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Body Transformation

How To Build Muscle: Use This Gym Training Plan – Coach



If you want to build your best ever body, your first step is to find the perfect plan to help you realise your goal. Because with the best will in the world, embarking on a mission to build a bigger, stronger or leaner physique is doomed to fail without a smart and detailed blueprint that will get you to where you want to be in the fastest possible time.

The New Body Plan Plus programme is just that: an eight-week training programme tailored to your body-composition goal – whether that’s losing body fat or building lean muscle mass – with extra training time dedicated to those muscle groups you most want to improve. It also includes a supporting eight-week meal planner, with recipes, so you can eat the right foods at the right time for faster progress.

A two-week sample of the Muscle plan, which was used by Men’s Fitness editorial director Joe Warner to build a cover model body, is below. Pair it with this high-protein, muscle-building diet plan to help you add lean size fast.

How To Build Muscle FAQ

I’ve tried to add muscle in the past but failed. How did you get the results you wanted?

The most important part of any body transformation challenge is to have a plan. Without one, all the motivation and determination in the world won’t be enough to deliver the results you want. Once you have a challenging but achievable plan you can fully commit yourself to your muscle-building mission to start making gains and build more and more confidence in your plan and your abilities.

Where do most people go wrong when trying to build muscle?

There are two main reasons that people struggle to add muscle. The first is that they don’t train hard enough or smart enough. To coax your muscles into growing you need to push them to get to a point where they’re pumped with blood and burning with fatigue. It sounds horrible, but it’s one of the most satisfying feelings you can get in a gym.

What’s the other reason?

The second is people lift too heavy. That might sound strange considering I’ve just said you need to train hard, but there has to be a compromise between lifting as heavy as you can while maintaining perfect form and doing each rep in a slow and controlled fashion to work as many muscle fibres as possible. That’s what causes the muscle pump and burn.

What about eating for muscle?

When your main training aim is to build muscle, your diet is just as important as when you want to lose fat. You need to consume enough protein to repair your damaged muscle fibres so they grow back bigger and stronger, as well as fats, which are essential for keeping your muscle-building hormone levels high. And if you are naturally lean, you will benefit from eating more carbs around your training sessions to fuel and then refuel your muscles, so more of the protein you eat can be used solely for laying down new muscle tissue.

The Training Plan Explained

Explaining the two-week muscle-building block that allows you to build all-over muscle as well as add size to individual muscle groups.


In this two-week training block the workouts follow a pattern. The first session of both weeks is a “push” workout, which hits your chest, shoulders and triceps. The second is a “pull” session, which targets your back and biceps. The third session works your legs, while the fourth and final workout targets the muscle group you most want to make bigger and more defined – your abs, arms or chest. Train on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and then Saturday or Sunday to give yourself maximum recovery time.


Every workout in this two-week block is made up of six different exercises, which you’ll perform as straight sets. This means you do all the sets and reps of exercise 1, sticking to the tempo and rest periods detailed, and then move on to do all the sets and reps of exercise 2, and so on until you finish all the reps of the final set of exercise 6. This approach will fully test your muscles to improve your strength levels, while also creating the ideal stimulus for your body to start adding lean muscle mass.


The second week of this block is similar to the first week in that it follows the same muscle-group split – push, pull, legs, then a body-part specific session – in order, for your four weekly sessions. The moves are also the same and in the same order, but with one major difference: to help you add size faster you’ll do an extra two reps in every set of the first two moves of each session, and then do a full extra set for the other four moves. Try to lift slightly heavier weights for each move in the second week.


Alongside the sets, reps and rest period details for each exercise you’ll see a column marked “tempo”, which is a four-digit number. Tempo is the speed at which you perform one rep, and the number is the time in seconds you take to lower and lift the weight, and pause at the top and bottom. For example, a 2010 tempo for the bench press means you lower the bar to your chest in two seconds, with no pause at the bottom, then lift the bar in one second, with no pause at the top. X means you should do the move explosively.


