Sunday, May 29, 2016


The hardgaining skinny-guy's guidelines for packing on size.

Are you the guy who’s always being over-powered on the field? Are you the pick-up games last pick? Have you been grinding out hard work in the gym for hours on end with no results to date? Chances are, you’re a classic example of an ectomorphic-hardgainer. 

Your genetics have built you lean and that’s how you stay. But have no worries, with a little patience, persistence and training-by-the-rules, you’ll be well on your way to living large(r).

RULE 1: Go Big or Go Home

Heading to the gym to lift just for the sake of lifting won’t get you anywhere faster. You’ve got to go with the exercises and movement patterns that give you more bang for your buck. “Far too many guys spend time working on isolation exercises searching for hypertrophy,” says Colorado-based certified trainer and fitness writer, Jeremey DuVall. You want to program your workouts with moves like the deadlift, squat and overhead press. “Bigger exercises require more muscle recruitment and make for a more efficient workout," he adds. John Annillo, CSCS of Training for Warriors agrees, “Your body works as a unit, so drop the isolation exercises and train it like one. The more muscles (or joints) that are working during any given exercise the better.” Trainer, fitness writer/model Parker Cote also believes "big moves" are especially important for beginners saying, "it's the best way to expedite the mass gain process."

Workout Recommendation

Make the squat the primary exercise in your leg workouts. (3-5 reps, 6-8 reps) The deadlift in your back workouts. (3-5 reps, 6-8 reps) Overhead presses in your shoulder workouts. (3-5 reps, 8-12 reps) And barbell bench presses for chest. (3-5 sets, 10-12 reps)

RULE 2: Rest and Relax

When you’re going big and tossing around heavier weight, recovery is what’s going to give you the gains you need. Another component to this is how you're actually programming your workouts. "Supersets and other circuit-style techniques are excellent for fat loss, but when trying to gain lean muscle, it is beneficial to have longer rest periods," says Cote. Blowing through your sets will slow the mass building process—you need to preserve your strength for bigger lifts and heavier loads. “To maximize each set focus on resting longer (3-5 minutes), so your muscles are ready to fire at 100% with each rep,” Annillo advises.

Workout Recommendation

Assuming you're training with heavier weight at lower reps and lighter weight at higher reps follow this rest period guide:

10-12 reps, rest 3 minutes
6-9 reps, rest 4 minutes
5 reps and under, rest 5 minutes

RULE 3: Get More Sleep

“Real progress lies in the recovery stage—not the actual time in the gym,” says DuVall. This means get in the gym, work hard, and get to bed. "Both the quantity and quality of your sleep will play into how much testosterone you produce, how your muscles repair, and how you pack on the pounds," Annillo says. Yes, we’re going back in time to the days of “bed times.” “You destroy muscle in the gym and build muscle at night," says celebrity trainer Jay Cardiello. So get your 8 hours.

Recovery Recommendation

Take 10 minutes or so to practice some relaxing yoga poses, prepare a cup of caffeine-free chamomile tea and you’ll be good to go.

RULE 4: Eat to Get Big

While we're not giving you carte blanche to raid the fridge and eat everything in sight, you will need to eat more than you’re used to. “Eat something every couple of hours, upping your intake of calorie dense foods, downing healthy carbs right after your workout, and having a casein protein before bedtime," Annillo says. And to get the most out of your food, opt for high calorie, dense options. “Peanut butter and avocados provide a big boost of fat and calories to your daily totals,” says DuVall.

Eating Recommendation

Start yourself out by adding small things to your current diet. If you eat two pieces of toast in the morning with a protein shake, add an additional slice, or add a piece of fruit. Peanut butter sandwiches are also a great option as meal add-ons. If all this fails, then go ahead and raid the fridge and eat everything in sight.

By Mike Simone - MensFitness

Sunday, May 22, 2016


In the new boxing film "Creed," actor Michael B. Jordan manages to look even more ripped than Carl Weathers and Silvester Stallone, who played Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa, respectively, in the "Rocky" movies.

