Bulking Up and Adding Muscle: Our Guide

So you’ve just spent the last few weeks glancing at your reflection. You aren’t going to admit it to anyone, but you’re feeling a little bit self-conscious. You’ve just starting working out and realise that you don’t want to be stick thin anymore. Or maybe you’d just like a bit more muscle on your frame. But how do you do it?

After several years of combined experience dealing with this issue, we would like to share our knowledge with you. Luckily, it’s straight forward and easy to implement. There’s 3 main areas that we need to address, and to get the best results we’d suggest you follow them all.

Eat more food

  • How much more? Well download yourself the myfitnesspal app and start tracking your calories along with your weight. You want to find the balance where you are eating a few hundred calories more than your maintenance calories (this is essentially the calories you need to maintain the same weight).
  • This should mainly consist of carbs, and should be as healthy as possible. If you start gorging on chocolate bars and snacks you will add a lot of fat: we’ve been there, and it isn’t pretty.

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Lift between 6-8 reps

  • Ignore the common phrase “low weight high reps” for hypertrophy (size). This just simply isn’t true, and training the traditional 12+ reps is only good for endurance and minimal increases in size.
  • This rep range is scientifically proven to be the best area for muscle hypertrophy. Not only that, but training in this range will also contribute to increased strength.

Stick to the compound movements

  • One huge issue that most of you suffer with is an obsession with isolation exercises and “chasing the pump“. Isolation exercises have their time and place, but when new to lifting (less than 2 years training) you should focus at least 80% of your workout to compound lifts.
  • The big four compound lifts are bench press, overhead press, deadlift and the squat. These should be the foundation of your training programme.
  • Compound movements give you the most bang for your buck“. This means that they recruit the most muscles in the shortest amount of time, not to mention you can lift the heaviest weight with these movements.

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So now you know what to do, go on and bulk up! Come next summer, you’ll see all of the hard work pay off. Fitness is a long term game, so don’t give up if you haven’t added those 2 inches to your arms in a month: it doesn’t work like that. Enjoy what you’re doing and you’ll reap the rewards. If you want a great workout to follow, check out ours and put into practice what you’ve learned.

Remember to follow the blog and check out our Twitter and Facebook! See you there.

Photo Credits: Flickr – cc

Mr Olympia: Bigger isn’t always better

If you ask anyone that has ever picked up a weight about who their inspirations are, one of their answers will undoubtedly be Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is the most successful bodybuilder on the face of the earth, from the stage to the Governor of California, he is the embodiment of hard work infused with charisma. Though you probably best remember him as the Terminator (absolute classic!).

Now that the 2014 Mr Olympia is over, we can look back at the history of bodybuilding as a sport and how it’s gone from a fantastic spectator sport that was all about art and symmetry to it’s modern interpretation and the age of the mass monster. The 60’s to the mid 80’s was the golden era of bodybuilding. From Frank Colombo to Arnold, everyone’s aim was to look like a Greek God: to have perfect symmetry and size. Since then there’s been an ever increasing trend for guys to get as huge as humanly possible. We had Dorian Yates, then Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler and now Phil Heath. Yes they are impressive; yes they are massive; yes they have fantastic work ethic. But they have instigated the seismic shift of bodybuilding as an art enjoyed by many to a competition enjoyed by few.

Below we take a look at what bodybuilding was, and what it has become.

Jay Cutler

Frank Columbo

 

Jay Cutler

vs

Frank Columbo.

 

 

 

Golden Era

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Dorian Yates, 6 times Mr O

vs

The Best of the Golden Era.

 

 

 

 

Frank Zane MArk Rhuls

 

Frank Zane

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Markus Rühl

 

 

 

 

Phil Heatharnold_best_scr1_0

 

 

Phil Heath – Mr Olympia 2014

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Arnold – The King of Bodybuilding

 

 

 

 

When you compare the two generations side by side, it becomes obvious that size is now the most important factor compared to the symmetry and shape of the past. I think you will agree that bodybuilding needs to move back to the past if it’s going to garner the same reputation that it used to. Follow this blog and show your support for the classic bodies of the golden era.

 


 

Photo Credits

(https://www.flickr.com/photos/equilibriumnutricao/4133527251/)

(http://mbmag.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/MB1012PeakPerform.jpg)

(http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/27/f3/27/27f3277a28e00a34496de2b2630a5050.jpg)

(http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f363/mtpockets88/830441.jpg)

(http://www.bodybuilders.gr/data/main/forum/mainuploadsfolder/alp/2007413182836_Frank_Zane_4.jpg)

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1THzSrF8BRs/T-WqjXdas6I/AAAAAAAAFXM/XvU2QRo4euQ/s1600/Franco+Columbu+%288%29.jpg)