For the fourth sessions of both weeks you choose which muscle group you train. There are three options: abs, arms or chest. Pick just one. These muscle-group goal workouts use straight sets like the other three weekly sessions, so do the exercises in order as instructed to add serious size to your chosen muscle fast. In the second week, as with the other three sessions, do two extra reps per set of the first two moves, then a full extra set of the next four moves to train both harder and smarter.

Workout 1: Push Session

The session starts with two compound moves to get your chest, shoulders and triceps working hard. Fully straighten your arms at the tops of moves 1 and 2, and move through a full range of motion. For the next four moves, stick to the 2011 tempo, with the final “1” being a one-second squeeze-and-hold in the end position to recruit more muscle fibres.

Workout 2: Pull Session

For all six moves, ensure your posture is perfect with your chest up and abs tight before starting a set. This puts your body in the right position to allow your back and biceps muscles to do the heavy lifting safely, and minimises momentum which will switch off your muscles. Keep to the tempo for maximum muscular time under tension.

Workout 3: Legs Session

For your front squats keep your chest up, elbows high and core engaged so you can lift heavy but safely to hit your quads, glues and hamstrings. Moving through the session, focus on how the working muscle “feels” as you move through each rep, because this will forge stronger mind-to-muscle connections and lead to quicker gains.

Workout 4: Specialisation Session

How to pick your specialisation: Do one of the following sessions as your fourth workout of the week. Simply choose the body part you most want to develop. In the second week, as with the other three sessions, do two extra reps per set of the first two moves, then a full extra set of the next four moves to train both harder and smarter.

Option 1: Abs

Option 2: Arms

Option 3: Chest

Muscle-Building Tips

Follow these tried-and-tested tips to pack on size quickly.

Feel the tension

For every rep of every set of every exercise, think about the muscle you’re working and lift at a controlled tempo rather than swinging the weight around. You may need to lift a lighter weight to achieve this. That’s fine. All that matters is you lift in the way that stimulates the maximum number of muscle fibres, because that’s what makes them grow.

Stay in the zone

If you want to listen to music in the gym switch, your phone to airplane mode so you aren’t tempted to check your emails or social media or to take any phone calls. You’ve got the rest of the day to get on with work or check the news, and the more focused you are each time you step into the gym, the quicker you’ll get the results you want.

Don’t skimp on sleep

Sleep is the third pillar, along with training and nutrition, that determines how quickly you add muscle. Aim for eight hours of good-quality sleep every night, which means lowering your caffeine intake and limiting time spent in front of your TV, laptop or phone in the hour before bed. Doing so will significantly increase your chances of falling asleep faster – and then staying asleep for longer – to give your mind and muscles the maximum amount of rest, recovery and recuperation.

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Body Transformation

My Pregnant Body – 3 Fitness Influencers On The Reality of Working Out Until Birth –




This feature is part of ELLE’s ‘Modern Motherhood Series’ – exploring the shifting role of ‘mother’ in society and the women choosing to do things differently.

‘I actually have a baby attached to my breast right now!’, exclaims Simone De La Rue, a.k.a. Instagram’s favourite fitness influencer and exercise mogul, Body By Simone. Despite giving birth just a few weeks ago, the 44-year-old is already itching to get back to her regular workout routine. Why? Because when your body is your job, pregnancy brings with it an entirely different body transformation to the ones De La Rue is famous for.

Equal parts delightful, daunting, and, at times, derailing, pregnancy, and the bodily changes that come with it, can be overwhelming enough for, as Mean Girls put it, ‘regular mums’. But what happens when an ever expanding belly affects more than just your ability to wear that new pair of Levi’s Ribcage jeans? What about when it takes control of your career and sense of self? Oh, and you’ve got hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers scrutinising every stretch mark and sumo squat, while you’re at it.

For three fitness influencers, that was the reality.