To get in shape for the role of Adonis Creed — Apollo's illegitimate son in the film — Jordan worked closely with personal trainer Corey Calliet and followed a strict diet.

Despite getting decimated by Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, Apollo Creed's ripped physique, as displayed by actor Carl Weathers, was beyond enviable. Some other, less motivated, actor may have been daunted by the task of sizing up to the Creed name, but Michael B. Jordan used the challenge to push himself beyond his previous fitness limits.

"I was thrilled," says Jordan, a lifelong fan of the franchise. Partnering again with Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler, Creed follows the struggle of Apollo's son Adonis to step out of his father's shadow in the sport that he also loves. In the film Adonis tracks down Rocky, reprised again by the iconic Sylvester Stallone, to whip him into shape. But in real life Jordan enlisted trainer Corey Calliet to achieve his incredible body transformation.

"I felt muscles I never knew I had," Jordan says.

That doesn't mean Stallone just stood in the corner. The big-screen veteran mentored the young actor through the boxing scenes, of which he is well-versed after six previous installments of the Rocky series. "He's filled with wisdom," Jordan says. "He really helped me find the authenticity in the ring and let me know when I shouldn't hold back."

Though they boxed daily during training, it was Calliet's experience as a body builder that helped him target every muscle group and shape Jordan's full form. "I wanted to make him look even more ripped than Apollo, and I think we did that," Calliet says. It didn't come without hard work, but the trainer admits it all paid off when Stallone stood ringside looking up at Jordan. "He said, 'Mike looks good.' That meant a lot coming from him."

Training Regimen


For 45 to 60 minutes daily: Interval training, sprint work, plyometric drills, and speed rope.


Every other day, do 3 sets of 25 reps of each move:

Crunches Lie on floor with knees bent, feet flat, hands behind head; crunch upper body up so shoulder blades lift off floor, pause, and slowly lower back down.

Leg Raises Lie on floor with legs extended; with legs glued together and straight, raise legs perpendicular to floor, then slowly lower to a few inches above floor.

Reverse Crunches Lie on floor with legs extended, feet hovering a few inches off floor; tuck knees to chest, pause, then lower back to start without allowing feet to touch floor.

Toe Touches Lie on floor with legs extended, arms by sides. Raise legs perpendicular to floor, and lift torso off floor to reach arms to touch toes; slowly lower back to start.

Traditional Sit-Ups Lie on floor with knees bent, feet flat, hands behind head; engage abs and lift upper body until you're fully upright; slowly lower back to start.


Start the series with a 1-mile warm-up on the treadmill:

Press and Push-Up Superset

Alternate between dumbbell presses and push-ups, for five rounds total. Do this rep scheme for the dumbbell presses: 10 reps, then 9 reps, then 8, 7, and finally 6. You'll do 15 push-ups immediately after the presses each time. Take a 15- to 30-second break between rounds.

Fly and Push-Up Superset

Alternate between bench-press flys and push-ups, for five rounds total. Do this rep scheme for the bench press flys: 10 reps, then 9 reps, then 8, 7, and finally 6. You'll do 10 push-ups immediately after the flys each time. Take a 15- to 30-second break between rounds.

Dumbbells Curls

Do 4 sets of 15 dumbbell curls, taking a 30-second break between sets.

Hammer Curls

Do 3 sets of 12 hammer curls, taking a 30-second break between sets.

Kickback and Dip Superset

Alternate between dumbbell kickbacks and bench dips, for four rounds total. Do 15 dumbbell kickbacks, then immediately do 20 bench dips. Take a 15- to 30-second break between rounds.


Complete in circuit fashion for 3 rounds. Take 2-minute rests between each round, and no rest between exercises:

Box or Bench Step-Ups 20 each leg
Box Jumps or Jumping Over a Step 20 reps
Side Step-Ups on a Box or Bench 20 each leg
Jump Squats 20 reps
Burpees 15 reps
Bench Push-Ups 25 reps


Every workout day ends with 3 hours of boxing:
Heavy bag
Speed bag
Hitting the mitts
Jump rope


  • Meal 1

    6 egg whites
    1 whole egg
    45 g carb (ex: oats, rice, etc.)

