In our quest for massiveness, we tend to always want to Go, Go, Go! Go BIGGER, Go HARDER, Go POOP in the potty... Without rest, you won't recover, get stronger or bigger. Without adequate rest, your T levels will drop and leave you feeling stagnant. Get to bed by 11:00 every night and make a habit of relaxing without tv or electronic lights for at least an hour or two before bed. There are all kinds of holistic relaxation techniques that might be foreign to you, make you feel awkward by being forced to relax and or concentrate on nothing, but if it helps you get more Zzz's and in turn increases you T's, you might want to check it out. Drink some chamomile tea or melatonin or something. Improving your sleep sleep habits is just one of many ways to improve your quest for improved muscle and strength gains, check out these 12 Simple Muscle Building Tips.
If your goal is to gain size, do not over do the cardio. Both kinds of cardio: slow, steady state cardio and short high intensity stuff, just back off for a bit, and slowly add it in a little as you begin to grow. It will eat up too many calories that could go towards your massiveness. It will also cut in to sleep and recovery time. I know you don't want to get fat or lose your conditioning, but stay true to your current goal of getting bigger and more jacked, and back off the cardio and conditioning temporarily to allow those muscles to expand. After a few weeks when you get back in to some "cardio" training, avoid any slow monotonous treadmill stuff, it's not only boring but fairly ineffective unless you have a lot of spare time on your hands. Opt for short, high intensity finishers to burn the fat and keep you athletic in minimal time.
Consuming lots of high quality fats (not mayonnaise covered french fries) can positively affect testosterone levels. Stick to the good stuff like avocados, olives, nuts, coconut, wild fish and grass fed beef. An occasional burger and fries won't hurt, but treat the shit like the holidays. Not the gubment holidays that come every other Monday and Friday to get a long weekend, but like the kind of holiday where you actually get a present, like Knobber day, I mean Valentines Day.
More isn't necessarily better, but you have to find the right amount for you, and many people under-eat for muscle gain. I hear it all the time, "I eat a ton, dude!" Sure, once in a while you eat a massive meal, like a whole pizza when you're stoned, then you go in a food coma and barely eat the next day. For increased size, you need to take that same big meal and repeat that action 5 more times that day, and do it every day for months and years on end. Most people don't have the "guts" to do it. If you want to be 250 pounds, get in the habit of eating 250 grams of protein a day, every day.
Carb cycling is a popular concept and it works. You can minimize your fat gain while size and strength by manipulating your carb intake. On days you train, eat a ton more carbs than on days you don't. There are many variables here, educate yourself on macronutrient cycling and timing. You'll need to consume about 20 calories per pound of desired bodyweight per day, and a large portion of that will be carbs. So a 250 pounder will need about 5000 cals to grow. Don't fuck around with all the Paleo jazz, leave that for the health nuts. Squatting over a quarter ton isn't about being healthy, it's about getting freakin strong. If your main goal is health, eat clean, do some swings and goblet squats, and walk a lot. This is real talk. It's gonna be real hard getting 5000 calories a day from spinach. Potatoes, rice, oatmeal and cherry turnovers are your friends, get close with them.
Obviously you're going to have to lift heavier than ever before if you expect your muscles to grow. If you don't give them a new stimulus they won't have any reason to adapt. Don't be a traitor to yourself and lift like an average pussy. This isn't an invitation to lift with shitty technique, but week after week, add some plates to the bar, keep the sets in the 4-8 rep range, stick to basic compound movements, and say your prayers. You'll need Jesus in your corner in a few weeks. A sample workout progression for a main lift might look something like this:
1st set: 70%, 10 reps
2nd set: 70%, 10 reps
3rd set: 80%, 7 reps
4th set: 85%, 5 reps
5th set: 90%, 3 reps
Gaining muscle has little to do with advanced technique. I know you need solid technique to lift big weights, but let me explain what I am talking about. All these fuckin pencil neck gurus keep telling people that everything is wrong and any movement not done with perfect spinal & hip alignment will cause instantaneous antiperipheratory countercombustion compounded with hyperphalactic hepatitis. Again, you should always try to use proper technique, but when pushing your limits, shit might get ugly on occasion. Experience will let you know what to push and when to back off. Another big point here is don't focus on skill training or advanced movements. Keep it simple with powerlifting basics like squats, deads, presses and rows. Learning how to snatch does not belong in a muscle building program, especially if you're slow or the least bit unathletic. If you already know how to do it decently, thats a different story, it can help. But learning a new skill and spending a ton of time practicing technique with feather weights and pvc is time wasted building mass on your frame. Read this great article by my buddy Zach Even-Esh, Top 11 Muscle Building Exercises.