From unplanned c-sections and post-baby body pressure, to surprise cellulite and working out until you’re literally in labour, this is what really happens to your body when you’re an exercise queen and a mother-to-be…

‘Oh god, my whole life is based around my body’

At 43, De La Rue’s pregnancy was deemed ‘geriatric‘, a fact that the celebrity personal trainer wasn’t phased by. ‘I thought that term was hilarious – I’m 43 not 143! Saying that, having tried for so long, I was overjoyed and thrilled to be pregnant, but of course there was a moment when I was like “Oh my goodness, my whole life is based around my body.”‘

This moment of revelation doesn’t happen across the board, however. Being in the midst of a career that relied heavily on her physical fitness didn’t worry Adidas Global Ambassador Adrienne (@adrienne_ldn), for example. ‘I was a dancer in a West End musical when I found out I was pregnant,’ the fitness blogger and mum of one explains. ‘I was conscious about performing in just a bra and pants with my body changing, but mostly it was other people who had concerns, not me. I had so many mothers say to me, “Wave goodbye to your six pack” or “Good luck with the stretch marks”, but for me, I didn’t care about that stuff. I was 23-years-old and if someone said to me “You’ll never wear a pair of size six jeans again” I couldn’t have cared less. I was just ecstatic to be pregnant.’

‘The thought of not doing any exercise didn’t even cross my mind’

For most of us, exercise is an extra-curricular activity, if and when we can be bothered. And if we’re pregnant? It’s probably dropping off the to-do list almost immediately. But when working out is your day job, how do you balance your new baby body with maintaining the one you’re used to? ‘I normally work out for five hours a day so the thought of not doing any exercise didn’t even cross my mind,’ says De La Rue. ‘There are so many benefits of exercise for you and the baby, but it’s also my therapy.’

However, even professionals have to take a time out when nature has other ideas. ‘Because I had IVF, I knew I was pregnant at two weeks, much earlier than most people’, says journalist, personal trainer and new mum, Gemma Yates. ‘I spent the whole first trimester in a constant state of anxiety, so exercise took a backseat as I was just so overwhelmed by the fragility of the whole thing. As someone who worked out 5-7 times a week prior to getting pregnant, not moving was tough both physically and mentally. While the rational part of me knows that exercise doesn’t equal miscarriage, I experienced some bleeding early on after a (gentle) class, which really shook me up.

‘I spent the whole first trimester in a constant state of anxiety, so exercise took a backseat.’

‘As a compromise, I started to walk part of my commute. Surprisingly, it often burned more calories than a gym session. After the reassurance of a healthy 12 week scan – and once the fatigue had dialled down – I was back in the gym three to four times a week, mixing low impact cardio like an incline treadmill walk or cross trainer session with weights and swimming.’

‘You know your body, do what you want to do’

‘When I was pregnant, exercise just wasn’t a thing that expectant mothers did’, explains Adrienne. ‘People were just like “You’re pregnant, you should rest” or recommended deep breathing. Now, you’re encouraged to be active because people actually understand that it’s good for you.’

Turns out, your body knows best. ‘I always say to my pregnant clients, listen to your body, and I had to practice what I preach’, says Simone. ‘I’ve been labelled the cardio queen but that’s actually one of the things I didn’t do throughout my pregnancy because I really struggled with my stamina. It was hard for me because normally I can do it in my sleep, but it didn’t feel good, so I didn’t do it.’

‘I always say to my pregnant clients, listen to your body, and I had to practice what I preach.’

For journalist Gemma, it was all about adjusting her exercise to accommodate her growing baby bump. ‘Squats quickly became sumo squats to accommodate my sumo belly. Your body is flooded with a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy, which loosens your muscles, joints and ligaments, so high impact and unilateral (single arm or leg) exercises were off the cards too.’

‘I kind of felt like I’d grown another bum’

Ever changing boobs, butts and bellies are enough to make any expectant mother feel out of control. Add to that a lifetime of being in peak physical form and a body fat percentage we can only dream of, and gaining weight takes on extra significance. ‘For the most part I loved seeing my body grow and change, but I wasn’t totally immune to the occasional negative thought as the number on the scales went up,’ says Gemma. ‘I remember texting a friend saying “Wow, I’ve gained XX pounds already”, then feeling guilty for being concerned with aesthetics rather than the fact that my body was growing a baby.’

And when you’ve spent a lifetime exercising, pregnancy brings with it yet another surprise: cellulite. ‘One thing I didn’t expect was the scattering of cellulite that appeared on my thighs and bum during the first trimester, or the squishier inner thighs as my body laid down fat stores for breast milk,’ the 32-year-old reveals.

