You've been going to the gym for years, and you're stuck in the rut of endless bulking phases, only to feel like you've put too much fat on.
Which then means you start 'cutting' and end up paranoid that you're actually losing muscle so stop trying to get lean altogether!
It kind of keeps you stuck somewhere permanently in between big and fat but lean and skinny, right?
And it's every serious gym goers, training nightmare, so to help push things along and get you on the level of achieving the results you want, here are my top 5 tips to build lean muscle tissue, FAST.
The situation goes like this, when you're cutting and trying your hardest to get abs, you'll track your food and you'll eat healthily.
But when it comes to bulking?! bulking?.... Oh my god, you go all out.
Whatever is on the menu, you're going to be eating it!
After all, calories fuel muscle growth, right?
Well, yes and no. The truth is, when you're looking to add lean muscle tissue, you're not actually going to need as much of a calorie surplus as you think, if the goal is to not add too much body fat at the same time.
Slowly but surely start by adding 300-500kcal bi-weekly and assess how your body responds.
Keep a keen eye on your training performance too! In the gym, you should start to see your lifts increasing concurrently with your calorie increases. This is vital feedback to let you know that you're getting stronger.
And like we said above, increasing strength and training performance is a key driver behind building lean muscle tissue!
To grow muscle tissue we're looking to do one of two things;
1. Increase the number of muscle cells
2. Increase the thickness (density) of existing muscle fibres
To do either or these two objectives we need volume of training (think the amount of work you're performing in your reps, sets and total sessions) and we need intensity (think load lifted during the workouts).
But we also need another crucial element to our muscle building triangle.
Without effort and pushing our body to a level that it isn't use to, we aren't going to create enough load on the muscle fibres to initiate the General Adaptation Syndrome that it must go through to ensure remodeling. Make sure when you're training, you're giving everything you can into your sets to keep progressing.
Studies have shown that training a muscle twice per week, produces a better hypertrophy (muscle building) response than stimulating the muscle once per week.
Schoenfeld et al (2016), (1), concluded a systematic review and meta analysis of the data, finding two stimulus per week per muscle group to be more optimal for hypertrophy response than one or three stimuli per week.
These findings are of particular importance to us as trainers and you the reader, as essentially it means that we can grow without necessarily having to resort to super volume training programs that we often see promoted by seasoned body builders training multiple times per day, never mind per week!
We have some great options here in terms of program design, right the way from whole body style programs to upper / lower programs to '3 in 5' bodybuilding split programs.
Protein is a powerhouse macro nutrient, of that there can be no doubt.
Amino acids are essential for life, not just building muscle! From energy creation to cell formation to helping our immune system, amino acids are more than just the building block of muscle cells.
Which means for you, the trainee interested in building a Jason Statham like physique, you're going to want to become friends with protein. And it's going to have to be in most meals that you eat to help you get jacked and lean.
Protein recommendations for each day provided that your goal is the above and you're training consistently and hard, stands around 1.8g/kg of body weight (Phillips and Van Loon, 2011), (2)
Some interesting things start to occur when you're consuming enough protein in your diet;
1. We increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and not muscle protein breakdown (MPB). Muscle protein synthesis is a biological process that helps us repair and build new muscle tissue as a direct response to resistance training consistently.
2. Through the stimulation of MPS and the fact that you're eating enough protein based foods in your diet, we're now able to shuttle the available amino acids into the muscle cell to be used for repair and growth.
3. Because of this enhanced recovery and growth, you're now able to repeat intense resistance training sessions to continue building lean muscle tissue!
It's pretty well established in the research that power and strength training (1-5RM) produces more central nervous system adaption and increasing reps produces more metabolic / hypertrophy adaptations (6-15RM).
Interestingly, research has gone one step further in a quest to help us quicken our gains and build lean muscle faster
The takeaways from recent study by Schoenfeld et al (2014), (3), where groups were assigned to a high rep based whole body workout (25-35 reps per set) or a moderate rep based whole body workout (8-12 reps per set) no differences were observed in muscle mass response in either group. As you'd expect the higher rep group increase muscular endurance whereas the lower rep group increased strength.
What this essentially means is that it is possible to gain lean muscle mass on higher rep, lower load workouts if that was your preferred style of training.
