First of all, the most important thing in order to get strong is NOT to work-out without limiting yourself. Exercise is only part of the way. There are several other things that are just as important as exercise.
As much as you need exercise you also need enough sleep and a proper diet.
Sleep: You need 8+ hours per day of sleep so that you will heal fast enough and so that you will have enough energy for any work-out that you have planned.
Diet Requirements: You need to eat ALOT! You basically need to eat every 3 hours or your metabolism will start to slow down.
It gets more complicated though!
As soon as you wake up you need to eat a BIG breakfast and take a good multivitamin.
The next meals will be normal sized.
I recommend going to the gym only 1 hour after eating a meal; this way you can insure that you will have some fresh energy being processed for you during your workout.
My workouts last about 1 hour and 30 min. so by the time I'm finished I have to get home and eat.
The next big meal will be the meal you have as soon as you get home; DO NOT WASTE ANY TIME!
Eat as much as you can of high carbohydrate, high protein, and low-saturated fat/high mono and polyunsaturated fat containing foods. Carbohydrates to restore your muscles energy stores.
Protein to provide the building-blocks for the new muscle tissue your body wants to add now.
And low saturated fat but high mono/polyunsaturated fats; saturated fat is always bad for you, while mono/polyunsaturated fats are very healthy for you.
Personally I eat 2 peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches with 2-3 glasses of milk after a workout.
I'm going to start adding more vegetables to my diet soon too ;). Three hours later you will be eating again etc.
Before bed you need to eat another HUGE meal to ensure that your body has enough fuel throughout the night and so that you will gain weight.
If you do not have enough fuel then your body will not allow growth to happen.
If your body constantly has to reach into storage for calories then that means your nutrient intake is not enough; your body will only grow when you have a surplus of nutrients and calories to work with. High metabolism individuals will need to eat more at every meal so that they can keep up with their metabolism.
The next important thing to remember to do is to REST ENOUGH BETWEEN SETS!
I usually rest 3-6 min. between workouts and about 6-10 min. between sets.
Its like this: Bench-press-205lbs. x9, rest 3-6 min.; Incline-Bench-135lbs. x9, rest 3-6min.; Reverse-Incline-205lbs. x9, rest 3-6 min.; Fly-Press Machine-90lbs. x9, finished One set now, rest 6-10 min.
It is important to rest enough between sets because you can burn all of your stored energy too quickly if you don't.
Straining because you've run out of energy burns you up really fast, and it pretty much makes you tired for the rest of the day.
This is because of the lack of Oxygen in your muscles.
Oxygen is one of the most important factors of energy production within a cell.
When Oxygen is present within a cell then energy production is huge when compared to another cell that lacks Oxygen.
If a cell lacks Oxygen then it burns your fuel at the same rate as normal, but produces far less energy.
This will lead to you having nothing left to use for energy, and you will have to quit for the day or risk burning muscle tissue for energy.
Have any of you guys seen a Strongman Competition?
Have you noticed how different those guys look compared to Bodybuilders?
The stronger 'Weight Lifter' type of body has extra fat storage on and inside of it.
This helps the body in several ways.
Number One: the more you weigh compared to an object, the easier it is to lift it; it's simple leverage.
Number Two: More fat insures that you remain strong during training and during heavy lifts due to the high energy provided by the fat stores.
Number Three: fat absorbs many different kinds of vitamins and other nutrients for later use; a good fat content insures that you will stay healthy.
The 'Bodybuilder' type of body is usually weaker than the 'Weight Lifter' body type because they train differently.
The Bodybuilder does not train the same way that a Weight Lifter does; they train to increase muscle form and size but that does not translate directly to 'Power'. Bodybuilders use many different types of workouts and they usually lift lighter weights than a Weight Lifter but lift it many more times. This only builds muscle that is good for endurance but is not good for heavy weight. Weight Lifters lift much heavier weights, comparatively, but usually only go for 1-5 repititions. This is great for building muscle that can continue to lift those heavy weights; you see, the body adapts to whatever happens to it, building itself up in a logical way.
Now with all this knowledge I'm sure you all can start making leaps and bounds beyond what you have already experienced. I have made some serious gains and have noticed my developement start to accelerate because I strictly followed my routine, diet, and sleep/rest requirements.
I can't wait to see your improvements! I'll keep posting mine as I progress!