Getting Bulky Isn’t Easy

Maybe this is a bit of a rant but a well deserved rant after being in the fitness industry for several years. I am approached by people on a regular basis asking me for help with their training program. I’m more than willing to help anyone, my only issue is when I encourage them to resistant strain their first response is “Well, I don’t want to get bulky.” 

That word bulky, it really irritates me. Not the word itself but the meaning behind it. So many people think getting bulky is a bad thing or that the process of gaining muscle is easy. Truth is, getting bulky isn’t easy. 

In order for people to get that toned look they want, gaining a little bit of lean muscle bass is mandatory. If you put on muscle easily that’s great, let me write you a program so that you can gain a little bit of muscle fill out your figure and have proper nutrition to go along with it. If gaining muscle mass is hard for you,  that tone appeal is never going to come from doing cardio. Cardiovascular training has its time and place but without lean muscle mass that toned look is very far-fetched. 

And in the same breath the word toned irritates me as well. When people use the word toned describing their want to become fit, in better shape, and a little bit leaner, they think there is some sort of option of becoming a she hulk or toned. Toned is more of a marketing scheme to give people the idea that there’s a possibility for you to tone what you currently have and shape it better, instead of recomposing your body from a higher body fat percentage to a higher lean muscle mass percentage. 

It’s time to face the music, getting bulky isn’t easy because getting bulky really means gaining muscle. When you put what it takes to gain muscle into perspective, it is more challenging than a quick fix. Applying that to your goals, it’s easy to see a high amount of value in resistance training. This is why I encourage all of my clients to have a good mix of resistance training and cardiovascular training followed by a proper nutrition plan to coordinate.  

Here’s my personal progress photos showing the time and calories involved in getting bulky, along with a strict and consistent training plan. 

  

Cardio is Making You Fat

 

Cardio, which is short for cardiovascular work does just that- works your cardiovascular system. The purpose of the cardiovascular system is simple: Transport oxygen, nutrients, and hormones, protect the body with white blood cells and antibodies, and regulate body tempurature. 

You know what it doesn’t do? BURN FAT! 

From a scientific point of view, cardio raises your heart rate causing you to use more calories while performing this! Calories, not necessarily fat. 

The media has led us to believe that to lose fat you need to do cardio. In fact it’s on every piece of carido equipment sold. The chart showing the “Fat Burning Zone” is old science taken out of context.  

Cardio, when over done, puts excess stress on your body, irritates your joints, and sends mixed singles to your hormones. Even worse, when your body adapts to regular bouts of steady state cardio it encourages your body to hold onto stored body fat! Beyond that, if you have or are working to build muscle, excess cardio encourages your body to burn muscle as energy!

So instead of cardio, focus on resistance training. Resistance training encourages your body to build lean muscle which will work to increase your metabolism which helps you mobilize excess fat and use it as energy. It’s as simple as that. 

 

Core Activation, Full Body Workout

This workout is dedicated to activating your core at all times. Doing floor work is great but getting off the floor and incorporating your core into a full body workout will excel your progress! Focus on great form and keeping your core tight the entire time! Warm up with several rounds of cat and cow pose!

Birddogs
Supermans
3 sets of 12

Deadbugs
Bicycles
3 set of 30

Jump Squats
Alternating Lunges
3 sets of 20

Push-ups
Dips (Plyo box or staircase step)
3 sets of 15

Single Leg Sit-to-Stands
Step-ups (Plyo box or staircase step)
3 sets of 10

Single Leg Glute Bridge
Box Jumps (Plyo box or staircase step)
3 sets of

Birddogs
Supermans
3 sets of 12

Deadbugs
Bicycles
3 set of 30

Cool down with a few more rounds of cat and cow pose.

What’s your favorite core activist group move? Let me know in the comments!

HIIT: Partner Workout

Who doesn’t love to workout with a friend? Try this HIIT cardio workout with your favorite workout buddy!

Partner 1: 50 Jumping Jacks Partner 2:Crunches
Partner 1: 40 Butt Kicks Partner 2: Russian Twists
Partner 1: 30 High Knees Partner 2: Mountain Climbers
Partner 1: 20 Tuck Jumps Partner 2: Leg Lifts
Partner 1: 10 Push-ups Partner 2: V-ups
Partner 1: 5 Burpees Partner 2: Full Sit-ups
Partner 1: 1 Minute Plank Partner 2:1 Minute Wall Sit

3x through full circuit

 

HIIT: Staircase Workout

Many of my clients can not make it to the gym everyday of the week and ask me for at home workouts. The following is a simple body weight workout requiring only a stair case! Caution: I would not recommend trying this workout in socks on wood stairs…

Shin Bruises

Circuit 1:

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Push-ups (Feet On Bottom Step)
  • 20 Sumo Squats
  • 20 Bicycle Crunches
  • 2x Up and Down the Stairs

Circuit 2:

  • 50 High Knees (Tap Toes on Bottom Stair)
  • 10 V-ups
  • 20 Box Jumps (Jump Up a Step or 2)
  • 20 Glute Bridge Crunches (Feet On Bottom Step)
  • 2x Up and Down the Stairs Skipping Steps

Circuit 3:

  • 50 Calf Raises or 25 Each Leg
  • 15 Single Leg Lunges (Back Foot on Bottom Step)
  • 20 Dips
  • 10 Push-ups (Hands on the Bottom Step)
  • 2x Up and Down the Stairs Sideways

Repeat 3x

HIIT: Tabata Workout

40 Seconds On/ 20 Seconds Off

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Jack-Outs (Jumping Jacks with a Squat)
  • Jump Squats
  • High Knees
  • Tuck Jumps
  • Wall Sit
  • Crunches
  • Leg Raises
  • Plank
  • Right Side Plank
  • Left Side Plank
  • Burpees
  • 3 Minute Rest

Repeat 3x for a quick 45 minute cardio session.

1000 Rep Workout, with a Side of Planks

This simple body-weight workout aims to target all your major muscles groups. Doing a high volume of reps helps you to fatigue your muscles without needing a gym or weight set at home. Great for anyone who travels, doesn’t have a gym membership, or short on time.

You can plan the workout however you want, the goal is to finish. Example: 125 Russian Twists, 100 Calf Raises, 60 Squats, 40 Super Mans, 20 Push-ups, Repeat 5 times! For those more advanced, try to go through it twice! Add in some plank work at the end to max out your core!

1000 Rep Workout

  • 500 Russian Twists
  • 400 Calf Raises
  • 300 Squats
  • 200 Super mans
  • 100 Push-ups
  • 2:00 Plank
  • 100 Plank Pushes

 

HIIT Training: Treadmill Intervals

I’ve gotten a few questions on how to perform high intensity interval training on a treadmill, so he is a very basic breakdown of how you can do it!

3min @ 3mph
1min @ 6mph
1min @ 3mph
1min @ 6.1mph
1min @ 3.1mph
1min @ 6.2mph
1min @ 3.2mph
…. All the way up to 7mph and 4mph

25minutes of HIIT

*add a ten minutes run at your own pace for added fat burn!