Pumping Iron

arnold bench press

Some people focus on getting lean in the new year while others try to put on size.

Let’s chat a bit about putting on slabs of chiselled muscle shall we :)

The only way you’re gonna put on size, is to train hard, smart, and consistently in the gym. You gotta train like a bodybuilder, but you don’t need to spend hours a day in the gym.

Focus on compound (multi-joint exercises) lifts and supplement with isolation exercises. Don’t believe it when internet sites say you’ll build big biceps by just doing pull-ups or chin-ups. You gotta attack the muscles you want to grow from various angles and various rep ranges (and most times, you’ll have to resort to isolation-type exercises).  Focus on free weight exercises and feel free to supplement with machine-based exercises and even the Smith Machine. Pay attention to your body mechanics and don’t do an exercise if it causes pain (duh!).

In regards to nutrition, I’m a big believer in eating clean, even if the the focus is hypertrophy. I’m not a huge fan of eating shit just for the sake of getting in more calories. Eat clean real whole foods and make sure to eat starches post workout. You’ll find it harder to build size on a low-carb diet, so make sure to eat 2 servings of yams, sweet potatoes or rice post workout. Also, try to get 15-20 grams of protein at each meal. Eat unlimited veggies and moderate amounts of healthy fats as well.

Next, you have to get motivated to pump the iron. Make sure to watch these two documentaries (you might recognize the main dude in each film) before going to the gym (I recommend Sunday night to fire you up for the week!).

First film: Pumping Iron (I wasn’t able to embed this video, so you gotta watch it on Youtube).

Second film: The Making of Pumping Iron (below).

Next, ed-ju-ma-cate yourself by reading these articles (you’re welcome):

1) 10 Reasons You’re Not Building Muscle

2) 5 Ways to Amp Up Muscle Growth

3) 5 Bodybuilding Rules You Have to Break to Build Size

Next, make sure your form is picture perfect. Read this 4 Weightlifting Techniques to Master.

Lastly, find a good hypertrophy focused program. Here’s a free workout you can do. I wrote this program with Toronto trainer and fitness writer Lee Boyce. It’s called the Hybrid Size Workout. You can find the link HERE.

Give it a go and let me know what you think. Be patient. Building muscle takes time and persistence. As the great trainer Bill Starr once wrote: Patience + Persistence = Progress.

Now, go and get it! No one else is gonna do it for you. Light weight baby!

-JK

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