One thing I didn’t expect was the scattering of cellulite…or the squishier inner thighs.’

However, for women more used to six packs than Spanx, a little extra to love was exactly that. ‘Growing up, I always had an athletic body that I was bullied for,’ says Adrienne. ‘I had no boobs, no hips, I basically looked like a boy. Now, it’s cool to be a woman with muscles, but it never used to be. So, when I got pregnant and my body changed, I loved it. I went from an A cup to an E when I was feeding and had boobs for the first time in my life. Being pregnant validated my womanhood so I loved my new body and embraced it.

‘Although, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about stretch marks. I slathered myself day and night in different oils – Bio oil, vitamin e cream, coconut oil, olive oil, you name an oil and I was slathering myself in it. I was very shiny and very sticky for my whole pregnancy!’

For Simone, her ‘new’ body came with unexpected perks. ‘As a teenager I used to carry my weight in my glutes and quads so that’s the area that I put on the weight. I kind of felt like I’d grown another bottom, although my husband was quite happy with that. I had a booty!’

‘Prepare to experience daily discharge dilemmas’

Instagram might tell another story, but even fitness influencers experience the gross parts of pregnancy. For London commuter Gemma, the daily struggle was real. ‘Commuting in a heat wave that peaked at 36 degrees (hotter than you’re legally allowed to transport cattle in) was not fun,’ she divulges. ‘I was in my first trimester and nauseous 24/7. I thought morning sickness entailed actually being sick, but apparently not. An ever-present need to pee also made the hour long commute unbearable. It was a particularly cruel catch 22 – the heat and pregnancy made me insatiably thirsty, but I was terrified to take a sip in case I peed myself on the central line.’

‘I thought morning sickness entailed actually being sick, but apparently not.’

For Adrienne, the bladder woes took a different turn, ‘Jude came almost three weeks early so when my waters broke at home I was like “Oh did I just lose bladder control or is this my waters breaking?”‘

Ultimately, we’re all going through the same weird bodily functions as each other, whatever your BMI. Or as Gemma puts it, ‘Prepare to experience daily discharge dilemmas. Is this too much discharge? Too little discharge? Is it too thick/watery/yellow? Accept that ferocious sneezes and coughs will, at some point, be accompanied by a little bit of pee. And if you’ve got a dog, he or she will come in handy to blame your newfound flatulence on. Oh, and if you’re not farting, you’ll probably be constipated.’

‘I exercised right up until the day before I was induced’

Nausea and flatulence aside, when you’re used to exercising everyday, even pregnancy won’t get in the way. ‘In the first and third trimesters I was exhausted and tired and emotional and didn’t feel like I had the strength to work out as much, but I still worked out five to six days a week’, says Simone.

A commitment that Gemma echoed during her own pregnancy, ‘I didn’t feel I had to exercise, but I definitely wanted to. Towards the end of the third trimester those treadmill walks felt like climbing Everest and my face would be so red I looked like I’d had a chemical peel, but in the end I exercised right up until the day before I was induced. At 1.5 stone heavier than my usual weight, that was hands down the toughest yoga class I’ve ever done.’

‘Whose belly is this? Who belongs to this body?’

Understandably, most women have mixed emotions when it comes to their post-baby body and the delightful pressure society puts on them to immediately ‘get it back’ once they’ve given birth. And the majority of them don’t have an keen social media following awaiting their next work out tutorial. When you’re put on a pedestal as an expert on ‘getting a hot bod’, how do you balance social media’s expectations and the human reality of giving birth?

‘Post-pregnancy, I’m struggling’, says Simone. ‘Everyone posts pictures of themselves with their body back but they don’t show the in between or the build up to that. I had a c-section which wasn’t how I imagined or dreamed my delivery to be and it’s making my recovery a lot longer. I’ve always worn a bra top and leggings for work and I’ve always had a six pack, which is something I’m proud of. Now, I don’t know what my belly is going to look like, it’s got a new scar from the birth, but I’ll happily share that with all of my followers because the reality is that right now I still look pregnant.’