  • Meal 2

    Protein shake
    35 g carb (ex: steelcut oats)

  • Meal 3

    8 oz lean protein (ex: chicken, ground turkey)
    65 g carb (ex: rice, sweet potato)
    1 cup green veggie 

  • Meal 4

    8 oz lean protein (ex: chicken, ground turkey, or fish)
    35 g carb (ex: rice, sweet or red potato)

  • Meal 5

    Protein shake
    35 g carb (ex: steelcut oats)

  • Meal 6

    8 oz lean protein (ex: chicken, ground turkey)
    1 cup green veggie
    1 tsp oil (ex: olive oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil)


Pre-workout supplement
Recovery supplement

Calliet set a cheat day for Jordan starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday and ending at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Having the movie shoot take place in Rocky's hometown of Philadelphia lead to one obvious indulgence. “I don't know if a person has ever eaten as many cheesesteaks as I saw Mike eat,” laughs Calliet.

By: Charles Thorp. Health & Fitness & Tanya Lewis . Business Insider

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Game of Thrones’ oft-maligned Jon Snow has found his muscle birthright. 

Use Kit Harrington’s scheme to overthrow your metabolism and pack on 12 kilos of strength in five weeks.

Discover your muscle birthright

In case the billboards, trailers, teaser trailers, fan-made trailers, wikis, websites and massive (legitimate and illegitimate) viewing figures have passed you by, Game of Thrones is big . . . very, very big. As such, the cast are going to be even bigger business if they survive the author's regular culling of main characters.

Kit Harington is taking the idea of big business literally. As the lead character Milo in the recently released Pompeii, the 27-year-old Englishman spent five weeks putting on 12 kilograms of very hard-won muscle. If being a bigger man is a huge ask for you, his workout is the start of a new chapter. You're only five weeks away from your big finale.

Play to your strength

In Thrones, Harington's body is almost constantly swathed in layers of coats and furs. That they weigh in at almost 10kg is not the point. It's that underneath that weighted vest stands his naturally slighter physique.

"I'm not a six-foot three-inch guy who can bulk up and just look like an absolute unit, a tank. My body type has a tiny bit of stockiness to it, but it's really quite wiry, so for Pompeii that was the sort of look I had to go for - 'prison fit', like Robert De Niro in Cape Fear."

If, like Harington, you're a "hard gainer" - you train loads and eat as much as you can but simply can't get bigger - you're fighting against yourself. Your most powerful weapon is your fast metabolism, so use it to cut body fat and uncover definition, rather than trying to pack on huge slabs of muscle. 

Pick your battles

With all the grim determination in the world, if you're struggling with a fitness resolution, fly the white flag and try something else. The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports found enjoying exercise, rather than plugging away at something you don't, raises performance by 25 per cent - science not lost on Harington.

"The physical stuff is very much a part of who Jon Snow is, and over the four years I've got into rock climbing, ice climbing, sword fighting and horse riding," he says.

You're not half a man for trying new things. Just give it your all when you do.

Feat like a Roman

Building hero muscle fast means a lot of reps with the fork - for five weeks Harington was packing in 21,000 kilojoules a day. "I was eating all the time: loads of good carbs, like brown rice and sweet potatoes. And lots of chicken."

Go heavy on flavouring to avoid boredom. Harrington's trainer Dalton Wong recommends Herbamare - a mix of salt and about 15 herbs (buy it at Woolworths and Safeway). 

Adapt and thrive

When trying to burn as many kilojoules as possible, injuries will happen. When they do, don't give up and wait for the doom of weight gain to rain down, adapt your training instead.

"I did my ankle really badly about two months prior to the third series of Thrones," says Harington. "I spoke to doctors and physios, but it was the training for Pompeii that got me back to full fitness."

They key to survival is to work within your limits. "Kit's ankle was sore, so we trained in his range," says Wong. "If it hurt on a squat, we wouldn't squat so deep." 

