Hey, everybody, this is the second edition of my new series, Matters Of Fitness. Let’s get right into it.
1) Fitman, I am a skinny teenage male and I look like a complete rail. What exercises can I use to get bigger?
That actually rhymed my man.
I was you all throughout high school and college. It stinks to be rail-thin with no muscle mass and strength, but it does not have to be that way. You just need to have the right information to avoid that scenario so that the clothes you wear are not blowing in the wind.
For many male lifters, muscular size or “getting swole” is one of the top goals in the iron game.
As a natural ectomorph you have the lowest capability to add muscular size in comparison to mesomorphs and endomorphs. This does not mean that you cannot build a phenomenal physique, but it will take longer than the guy who naturally builds muscle fast.
You do however have the ultimate ace up your sleeve because when you are adding that muscle, you will not bring a lot of body fat with you.
When the ectomorph adds proper muscle mass, your body will have great symmetry and balance. For training you should focus on getting stronger and using primarily compound exercises in the 3-8 set and 3-12 rep range. Your exercises (and their variations) that you will use are:
As you progress in these movements you will progress in your quest for more size.
2) This is the same skinny kid. What do I need to eat to get bigger? I do not eat a lot of food but most of the food I eat right now is junk food.
The great Frank Zane said it best. Junk food builds a junk body.
For nutrition, you have to be in a caloric surplus in order to add muscle mass. When your main goal is building muscle, you cannot be in a caloric deficit or concerned with trying to be super lean and eating like a bird.
You will need to eat a balanced diet of healthy carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. There is no particular magic food but the total amount of food you eat matters. You will not gain size with the diet of a mockingbird.
A few examples of what you should eat are below:
-Eggs (the whites are the protein)
Make the effort to buy higher quality, organic foods. The best thing for you to do is too begin to track your calories so that you know exactly what is going into your body. An app like My Fitness Pal makes this process much easier and using a 40/30/30 split of carbs/protein/fat is a great starting point.
3) I have a lot of questions today. Does sleep matter when it comes to gaining size? I only get about 4-5 hours a night.
You have to put down the late night Fortnite bro.
To gain maximum muscle size, recovery is of the utmost importance. Your body grows when you rest.
If you are only sleeping 4-5 hours a night you are leaving a tremendous amount of meat on the bone in terms of muscle growth. Your body repairs itself from tough workouts when you are in Dreamland.
You should aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night to maximize your recovery from your workouts. By cutting your sleep short, your quest for adding muscular size will be derailed.
4) At track practice all we do is a lot of running at about 70-75 percent of our maximum speed with very short recovery times. Is this good for getting faster in the 100m?
This is actually one of the worst ways to train for speed. It’s blasphemous but unfortunately, what you are describing is very common in high school track and field.
When sprinters focus on running slow they get slow. The best way to train to get faster in the 100m is to perform real speed training. This involves you sprinting at 90 percent of your maximum speed for low repetitions (typically 2-6 reps) during your workout.
To get stronger you have to lift heavier weights. To get leaner you have to eat the right amount of food. To get faster you have to sprint.
5) I want to be successful with building my business but I want to avoid failing at it. Can I reach my goal without struggling?
No. Success requires struggle.
I failed multiple times in building my business but it was those failures that have allowed me to have success.
The main thing you have to forget about is what other people may say about you while you are on your journey. Their opinion of you or what they think about your goals has no value.
I was mocked heavily at the beginning of my journey to become a personal trainer and open up a performance training center. Very few people thought I was ever capable of becoming a professional strength coach let alone a guy who could start his own business.
If you looked at the line-up of the trainers that I came into the game with in 2008, you would of easily ranked me dead last in that line-up.
I came in with no pedigree, an unimpressive resume, and a lousy physique when I got into the game. Even though I had this deep passion for fitness, becoming a personal trainer was literally a job I took on to make more money because at the time I was working at FedEx and struggling as a barber.
The irony is I made NO money in those early days but my vision of what I thought I could be carried me.
Some of the cats I started with in the personal training game were comparable to top 5 picks in the NBA draft while I was the unheralded guy at the end of the first round.
I’m more Jimmy Butler than I am LeBron James. Instead of folding, I used those doubts as fuel to drive me.
Your end goal has to be your endgame.
6) Fake Hustle
When you are using a different training program every week, you are doing what we call “program-hopping.”
Because of the microwave society we live in, many lifters and trainees want the extremely fast “results” they see popping up on their Instagram feed. When these lifters use a legit training program, and do not see results in week 1, they jump to the next trending program.
This process continues for months and the lifter has made only minimal gains at the end of that time frame.
Stick with a training program for at least 6-12 weeks. You can make minor changes to the movements but focus on making progress within the program instead of hopping to the next Instagram “squat challenge.”
When your lifting numbers improve from week 1 to week 12, you will have a stronger and more muscular body. There are no shortcuts on the road to unleashing your inner greatness.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,
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