Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Today I'm going to be talking about the three fundamental factors for succeeding in bodybuilding. Most of you will naturally do this without thinking, but for the newbie's looking to gain mass, here's some tips!

1. Workout

  • Obviously to grow your muscles you have to stimulate them to do so, hence the need to hit the gym!
    • I recommend starting on a full body routine like Stronglifts 5x5. This will help by teaching you all the important lifts that you should be using throughout your career that most people neglect and regret! Also, it will help you build a good base, which will be helpful when you move to a more hypertrophy targeted routine.
    • Cardio isn't essential unless you're trying to lose fat, but it's fine to do a bit on your off days for general health/fitness. But try to have at least one full day off a week.

    2a. Diet
    • Diet is the most important part of bodybuilding. Without a good diet you won't be able to get very far!
    • Eat 6-8 meals a day, whole foods mainly.
    • Eat protein at every meal with some complex carbs, or healthy fats after 6pm.
    • Eat at least 1g protein per lb of body weight.
    • Drink 1 gallon water a day.
          2b. Supplements
    • Everyone always goes crazy with supplements thinking they are steroids... they're not!! When you first start training, you will be making good gains without the need for any supplements, just buy a whey powder for your post workout shake and a multivitamin. Nothing else is necessary at the moment.
    3. Rest
    • Muscle doesn't grow while you're in the gym! Most of the repairs happen while you sleep, so it's essential to sleep around 8 hours a night. I usually aim for 8-9 hours. 7 hours may not be enough for some people.
    Feel free to ask any questions!

      Tuesday, January 18, 2011

      Body Composition Analysis

      The most accurate way to measure body fat is through hydrostatic weighing, but this isn't an option for everyone as it can be expensive, time consuming and inconvenient!

      First of all, BMI is a load of rubbish! You can calculate your BMI by taking your weight (in kg) and dividing by your height (in meters) squared.
      So for example lets say Ronnie Coleman (left) weighs around 135kg (contest weight) and has a height of about 1.8m... So his BMI must be around 42% ... hahahaha!
      Even though Ronnie is abnormal compared to us, BMI is still a bad indicator of composition for anyone. Ronnie is around 4-5% body fat.

      Skinfold calipers are a common way to measure body fat. In this procedure, skinfold thickness measurements are taken at 7 sites around your body. Usually the chest, armpit, hip, abs, thigh, upper back and triceps. Some people may use more or less skin folds. These measurements are then put into an equation. This is a reliable way to measure body fat, but it does take practice to get accurate and consistent results. Help may be needed to get good measurements. This is the way to go if you have anyone willing to help.

      Bioelectrical Impedance scales are one of the latest methods. A very small current is passed through your body to get a total resistance value. Fat free mass (like muscle) will conduct electricity better than fatty tissue, because of the higher water content. Along with your height, weight, age and gender a body fat percentage is calculated. The result you get from this can be affected by your hydration level, last time you ate etc. So it's best with these scales to measure at the same time of the day, every time you measure yourself. I use a set of scales to measure myself at home. They may not be the most accurate way to measure, but they give a good indication of fat percentage and are perfectly fine to measure "changes" from week to week. They are also very convenient!

      Monday, January 17, 2011

      Fat loss tip - Grapefruit!


      Did you know that grapefruit can be a useful food to add into a fat reduction diet? Some people believe the energy required to break down the grapefruit, is greater than the amount of energy recovered from it. Thereby helping to knock off a few extra calories everyday! Grapefruit has no fat and it is low in calories and sodium. The fruit is also high in fiber and contains lots of vitamin C. Scientists agree that grapefruit is a healthy food and can be included in any balanced diet. Adding this into your diet might be that little extra help you need!

      Studies show over a period of 12 weeks how much affect eating fresh grapefruit can have:

      Sunday, January 16, 2011


      Deadlifts are unfortunately another exercise that have been plagued with a bad reputation, the only injuries that can occur are associated with improper lifting technique. Just because you do squats, that also isn't an excuse to skip dealifts! Squats work more on your legs, where as deadlifts work more for your back.

      The deadlift is another great exercise that ranks up top along with Squats. It is a whole body exercise. It incorporates your grip strength, working your arms. It gives your legs a good workout and helps to build one hell of a strong back! The rest of the muscles are used in stabilization. This lift is also one of the most useful in real life situations because of it's transferable strength and helping prevent injuries to your lower back. With the amount of weight that can be lifted, most likely the highest of all your exercises, you'd be stupid to give up the anabolic effects of lifting heavy!

      It is important to get master the correct technique before the weights start to build up, ask someone that you can trust to check your form. Here is a couple links to help:

      Friday, January 14, 2011


      What are (free weight) Squats? 

      Everyone who doesn't do Squats has a reason for it:

      "Squats damage your knees" - WRONG

      Squatting with proper form strengthens the muscles surrounding the knee which stabilises the joint, making it stronger. The tendons and ligaments in and around the joint also benefit from squats. Many people with a history of knee pain have managed to overcome their issues with doing squats. Here is one example >>

      "Squats are bad for your back"- WRONG

      Again, squatting with proper form, the weight is directly over the spinal column, which means minimal torque as well as shearing force on your back. Squatting with weight also builds your back muscles, which strengthen and support the back. Don't try squat more than you can, and back pain will never be an issue.

      Remember, the danger is not the Squat, but the Squat FORM.

      So why are Squats so amazing?
      • Firstly, squats are a full body exercise. A lot of people think they are only for you legs, nothing could be more false! You use more than 200 muscles to perform a squat; Legs, Hips, Core, Back, Shoulders, Arms etc.
      • Squats build muscle mass. Extra muscle can help you lose more fat by increasing your basal metabolic rate. Building muscle mass also makes you look awesome!!
      • Your strength and power comes from your hips and core. So if you want to be strong and powerful, I think you can guess which is the best exercise to develop your hips and core. Yes, the squat.
      • Heavy squats trigger your body to release testosterone and growth hormone, meaning more overall mass and strength!
      • It has been well known for a long time that free weight exercises help to increase bone density, hence decreasing the rate of bone degradation in adults. This is especially important for women.
      As you can see, the squat is vital for total body development! I hope you liked this post! Feel free to post any comments. Next post: Deadlifts!