Reality: Building Muscle Is Not THAT Hard

Reality: Building Muscle Is Not THAT Hard

What’s up, guys? Sean Nalewanyj, and in today’s
video here I want to explain why, when you really break it all down step by step, piece
by piece, building muscle is actually not that hard. A lot of beginners have this idea that building
a lean and muscular body is this huge sacrifice you have to make where you’re just grinding
it out in the gym week after week, you’re going to war with the weights, you’re depriving
yourself all day long eating chicken breast and brown rice. But the reality is that getting into great
shape is really nothing like what a lot of these body building motivation videos or dramatic
inspirational fitness quotes on Instagram or even people here on YouTube make it out
to be. Building muscle and getting strong does require
patients and consistency, yes. It does require focused effort. And, yes, there can be challenging times with
it if your motivations dips for some reason, or you get injured, or some other area in
life gets in the way but in the overall grand scheme the only, truly challenging part of
the muscle building process, if there is any, is just in those very beginning stages. So, the beginning stages where you’re actively
developing the habits of proper training and proper nutrition, but once you’ve settled
into a routine with it it’s really not that hard. And actually if you can learn to enjoy the
process for what it is, if you can learn to appreciate the directive facts that weight
training and good nutrition have on your mind and your body then it’s not only not hard
but it’s actually something that you’ll enjoy doing a good portion of the time. I mean in terms of weight training, three
workouts per week is really all you’re going to need. Now, some people can bump that up to four
or five days in the gym per week if they’re more intermediate or more advance and they
want to improve their gains, possibly, but for the vast majority of people out there,
and especially for beginners, three days per week in the gym for, maybe, an hour of actual
heavy lifting that’s really all it takes. That’s going to equal out to about two percent
of your total available time, which is obviously not much to ask for from a time investment
perspective. And then when it comes to the actual lifting
itself, I know you’ve seen these dramatic motivational videos of guys screaming at the
top of their lungs with their eyes popping out of their sockets just barely cranking
out that last rep, but in reality that’s not actually what effective muscle building
training looks like the vast majority of the time, if ever. If you’re more advanced and you’re trying
to get as huge and strong s possible and you’re moving really big weights, or maybe you’re
a competitive power lifter then, yeah, that can definitely be challenging. That’s different. But training for basic hypertrophy most of
the time is not that hard. You’ll want to go about a rep or two short
of muscular failure on most of your sets and doing that on most exercises for most muscle
groups is pretty routine and as long as you have average paint tolerance then you should
be able to do that without much issue. I mean, there’s a lot of other types of
physical exercise that would be a lot more grueling than six to eight reps on a dumbbell
press or a lot pull-down or a barbell curl. And keep in mind that you’ll also get more
and more accustomed to the physical discomfort of weight training the longer you’ve been
doing it. So maybe in the very beginning it will seem
harder if you weren’t doing much exercise before that. It might be like a slight shock to your system
at first. But just like with anything, overtime your
mind will start to adapt and will get easier and easier. The only type of hypertrophy training that
I do think is genuinely challenging, at least for me, would be compound leg exercises. So things like heavy squats, deadlifts, which
are both of back and a leg exercise of course, and even a leg press if you’re going heavier
and more intense with it. Just those really big lifts where you’re
using a lot of muscle groups and you’re moving heavier weights. Yeah, those can be tough. But they still only make up a very small percentage
of your overall routine anyway. Aside from that, chest training is really
not that hard, shoulders, arms, back, if you’re going a rep or two short of failure you should
be able to tolerate that type of training pretty easily. And for me and for a lot of people where lifting
is just a routine thing, I actually enjoy training most of the time. I genuinely like doing it. More often than not I actually look forward
to my workout. I like putting my music in. I like the feeling of moving the weight, getting
a pump. There’s the whole post-workout high that
comes after that. I think it all feels good and so there’s
very little genuine discipline involved aside from, for me leg training, but even that’s
not true for everybody because some people genuinely like training legs too. But bottom line weight training for hypertrophy
is physically challenging but it’s not that challenging. Especially in comparison to a lot of other
