The Beginning Of Your Body Transformation
With any great routine there has to be a strong mix of diet and exercise to achieve the best results. Where most programs fail is the proper order and sequence of the muscle building portion while providing nutrition advice that is too obsessive compulsive and complex. Following typical bodybuilding workouts for men will also leave you slightly pudgy with soft, puffy, rounded muscles instead of lean, toned, and angular. I’ll lay out a strategic approach to diet with multiple phases of muscle building that will sculpt your body that rivals Abercrombie models.
Mass Building- Phase 1: Sets, Reps, Rest
This phase is a little subjective. Which means it depends on your current size. If you have been lifting weights for awhile you more than likely have enough muscle mass. Trust me on this! Abercrombie models actually aren’t that big. What makes their muscles appear larger is actually a little bit of an illusion. Having very low body fat with toned muscles in just the right places makes a visual impact (now you know where it gets the name). Don’t get me wrong, they do have a good amount of muscle mass but just not as much as you may think. So if you feel that you need a little bit more mass this is the phase where you will begin.
1) Sets: 3-4 but with only about 30-45 sec of rest. You will be working on cumulative fatigue…training to failure.
2) Reps: 8-15+
You won’t need to be on this phase for more than a few months. If you stick with mass training for too long your muscles will eventually look soft and puffy due to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. You are aiming for high reps, short rest, low weight. You want to fatigue the muscle like crazy. This is the essential for building mass.
Mass Building Exercises (Day 1 and 2)
1) Chest: Incline bench, incline dumbbell bench, Gironda press, squeeze press, dumbbell flies (Here is a good article: chest workouts for men)
2) Biceps: Straight barbell curl, dumbbell curls, incline dumbbell curls
3) Shoulders: Standing military shoulder press, dumbbell lateral raise, seated shoulder press, seated dumbbell press
4) Triceps: Cable pressdowns, lying tricep extension, dips (make sure not to lean too far forward so that you don’t work your lower chest)
5) Back: Pullups (max), seated cable rows, nautilus pullovers
6) Forearms & Abs: Reverse barbell curls, wrist curls, planks, ab wheel exercises (Note: No crunches or situps. Why? Find out here.)
On the mass building stage you will want to train on a 2 day split. Day 1 could be spent with chest, shoulders, triceps, abs. Day 2 can be back, biceps, forearms. Then take 1 day off completely. So, two days training, one day off, two days training, one day off, etc.
Note: I’m sure you noticed that I didn’t include training legs. Abercrombie and Fitch models don’t have thick, tree-like, legs. Your lower body has a much larger growth potential so it is very easy to build the legs up with weights. You can create much sexier and defined legs with a tough HIIT workout.
Diet: No Complications Here
During the mass phase you can eat a little more calories than what you would during the strength and muscle density phase. However, it is very easy to go overboard. This is also dependant on your current weight status. If you are currently overweight than I would implement intermittent fasting (here you will learn why food actually has very little to do with muscle gain despite what you have learned). If you are at a decent weight, like 4-pack abs status, then you can eat at or a little above maintenance. Once again, you do NOT need to be scarffing down food all day long to gain muscle mass. I don’t care what bodybuilding magazines are telling you. It doesn’t work that way. If you are eating like a pig, the increased weight gain will be mostly fat and not muscle.
Cardio will also take a special place while building mass. However, it will be shorter and less taxing on the body. When done properly, cardio can help boost HGH (fat burning hormone) and preserve muscle mass. In this phase you will include HIIT intervals right after your mass workout. If you are familiar at all with high intensity interval training (HIIT) then you know that their are hundreds of ways doing it. All you need is the basics. Once you understand the principles to HIIT, then you can shape your cardio workouts in any way that you want. Ex) HIIT: swimming, sprinting, bodyweight, stepmill, treadmill, etc
Here are a few examples:
Note: Once again you will use your HIIT intervals immediately after lifting weights.
The duration of this phase is all dependent on your current size. If you have never lifted before then you may have to follow this for 6+ months. Like I said before, you don’t want to follow this for too long because you will eventually look soft and puffy. Now, if you have been lifting weights for awhile then it may only need to be for 3-6 months before you switch over to the next phase. In the next post you will learn how to create hard, dense, angular, toned muscles while “shrink wrapping” your skin around your abs to polish off the look of an Abercrombie and Fitch model. This is some advanced techniques that you will get from the Abercromibe workout. Remember, most bodybuilding workouts for men won’t create a body like a male model.