Save time, gain strength

Even if the squat rack is your deadliest foe, staying mobile is the key to building a bigger body. "You see the guys on screen and they're in amazing shape," says Wong. "What you don't see is everything else they do to stay in one piece: the yoga, the massage and all the physiotherapy."

That's great if you're being paid to work out. But you're not, so pare back smartly. Harington's workout pairs strength moves with a mobility exercise, for a full-body session that stretches your muscles while building them.

Next time you face your gym nemesis, you'll be a stronger and more athletic enemy. 

Bigger & fitter, faster

Harington wasted no time in building his bigger body. Wong's workout pairs strength-building lifts with muscle-stretching moves. Rest for at least 90 seconds after each pair.


A1 Wide-Grip Deadlift
3 Sets of 6-8 Reps

It's the heaviest graft first. Grab a bar with an overhand grip. Keep your back flat and arms straight as you lower. Pull the bar up the front of your legs to stand. End by drawing your shoulderblades together.

A2 Split-Stance Cable Row
3 Sets of 12-15 Reps

That hurt, didn't it? This mobility move will fix that. Set the cable to the lowest notch. With the handle in your left hand, step back so your left foot is in front. Pull to your side, wrist twisting so your palm faces your body. Rest, then start the deadlift again.

B1 Zercher Squat
3 Sets of 6-8 Reps

With the bar in the crook of your elbows, squeeze your hands into your chest to lock it in. Drop your hips as low as possible, then force your heels into the ground to push your chest up and your knees out. If you feel faintly heroic, you're doing it right.

B2 Deep Sit
30-40 seconds

With feet just wider than shoulder width, sit in a deep squat position - hamstrings on your heels - for 30-40 seconds. It gets your body used to being in that deeper position and you'll be able to go further when you load up the weight again.


C1 Commando Chin-Up
3 Sets of 8-10 Reps

Stand looking down the chin-up bar. Grab it with one hand in front of the other, palms facing in. Pull up and left, right shoulder touching the bar. Repeat on the other side. 

C2 Shoulder "W"
3 Sets of 10 Reps

Bend over like a bent-over row, holding a barbell at arm's length. Row up slowly until your elbows and ears line up. Turn your wrists up to your ears and do a shoulder press. This will help you squeeze your shoulderblades together for more chin-ups in the next set. Rest and repeat the chin-ups.

D1 Chest Dip
3 Sets of 8-10 Reps

Jump up onto the dip bars and hover with your arms straight and your shoulders above your hands. Flex your knees and hips slightly. This is the easy bit. Bend your arms and flare your elbows out. When you feel a stretch in your chest or shoulders, push up. That's the hard bit. Go straight on to your reward. 

D2 Swiss-Ball Pec Stretch
30 Seconds

This is a nice lie down. Sit on a Swiss ball, then roll forward so it sits in the centre of your. With your arms in a crucifix position, let the weight gently stretch your chest. This elongates the muscle and prevents that "gym gorilla" look. Rest, then go back to the chest dips.


E1 Weighted Crunch
3 Sets of 10-12 Reps

After all that, hit the deck. But hold a five- to 10kg weight plate across your chest and bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Curl up slowly using your abs rather than momentum, until your back is 45º off the floor. Reverse until you're on your back to the chest dips.

E2 Cobra Pose
3 Sets of 3 Reps

That done, put the weight down and roll onto your front. Put your palms on the ground close to the sides of your chest. Straighten your arms and push up your upper body, arching your back and stretching your abs. Your legs should stay rooted to the floor. Hold for five seconds, then relax before repeating. 

F1 Incline Press
3 Sets of 8-12 Reps

A final two-pronged attack on your chest means you leave the gym feeling bigger. Set an adjustable bench at a 45º incline and lie back with a pair of dumbbells held just above your shoulders. Push straight up. You're only one move away from victory. Unfortunately, this next one's a killer.

F2 Push-Up
Perform to failure

Sounds simple but doing as many reps as you can both stretches out the chest muscles and adds an extra strength-building set to the end of your workout. Make sure your shoulders are over your arms, then sink as low as possible before pushing back up. It hurts, but you'll feel far less sore in the morning.

By menshealth