1 – To get bigger you have to put some fucking effort in.
You aren’t going to see any muscle gain if all you do is go into the machine room put the leg extension onto number 5 (or if you are feeling strong maybe even number 6!) doing 3×10 with not even a slight grimace then tick if off on the free program the teenager with an HND in sports studies gave you on your induction and then move on to the next machine in the LEG ZONE part of the machine area. Muscle gain/hypertrophy/size gain whatever you want to call it is one of your body’s adaptive responses to stress. No stress no adaptation.
If you are new to lifting and are wanting to put on some size then just forget about the machine gym for a few years. Machines are great and offer loads of variety and different kinds of contraction and overload for a muscle but if you are learning the ropes then you need to get on the fucking ropes. The ropes are in the free weights gym, the ropes are the squat rack.
By far the best thing you can do as a beginner who is looking to start putting on size is to pick a 3-4x per week total body or upper-lower split and focus on getting stronger in a 6-12 rep range on fundamental barbell movements.
- Single Leg
- Basic Isolation
If you aren’t grunting or making faces from the effort you are putting into your sets. If you don’t need to sit or lie down after a set of 8-12. You are going to see zero fucking results.
Garbage in Garbage out.
2 – It really isn’t that complicated mate.
A lot of people in this current day in age have a serious paralysis by analysis when it comes to lifting weights and getting bigger. Some people have the misfortune of coming across the mentally ill and super-secret super-soldier programs put out there by hyperbolic fuck wits or staff writers on hyperbolic website ran by fuck wits. No Christian hang snatch is not a special bodybuilding movement you mad Canadian pin cushion.
Muscle size is primarily a response to volume demand. Generally speaking more volume for more volume’s sake offers a diminishing return on effort. 3 sets of 10 reps will produce similar results to 10 sets of 3 sets but doing 3 sets of 10 reps will take up about 20-25% of the time it takes to get through 10 fucking sets of 3 reps.
You need to work the body part you want to get bigger. No squatting isn’t going to help your chest development don’t be silly. Yes you are going to have to squat if you want big legs, no doing a split squat is not a good replacement it’s a good assistance movement and if your back is fucked it’s a good alternative but you are not going to get the same results. If you squat heavy and deep for sets of 10-15 your legs will get bigger. No split squats and pistols will not get the same results I don’t give a fuck who you got your information from they are talking shit.
- Work each body part you want to get bigger 2-3x per week.
- Work them using different exercises, angles, and variations.
- Get stronger in a high rep range
- 2-4 sets are enough if you’re going hard (RPE 8-10).
- Compound barbell movements are your main, Dumbbells are the sides and machines/cables are only for good boys and girls who DO THEIR FUCKING FREE WEIGHTS.
3 – You don’t need to eat like a robot to get good results.
Sample meal plan
08:00 – fish and a rice cake
11:00 – fish and a rice cake
13:00 – fish
16:00 – fish and a rice cake
19:00 – fish
21:00 – pre bed that would be fish and a rice cakeIdeal bodybuilding diet.
Superfoods, anabolic windows, detox etc are all buzz words and marketing bullshit designed to pray on your lack of knowledge and to sell you inventory that costs fuck all to make or acquire and obscene markups for massive profit. Supplements are pretty much a load of marketing gimmicks and bullshit. Food and drugs work. Supplements that are food work, supplements that are drugs work and normally get banned or have horrendous side effects because they are unregulated drugs. Remember that sweet ass pre-workout Jack3d it had dimethylamylamine in it which has been linked to a number of deaths and has been since banned by WADDA. Many steroids are available on the market under the guise of a pro-hormone basically they are oral testosterone pre-cursors that are much more liver toxic than the real thing and lack the decades of medical trials more common orals such as Dbol or Anavar have behind them.
Chances are that influencer or bodybuilder you really admire didn’t get huge taking whey protein and a multi it was probably more down to the fact they have been taking anabolics for the last 5-10 years.
When it comes to building muscle you need to ensure you have the important aspects of your diet in check. If you have sufficient calories and protein in your diet and you are training hard enough, with sufficient frequency and volume to see progress then you are going to grow. If you are training like a fucking wet noodle and banging 6 protein shakes a day then you are going to look like a wet noodle.
4 – You should train with a mate who knows what they are doing or you should hire someone to help your ignorant ass.
The vast majority of gym-goers begrudge the 20 quid a month they are paying for pure shite or any of the budget gym chains that are popping up all over the place. NEVER mind being willing to pay gasp 30-50 quid an hour for the help of someone who knows what they are doing. The chances of someone who wants to get “toned but not too big” injuring themselves is precisely fucking zero. In the same sense of the chances of them seeing any progress is about fucking zero. Spending 20 minutes of half-assed effort on a cross-trainer watching friends and then doing 15 minutes of even more half-assed effort on weights machines isn’t going to run much risk of injury and even less risk of return.
Walking into the free weights gym without any idea of what you are doing may not cause any harm in the first instance but if you don’t understand how to lift in a safe manner during squats, deadlifts, rows, presses and the like then you are on the road to snap city. Gravity and steel don’t fuck around if you don’t treat them with respect they will fuck you up. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow but they are waiting. They might even kill your dumb ass if you are stupid enough to bench press on your own drunk….
The return you will get from working with a good trainer in person even if only for 8-12 weeks to set your foundation will be more than worth the investment. For fuck sake, you probably spend 100-200 quid per night on a hang over and an STD at the weekend. So why not drop a few quid on something that can change the quality of your life and drastically decrease the chances of you snapping your shit up.
No reading starting strength and watching youtube videos is not a proxy for working with people in person. If that’s the best you got then go with it. If you are lucky enough to have a mate who is jacked train with them for a while it’s more than worth the effort.
5 – You don’t need fancy equipment or gimmicks to get swole as fuck.
Your muscles don’t care if the bar you are lifting is the latest in Swedish craftsmanship in a beautiful gym that has hair straighteners in the changing rooms. Your body recognizes a stressor and it reacts to that stressor. No stressor no adaptation no gains.
It really does come down to the fact if you are putting the work in with external resistance on a muscle. Getting enough sleep, food, and protein to allow it to recover and regenerate then you are going to grow. There are a whole load of ways you can make it a bit more complicated or to “optimise” the process but if you aren’t putting in the work then you shouldn’t expect to see the results.
What do Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sergio Olivia, and Lee Haney have in common? Apart from 31 Mr. Olympia titles? They all trained with barbells, Dumbbells and basic Pulley machines and they produced some of the most revered builds of all time.
They also are known for training in more “hardcore” gyms the old Gold’s gym in Venice Beach was a big room with barbells, dumbbells and Nautilus machines with no air conditioning and no Treadmills with bullshit like internet access. So you can twat about while you treadmill I mean twat about.
In a bodybuilding workout if you have time to sit around and fuck about on the internet then you are probably training with zero intensity. Bodybuilding isn’t like powerlifting training you should be looking at your stopwatch and getting in good density, intensity AND quality of effort.
When you are looking for a gym/somewhere to train look for the people rather than the equipment. When it comes to getting jacked a weight is a weight. It’s the people you train with and the quality and intensity of the workouts you are getting that is going to make a difference not the lighting in the changing rooms.
If the gym is full of strong and jacked people then it’s probably a good place to join if you want to get strong and jacked. If it’s full of wankers who are wearing gymshark and cunting about it’s probably a good place to join if you want to wear gymshark and cunt about.