Are you doing everything right but still struggling to build muscle?

Chances are it’s one of two things:

1. You’re not training “hard” enough, and

2. You’re not recovering sufficiently to grow.

Now of course, hard is subjective—so we’ll clear that one up in a minute. But first, let’s check you ARE doing everything right.

The foundation of all hypertrophy is PROGRESSION—doing a little more every time you step into the gym. Be that one more rep, one more pound, or the same work completed in less time or just performed better.

Without that, all bets are off.

Next is CONSISTENCY—showing up session after session and week after week. Heroic one-off workouts followed by missed or mailed-in sessions won’t move the needle. It’s putting in the work over many months and fighting for progression that moves you forward.

You’re two for two, right?

And that brings us back to HARD, which in this context is really just a proxy for “mental fortitude.”

‘Cause intense training with good form that gets close to failure hurts. And once you’ve accumulated the experience to differentiate good pain from bad, you’ve got to show some grit and embrace the suck of hard training.

Don’t just show up at the gym and “workout.” Have a clear plan with established goals running through your mind before you even pick up a weight. Fight to beat your logbook and improve your lifts from the last session.

But even once you’ve mastered “hard training,” it’s all for nought if you can’t recover from the session.

Remember, intense training is just the stimulus but it’s a demanding one. It’s RECOVERY that creates the positive adaptations we’re after. But recovery is multifaceted, and sleep, stress, calories, protein, and hydration amongst other things must all be in line.

Falling short in just one area can mean the difference between making slow or no progress.

“Showing up is 90% of success” might apply to some parts of life—but not when it comes to changing your body. Physique transformation is one discipline where results are very much a reflection of your effort and consistency.

– Coach Bryan