In this new Breaking Muscle Podcast host Tom MacCormick and I discuss genetics, muscle gain for the drug-free lifter, filtering information, and my favorite way to train to build muscle as quickly as possible.
Thinking back some 15 years ago or so undergoing nine months of chemotherapy during the so-called “prime” of my life brings on feelings of both “holy crap, that was a long time ago” and “man, it still feels close to home.” We all have similar episodes in our lives where we wonder where the time has gone and simultaneously feel like it could have happened just yesterday.
This past February 19th was the day of the year of 2004 when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease; an immune-type cancer that was an unwelcome guest in my bodybuilder physique. At the time I was knee-deep in competing on the drug-free bodybuilding circuit slowly but surely climbing the ranks and having a ball doing it.
If you’ve been following along for the past few months you’re well entrenched in the Build Your Best Physique programs weeks 1 to 6 and weeks 7 to 12. If it’s been working for you and you’ve enjoyed the program then by all means don’t change a thing. Keep going. But if you’re ready to shift gears or have hit a plateau then this phase is for you.
After a week of either downshifting your intensity or a few days entirely off from training altogether you’ll be ready to go to the next level. This phase is unique in the way of intensity and pace. You’ll be supersetting exercises in such a way to maximize your time and effort.
So by now you’ve been on the first six weeks of the Build Your Best Physique Program (weeks 1 to 6). You should have a firm grasp of the basics and have built a bit of a foundation of strength. By focusing on the big compound movements for six weeks and taken either a break or downshifted your intensity for a week or so, you’ll be ready to ramp up into this next phase.
Phase 1 of Build Your Best Physique workout has you mainly performing traditional, no-frills exercises easily done in most gyms. But I often get questions pertaining to how to modify workouts when certain equipment isn’t available or because of crowded gyms. Additionally, many want bodyweight alternatives when on the road or training at home.
With all that said, a common follow-up question is if one could actually build any significant amount of muscle with bodyweight training. Will it be worth your while to perform a few bodyweight moves in order to shore-up your training when the availability of weight training equipment just isn’t a reality? Can bodyweight training be challenging enough to overload the muscle or muscle group in order to induce a substantial training effect?
What does it take to get a college degree? How do you improve your distance while running? How can you gain more muscle or lose body fat?
The answers to these questions aren’t all that complicated. Concepts such as putting in the hours, having focus, and possessing discipline, consistency, and a hard-work ethic are just a few that come to mind when wanting to accomplish most things. These attributes are universal tools that can be applied to what we want to get out of ourselves. Even when you talk to those who’ve accomplished so much in life will mention how they just put in the work, day after day, week after week, and month after month.
Do you notice what’s not on that list? The minutiae, the tiny details, and nitpicking that we ironically seek out so badly. Rarely do you hear a story about sweating the small stuff. They aren’t obsessed with the small, unimportant things that really don’t have much bearing in the big picture of success.
If you’re needing a new beginning, coming back to training after a long layoff, or are 30 or 40 something and want to follow a no B.S. plan then this is for you.
We’ve already listed a few principles to establish a foundation, but now it’s time to get down to business. The following program starts the “Best Physique” training plan with weeks one through six. It will establish a base for building a muscular, lean physique. Pure and simple. What isn’t included are trendy techniques, unrealistic requirements, and cool-sounding titles (unless you want to call Best Physique super cool or not).
The purpose here is to avoid complicating the muscle building process. Try this plan out for the first six weeks and let me know how you do in the comments below.
“Blasting,” “killing,” “destroying,” “pummeling”, and “crushing” training sessions seems to be the accepted vernacular in your common, big-box gyms these days. If you’re not “killing it” every day then don’t even show up until you’re ready to show your mettle. You need extreme intensity mustered from the depths of your soul.
Best recipe, right?
Building our physique for the long-term should be the goal for most of us. By building I mean all aspects of the word: strength, healthy muscle, mobility, wellness/health, and eating habits as well as stress management and recovery/injury prevention.
The following is a guest post from Brock McGoff at The Modest Man. Every now and again we all need to try new and uncomfortable things. Read on for Brock’s own experience…
A couple of years ago, I was working in a small company in downtown Washington, DC. Like many other young guys, I was working 8+ hours a day and enjoying at least one happy hour every week. I was also going out on the weekends, drinking sugary lattes every morning and eating out a lot.