In 2015 Schoenfeld et al went one step further. This time pitting groups of powerlifting style workouts vs traditional body building style workouts with volume equated. The powerlifting group performed 7sets of 3RM per exercise with the bodybuilding group performing 3 sets of 10RM, again equated for volume. In both groups again, no differences in hypertrophy response were observed over the 8 week study. But again as above, the group performing the highest load (and lowest reps) style of training, achieved greater improvements in strength.
In conclusion, this means that we have numerous options available to us to achieve the results that we wanted. We could choose a linear style approach to training, for example a block of 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps per exercise per workout.
Or we could choose undulating periodization as an approach where we might start the week with 3-4 sets of 8-12 per exercise for an upper body training session and in the next upper body training sessions of that particular week, throw in 3 sets of 15-20 reps per exercise to train across the broader spectrum of reps and challenge the body to adapt.
We could also decide to go the other way and begin our upper body week with 7sets of 3 like above and finish the week on 3-4 sets of 8-12. The options here are endless!
The trick is to not just marry yourself to one style of training with one approach in mind.
Now go and build the muscle you want!
1. Schoenfeld, B J, Ogborn, D and Krieger, J W, Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med, 2016, Nov;46 (11):1689-1697
2. Phillips, S M and LJ Van Loon, Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. J Sports Sci, 2011, 29 Suppl 1: p. S29-38
3. Schoenfeld, B J, Ratamess, N A, Peterson, M D, Contrerar B, Sonmez, G T and Alvar, B A. EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT VOLUME-EQUATED RESISTANCE TRAINING LOADING STRATEGIES ON MUSCULAR ADAPTATIONS IN WELL-TRAINED MEN. J Strength Cond Res, 2014 Oct; 28(10):2909
4. Schoenfeld, B J, Peterson, M D, Ogborn, D, Contreras, B and Sonmez, G T. EFFECTS OF LOW- VS. HIGH-LOAD RESISTANCE TRAINING ON MUSCLE STRENGTH AND HYPERTROPHY IN WELL-TRAINED MEN. J Strength Cond Res, 2015 Oct; 29(10):2954-63
Here is a hellish workout for you to get into,
It will have your spine tingling and your heart pounding,
Frankensteins Fat Blaster!
Watch the video in full to discover this ghoulish workout that will put some bite into your halloween workouts!
Looking for a grizzly ending for an arm workout?
Try the Ghoulish Gunz Workout!
In this tri set you'll do the following;
A1. X Pushdowns - 8 Reps
A2. Close Grip EZ Press - 8 Reps
A3. Decline DB Extensions - 15 Reps
Repeat 3-4 times if you dare!
Looking for a grizzly ending for an arm workout?
Try the Ghoulish Gunz Workout!
In this tri set you'll do the following;
A1. EZ Curls - 8 Reps
A2. Hammer Curls - 8 Reps
A3. Arms Behind Curls - 15 Reps .
Repeat 3-4 times if you dare!
The legend of the Count reaches far and wide....
And when the light gives way to the dark,
you won't want to open your eyes,
For there is a feast that's about to resume,
And without hesitation, he's coming for you...
With his fangs strong and sharp,
And his thirst for blood rising,
The count is hungry it's rather unsurprising,
He's moving in closer and getting near
Can you escape or are you stiffened by fear?
Thud goes the sound of footsteps with a knock at the door,
You try to scream out but your voice is so hoarse
Dracula has arrived
and he's ready for first course!
Try this workout for Dracula's DELTS... It's a giant set that will make your muscles scream with fear;
A1. Y Raises
A2. Rear Delt Cable Flies
A3. Lean Forward Lateral Raises
A4. Seated DB Shoulder Press
Hit reps of 8-10 and shoot for 3-4 total sets!
Tell us more about your goals below and we'll be in touch to arrange a complimentary consultation with Sheffield's leading personal trainers for results
If you've ever tried to get so lean that you see your abs, you'll know how hard it is to achieve.
And if you've NEVER seen your abs despite eating healthily and going to the gym consistently and feel like you've failed.
Don't panic, you've not.
You just need to consider, and you may have already thought this yourself, that maybe your diet needs a little more tweaking or that your gym program needs an overhaul.
That being said, i want to encourage you to chase your dreams of the physique you want and so today the purpose of this article is to share with your my two key moves to building six pack abs
The Rectus Abdominis is often considered the 'show' muscle to achieving the six pack.
