Let's start by putting “Weight Loss”· into context. When I talk about weight loss I…
Always training and never gaining? THIS is probably why!
I constantly receive emails from trainees asking me why regardless of how much they train, their progress is either super-slow or nonexistent!
Here are my top 6 reasons why you aren’t satisfied with your progress!
1) Classic over-training, having seen many of the routines prescribed by trainers, I am simply amazed by the sheer volume of training that is recommended to the masses, and by masses, I mean the genetically normal trainee who is trying to gain some good muscle mass and strength. When the average trainee attempts to get through these ‘monster sized’ workouts they are simply wearing themselves down and out! Remember this if NOTHING else, “You stimulate growth INSIDE the gym, but you grow OUTSIDE of the gym”, train hard and intensely, but briefly, then GET OUT!
2) Make the MAJOR compound exercises the focus of your time in the gym, divide your sessions up into the push and pull exercises that involve the most muscle groups. Put simply, Squats not leg extension, Bench Press or Dips NOT Flys, Stiff-legged deadlift NOT hamstring curls, overhead presses NOT side lateral raises! None of this is to say that the exercises I have told you to avoid aren’t good exercises, but if you want to really gain some good muscle over your entire body then they will barely contribute 1 cm, conversely, get your squat, deadlift, and bench press weights up to a decent amount and watch how your arms grow, without a single ·concentration curl’ in sight! I personally ensure that all of my trainees start their workouts with the Major exercise relevant to that day’s routine, e.g. Chest day looks as follows, 2 sets of Flat bench press, 2 sets of Incline bench press then 2 sets of weighted dips. That’s it for the chest, once per week, but when combined with adequate rest and nutrition their chests and triceps grow to levels that no amount of fly’s or tricep kickbacks could EVER provide!
3) Try to increase the weights that you are lifting in each and every workout, these steps need not be big (they probably shouldn’t be) but they do need to be consistent. A small increase in weight on the bar at each and every session, over many sessions, adds up to a large increase in strength and size over the course of a year or so. Muscles are merely pumps, you must understand that muscle size and development is as a result of the adaptation to a stimulus, that stimulus is your maximal effort to lift a given weight. Imagine if you always lifted the same weight every week, (as many do) why would your body need to develop/adapt in order to be able to lift it? Provide your body with a heavier stimulus, a heavier request to lift a heavier weight, (for a given/safe rep range) then feed your muscles and rest, let nature take its course, then after a week, come back and perform the same exercise, the same reps, but with a little more weight on the bar, just repeat this process for as long as your genetic limitations allow. Your progress won’t be linear, BUT by the time reach that limit, you will be a LOT bigger and a LOT stronger than you are right now!
4) Nutrition, is a MASSIVE subject in its own right and I can’t do it justice in one paragraph, probably not even in one book, but I would like to highlight the importance of providing your body with enough calories that are balanced for YOUR body and what YOU are trying to achieve, the exact dietary requirements for one individual will likely be nowhere near the exact requirements of another. And that’s before we set goals and targets. That being said, there are some general rules that I would like to outline to gain some muscle in conjunction with the training and rest that I recommend. Eat
6 small meals spread throughout the day, no more than 3 hours apart, make those meals rich in protein, for gaining a lot of muscle whilst training hard you need to consume 2.5-3g of protein per kg of body weight and 4.5-6g of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight. This is a LOT and shouldn’t be used for anything other than gaining muscle size/weight. Bias the carbohydrate intake towards the first part of the day, phase them out so that your last meal of the day (30 minutes before you sleep) is ONLY protein, this avoids excess fat storage in the night. Consume a fast-acting Whey protein 30 minutes before training, and a Protein and Carbohydrate-rich meal immediately after your training session, this is essential as your body is crying out for nutrition to grow at this point! FEED IT!
5) Hydration, it’s not only important for your basic bodily functions to be fully hydrated, but also for your performance in the gym as well as your recovery outside of the gym, stay hydrated throughout your day apr 2.5-3litres, a quick way to monitor this is to ensure that your urine is always clear.
6) Rest, in the rush of your 21st Century lifestyle, sleep is often seriously neglected, the majority of growth resulting from your training takes place in your sleep, this is when the body recovers and repairs from the day’s efforts, and in your case, rebuilds bigger and stronger from your training stimulus, this is also why I always recommend that you consume a protein-rich meal before you sleep, remember protein IS muscle, it’s not some food that miraculously becomes muscle, but the very building blocks of which muscle is made! Lots of protein, lots of rest!
So there you have it, my ‘Six for Size’. Understand and employ all of them and you will be infinitely more capable of achieving your size goal, you’ve just been empowered!