The Greatest Muscle Building Article Of All Time

image descriptionPosted by ACalorieCounter image descriptionMarch 25, 2008 image description45 Comments

Looking to build some muscle? If so, consider today your luckiest day in the history of lucky days.

A couple of months ago I brought you The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide. Today, I am bringing an equally comprehensive guide into the world.

I’m calling it: The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle

For those who can’t tell exactly what this is just by its self explanatory title, let its first paragraph serve as your description:

This is it, folks. This is the first, last and only article you will EVER need to read about building muscle. Only, this is much more than an article. This, my friends, is a guide. In fact, it’s the ultimate guide to building muscle. It’s a collection of every single thing you will ever need to know. Every helpful tip, every useful fact… it’s all here, compiled in one place, just for you.

If you have any interest in building muscle, this is literally EVERYTHING you could possibly need to know.


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  • Josh March 25, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Wow, that was perfect!

  • Ben March 26, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    After reading many websites and blogs with this type of information this site was a welcome break from the rest.
    All the information is clearly laid out and explained.
    Thanks for a great read, i’ll pass this onto other people i know who’ll find it beneficial.

  • rob buchanan March 26, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    great read, thx for the info !

  • aCalorieCounter March 26, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Josh, Ben and Rob: Thanks… glad you guys liked it.

  • abrero.c March 26, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It is really helpful :)

    One question: How would you combine aerobic training for health purposes with muscle building training?

  • Carl Cape Town March 27, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Wow! Thanks for a fantastic, easy to understand article. As a newbie I’m really looking forward to trying this out!

  • aCalorieCounter March 28, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Some light aerobic work on the off days should be okay for most people (but nothing too intense, of course). If you need to do them on the same day, I’d think spreading them out (weight training in the AM, aerobic stuff in the PM, for example) would be okay too. The other thing to remember is to eat enough to compensate for the extra calories you will burn from the aerobic work.

    Carl Cape Town:
    You are quite welcome my friend. Go for it, and let us know how it goes.

  • harrypatel April 08, 2008 at 3:55 am

    good works guys awesome….everyone need 2 read the great article thanks in millions guys u the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pavel April 12, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    the suggested exercise routines you have laid out are awesome.

    if it is not too much trouble, could you provide / link to an example diet sheet for say an average 3000 – 3500 cal/ per day requirement?

    how many grams of dextrose do you recommend in the post workout recovery drink. thanks :) Pavel

  • daren beesley April 13, 2008 at 5:25 am

    by far the best weight training website on the internet.all i want to know and all i need to know,in simple easy to understand terms.just brilliant.( have past both your websites onto all my friends.)

  • Joe Grant April 24, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Absolutely fantastic read,Most helpfull and informal.I would reccomend ANYONE that is serious about building muscle to read it!!

  • sueli May 06, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    This is the first article that helped me with all my questions. # 1 I’m not loosing any weight by eating about 2000 calories a day and exercising every day burning about 500 to 700 calories a day. Now I understand that if I don’t eat enough I will not loose LB because by body is not getting what it need to transform energy into muscles. Thank you very much for this article.

  • Austin May 07, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    This is a really good websight. All your hard work is paying off, so thanks.
    On your sample workout you have the 4 different days, 2 upper and 2 lower. Each day has the various lifts. My question is how do you incorporate the lifts you list in “Is comprised of mostly compound exercises?” I don’t want to overwork a certain muscle group but don’t want to neglect either if I switched lifts.

  • Greg S. May 15, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Interesting article, I think you offer great advice. My only question is there are a few unlucky men out there with super high metabolic
    rates like myself. Meaning we must consume double the calories you listed,according to your calculator,to build muscle. Which becomes expensive and if we stop at any point we lose the fat and muscle we built. I know, it happened to me and my twin brother. Any suggestions as to what people with high metabolic rates can do? To keep a super high calorie intake without losing fat and muscle gains? Once they have reached their
    goals and want to stop.

  • mike June 02, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    any thoughts on kre-alkalyn? supposed to be a stable form of creatine that doesn’t lead to water retention.