The reason that the six packs looks the way that it does is because the muscle fibres work in 'pairs' hence the separation affect as you get lean.
Attaching from the rib cage down to the pubis symphysis, our goal when training the 'six pack muscle' is simply to bring these two points together.
One of my biggest issues with my own ab training was that i was spending 15-20 minutes at the end of every workout running through planks, situps, russian twists, anti rotation and so on and so on without every seeing any changes in how my midsection looked until i combined my ab training with these three secrets to achieve abs.
By understanding these secrets, it allowed my to combine a better understanding of how to get abs myself and also help others learn how to to sculpt six pack abs
No go forth and build those abs!
Yours in health and transformations,
If you've ever gone to the gym, looked around and struggled to know where to start....
You're not alone!
In fact, one of the reasons most people stop going to the gym in the first place is
A) that they aren't sure what they should be doing
B) they didn't see ANY results!
But fear not, it isn't your fault.
And i am going to share with you a basic structure to your exercise programming that you can follow in any gym at any time to be able to kickstart your fitness, establish a more consistent routine and then ultimately start seeing your weight go down, your muscle tone increase and your energy skyrocket.
And the great part is that it doesn't matter whether you are a beginner or are new to weight training, this program will lay the foundations for you to progress onto more advanced exercise programs later on down the line.
So let's go ahead and put the Primer Program into action
So there you have it, the Primer Program!
Now if you want to see the full program in more detail, along with the exercise library videos and specific cardio routines to follow in a more results focused way, simply click the link below and you'll be able to pick up the six week Primer Program for just £9.99
The perfect thing about the Primer Program is that because it is so well rounded and covers all bases, it then allows you to progress onto the type of programs our clients follow in our 12 Week Body Transformation Coaching Program which produces results like these.
Best of luck!
Yours in health and transformations,
For millennia, the general rule of thumb has been this;
If you want to lose weight, the exercise you must do is running.
Running on the treadmill, in the park, on the pavement, it matters not...
Just as long as running is included in your weight loss plan, you'll do just fine.
Except, you don't do fine and it's only a matter of time until you have to do even longer runs just to burn a few more calories per day that don't make a whole lot of difference when it comes to transforming your body and seeing results.
Essentially, you've run into the proverbial brick wall.
Sorry, couldn't help myself 🙂
You're probably going to want and need more bang for your buck exercise, than having to pound the pavement for an hour a day.
And so, rather handily, i'm going to share with you a way to burn more calories, more fat and build more lean muscle using just four exercises.
So that you can be in, and out of the gym in less than 30 minutes having cooked up a metabolic storm that will transform your body faster than you imagined.
Simply perform the exercises below in a sequence that you can follow in your gym (see table) and watch as you begin to melt away fat whilst seeing a toned body staring back at you.
All the results, half the time
Upper / Lower Supersets
Upper / Lower Giant Sets
Paired Giant Sets
A1. Bench Press
B. Bench Press
A2. Bench Press
A2. Hack Squats
A2. Bench Press
B1. Bench Press
A3. Hack Squats
D. Hack Squats
B2. Hack Squats
A4. Hack Squats
Granted, this is a simple program.
But i understand that you might not have the luxury of a private personal training gym to play with, like our clients do, so i've opted for the program you can do and believe me the pay off in results can be huge should you jump in full throttle!
This program works because it stimulates your largest muscle groups directly and smaller muscle groups indirectly. This allows you to work the body as a whole, burn more calories as your weight on the bar / machine increases and stimulates more of the 'afterburn' effect that doesn't happen from running
(i.e. when you stop running, the number of calories you burn at rest is less than when you perform weight training, which increases metabolic activity even after you finished your last set)
So what are you waiting for?
Ditch pounding the pavement and start chasing your transformation results!
Yours in Health and Fitness,
Struggling to see any improvement in your chest training?
Add this in on the final set of your incline chest press!
Take your normal set and try to achieve as many reps as possible,
Then drop the weight by 20%ish
and then drop 20%ish again until you cannot complete any more reps.
In the vid i did;
Each time shoot for as many reps as you can manage!
Becoming a personal trainer can be the best job in the world!
You love to train
You geek out on the science behind training and nutrition
And you get paid to take people through a workout.
Right until the day comes when you’re not making any money, can’t afford to pay your gym rent, the gym hours start affecting your home life and you struggle to get leads for new clients or can’t even give away free sessions.