Everyone posts pictures of themselves with their body back but they don’t show the in between.’

As another new mum that had a last minute c-section, Adrienne swapped her strong pregnant body for a post-birth one that could barely walk, let alone exercise. ‘After hours and hours of pushing and then having a c-section, I just felt like everything was hanging on by a thread,’ she says. ‘The thought of going to the toilet for the first time was terrifying, I remember thinking “I’m just not going to poo”. For the first couple of days I was almost too scared to eat because I thought everything was going to fall apart and rip open.’

‘I knew that to get strong again my body needed adequate rest and recovery’

However often people might say the ridiculous phrase ‘too posh to push’, there’s nothing casual about having a caesarian. And for a new mum that’s used to storming through a couple of cardio classes without breaking a sweat, being physically incapacitated is a psychological and physical challenge.

‘One of the first things that ran through my mind when the C word was mentioned was the six week recovery period,’ says Gemma. ‘I’ll admit that before I went into hospital I imagined myself working out again a week or so post birth. Yeah right! The post-op pain is more agonising than I was prepared for and simply walking was a monumental task – it honestly felt like I’d never set foot in a gym again. But I knew that to get strong again my body needed adequate rest and recovery, and it was four weeks before I braved some restorative core exercises recommended to me by a women’s health physio.’

‘It honestly felt like I’d never set foot in a gym again.’

Moving forward, being a new mum doesn’t mean sacrificing exercise altogether, more a change of pace. ‘Six months of lifting significantly lighter weights followed by 6 weeks of no training has left my strength and muscle mass seriously depleted – 4.5kg weights felt more like 10kg,’ reveals Gemma. ‘I can no longer do a press up unless it’s on my knees, leg pressing 130kg is a distant memory and the post-workout DOMS are real. But, I’m a big believer in reframing things – instead of seeing of it as a set back, it’s a chance to start over and retrain my body.’

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Lara Worthington shares her diet secrets, and they're not as hard as you'd think – Now To Love




There’s no denying it – Lara Worthington is #bodygoals.
And while she’s transformed herself from a bronzed Aussie beach babe into an international style icon, her look has always been about being fit and healthy.
“Exercise is my favourite part of the day because it’s my own time,” the 31-year-old says.
“I’m not on my phone, working or thinking about anything.”
Fit and toned: Lara’s healthy lifestyle is paying dividends. (Image: Instagram / @Laraworthington)
Clearly, working out plays an important role, not only when it comes to Lara’s enviable look, but also her wellbeing.
Eating well is vital, too, she asserts.
“I feel more energetic, fit and toned,” she adds of her “mostly vegetarian/pescetarian” diet.
Lara’s fitness and diet regimen is totally working. The model mama, who’s married to Aussie actor Sam Worthington, 42, and shares two sons Rocket, four, and Racer, two, is at the top of her game career-wise.
The mum-of-two couldn't be looking better as she juggles kids and work. *(Image: Getty)*
The mum-of-two couldn’t be looking better as she juggles kids and work. (Image: Getty)

So what does Lara do to stay in shape?

In addition to being an ambassador for Tiffany & Co, a smoking hot Lara is also currently fronting the Albus Lumen resort 20 swimwear campaign.
“My routine is all mat work. Lots of sit-ups and leg lifts at high repetition at a low weight, no more than five kilos,” she says, adding it’s something she picked up from her hubby’s personal trainer and wellness coach Rodney Johnson.
And when she travels, Lara says she only uses 5kg weights of the hotel gyms to train.
But since moving to LA from New York, she’s also gotten back into exercising outside. ‘I love outdoor activities and I run a lot,’ she explains.
“I also do Ballet Beautiful – it really works your body in a different way compared to the gym.”
WATCH: Lara Worthington on being a working mum. Story continues after video…
According to celeb fitness trainer James Duigan, daily workouts combined with a sensible daily eating plan like Lara’s can result in a “5kg loss in up to ten days”.
Not that the mum-of-two denies herself, either.
“I eat a lot of salad, rice, beans and bread,” the blonde beauty reveals.
And occasional treats are allowed, too.
“I love pizza,” she admits.
“That’s Sam’s favourite food, so we eat pizza at least twice a week.”
Lara’s looking better than ever – and pizza’s on the menu! Sign us up!

