Nobody cares about your body but you. If you desire to make a change, understand that at all points on your journey, nobody cares how you look. All that matters is your own opinion of yourself and the shape you’re in.
So since you’re building your body for yourself, you might as well do it right and build to last. Of course, this means you that need to build your muscles. How you do this is up to you-lifting weights, bodyweight work, carrying a pig up a hill every day-but you need to be getting stronger. Simply put, your muscles need to spend time under tension. The more time they spend under tension, the bigger they will be.
Building muscle is the number 1 thing you must do to build the body you want.
But I don’t want to look a roided-out body-builder!
Okay, well then don’t do steroids, and don’t train like a body-builder for a decade. Eat a variety of whole foods, drink a ton of water, regularly put your muscles under tension, and then you’ll have the body you want.
CURLS FOR THE GIRLS
Women often fear “getting too bulky” and as a result, avoid weight-training. Instead, they spend two hours on the elliptical and stay trapped in the disempowering mindfuck that is their perception of what their bodies must look like in order to have worth.
The physique you seek is found with barbell in hand, not the elliptical under foot.
You won’t get bulky by lifting weights. You will increase your muscle mass and strength. That means that in (and out of) clothes, your body will appear firm, sleek, and tight. Nothing will bounce-unless it ought to.
You know why you won’t get “bulky”? Because you don’t have enough testosterone in your body to build that kind of physique naturally. Unless you have a big bushy beard like me, the odds are slim that you do. Even if you did, it still will take you years to build a bulky body.
Simply put, ladies, when you build muscle, your breasts get perkier, your butt gets bubblier, and the question “hot dogs or legs?” will never be posed seriously on your Instagram.
DEBUNK THE “DIRTY BULK”
Search around for long enough on fitness forums, and you’ll be hit with a lot queries regarding “dirty bulking” or “clean bulking”. “Bulking” in theory, is when you eat in deliberate caloric surplus and train to gain size/strength. The notion of clean/dirty is total crap, as you are either eating in caloric surplus and adhering (with at least some strictness) to your macros, or you are not.
Whether or not you choose to get your calories from donuts or potatoes is, in the short term, not terribly important (though it is advisable to always opt for the nutrient-dense option, as being deficient is micronutrients and minerals can really set you back), so long as you don’t go SO far into surplus that you offset how much fat you gain in proportion to your muscle.
When you gain weight, some of it will be fat and some muscle. The ratio is dependent largely on the ratio of your macronutrients, overall calories, and type of training.
No matter what else you’re doing, you will look worse if you are not resistance training aka spending time under tension aka lifting weights. This is why people training for marathon often end up gaining weight and performing poorly, because they drastically overestimate how many calories they need.
“Dirty bulking” is just an excuse to eat without regard to discipline. If you’ve spent a lot of time in caloric deficit and train hard regularly, eat whatever you want. Honestly, it is really hard to undo the hard work achieved when you’ve gotten very lean.
On the left, I was a little north of 185, and I eventually got down to 184. On the right, I am 205. These pictures were taken 8 months apart, but I’ve been at this 205 now for about 5 months. It took a whole 3 months of eating cake and eggs benedict in excess without thought on purpose, and a complete lack of conditioning training (or intense weight training at all), to get to undo that work. Why can you still see my abs?
- I’ve put on a ton of muscle, so my body needs a lot of calories just to maintain
- I’ve put on a ton of muscle, so my body has a definite shape to it. On my worst day, I’m far from a the sack of soy that is the dad-bod.
- I’ve put on a ton of muscle, so my insulin resistance is probably very low, so my body partitions nutrients efficiently.
For the record, I can get back to that shape in about 6 weeks because…I’ve put on a ton of muscle.
Having muscle is what gives your body shape. Pretend you’re a piece of fruit. You deliberately consume less calories and your workouts consist of spinning your wheels fast on the elliptical. You will lose weight, but you will stay the same shape. You’ll just be smaller. Now, if you were to add resistance training/put your fruit muscles under tension, you would change your shape. You would, effectively, go from being a pear to a strawberry, instead of just becoming a smaller pear.
BUT I JUST WANT TO “TONE”
I know, me too. You call it “toning”, and I call it “building muscle”. When you say you want to “tone” or “firm up” etc., you’re talking about two things:
- building muscle
- losing fat
- Looking hot
You can build muscle and not get bulky. Fact is, no one wants to be bulky. Everyone wants to have lots of muscle mass and low body fat. Some people call that physique “toned”, I call it “jacked”. That’s why Statue Jacked is such a great program: it will build muscle on every inch of your body, and make your proportions outrageously attractive.
For men, this means widening your shoulders and narrowing your waist; thickening your shoulders and chest; building arms that will bust your sleeves and legs that have power and shape.
For women, this gets you bikini ready: building a booty, building muscle under breast tissue for a perfect Baywatch-esque bounce, and tons of core work with conditioning so your stomach is flat and you body’s natural shape steals the show.
Because of sex hormone levels, weight training reveals everyone’s best physique. This is why women won’t ever get too “bulky” or develop “manly” physiques: they simply don’t have enough testosterone to do so.
Because men have testosterone in abundance, building muscle all but instantly transforms their bodies. It’s how you go from skinny-fat soy boy to superhero.
Weight training gives your body a shape
- just eating less and playing around on the elliptical will make you a smaller version of the shape you already are
Toning is just building muscle and reducing body fat
- achieved through lifting weights and caloric deficit
Lifting weights won’t make women look bulky or manly
- you need lots of testosterone for that, and they don’t have nearly enough
Building muscle makes staying in shape really easy
- you practically have to work hard to get rid of the body you built.
- Muscle sticks around
Building muscle makes you look your best
Go forth and train hard.
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