Nailing the basics

Posted 17 Nov 2021

At Holos Performance, it’s our goal to provide you with all the tools and education needed for you to be successful. There can be a lot of confusion on the internet and social media these days surrounding the best way to tackle any health goal.

We thought we would put this article together to remind you that there are a few really basic principles when it comes to building muscle that we can sometimes forget about, or not prioritise as a result of searching for hacks or the latest muscle building “trends”. 

It’s also worth noting that, no matter your ability level, these basic principles stay the same, they just need to be nailed with greater consistency and precision.     


This is your training regimen. There are a few variables that will determine how effective your program is. We like to use this acronym from Bill Campbell PhD:

L – Load (weight)

E – Effort (intensity)

A – Amount (volume – sets / reps)

F – Frequency

Building muscle is hard and takes time. Period. One thing we notice with experienced trainers is that they ALWAYS bring the intensity. They approach every session with focus and take pride in every rep.

This is something that is often overlooked, but it’s the difference between good and great results

Total energy intake

You don’t need to be in a calorie surplus to build muscle, but it can be more effective. A conservative surplus is ~350-550kcal above maintenance. We’ve built this into your recommendations on your home screen for you. 

It can be tough to consume more energy than you need consistently, especially if you are juggling things like work and family commitments on top of your training. Preparation is key here… Knowing where you can get adequate fuel ahead of time rather than reacting to hunger will set you up for success. 


Protein is the king of the macronutrients. Consuming around 2-2.5g / kg of BW per day is considered to be a good range to strive for to support the development of lean muscle mass. Again – This is not an easy thing to do. Many outlets and restaurants will not necessarily offer the amounts of protein you need, so having strategies for this is important. 


Not getting enough quality sleep, overtraining or training the same muscle groups repeatedly without adequate rest will be directly reflected in your training outcomes. There’s an old school saying, “muscles are torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen and built in the bed” Important to emphasise the last part of this. 

These are your foundations. If you don’t integrate these principles consistently, then you will be fighting an uphill battle. Many more intricacies can be explored to yield better results once we have these areas nailed. The good news is that these things are tangible and straightforward. 


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