  • James D June 14, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    This is a fantastic piece of information. I have been training for some time with various guides from the internet that all give the same unrealistic information which provide some gains of muscle, but also horrible gains of body fat. For all levels of body builder this provides the truth about realistic gains of muscle. To anybody interested in this topic this article is a must read and completely free. Don’t waste money (or gain fat) on any other programme. Many thanks. It’s people like you that keep the “information highway” a pleasure to surf!
    (PS- Posted by a so-called “hard gainer” tired of gaining fat through poor calorie advice)

  • Maz June 27, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    This is by far the most comprehensive and informative article on building muscle I have ever read. I have been training for just over a year now and for the first time, I totally understand how the body works and how everything comes together. I have been using a weight training program from a bodybuilding magazine, and surprise surprise… is a body part split program! I have gained about 10 kilos over the year, but with the help of your article, I’m sure I’ll make more significant gains over the next year. Excellent work; please keep it coming.

  • bill September 02, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    15 years of studying/attempting/wishing how to not be a skinny guy, i have finally come across an easy read, full of laymens-terms, simple math, and explanations. thank you, seriously, for the time you took to do this. i just had a reason to use my BookMark button. thanks again

  • Didier October 02, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I love this website and especially this article. Though I am a college student and eat at a cafeteria making the calorie counting almost impossible I’ve followed everything else to the max for three weeks now and I can’t believe how much muscle I’ve gained. This completely blows away the small gains I had while playing football in high school. Thank You very much I think this is a new lifelong passion for me now.

  • Frank December 15, 2008 at 6:08 am

    I agree with the others; this is a great site! I have read many articles and books about building muscle, but they are all way too complicated and contradicts each other. I almost gave up bodybuilding entirely because of all the headache I got from trying to understand exercise science. I`ve had several weeks of effective training since I found this site, and NO headaches. Thank you.

  • Sam January 03, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    One of the best articles with common questions actually answered in the article. One of the most common sense, well written, rich with info articles that I’ve ever read.

    Thank you.

  • floda January 29, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    This is an extremely clear and well written article/guide. Thanks for writing it!

  • Didier March 13, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I have a question on the sample workout routine you provided. I’ve noticed that my muscles are coming in nice and even except for my lower pecs. I’ve since included decline benching in my Thursday workout but it seems to no be working. I’ve been following that workout plan for almost six months now and would appreciate your input on this.

  • Adam Diemert April 16, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Thanks to the Author,
    This article really did sum up the countless articles and info on the internet. It’s also pretty refreshing not having a million product offers, or “one-time membership fee”. After reading your article, I look forward to correcting some of the mistakes iv been making. Over all well done!

  • Mick May 05, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Very well-written and authoritative article. Read the whole darn thing in one sitting…and yes, I even bought some protein powder from one of the links. I’m 46 now, have worked out for about a year but was looking for a more practical routine. This was a pretty good fit. Thanks!

  • nick September 26, 2009 at 12:42 am

    that was the most useful piece of information i have ever read regaurding weight training. you are the man.

  • Rev October 02, 2009 at 4:54 am


    this is one amazing guide and I will be spreading it around definitely. Thank you so much!

    Just one quick question, would it be OK to workout like this:

    Mon: Lower Body #1
    Tue: Upper Body #2
    Thu: Lower Body #2
    Fri: Upper Body #1

    Thanks in advance!

  • Ryan October 06, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Very Comprehensive guide well done!

  • Jon February 12, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    A nice presentation of all the factors you need to take into account while weight training.

    I especially appreciate the section emphasizing the importance of recording what you do. It’s good record keeping that I credit most to helping me in my own weight management.

    I’m 6’2″, and at my peak in high school was 270 lbs. Never exercised unless I was forced to. It took me about a year of reduced calories and (light) exercise to lose 105 lbs. and I hit my lowest adult weight (admittedly unhealthy) of 165 lbs.

