It's hard to get excited about cold showers, taking naps, and popping fish-oil capsules. But all three can help you grow muscle and gain strength.
Take Fish Oil
It has been linked to reduced inflammation, which helps fight the soreness you feel a day or so after a heavy lifting session. You can find fish oil in pill and liquid forms in most drugstores and supermarkets.
Don't Go To Failure
It's OK to do it in a couple of workouts per month, but routinely hitting the wall will damage your body's ability to recruit your strongest muscle fibers and will deplete your protein and carbohydrate reserves. Instead, cut off your sets one rep shy of the most you could do with perfect form.
Drink A Post-Workout Shake
Chugging a mix of high-glycemic carbs and whey protein as soon as you're done lifting stops muscle breakdown right away and begins repairs. Look for a powder that offers a rough ratio of two grams of carbs for every gram of protein.
When you're showering after a workout, make the water as cold as you can withstand, and let it beat on the muscles you trained for one minute. Then immediately turn the water to as hot as you can withstand for another minute. Repeat the process a few times. The contrasting temperatures flush more blood into your muscles, providing essential nutrients that speed healing.
Your body releases growth hormone while you sleep, so staying up late every night robs it of the ability to build muscle. Make sure you get eight to 10 hours, and sneak in a nap during the day whenever possible.