Systematic diet, training & tracking changes in response to stimulus were the key, not a magic diet or supplement
Before we start: About getting enough protein
Rule No 1: Focus on diet first
Rule no 2: You don’t need to even think about supplementing with whey for the first year, even if you’re vegetarian.
Rule No 3: If you’re not making progress in the gym, it’s almost certainly not because of a lack of protein in your diet. That’s offering a very simplistic solution to a complex issue. It sounds good to say to clients, but it doesn’t do much for the vast majority of them.
Supplement companies have made people think it’s very important to take protein supplements to put on muscle, which is completely false & I’m trying to stop that spread of misinformation.
To get bigger, you have to get stronger. That means all your numbers should be going up every single workout. If they’re not, there’s something that’s affecting your recovery which needs to be looked into.
Muscles grow in reponse to training stimulus ie. how much weight you lift. If you keep training with the same weights for months on end, your body will find no reason to build extra muscle.
Men: The yang physique
The V-taper is the classic masculine physique: broad shoulders, chest & back, muscular arms plus a strong lean core will give you that coveted V-taper.
Men should focus on the upper body & core in the beginning, because they’ll develop high relative strength in their squats & deadlifts pretty quickly, & will find their upper body straggling.
A word on excessive upper body focus
While I do recommend guys focus on the upper body, it’s possible to take that too far. You might have seen guys who look like this:
So you don’t want either skinny chicken legs, or thighs so huge that they chafe when you walk. The answer, as is usual, is somewhere in the middle. You want strong athletic legs which aren’t too bulky either.
A routine of deadlifts, squats & some kettlebell swings will be all you need to keep your legs in great shape.
Women: The Yin Physique
Kettlebell swings are one of the best ways for women to develop a strong, athletic core, butt, legs & back
First things first, you will not become too muscular or “blocky” if you strength train. The muscular female fitness models you see achieved that over years & years of progressive training, and in some cases low doses of exogenous testosterone.
Without the ability to produce as much testosterone as men (peak testosterone for healthy women is about one-tenth that of men of the same age), it is impossible to get too muscular accidentally. Heck, even healthy 20 year old men find it hard enough to gain muscle, even with all that testosterone running through their pipes.
The yin to the men’s yang: Women should focus on the lower body. Generally, there is usually quite a disparity between men & women in upper body strength. These differences tend to diminish when it comes to the lower body. It’s fairly common to see women athletes lift hundreds of pounds on the barbell squat & deadlift.
Ladies, squats & deadlifts should form the core (pun intended) of your workout if you want the coveted hourglass figure, strong athletic legs & butt, & a toned powerful back & spine.
Avoid training obliques too hard, & you never have to worry about getting a blocky midsection, ever.
What about arms?
As you’ll see, your forearms & grip get quite a workout from heavy deadlifts alone. Add in a bit of hanging, pushups & horizontal pulls/rows & you have a complete upper body routine.
In addition, if you do kettlebell swings your arms get quite a workout from that alone.
If you have any questions, or want me to cover a particular topic, please feel free to leave a comment or to reach out.