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Building your house with either sticks or stones

“Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weights.”

-Ronnie Coleman-

Yes, I know I’m not a fan of Mr Average training like a bodybuilder but I do LOVE this quote. If you are training for physique and shape, make sure you are lifting heavy weight at least once a week. Forget about the 10 x 10 of lateral raises superseded with rear flies or the bicep/tricep dropset you seen in muscle fitness, yes they do have their place in physique but before all the fancy shit, get back to the basics!

Squat, deadlift, bench, pull up, military press, carries.

Think of it as building your dream house.

You are going to spend as much as you can afford ensure it looks exactly how you want it to. For me I break it down into 6 steps

Step 1. Find an architect

You have a vision, you know what you want but in order to get this idea started, you need an expert who is experienced and can relate to your vision. You may visit many of them until you meet the one who you “feel” understands you. They know what it is you are wanting and leave you feeling confident that they can make this dream a reality. Personal trainers are the architect for building your perfect body. Some are better than others. There are many out there but it may take some searching before you find the one you click with.

Step 2. Dig the foundations:

Digging a foundation is something no-one wants to do. Its hard work and time consuming and at the end of the day, its basically amounts to digging a hole. The thing is though, that hole is what will determine the strength of the house. If you scrimp on this bit, then everything else is weak. The deeper the foundations the stronger the house will be. When it comes to building your perfect body, digging the foundations is equivalent to mobility work. Its the annoying and usually painful part that none of us want to do but unless we sort out those mobility issues first, we cannot expect to be able to do the work required to getting the shape we desire. The more the spent on mobility and the deeper we dig into our issues, the stronger our body will become.

Step 3. Building the foundations

Once the foundations have been dug, its time to start building. Building the foundations is only slightly better than digging them. It slowly builds brick by ugly brick. It still looks nothing like a house but you know its at last getting somewhere and you know that by spending time on this part, the bit that in essence will never be seen, that the rest of the house will be beautiful once finished. Without spending time building your own rock solid foundation, you will find your body breaking down in the near future. Strength training is the foundations that everything else will be built upon. The stronger you are, the more weight you can handle when building your body.

Step 4. The walls and roof:

On top of a strong foundation are the walls and roof. This brings shape and structure to your home. Its still only a shell but when you step back and look at it, you are able to get an idea of how it will look. You know there is still work to be done and there may be months of hard work in front, possibly with some set backs but you feel better as you know the end is in sight and this pushes you on to dig in that bit deeper and push that bit harder to get it finished. The roof and walls in building your body is the hypertrophy phase. The higher volume work, the 65-70% of your 1rm work, builds your own walls and roof. It gives your body shape and structure. Personally, I do not believe you need to push to complete failure on every set. Yes doing so does work but only for so long before you burn out and I have seen, coached and experienced while working with others, There are more CNS friendly methods, that allow for continuous training.

Step 5. Furnishing the house:

You are nearly there. The building has been completed ad all thats left is for you to add your own personal touches. You want to make sure you show off all the work you have put in, so you spend time picking the right colour scheme, furnishings, Kitchen, bathrooms, beds. No expense is spared in making sure it looks PERFECT! In our analogy, this part is the cutting phase, This is where we strip away all the fat and show everyone the beauty in the months of hard work and sacrifice. Each week that passes revels to us more of the body we will have. Its impatient work as we want it now but we also can now see it is going to be worth it. Just like everyone decorates their house to their own tastes and decor varies from house to house, there are many beautifully finished homes. It is the same with eating plans. There are 100’s of diet plans out there and most will work. The key is to find the one that you can not only follow but stick to.

Step 6. Maintenance

Your house is ready, you have moved in and it’s started to feel like home but just because you moved in doesn’t mean things stop. To keep your dream home looking like your dream home, you must keep on top of all the small things. Some things require daily work, like washing dishes, hoovering, dusting etc, others may be a few times a week, laundry, emptying the bins. Then you have things that are weekly monthly. Cutting the grass, tidying the garage, sweeping the grounds etc. The same applies to your body. The time and effort you have spent building it means you don’t want to just let it go once you have achieved it. Mobility should be a daily practice, and lifting weights in some form, whether iron or body weight should take place 3-5 times a week. Getting into the habit of some light runs a few times a week should also be scheduled into your regime and lifting HEAVY ASS WEIGHT must happen at once a week.

Building a great body isn’t rocket science, just simple dedication and lots of plain old hard work, with a load of recovery. Find the best coach you can afford, do lots of bang for buck exercises, eat a sensible diet and have patience! Just like your house took months, maybe years, to build, so will your physique. Remember the reason why you started it, keep the end goal at the forefront of your mind and try to enjoy the journey. All the hard work, the sweat, blood and tears will all be forgotten come the final result and everything you go through will help you to build yourself into a physically and mentally stronger version of yourself.

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