of muscle-muting stress and is also associated with the release of stress hormones, like cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that tells your body to break down muscle and make sugar-YUCK!
4. Work! Muscle will not grow without an overload, meaning that the muscle must be stressed by factors including:
1) Heavy weights;
2) High volume;
3) Low rest periods; and/or
) Novel exercises. Though recovery is vital, muscle cannot grow stronger without a reason to, so work it!
5. Sleep! Hormones, and growth hormone in particular, are secreted based on sleep-wake cycles. If you do not sleep enough, your body will not send out the signals that tell your muscles to grow. Stick to a strict sleep schedule-your body will thank you!