Start with the Negative
Here are the 5 best articles I found today on the subjects of fitness, weight training, diet, and building muscle:
- Sleep as a Catalyst for Fat Loss
- 5 Fats You Shouldn't Fear
- 5 Essential Nutrition Tips to Gain Energy, Feel Good, and Look Better Than Ever
- The Curse of Stress, and How to Break It
- How Assisted Pullups Make You Better At Pullups
I can tell you with 100% certainty that a) you need to eat good healthy fats to burn bodyfat and b) sleep and stress cause a whole lot of issues.
So get those in order if you want to build lean muscle and strip off bodyfat.
For most people, 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sound sleep is sufficient.
Is it optimal? I don't know. Let your body be your guide. Listen to what it's telling you.
For #5, I know this works – for any resistance exercise.
In fact, if you can't even do an assisted dip or pullup, do the negative!
When I first started weight training, one of the exercises I wanted to do but couldn't was the parallel bar dip. I could not press up from the down position. So I used my 12 year-old ingenuity, and rather than give up, I improvised.
Now, I didn't know WTF I was doing, but it worked.
I knew I could lower myself, if even just six inches. But doing so, for reps, built my strength. Soon enough I could lower myself to the fully-stretched position.
Of course, I still couldn't push myself back up.
But over time, I got stronger and was soon able to do one full rep! YAY!
When I wanted to do one-arm pullups, of course, I couldn't. So I went back to the (knowledge) well and did what I did with dips: I started in the up position, doing a pullup with both arms, then I let go with one and held it (isometrics), then lowered myself as slowly as possible.
In time, I was able to complete not just one one-armed pullup (with either hand) but several.
It works. You have to outsmart gravity and the exercise apparatus.
Start with the negative! You will get positive results.