How to gear up for summer (Trust me, it will come anyhow)
Building up the muscular system is the number one demand of my determined and hard-working clients.
With most of them, we start with complex measures (trainings, nutrition, lifestyle coaching) aimed at losing weight – otherwise all the effort invested into getting ripped in the gym will be hidden under the rug of extremely high body fat. With others, lucky ectomorphs (no, it is not a nickname for another Marvel universe antagonist, rather than an another name for someone who’s naturally thin), we get down to business. This is how we do it.
Step 1. Forget your diet
The sugar pill of gaining muscular volume is surpassing your usual calorie norm by 15-20%, meaning that the average amount of calories you consume daily should not be less than 2500. Your nutrition should include enough healthy fats and good carbs, as well as not less than 1,5 or 2,5 grams of protein pro kilogram of dry weight. Hope that’s not too much calculation for an athlete, especially keeping in mind the fact that we do not posses an infrared vision (yet) to count the calories without using specialised charts, so don’t try rough rookie estimations and take the calorie count seriously.
Step 2. Spice up your life
Regardless of feeling hungry or not (the latter is typical for ectomorphs), you should consider optimising your metabolism by taking whey protein with keratine at least a few times a day. Caffein, arginine and beta-alanine – based supplements intensify the rush of blood to your muscles and facilitate its growth. Good news is that in time your metabolism adapts itself to the increased energy boost.
Step 3. On the minimal
Focus on 45-minute long workouts (excluding warm-up and hitch).
Bring down your gym routine to key basic multi-joint exercises and do not attempt more than 10-15 repeats in one go (ideally five -seven if you opt for big weights and my assistance). Otherwise you’re dead. Joking. You’re dead anyway. And, I never believed I’d say that, but hit the gym no more than three times a week, otherwise I’ll force your exhausted body home once you knock on the gym’s door.
Step 4. Exercise in a smart way.
Contrary to popular belief, the Oscar of building muscles goes to barbell squats, and the supporting roles are awarded to CrossFit and exercise machines. And, if you were a diligent biology student, you should remember that your muscles need to suffer to permit growth. In other words, they must iMessage your brain once they can no longer handle the exercise stress and signal their need to increase volumes, so you always need to (literally) be a blade runner and train (and live) on the edge. And – my favorite part – the last attempt in one round should leave you breathless so that you are no longer physically able to do a repeat.
Step 5. Stock Energy
Grab a gainer (a mixture of fast carbs and amino acids) 15-20 minutes prior to hitting the gym. Do not forget to supply your body with some whey protein while you sweat it out and polish off with BCAA supplements straight after the workout. Last, but not the least: do not skip a full meal one or two hours after you’re done.
Step 6. Analyse this
Just like any pre-graduate neighbourhood school girl, you should keep a diary. Not of the hearts you broke and of the times your heart was broken, but of your workout. Write down your workout program, study your weight change and summarise consumed calories. Devote 10 to 15 minutes out of your precious weekend time to track progress and plan your exercises for the upcoming week. At first it may sound that I’m asking for too much, but if you realise how much time and effort you waste on sweating and on getting to the gym, it is a must to check if it brings any results at all.
Step 7. Set up realistic goals.
I know that you spend hours on Instagram stalking accounts showcasing your dream bodies, but trust me that these guys spent years getting where they are now. The harsh truth is that a year of intensive training and following my advice outlined above will bring you maximum 6-8 additional kilos of pure muscle. But, if we take in mind that the average muscle growth speed for a typical male with standard genetics is 0.5 – 1 kg monthly, it is already a huge achievement. But don’t expect to show off a completely new body within one month of workouts – we are not in Kansas, baby. Exercise and eat thoughtfully and we’ll chat in a year.