things you could be doing. You’ll also adapt to it overtime. You’ll probably start to enjoy it. It will make you feel good during the time
that you’re away from the gym. And it’s mostly just a matter of actually
getting yourself to the gym in the first place and then staying consistent with your routine. And in terms of nutrition, this is usually
the tougher part for most people, but again, it’s mainly just a matter of developing
new habits. So it can be challenging in the beginning
when you’re not quite sure what you’re doing, you don’t have a good handle on things
like calories and macronutrient, you don’t know your body well yet, but I promise you
once you do get those things figured out, which doesn’t take very long, muscle building
nutrition is actually pretty straight forward too. You don’t need to track the exact macros
and know precisely how many grams of protein and carbs and fat you’re eating. As long as you have a decent handle on your
overall calorie intake and you’re eating a reasonably balanced diet throughout the
day, that’s really the majority of the process. You just have to go through those initial
stages to get a feel for which foods contain what. What your maintenance calories are. How much You need to get a feel
for which foods contain. You need to get a feel for your body and figure
out what your maintenance calories are and how much you need for consistent gains. But from there once you’ve figured that
out it really just becomes routine, especially if you tend to eat the same or similar things
from day to day. And not only that but this whole idea that
building a lean and muscular body means depriving yourself and eating a boring diet is a completely
outdated concept and it’s really not true at all. If you just take some time to look up some
different meal ideas and different recipes you can hit your nutritional needs and genuinely
enjoy pretty much everything you eat throughout the day. There really doesn’t have to be any deprivation
involved. For me personally, I genuinely look forward
to each meal I eat. I genuinely enjoy it. I’m not sitting around eating talape and
brown rice all day, not even close. Yeah, I have to use some willpower here and
there to keep my calories under control. I can’t just eat every chocolate brownie
or every piece pizza that I see even though I would like to but overall it’s something
that you just developed over time and it’s really not huge deal. I eat a minimally processed wholefood diet
the majority of the time but I still use meals and food combinations that are really good
and that I enjoy. I still allow myself to have higher fat and
higher sugar foods in moderation without any guilt. And if I want to go out and drink from time
to time that’s not issue either s long as I’m not doing it excessively. What you’ll find is if you’ve developed
these healthier nutritional habits in comparison to what you’re dong before, you just feel
better on a permanent basis. You’ll feel better both physically and mentally
and so just like with the weight training you learn to actually enjoy doing it and you
wouldn’t have it any other way anyway even if you could. So the main point of this video here is that
if you’re wanting to build muscle and getting to better shape but you’ve held back because
it seems that there’s sort of pie in the sky thing, it’s this big sacrifice you’d
have to make, people who are in great shape are just these robots who spend their whole
lives in the gym and eat perfectly clean foods all the time, none of that is actually true. Unless those people either don’t know what
they’re doing or they are a competitive athlete whose competing at a high level. And for everybody else that’s not how it
is and that’s not how it has to be. The challenging part, if there is any, is
just learning the ropes in the beginning. Developing the proper habits and learning
how to make your training and your diet fit your lifestyle. But once you’ve put in the initial effort
to do that, you’ll start settling in to the routine with it, training and nutrition
will become a lot easier and once you’ve start seeing tangible concrete results that’s
going to increase your motivation further and it’s going to feed on itself and you’ll
probably start enjoying the process rather than seeing it as a struggle. So if this is something that you want just
go for it, get started, grind out the initial stages and you’ll find that after a while
its fairly smooth sailing and it’s really not as big of a deal as you thought. So I hope this was helpful, guys. If you are ready to take control of your body
and your health, and you want a simple step-by-step guide that shows you exactly what you need
to know in terms of training nutrition and supplementation in order to get there as efficiently
as possible then you can grab my complete step-by-step Body Transformation Blueprint
by clicking here or by heading over to the link for that is in the description box. Make sure to hit the like button, leave a
comment and subscribe if you enjoyed the video. The official website is over at
and make sure to follow me on facebook and Instagram as well, the links for that are
also in the description box. Thanks for watching, guys. I’ll talk to you again soon.

