The 7 Rules of Building Muscle


Today’s post is a guest blog by Joe Warner, the Deputy Editor of Men’s Fitness UK magazine, on his new book The 7 Rules of Building Muscle.

I’ve known Joe for what must be almost two years now, and I have always been struck by his open mindedness to learn new principles, his lack of ego that has made him so receptive to keep on with that learning and to sometimes strip away past erroneous preconceptions of what it takes to build muscle (a common hazard in fitness journalism when being forced to speak to a myriad of different personal trainers, so many of whom really do not appreciate what it takes to stimulate decent levels of hypertrophy), and his enthusiasm for a hobby and a pastime that are not his natural metier.  Ectomorphic men who cannot stand the idea of consuming red meat are not obvious fans of the Art & Science of muscle building, yet Joe has thrown himself into this strange world populated by people like myself and Charles Poliquin with a gusto that is readily apparent in his new book – “The 7 Rules of Building Muscle”.  


Rule of displaying muscle: Nick to remember to actually flex biceps when posing next to Joe Warner and Charles Poliquin!

I will be very honest here, despite Men’s Fitness’ ongoing credentials at including serious weight training and body composition advice (Poliquin has his monthly column and even my mug appears in there on a fairly regular basis) I thought it was going to be a piece of fitness fluff.  Joe asked if I could plug it to our Facebook personal training page but I wanted to have a look at it first, because as you all know I am firm with my opinions and won’t compromise that for anybody.  I don’t mind admitting that when the book arrived at our City gym I was really quite shocked at what I read! It was extremely comprehensive and not just some mainstream “bodybuilding lite” guide aimed at raw beginners.  Even for the very advanced trainer there are nuggets of gold well worth the very low cost price (I think about the equivalent of 2 and half off the shelf magazines).  The chapter on how and why to vary your training stimulus should be required reading for every person who ever wants to put on appreciable muscle.  Following this advice alone would save countless trainees years and years of frustration.  

Great job Joe!! 

The 7 Rules of Building Muscle

Why I decided to write the definitive guide to getting the body you’ve always wanted, by Joe Warner, Deputy Editor at Men’s Fitness magazine

Long before I started working for Men’s Fitness magazine I was interested in improving my physique. Always a skinny kid, once I hit my mid-teens I decided I wanted to look more like a man and less like a boy. So I read every fitness magazine I could get my hands on to discover the best way to pack on hard, lean muscle to try and look like guys that graced the covers. But much of what I read seemed to strangely contradict something I’d read elsewhere. If there was no consensus then where was I supposed to begin? And how could I be sure I was embarking upon the right muscle-building journey to reach my goal?

Working at Men’s Fitness opened my eyes to the hard truths about building lean, hard, muscle. Which is why I decided to write what I hope is the definitive guide to getting the body you’ve always wanted. To that end I consulted some of the biggest names in the strength and conditioning world, including internationally-renowned Charles Poliquin and some of his most successful protégés, such as Ultimate Performance’s Nick Mitchell, to separate the muscle facts from the fiction and the truth from the fads and they have been invaluable in the genesis of The 7 Rules of Building Muscle.

If you want the best information you have to go to the best minds. These guys not only talk the talk, they walk the walk, epitomising the values that they teach to some of the world’s star athletes and celebrities on a daily basis.

These consultations, combined with the knowledge I have absorbed from working on a daily basis with some of the finest fitness minds on the planet, gives me the confidence to claim that if you’re looking for the definitive guide to building muscle in the most effective, efficient and enjoyable way then you’re search is over.

The 7 Rules of Building Muscle breaks down the key steps you must take to craft the physique you’ve always wanted, but never quite managed to acquire.

7 rules of building muscle

Each rule has it’s own chapter.

The chapters are:

Rules Of Building Muscle – Chapter One: Identify Your Body Shape

Why it’s so important to identify your body type so that you can maximise you strengths – while minimising your weakness – to start packing on muscle fast.

Rules Of Building Muscle – Chapter Two: Build A Foundation

You can’t build a house without foundations, and the same is true when building muscle.

Rules Of Building Muscle – Chapter Three: Use Compound Lifts

Why the bang-for-your-buck lifts are the fastest way to add size and strength.

Rules Of Building Muscle – Chapter Four: Vary Your Exercises

Changing up your moves is the only way to keep you muscles guessing. And when they’re guessing, they keep growing.

Rules Of Building Muscle – Chapter Five: Change The Variables

Tampering with exercise selection, sets, reps, weight, tempo and rest periods is the key to long-term muscle growth.

Rules Of Building Muscle – Chapter Six: Vary Your Workouts

Supersets, trisets, German Volume Training – all you need to know about workout design.

Rules Of Building Muscle – Chapter Seven: Eat To Build Muscle

Everything you thought you knew about nutrition is wrong, but here’s what you need to eat to fuel your muscles for growth.


The 7 Rules of Building Muscle is available now at at the special price of £8.69