What do you do?
Well, what I’m about to do next is share with you some tips for success that took me from commercial gym trainer to owning one of the UK’s leading and private personal training gyms.
Understanding the person in front of you is THE biggest challenge that you have as a trainer. To get results with clients you not only have to know about nutrition, macros, weight training programs and energy systems training, but you also have to know about PEOPLE.
What makes them tick?
Why do they want to achieve the goals they’ve set out with you?
What limiting factors / potential challenges do they have in their life that could stop them reaching their goals?
Do they have children?
What is their current health status?
How experienced are they in the gym?
How many hours per week do they work?
How do they handle stress?
Do they sleep well?
What are their interests and hobbies?
If you start to better understand the client in front of you instead of spending all your time talking about yourself, you’ll have a better chance of building a portfolio of client results and a diary full of happy clients.
Once you know more about the person, you need to know more about why they’ve hired YOU.
Sure, most people in an initial consultation will tell you that their goals are to ‘lose weight and tone up’ but all of this is way too superficial and without meaning if you don’t know why.
Here is a list of some of the real reasons people have hired me and my personal training team;
I say this to my team all the time;
Never underestimate the impact you can have on someone’s life just by helping them get into better shape.
A personal trainer who is invested in results will be wanting to get to the client’s big why if they’re interested in getting results like the ones we achieve with our clients.
I get it,
You’re desperate for business and are struggling to pay your gym rent.
But so is everyone else in your gym and I can tell you a surefire way of making sure you don’t acquire any new business;
Hard sell personal training to everyone you come into contact with and making yourself look desperate by offering everyone a free session.
They know it’s coming and you know it’s coming, with the answer mostly being no.
If you think about it like this;
You wouldn’t go up to a random person in the street and ask them for £400 (or more or less) without them knowing anything about you and what VALUE you bring so why would this work in a gym setting?
To become a personal trainer who is booked out with raving clients you have to build trust, demonstrate value and show why you’re the right person for the right client and eventually you will start to build a business.
There are many ways that you can accelerate this process;
Which brings me onto my next point.
I’ve been there,
When you first start out, you will do all you can just to get a booking in your diary!
Any client willing to work with you are worth their weight in gold right?
Sure, in the early days it can be hugely tempting to work with everyone and anyone but let me share with you a little tip that set me apart from other trainers despite not being a bodybuilder, not fitting the conventional fitness mould (in the early days) and despite me not being the happy clappy everything is awesome motivational cheerleader.
I knew who I wanted to work with and how to best service them.
If you’re a bodybuilder who is only interested in training clients interested in gaining muscle and hate the thought of training 50 year old Mrs Jones, then don’t train Mrs Jones!
If you have zero passion for running and hate the thought of a 10K, then are you the best trainer to advise someone on how to prepare for a marathon?
If you like TRX, Kettlebells and ‘functional training’ should you be working with someone on injury rehabilitation?
By refining what you’re good at and who you can best serve, you will have a better chance of specialising and becoming known for being very good at one particular niche as appose to being a jack of all trades but master of none.
Which leads me onto the next point.
At the very least here is what your client should expect from you or for you to have done;
To become a professional trainer you must have a standard of professionalism!
Too often I used to see clients arrive for their first training session with their trainer only for them to jump straight into bench pressing, squats and deadlifts no matter their goals and or starting point and with zero conversation about food!
Without have a clear system in place, you will appear disorganised and not come across as the professional trainer that people want to invest in.
In my early years as a trainer I invested what little money I did have (but mostly money that I didn’t) and sought out experts in the fitness industry that I could learn from direct through courses, seminars, workshops or internships.
I learnt from people like Phil Learney, Mark Coles, Ben Pakulski, Brad Schoenfeld, John Beradi, Charles Poliquin, Ultimate Performance, Alan Aragon, Layne Norton and whoever else I get my hands on in a constant mission to improve and develop as a trainer.
This left me with LOTS of information but little systems, until I began to trial, test and systemised what worked for me and my clients.
This constant refinement and thirst for progress lead on to me developing my own way of producing fantastic results with the hardest to transform clients.
And these are your clients too; the general population.
Developing and understanding your own systems is crucial if you want to become a top personal trainer to your clients.
As with anything you will learn or read; take what is useful for the people you serve and discard the rest.