100 Replies to “Reality: Building Muscle Is Not THAT Hard”

  1. I so enjoy and appreciate this guy. This is the most easy to understand, straightforward, realistic, uncomplicated yet informative fitness and bodybuilding channel on YouTube, period.

  2. In your e-book The truth about building muscle – "The truth is – Building muscle is hard" – Sean Nalewanyj. Just saying.

  3. I can't understand why there are so much dislikes! This video is just no B.S and it makes sense.
    Great video as always, thanks bro!

  4. Which is better when training three days a week; full body work out each day, or two body parts each of the three days? I currently weight lift three days a week, Sat: Legs and Abs, Mon: Chest and Shoulders, Wed:, Back and Arms. Would I be better off doing less sets of each muscle group but training them each of the three days?

  5. Yeah, for basic hypertrophy… but if you want to have the best body possible, extreme discipline is necessary

  6. Hey guys, hope you enjoyed the video. Just to be clear, what I'm referring to here is the overall goal of basic hypertrophy – that is, building a decently lean and muscular body and hitting somewhere around 80-90% of your genetic muscle building potential. For those who are more advanced (or who compete) and who are trying to fully maximize their gains/be as muscular as possible, that's of course a different story and does require a lot more hard work and focus.

    I'm also not saying that building muscle is EASY by any means – the main point here is just that it's not as hard as most people think and that the main challenge is in building up the initial knowledge/momentum to carry you forward.

  7. Sean, you should inquire about a collaboration with Jeff Nippard sometime! You guys both provide such excellent, science-based information and are both Canadian! I think both your audiences could overlap in a positive way. Thanks for all the amazing content!

  8. I agree with everything you have said here. But I SO wish I had this information when I was starting out. I used to think every set had to be taken to failure and for me this meant years (decades actually) of ZERO gains.

  9. It's so refreshing to hear some sanity in a community that has become a caricature of itself. The endless debates on diets and training are getting so old. Training and nutrition don't require expertise. It requires a modicum of general knowledge and common sense.

  10. Hey man. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this article by Lyle McDonald. It's about the daily caloric surplus needed for optimal muscle gain. According to McDondald is only 60-175 kcal, which is of course very controversial. Is the science behind it correct?

  11. Should naturals train to failure? If on how many sets and exersise ? And what is IT with people saying You should stimulate the Muscle and not inhaliate?

  12. Hey, I've been interested in 3 muscle group split. It would take 3 days.
    Day 1 – Triceps, Chest, Shoulders
    Day 2 – Biceps, Back, Traps
    Day 3 – Full Legs
    Day 4 – Rest
    Reset to Day 1
    But wouldn't that mean 3 days in between every muscle group being trained? Is that too much? I also was intrigued by Monday, Wednesday, Friday Split. Wouldn't that be way too much rest for the muscle groups? Thank you.

  13. What people think:
    Effort & Sacrifice – 90% of difficulty
    Patience & TIME – 10% of difficulty
    Effort & Sacrifice – 20% of difficulty
    Patience/Time & Consistency – 80% of difficulty

    At least in my experience so far- it's only the learning curve and adapting period at the beginning that is hard. The routine actually barely feels like effort once you get used to it, I'm able to eat pizza and schnitzels even on a cut… but the time drags as if you are waiting for the kettle to boil.

  14. Heavy squat and feeling dizzy after that is the hardest part…Eating when you do not feel like eating but you know you have to because you haven't hit your macros is another hard part…other than that for me the rest is pure joy…

  15. Bullcrap the biggest bullcrap and scam in the history of history. Some are born to grow that shit some aren't. Gyms are scams. The only way to get bigger is steroids. Sorry but that's the reality. The rest is pure horsecrap a waste of time, money and effort. The only thing that you gain by working out is muscle soreness and your body getting tired as fuck.

  16. For me the Hardest part when i was a beginner, i didn't have any knowledge whatsoever neither in Nutrition or Training, and there is so much fucking BS and truth on the Internet it just confuses the fuck out of you
    and i was a skinny fat guy in the beginning, very little muscle mass, never knew what muscle works when i do an exercise, and as i was a weak ass most of the time i couldn't perform an exercise in a good form it used to be very demotivating for me, Mind Muscle Connection was weak af
    Luckily i got through the that phase and i continue to look forward for the next workout day

  17. There are only 2 Youtube trainers that finally said, "To look like these trainers, you have to be born with the genetics. If your trainer didn't workout, he'd still look like that". I had a co-worker who wanted to go to the gym with me. He was 21 and played basketball with his friends. After a warm-up with cardio and abs we started benching light, 135# for 10 reps. After his 10th reps, he started throwing up. He looked great. Ripped, cut with a lot of definition. He was just born that way. On the other side, my roommate was obese. 6' @ 300#. Never worked out but strong as an Ox. I've seen him overturn cars because his girlfriend dumped him. He was born with "twitch muscles". He outran the NCAA sprint champion because he was so quick.

