The gym is a confusing place these days. So many bros with different training principles, you just don’t know who to believe do you. It’s okay though, i’m gonna cut through all the shit for you and tell you the fundamentals to being swole. For.For now forget what you’ve learned and simply absorb some of these principles. I’m going to briefly explain my philosophy and what I believe to be the best training principles for gaining some muscle (WARNING. this may contradict what your bros been telling you)

My philosophy on bodybuilding is that you shouldn’t just be big but also strong and functional. Nothing pisses me off more than seeing some huge juice head taking up my mirin mirror in the gym with a set of 5kg dumbbells getting ‘the pump’. Why have all that muscle if its just an illusion and has no function. Oh so you’re 100kg but that skinny kid across the room can bench more than you? But hey it doesn’t matter right, your swole?. F*** that. 2 years ago I was one of these sheep myself. Flicking through magazines for the next tip to fatigue my muscle to ‘shock them into growth’ as they say. I was obsessed with the scales, with my protein fixes with the general gym bro science, when one day I stumbled across an article that ridiculed what I believed in. When I went to look for some proof it turned out the bros had been lying to me all along. You didn’t need 2g protein /lb bodyweight, not eating every three hours didn’t mean you were gonna start loosing muscle all them exercises and principles really weren’t all that efficient. At the time I was 98kg not fat but not lean and nowhere nearly as stong as I thought I should have been for my bodyweight. The weight had slowed me down in sports, I was getting injuries from tight muscles and I was constantly throwing in isolation moves to bring up ‘weaker’ bodyparts. If we fastrack this to today I’m lean year round, I don’t concentrate on scales only on performance, I’m getting to where I want to be functional wise and my strength has greatly increased. So let me share some of my principles

Compound.Compound.Compound

This is particularly important for beginners. In my opinion you can literally build a physique out of a squat,deadlift,dumbbell chest  press and a shoulder press. Compound movements use more than one muscle group when performing an exercise. If you use compound exercises for all you body groups, its practically impossible to become imbalanced. I also like Olympic lifts. You can’t do Olympic lifts if you aren’t mobile and so it forces you to correct the problems in your body in order to progress rather than just ignore them like in bodybuilding. They will come back to bite you in the long run anyways, when that disk slips because your glutes where too tight or because your body is now riddled with imbalances and weakness’s

deadlift

That back aint gonna build itself son.

Strength Day/Speed Day

One of oldest sayings in the book is that if you want to get bigger you have to get stronger. I would have to agree with this statement for the most part, I’m yet to see a guy with chicken legs squat 200kg. However there’s more to it than that. To be the best you need to train your muscles to be strong and quick . Without getting too technical, training your muscles with an all out strength day (80-90% 1rm) followed by a speed/hypertrophy day 60-70% is extremely effective. Take a look at Layne Nortons PHAT training .Its a good example of these principles. I personally would do these for 3 weeks and use a deload week on the 4th around 40-50% 1rm to give muscles a break.

FORCE=MASS*ACCELERATION  You can generate the same force squatting 100kg explosively as someone squatting twice that weight could slowly if you have the correct bar speed. Training your muscles to be both strong and quick enable them to generate the maximum force. If you don’t understand this its okay, I didn’t say you needed to be smart to be swole.(It just helps)

Stretching / Mobility

Stretching isn’t just for the girls in the tight yoga pants you go for a creep on during those ‘water breaks’ between sets, they make a better physique. This was an area I overlooked for years and have to say it was one of the biggest things to bring down my performance. Being un-mobile and inflexible causes injuries and prevent rull range of motion during exercises.This prevents you making progress and means you don’t always train the muscle groups you think you train. A classic example is a squat. Squats are hailed as building the whole leg muscle, but that’s only really if you get a deep range of motion. If you only skim it due to poor mobility/flexibility, you’re mostly getting quad muscle. This is one of the many reasons so many gym goers have huge quads but weak hamstrings and glutes.

Bring your ego through the gym door

How many times have you heard ‘check your ego at the door’ type comments. Okay don’t go and lift something you can’t lift with shit form but seriously why are you in a gym if you aren’t pushing yourself. Why the hell is the guy next to you who’s the same size lifting more than you?. Don’t make excuses at this point, just make a promise to yourself to bust your balls and come out of each gym session with nothing in your tank.Your body adapts to what you throw at it and by constantly pushing yourself , you’re entering a process to build a better you.

Ronnie Coleman, ain’t nothing but a peanut

 

 

Cheat on your wife not your gym routine

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Just don’t tell her I said it. In reality though what I mean is to be realistic with yourself. The only way you can improve is through consistency both with your training and diet. Find away to make it into a lifestyle rather than a chore. I love the gym because its a social interaction as well as a way of increasing physical performance and aesthetics. I workout with friends , we push each other and act competitively. Try and have a gym partner and use each other for motivation. The same goes for my diet, I don’t look at my diet and think I have to eat healthy boring s*** and then reward myself after I’ve eaten all my rabbits food for the week. I instead have food that is nutritionally dense but also tasty and throw in some junk when I feel like it. You can do this really easily if you track your calories, something I’ll go into in another article