1. Stay consistent

“Aim for five days of 45-minute sessions,” Rambod says. “You don’t need to live at the gym, but your muscles should be exhausted by the end of your workout.”

2. Devise a plan

“You need to have a good plan,” says Rambod. “Magazines like Muscle & Fitness have plenty of useful workout tips and programs for way less than the cost of a professional trainer. Find one, start it, and make sure you finish it.”

3. Change it up

“Whether it’s high volume to low volume,” he says, “shortening your rest period, or using different techniques, alter aspects of training every three to five weeks to continue breaking through plateaus.”

4. Eat clean

“You can have the best training in the world, but if you’re not resting and eating properly, you’re not going to get your gains,” explains Rambod, who compares calorie counting to creating a budget. “You can’t save if you don’t watch your spending.”

5. Be coachable

To achieve success, you need to absorb new info like a sponge. “When you work with somebody who is coachable, the sky’s the limit,” he says.