Over the years I have been asked countless times how I've put on the size that I have, and although I've probably given several answers, the most accurate answer would plainly and simply be consistency - consistency in every aspect both in and out of the gym.

That means consistently spending time in the gym and consistently pounding down the food. People always tell me that they took x amount of years off here and there, or just downright eat day in and day out. Well the key to an above-average physique is being consistent in the things you do. I don't care what type of workout you do: whether it's HIT or High Volume, just continually get to the gym and push yourself.  You must also continually feed your body high-quality protein to repair your muscle fibers from the beating you put them through while in the gym. You must get adequate sleep every single night because it's during sleep that your body repairs and heals itself. You must continually drink plenty of fluids to hydrate your body, and believe it or not, this is something that even the most advanced lifters don't always do consistently!  If you're the type of person that goes about doing things halfway and can't do the same thing day in and day out, then most likely - unless you are just blessed with extraordinary genetics - you aren't going to build an above-average physique. Why? Because this type of physique takes some sacrificing to achieve.  I don't know how many people tell me "well I can't remember to take all those vitamins and supplements every day." If that's you then don't expect to grow by leaps and bounds either. Another thing I want to stress is to also consistently challenge yourself in the gym. If you aren't trying to add a little weight to the bar or do a few more reps each and every workout then you aren't going to get very far with muscular growth. 

Food will be your greatest weapon in the search for more muscle. Protein must always be a constant, and depending on the amount of muscle you hold you should be consistently getting at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. So if you're a 200 lb person, you should be consuming at least 200 grams of protein daily every single day in the form of lean red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and a quality whey protein supplement like ON 100% Whey Gold Standard, or a whey-based blended protein like ON Pro Complex as it is often very difficult to choke down 200+ grams of protein in chicken alone. 

Carbohydrates are what the body uses as fuel to push you through those grueling workouts, but too many carbs that are not burned will be stored as body fat, so you want to take in only enough carbohydrates to fuel your workouts and spare precious amino acids from being burned for fuel. This means that carbs are a variable that will be adjusted according to your goal at the time.  If you are trying to put on muscle, then you can up your calories by slightly upping your carbohydrate intake. If you're trying to cut weight, then you will lower your calories through lowering your carbohydrate intake. 

Fats are the third piece of the nutrition puzzle and although you want to stay away from animal-based saturated fats, essential fats such as omega 3, 6, and 9 from sources like fish oil and flaxseed are your friends and will give you a slew of benefits such as promoting heart, cellular, and metabolic health. 

I want to stress again that your diet must be on point not 3 or 4 days a week but every single day, thus the title of this very article "Consistency". Do the very simple things outlined in this article and you will be absolutely amazed at the physique you'll be able to build over time. And remember, "Rome wasn't built in a day," so you have to put in the time to get the results. This article isn't geared toward the already seasoned gym vet but hopefully will be used as a general guideline for those young guns starting up in the iron game, to put on muscle at an accelerated rate by not making the same mistakes that us veterans have made over the years by just simply not being consistent in the things we do.

Brad Davis
ON Reps and Sets Athlete

The author is a compensated ON Sets and Reps Athlete, however, the views, opinions, and comments expressed here are those exclusively of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Optimum Nutrition.
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Matt Mclean
Jun 24, 2007
This is a great article and Brad really "hit the nail on the head". This article tells you everything you need to know to build an awsome physique. Great job Brad