Barbell exercises are more effective for gaining size and weight than their bodyweight counterparts. Choose back squats over pistols, or heavy rows over pull ups. While some bodyweight drills can get you very strong, they won't get you big, look at any gymnast out there, while their chest and arms are ripped and strong, and they look very impressive on TV next to other gymnasts and coaches, let one stand next to an NFL running back for a minute, and you'll quickly see what an extra 85 pounds of muscle looks like. Gymnasts are strong, ripped and athletic as hell, but it's significantly easier to be ripped at a buck fiddy than 235. If size is your goal, lift big weights, but don't do anything that might get you laughed at on the YouTubes.
If your nutrition is not on point, don't worry about which supplements to take, they won't help. But, if you're eating the right way to support your goals, you're preparing your meals, you're not skipping meals, etc. then you can try utilizing some creatine, glutamine and protein supplements like beef gelatin. Don't get caught up in the trendy stuff, stick to the basics, and add a good multi-vitamin regularly. I'm not a pharmaceuticalist, it's not my thing, I like to lift, but you can not deny the proven benefits of some of the most popular supplements on the market. First, focus on eating, lifting and resting, then play with one or two supps at a time and see for yourself if they benefit you. Thats the only way to know. Take notes and be meticulous in your practice to see if you're making gains, or merely dropping dollars. What works for one guy might not work for another, you just gotta start with what works best for most people most of the time. Most likely you are not in the top or bottom ten percent of the population that nothing works for.
Training for power means moving very fast. Speed and power is a great thing, but remember what your immediate goal right now is, getting bigger. Stay focused and don't train like a 145 pound boxer. Medicine ball throws and kettlebell swings are cool for athletes, but they won't pack slabs of beef on your thighs so your quads hang over your knee caps (which is flippin awesome, btw). Power training makes you lean and ripped, not necessarily big and strong. Power is merely an expression of ones strength, without adequate strength, power training is crap. Anything that you can move very quickly will not help gain size as much as moving in a more controlled manner with greater focus and time under tension. Stay focused on the goal and what exactly you are trying to accomplish. There are dozens of different ways to squat, each one can elicit a different response. Everything you do, you should ask yourself "Why?" When you know why you are doing something and what you are trying to accomplish, then the answer to "HOW" to do it will make more sense. Again, power training is great, but remember the goal here. For strength AND size increases, power isn't your best option.
Some of the dumbest guys I know are big and strong. That doesn't mean that all big, strong guys are dumb, far from it. The point is, many people tend to over think and under do. If you want to get bigger, stronger, boost your confidence, increase your sexability, and acquire all the other magical side effects that come with Swolitarianism, you'll need to gradually and consistently increase 1. the amount of weight you are moving, 2. the amount of food you are eating, 3. the amount of quality sleep you get daily, and 4. the frequency in which you are doing it. Many times the best thing you can do, is stop thinking about what you're going to do next and simply follow a program designed to get you the results you want. That way you can just execute instead of doing all the planning as well.
It's tough, and anyone can do it a few times, or once in a while, but the ones who stick with it for a long time (many years) will reap the rewards of delusions of grandeur and disproportionate epicness. We didn't even touch on all the fruity secondary stuff like recovery and mindset. I'll leave that for another time. Let's just assume that you're committed and you don't need your hand held with constant coaching/cheerleading. I love when someone tells me they have been training for years now and finally broke a certain PR, got their first muscle-up, or finally did xyz, and they expect a fuckin balloon party and the whole gym to stop and give them a pat on the back with a mental blow job. That's what is supposed to happen when you train! You're SUPPOSED to get better. But my lack-luster, unemotional response is why I will probably never excel in the fitness coaching business. I don't blow smoke up your ass and tell you how awesome you are, I show you how to get MORE awesome with every new step forward you take. It doesn't mean I don't care or never get excited, I just know what is supposed to happen with consistency and hard work. Now all you gotta do is put in the work.