The Lifters Handbook

Whenever rules and regulations get mentioned, I always feel the need to rebel. If someone says you can’t have that, or you can’t do that, it’s human instinct to do the complete opposite and crave what’s off limits. I mean, just take Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit for an example.

So after saying all that, I’m not going to tell you what you can and can’t do. I am however, going to give you a few guidelines to follow if you want to become a successful lifter.


  1. Consistency is key

Training inconsistently is going to provide inconsistent results. The lifter who is willing to train week in week out will see better results than the lifter trying to smash their training 6 weeks before their holiday. Consistently training, consistently achieving those steady increases in strength and muscle is what separates the lifters from the bros.

  1. Train hard, train smart

A lot of people think that if they haven’t absolutely wrecked themselves in the gym, they haven’t had a good workout. That’s just madness. What are you going to gain from breaking yourself every workout?! If you’re feeling 100%, spend longer focusing on your recovery, lower the weight you’re using and use your brain. Linking into the previous point, you have to be consistent. If you’re taking 3 days between workouts to recover, maybe you need to rethink your workouts.

  1. Whole body, not just biceps

To stimulate muscle growth, you need to stimulate the muscle regularly. To stimulate muscle growth throughout the whole body, you need to use exercises that work the most muscles. This is where the big lifts come in, the squat, bench and deadlift, as they target so many muscles.

Now, don’t get me wrong, you won’t walk out the gym looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger if all you did was those three lifts. To maximise each muscles full potential, add in accessory exercises. For bench this may be rows, for squat this may be single leg exercises. Find your weakness within the big three, and then the isolation work will come. Don’t just go for the bicep curls straight from the off.


  1. Keep going forward

To get stronger, to get more muscle, to get bigger, you need to keep pushing yourself. If you stay at the same weight for each set, for each workout, your muscles will get used to it and start to plateau. By progressively overloading the muscle each workout with an increase in weight, you’re breaking down the muscle fibres so they can repair themselves and come back stronger. This doesn’t mean to say you add weight at the cost of good form though!

  1. Eat clean, train dirty

It doesn’t matter if you have the best training programme in the world, if your nutrition is lacking, you’re not going to achieve the goals you want. I’m not saying calculate everything you eat down to the each and every micronutrient. All I’m saying is take your nutrition seriously. You don’t have to be good all day every day, nobody’s perfect. Just try to make better choices when it comes to food, don’t go ruining a good workout by smashing a Burger King.


Hopefully some of the points I’ve mentioned are nice reminders of what you’re already doing. If they’re not, try and follow them for a few weeks. You may just surprise yourself with the results you get.

Thanks for reading,

Coach Steve

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