“Protein is the building block for muscular growth,” says Dick, adding that the average person needs two grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight in order to add muscle. “For most people this will be a huge step up from their current protein intake,” he says. “To put it into perspective, a chicken breast will contain about 50-55g protein. You should aim to take 25 percent of your calories from protein each day.
“Both fats and carbs also play a vital role in muscle building,” Dick continues. “Healthy fats help your body to absorb nutrients. Carbs fuel your workouts. Aim to take 25 percent of your daily calories from fats and 50 percent from carbohydrates.”
Can you bulk up and lose weight at the same time?
If you’re adding size, Dick advises you to be in a calorie surplus around 5-10 percent higher than your standard daily intake. If you want to add muscle while cutting weight, you’ll need to maintain a calorie deficit of around five percent. In theory, the two cancel each other out, but Dick says you can still slowly build muscle even if you’re eating less.
Utley advises against it. “I guarantee poor results if you try to lose fat and add muscle at the same time. If you have fat to lose, do this first: you will appear more muscular and your hormones will allow you to then grow far more efficiently. The key is always get lean first, get healthy, then focus on muscle building.”
Time to put the theory into practice. Utley’s five-move upper body workout will help you round out your chest and shoulders like Mescal. Add it into your routine once a week. Motivational Gladiator quotes optional.
Dumbbell Chest Press – 4 sets of 8 reps
Get some dumbbells. Lie down on a bench, a slight arch in the bottom of your back. Power the dumbbells straight up, keeping them in line with your nipples. Slowly lower them down until they touch your chest, then go again. For eight reps you’ll want a weight you can only just manage. If you’re unable to keep the weights straight while they’re in the air, you’ve gone too heavy.
Military Shoulder Press – 4 sets 6-reps
Using a barbell of a set of dumbbells, start with the weight at the top of your chest and power it straight overhead, without locking your elbows. Control the weight back to your chest for one. You might want to sit down for this, in order to keep the spine straight.
Lateral raises 3 sets – 10/10/10 reps for 3 drop sets
Time for your best Mescal impression. Start with a heavyish dumbbell (12kg, maybe) in each hand. Using only your shoulders, bring the weight up from your waist, until your arms are horizontal at 90 degrees, like a scarecrow. Don’t hunch your shoulders and don’t lift the weight forward (keep it out to the side). After 10, drop the weight and repeat, then do this a final time.
Tricep push ups – 4 sets to failure
Do this exactly as you would a normal push-up, but instead of having your hands under your shoulders, bring them under your chin, forming a triangle or diamond shape with your thumbs extended, tips of your index fingers touching. This re-directs the force through your triceps. Sorry about that.
Bicep dumbbell curls – 4 sets of 21 reps
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, curl the weights up to just below your elbow joint for seven reps. Now take it from the elbow up for seven. Finally, hit the entire range of motion for seven more. Only three more sets to go…
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