Bodybuilding, the art of increasing lean muscle mass in order to achieve a sculpted, somewhat Greek God like physique is something I have in the past expressed much love for. Today, I still absolutely love the principles of building muscle and burning body fat, or total body recomposition as I like to call it. Yet I find myself struggling to convey the same level of love for ‘’bodybuilding’’ which I did a couple of years back and here is why. In reality, it is a pretty one dimensional discipline which I believe many follow as a route to improving health and body shape, which is fine – however I think there are better ways to do this in the gym. German Body Composition training for example, a resistance based training system which undoubtedly helps build muscle, strength and burn fat yet it doesn’t fall into the standard ‘’bodybuilding’’ pitfalls we often see – lack of intensity, poor variation and well, focussed on one thing. In a nutshell, these are some of the reasons why I prefer to think of training as an all-round athlete, seeking a powerful, functional, aesthetic physique – not just a ‘’bodybuilder.’’ Think about it, your average man or lady desires improved health, improved endurance, strength (who doesn’t want this?), increased lean muscle mass (OK ladies, tone!!) and lower body fat levels, right?
This doesn’t mean you need to train like a bodybuilder (although some want to, and that is fine!). So what does it take to shape up, if you are not to train like a bodybuilder?
INTENSITY – if a rapid body transformation is the goal then you need to be intense in the gym, almost to the point a sick bucket becomes a friend (I am not glorifying throwing up in the gym, but sometimes that feeling is part and parcel of working HARD in the gym).
FORM – training the muscle you are targeting is essential, sounds obvious right? One of the unsaid ‘’secrets’’ of rapid body recomposition is to contract and squeeze the muscle against the resistance (as if you were holding no weight) in order to maximise muscle stimulation, and as a result calories used. This addresses ‘’form’’ because to do the first, you must adhere to the second.
VARIATION – the body is an amazing machine, often people fail to give it the credit it truly deserves. As a result it can become accustomed to doing the same thing very quickly, which means that progress will often slow down as a result. Using differing rep tempos, volumes and exercises are all great variables to throw in.
So body transformers, what are you waiting for?