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Body Transformation

Chanelle Hayes weight loss: Big Brother star reveals impressive body transformation – OK! magazine




Chanelle Hayes is on a new health and fitness regime in a bid to lose weight   [Wenn]

Chanelle Hayes revealed her impressive weight loss on Instagram after embarking on a new health and fitness regime. 

In the photos, the 31 year old can be seen showing off her slimmer physique following a two-hour work out in the gym.

Sporting a pair of tight black leggings and a fitted pink top, the mum-of-one had clearly worked up a sweat after taking part in two exercise classes.

Alongside the images, the former Big Brother star wrote: “Before and after two solid hours of HARD WORK. #instagramvsreality #bodypump #bodyattack”.

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Chanelle Hayes Chanelle revealed her impressive weight loss on Instagram as she worked out in the gym [Instagram]


And just a day before, Chanelle took to Instagram to reveal her favourite pair of black jeans are now “falling down”.

Sharing a side-by-side snap of the outfit, the media personality said: “This top is a size 18 and was tight on me and didn’t even cover my bum at back or reach below my fly zip at the front! 

“Now it is completely baggy and hangs down to the back of my knees! I may still have a long way to go but for me, this #transformationtuesday makes me feel very proud! Also, the black jeans literally don’t fit without falling down now!”

Of course, fans were quick to encourage Chanelle to carry on with her journey, as they commented on how “amazing” she was looking.

“Well done girl keep it up . You have done amazing xxx,” one person wrote, whilst another quipped: “You’re amazing you show us the struggles of real people and real mums.”

Chanelle Hayes reveales dramatic weight loss in a Bikini -  photocall at the Trafalgar Hotel    Featuring: Chanelle Hayes  Where: London, United Kingdom  When: 20 May 2014  Credit: Lexi Jones/WENN.comThe mum-of-two has made no secret of her struggle with her weight over the years [Wenn]

Chanelle Hayes outside ITV Studios    Featuring: Chanelle Hayes  Where: London, United Kingdom  When: 30 Jun 2017  Credit: Rocky/WENN.comThe 31 year old revealed she was embarking on a healthier lifestyle following the birth of her son Frankie [Wenn]

A third person gushed: “You’ve done amazing well done. Deffo taking some inspiration.”

Chanelle, who has made no secret of her struggle with her weight in the past – has revealed she has been yo-yo-ing from a size eight to a size 18 after the birth of her two children.

In 2014, the reality star lost four stone, but shortly after she admitted to gaining a further six stone before the birth of her second child, Frankie, with ex-boyfriend Ryan Oates.

Chanelle Hayes in 2007 after Big Brother at a size eightChanelle Hayes was a size eight in 2007, when she shot to fame on Big Brother [Wenn]

Chanelle Hayes shared these throwback pictures in 2017Chanelle Hayes shared this throwback picture in 2017 [Chanelle Hayes/Instagram]

Chanelle is a doting mum to eight year old Blakely and one year old FrankieChanelle is a doting mum to eight-year-old Blakely and one-year-old Frankie [Instagram/Chanelle Hayes]

In 2017, Chanelle took part in a candid interview with Phillip Schofield and fitness fanatic Davina McCall on This Morning.

The media personality revealed: “I want to have more children – not right now obviously because it’s basically impossible – but it’s something I want.

“I’m an 18 now. I’m too heavy. I’m on painkillers now because I’m too heavy for my frame. I can barely get up with my back. And it’s more so when my left knee is hurting, getting out of breath doing things, that’s not cool.”

Chanelle Hayes with her boyfriend Ryan Oates and her son Blakely Hayes-Bates from a previous relationshipChanelle split from ex boyfriend Ryan Oates following the birth of son Frankie [Chanelle Hayes/Instagram]

Chanelle Hayes weight loss gym trousers too big The former Big Brother star often keeps fans up to date on her fitness journey [Instagram]

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