    It’s been a couple years now, and except for a short burst up to 190 and back (when I stopped paying attention), I’ve maintained ~170 lbs.

    For record keeping, I’ve written down my weight daily for the entire time (missing maybe 15% of each year), and because of that I can watch my average calorie intake, graph my progress, and overall not get discouraged when I see a daily variance (water weight, big meal, etc) which I can filter out.

    The spreadsheet I created is free and available for use at

    Now I might have to look into making a new spreadsheet for tracking my new weight training resolution. Up until now I’ve just been marking the days cause I was following a DVD, but now I’m just doing the exercises myself, and I think now I need to ramp things up (not enough progress overload in my routine).

    Either way, what’s important (I think) is that people realize that reshaping your body is a war of attrition, and that it takes a long time. It took months to get out of shape, it’ll take months to get it back.

    You’ve got a new reader!


  • Jason February 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks so much for your no nonsense advice, it’s so helpful. I have been one of those idiots in the gym thinking that I have been doing the right things, but I’m going to implement your advice and I’m sure I will see results.

  • Ronald June 19, 2010 at 3:34 am

    I loved how simple is it to understand the process of gaining muscle…thanks so much!!!

  • MrT February 24, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Dude! Excellent article!

  • Brad March 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Great article thanks for taking the time to share with the rest of us. I just have a question if you don’t mind. On the post work out drink, do you just drink water and dextrose or are you mixing dextrose in your Whey protein drink? Also what is the right amount of Dextrose?

  • E November 07, 2011 at 1:29 am

    With respect to the set progression you have set out here, do you recommend for or against a pyramid approach to reps, ie set 1 at 8 reps of 50lbs, 6 reps of 55, 4 reps of 60. Everything I’ve read over my life has suggested that this is the best approach to build strength, and size ( however not endurance), does your method agree or disagree with this approach for newbies?

  • Andre February 02, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    This rocks! I’m new to weight lifting and was so confused by all the other stuff out there. This article brings a nice healthy dose of common sense to the arena and two weeks in I’m enjoying the workouts. Thank you so much for writing it!

  • Andre February 07, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Two questions: I’ve just started your program, and since I’m new to lifting and have “magical powers” I’m eating at maintenance while working at progression since I still have a few pounds to loose (6’4, 204 lbs)

    1. Should I expect my weight to go up, down, or stay constant? (in other words, how do I fine tune my caloric intake during this first phase?)
    2. How long before I need to start eating a surplus?


  • Justkeith February 18, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    DUDDE your are the Guru of all that is holy….in muscle building 😀 got that shit on lock down

  • JimmyD September 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Hey great site! Excellent writing style. I’m an advanced lifter always looking for a tweak. I have to work out early in the mornings, M-W-F, I’m in the gym at 4:45/5:00AM till about 6:15AM. My question is about the pre-workout meal. Any suggestions to maximize or maintain energy levels throughout my entire workout? For instance, if I eat a pre-workout shake or meal on the way, I’m feeling my best energy levels toward the end of the session – when it’s time to leave.

    • aCalorieCounter September 25, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Two questions…

      In the pre-workout meals you’re having that are taking too long to “kick in,” what are you usually eating? Are you currently consuming any caffeine before your workouts?

  • Ruth October 02, 2012 at 12:49 am

    i am at a total loss of words. I just want to thank u for a great article and a very good heart for sharing it. I have been an idiot for 9years, may God keep u in superb health so u can keep helping others. As for me, i will be praying for u.

  • Big Rich February 03, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Amazing web site!! This is all the info people pay nutritionists for summed up in a nut shell!! Since reading this and following your advice I have broke through my plateau at 231 and now stand at 245lbs and lean as ever.. Thank you for all the help and motivation!!!

  • Shawn July 10, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    When figuring out my daily maintence level ,should I enter my current weight or my target weight whitch is 20lbs less than current?

  • Tony Royal Mail July 12, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Best article I’ve read it confirms everything I mostly new, I was getting abit lost reading all the magazines out there, it was like a refresher course. Brilliant. Thanks


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