  18. Exactly. Working out requires effort. The problem I saw was that people would view it as a drastic change in their life. In reality you have to challenge yourself each time but donโ€™t overtrain. Most people will go full out and what happens they will get scared to go bc of the negative overtraining results. Do it right and the rest unfolds. Just view it as itโ€™s a daily activity and it has to be done. Challenge yourself but donโ€™t over do it.

  19. For me training a muscle part once a week was not enough. I train a muscle part every 4 days which works much better. 3 times a week not enough for my maximum muscle growth.

  20. Yeah its easy when you do a shot of Test or Deca right before you do your "shoulder side raises". Olympic weightlifters and gymnasts get tested for steroids, they're natty. They must be secretly doing millions of shoulder side raises to get their huge round delts, cause I don't really see them doing them or any other isolation exercises.

  21. It's simple knowing what to do, but doing it and the amount of time it takes is not easy.
    If it were that easy, then steroids would not be used.

  22. Ah… genetics.
    I am a 21-year-old woman and I've always had muscular legs and glutes (not bulky, muscular), without lifting a single weight.
    Now I go to the gym 3 times a week and I really find it hard NOT to bulk up.
    I seriously mean it. That's why I train my upper body more than the lower body, because I need more strength on my arms and shoulders.

  23. I really appreciate this advice and encouragement. I have been a cardio only kind of guy and starting into heavier lifting – I was just kind of feeling like I needed to have a spotter and come close to injuring myself to get real hypertrophy – so this is very encouraging that I can go sort of hard enough and consistently and have gains. Thanks, new sub here!

  24. Hey Sean, thanks for sharing. What do you think is a good 3-day workout plan for a newbie? I'm a mature male and I'm feeling overwhelmed with all the info found online. Thank you in advance ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. I'm 49 and I've been back in the gym for around two years after approx eight year lay off, just swam and hiked and whatever, no weights at all.
    At my peak, around 40, I weighed almost 200lbs at about 12% bodyfat. My hi bar squat was 160k, DL was 175, bench was 120k which was shit but I have very long arms for my overall height of 5' 9".
    Anyway in two years of 100% natural training, not even creatine or preworkouts or even that much extra protein tbh, I have gained a fair bit of muscle back. The only real problem is I need to train more cautiously because my body is not as resilient as it was and if I do injure myself my recovery will be a lot longer. As an example my upper arm has gone from just over 14" to a little over 16" and my chest has blown up. My DL is 140 for 6 reps, 100k bench for reps and my hi bar is also 100 but that's cuz I've had issues with my IT band so I dnt really push the overall weight too much, just try to increase reps.
    Its definitely do-able, even at my age.

  26. the hardest part about training and getting gains is training around injuries. For some reason almost every exercise is causing me joint pains and injuries, even though i do them with good form. I'm fucking obsessed about form, because i cannot afford to execute lifts with bad form

  27. You gotta love Sean.. 99% of YTubers make info way too complicated just to sound more fucking experts and scientific, not that they say wrong stuff, but they lose the forest to focus on the tree.. Sean is the 1%, respect dude

  28. You and mike matthews are my go to when it comes to realistic fitness and health. People centered and scientific not like others who are broscience and self centered.

  29. I started working out at home around 10 months ago when I could not afford gym, literally lifted concrete blocks behind my parents house in snow in the middle of forest for 6 months. I started gym 2 months ago in the gym, and I was blown away when i noticed i lifted almost as much as the "toned and big" dudes at my gym. I followed you with proper form and all tips. I also followed Jeff cavaliere, Jeff nippard and Scott herman for pro lifting tips and i literally owe my life to you guys. Im so happy how much i have progressed in last 12months. I would have never expected to be so addicted to weight lifting and fitness. Thank you Sean and every1 in the community

  30. Thanx again for all your great advice. I have completely changed my body – and you are my #1 YouTube knowledge resource.

  31. "it's not that hard" and then proceeds to make an entire youtube channel and website based around building muscle…

  32. Sean i followed your was introduce by my friend and it really give me a 3 months already and i see a result.thanks man. Raul from philippines

  33. Exactly. Building muscle IS not that hard. Building strength in your core muscles and being able to control your own weight is hard. Then turning that into a trade to have an advantage in flexibility and endurance of muscle and stamina of strength in whatever sport you want to pick up

  34. This is the FIRST video i have to DISAGREE!
    Most Americans are FAT, this proves my statement!๐Ÿ˜‚

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