It sucks to want to be a certain way and watching everyone else doing it.
I’m guessing you’re one of the real people who gets that all you see on Instagram might not be how it really is!
One of those people who want to be able to whip their shirt off or wear a crop top and be confident doing what you want to do.
Might be in bed, might be in the mirror, might be on the beach – you know the situation that bothers you most.
I used to be like that – you know, where you show up to stuff but you really just want to get out of there.
I hated being the skinny guy and had a paranoia that this meant bad things were always about to go down. I don’t even know what I was worried about but it messed up my head sometimes.
Then at 16 I discovered a program called Muscle Dynamics in the back of FHM magazine.
I had the dilemma of either continuing to look at the hot girls in the magazine and ‘hope’, or do something about my body so I had the confidence to actually interact with real life girls.
So the decision between calling the premium rate Naughty Nurses hotline or getting Muscle Dynamics was made.
It was a fun phone call, I think her name was Sarah.
Just kidding, I got the program and about 10 days later, got to work.
But I messed it up because I also wanted to be great at football and tennis, and be able to run a sub 35 minute 10km.
I call it Fitness ADHD.
I continued to combine all this stuff for about a year until I finally fractured my spine, believed to be a combination of doing too much and growing too fast all at the same time.
And so I was literally broken in half and the real journey began.
What appeared to be the worst day of my life started a 14 year journey to figuring out the truth.
I’ve tried a lot of stuff, made a lot of mistakes but in what seems like 5 minutes ended up with a gym of my own with around 180 members and put on 17kg of muscle since university.
In terms of training for muscle I’ve learned:
1) You can add muscle but be relatively weak, which is a bit shit.
I don’t want to lose my 225kg PB deadlift (about 2.6 x bodyweight) for the sake of getting a bit bigger.
I tried stuff like 3 x 10 and all that for a long time, put on a bit of muscle but always felt ‘incomplete’.
I was getting some muscle but not really getting noticeably strong.
When I started working reps in the 3-6 range, good things started happening strength and size wise.
2) If you just ‘get big bro’ and ignore nutrition you just end up looking like a bloated peanut or a carpet salesman, unable to put your arms at your side.
Just being big is useful for intimidating small old ladies.
It’s not much use for a lot of other things in life.
Some sports require size but again the stronger you are with ithe better.
If I ever have to lift a car off Sarah the Naughty Nurses hotline girl, I need to be ready.
I also want to maintain a six pack.
3) The concept of bulking then cutting is not the best way to do things.
This is an old method gleaned off the bodybuilding world pro’s – who are nearly all drugged up to the eyeballs.
Without drugs, this method off just leads to a yo-yo of putting on muscle and fat, then losing muscle and fat when you do the cut. It can also play havoc with your hormones.
The actual long term net gains are less than impressive.
4) The guys and girls with the best bodies combine heavy lifting, lots of tension training and some bad ass conditioning so they don’t become pussified by the standard gym approaches based on just who can do the craziest, most stupid sweaty workouts.
If you only have 3-4 hours a week to train, you need to make sure it all counts.
This requires careful planning so you’re not just fannying about ‘lifting weights’.
Most people spend too much time firing out quick reps in the 8-12 range and that’s it.
They could get so much more for the same time in the gym.
Some of the sessions tear you apart, some of them make you faster and more powerful.
All make you more of a badass.
5) The addition of low rep strength training gives you a different look compared to pure ‘growth’ training.
You look ready for anything, not just the bench press, and can more easily adapt to different challenges which makes life more fun.
Improve your ‘lift to bodyweight’ ratios while adding size and you will sculpt an awesome body that can do the business as well.
6) There are great ways to manipulate lifting so you get more volume work in AND heavier weights for ‘double trouble’ gains.
You don’t have to get strong OR bigger which is what often happens when you only read Mens Fitness.
The top old school bodybuilders got very strong and did a lot of low rep lifts in addition to their tension work.
Then magazines turned it into the 3 x 10, 4 x 8 fest – this was probably a watered down version of stuff to suit the set up of commercial gyms where squat racks and lifting platforms were banned for so long and often still are.
Now we have ways to perform heavy AND high volume – this stuff isn’t very pleasant but works a treat for those who want strength and size gains.
7) There is no one way to eat for size but just ‘eating loads’ just makes most people fat, unhealthy and gives them constant digestive issues.
There are ways to cycle food intake so you get the gains without just getting fat and having to do a cutting phase which inevitably brings muscle loss.
One study which followed a low calorie cut revealed that 1/3 of the weight lost over 6 weeks was muscle.
So if you drop 12lbs of weight, 4lbs of that is your hard earned muscle which probably took a few months to grow.
We also know now that certain people work very well with overfeeds whereas some people will likely experience negative impacts so you can’t just copy your mate who eats an entire pizza factory every weekend and seems to stay lean.
The longer, slightly slower route to gains is where it’s at so you don’t just keep getting bigger then cutting to get your abs out, going back to where you started.
Now at 31, I’ve decided I want to see just how big and strong I can get, without compromising my health, without drugs and without losing my work capacity which has always been pretty good.
I’m also busy as hell having my own business (even if it is a gym) so this has got to go down using time efficient stuff – no 2 hour sessions.
It kinda started from some banter about me trying to be bigger than Vin Diesel who weighs in at about 100-102kg.
I’m 89kg right now so about 10kg to go.
So I’ve been busy creating a hybrid program combining low rep strength work, mid range tension training and some short, sharp conditioning to keep body fat down and mental fortitude up!
It’s ready and it is a 6 month mission known as ‘The Diesel Project’.
I’m looking for 30 guys or girls to take part for 6 months.
IT’S 100% ONLINE COACHING SO YOU CAN DO IT FROM ANYWHERE
Yes 6 months – so if you’re the kind of person who gets distracted and will decide to do a Tough Mudder half way through, this isn’t for you.
Muscle building takes time – nothing magic will happen in a 8-12 week period.
I expect gains of 6-10kg in 6 months depending on lifting history and starting point.
You will look different, very different.
You will need to buy new clothes.
You will go through some painful training sessions (no more than 60-70 minutes)
If that’s not what you’re after, this isn’t for you and that’s cool – I don’t want anybody to waste their time.
WE START ON MONDAY 11TH MAY – THAT’S NEXT MONDAY
You can register with one payment or 6 monthly payments and as soon as you do, you’ll get a link to the private Facebook group to join the others and get all the training and nutrition you need along with coaching along the way to tweak anything to suit you as you go.
This is an interactive program where we will all be constantly on your back to see how things are going and to push each other on so be ready to hit the ground running.
REGISTRATION CLOSES ON FRIDAY 8TH MAY
I’M ALL IN, LET’S SEE WHAT’S POSSIBLE: 147 UP FRONT
SIX MONTHLY PAYMENTS: 6 x 30 PER MONTH