When I first got into this mad world of weights, muscle and
impossible volumes of protein all I cared about was looking good at the age of
16 to impress the ladies and feel more confident – somewhat cliché wouldn’t you
agree? Now I realise I was really chasing optimum body composition results and
that my interest was always MUCH deeper than building a ‘’chick-magnet’’
physique. Sport was always part of my life since I was a nipper and it always
will be, I live for it. As well as looking good I want to be functional, I don’t
want to be some redundant heavy muscled guy who cannot utilise what he has
spent so long developing. Considering I am not looking to be a competitive bodybuilder
it has an air of pointlessness about it – sure I want to look GREAT, but I also
want to be functional. The ultimate athlete is the new rock star figure and we
all want to be it, well at least I think we do.
There was a time not so long ago when all I wanted was to
achieve a pump in the gym, true bodybuilder style. Today I crave much more than
this, I want to see the weight I am using increase over a period of time. This is
since I have started to chase myofibrillar hypertrophy which is directly linked
to strength and genetic permitting it can give a very good HARD look to your
With that said I have begun to show much more interest in
power and strength exercises like the deadlift, bench press, clean & press,
squat and military press. Typically I will use a repetition range of 3-5 when
the emphasis is on functional strength, but I also know it is aiding my body
composition goals far beyond I ever believed it would. Calorie expenditure and
high threshold motor unit recruitment are two of the biggest pluses of using
this form of training.
Not long after my transformation last year when I was in the
shape of my life I decided to try and go for a run simply out of curiosity. Whilst
I wasn’t expecting to be challenging for world record times I did expect to be
able to chug along for 3-4 miles. I couldn’t, my lungs were dying and it
actually made me feel as though my childhood asthma had returned.
Since then I have changed my training and made more effort
to stay lean all year round and the results are there to see. I can easily run
with no issue now, not that I want do – it was just proving a point to myself. The
training I do in the weight room is much more intense now, shorter rest
periods, more giant sets or if it is a heavy day then of course the sheer effort
exercises the cardiac system very well!!
These days I do loads of pull-ups to, many variations of it
and aside from building a really thick back it also helps with endurance in my
opinion. There is no exercise more challenging than the pull-ups for the upper
body if you ask me.
Above anything else I love and live the sport and active
lifestyle to sustain a great state of health. Personally I feel altering the
training emphasis from low rep strength training to moderate reps for
sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and then extreme reps helps keep the cardiac system
Of course, the diet I follow and anyone else who lives this
way follows also aids health in my opinion.
So there we go, my new take on modern day training and what
most people seem to crave. I want chiselled abs, a great volume of muscle but I
also want to be fit and functional.