There are two trends happening in the fitness industry right now that you’ve got to ignore if you’re going to be successful as a trainer;
The first gym I rented space from was Fitness First at Hillsborough, Sheffield and I got hired alongside two other trainer to start on the same day.
Then a month later, two more trainers had joined.
This was on top of the three trainers, gym instructors and health and fitness manager already in the club servicing members and clients.
By the time the club closed and I’d been there for 3 ½ years, I must have seen at least 30 personal trainers come and go.
Failing to build and business and in most cases leaving the fitness industry altogether.
Unfortunately, your dream fitness business is not going to come easy and it’s going to be even harder if you listen to the guru’s who tell you that you can earn more and do less at the same time or that you can charge the same amount of money as an experience coach with years of results to show for their work.
Maybe it’s just me and our clients but some of the clients i’ve worked with who are multi millionaire business Men and Women aren’t laying in a hammock strung across two palm trees in the Bahamas whist sipping a Pina Colada from a coconut.
They’re successful because they work hard and often long.
So you’re going to have to do the same if you want to build a long lasting fitness career.
It seems a given that I’d include a section on marketing and advertising on social media when the very reason you’re reading this article is because you click on the link I shared with you!
It’s true, social media can have a huge influence on your career and impact your ability to acquire new clients if you use the platform correctly.
But that doesn’t mean spending hours of every day posting topless selfies or endless posts letting your fans know that you offer personal training sessions….
…. It means adding VALUE. Show up everyday or at least every other day with something useful or actionable but don’t live on facebook posting your every move or latest offer constantly.
And because of Facebooks ever changing algorithm, video and live video works better for the reach of your post. These posts could be categorised as;
Something About You
Something In The News That Relates To Your Market
And being consistent. The less you’re consistent with your posts the less Facebook will show your posts to your audience.
(personally I post Mon – Fri and take the weekend off to be with my wife and baby)
i remember the first time I spent money on paid facebook ads; boosting posts and getting likes.
I, like you may be thinking, thought that having more ‘fans’ would = more business
And I also thought my budget of a measly £300 for the month would be enough to lace my palm my silver and I’d been on my merry way.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way and if you’re a sole trader personal trainer and not Gary Vaynerchuk, then worrying about likes and branding will only distract you from what your advertising as a self employed trainer should be about – GENERATING AND ACQUIRING NEW CLIENTS.
So if you do dip your toes into advertising, then you have a couple of ways to set up your campaigns for facebook ads here;
Whichever way you choose to first spend money on advertising your fitness business, just remember that you HAVE to have something of quality to offer your potential clientele in the first place.
Remember, People don’t hire a personal trainer for ‘sessions’ or to learn how to perform a Turkish Get Up – they hire you for RESULTS, so you have to know how to get them to make a return from your paid advertising.
If should go without saying but the sole purpose our clients hire us, is to help them achieve something they're either struggling with or can't achieve on their own.
We have to be the help that our clients need!
As an industry, personal trainers are now focusing on the wrong things!
You're lost in the shuffle of facebook ads, business 'guru's telling you they can make you a 7-figure personal training (who've never owned a successful fitness business in their life), gimmick marketers and the latest fads to hit the industry.
So much so that it's easy to forget that the only true way to guarantee your success and career as a PT, the kind of personal trainer that people want to invest in, is become GOOD at delivering awesome results for your clients.
Focus on that above any gimmick, fad or 'golden ticket' business strategy and trust me, you'll have no problems in building a successful career as a personal trainer.
So there you have it.
Nine crucial tips for you if you want to build a serious career as a personal trainer in such a competitive industry.
Trust me, if you action at least half of these tips – those that you’re up against simply won’t put the required effort in to succeed.
Best of luck!
Owner and founder of CMPGyms
(aka the balding guy at the top of the article 😉 )
One of my own personal goals is help other personal trainers achieve the success and career path that i have in the fitness industry. Because when you are successful, you know how to get results and you're doing everything you can for your clients, the fitness industry is without doubt THE BEST PLACE TO WORK.
and so, i'd like to tell you more about how you can work with me to help you build the skills and portfolio of results that you're going to need to become the success that i know you could be.
Introducing the CMP Personal Trainer Intense Personal Trainer Mastermind
In one day you will learn;
9am - 10am – Delving Deep Into Your ‘Avatar’, Business Model and How To Refine Your Services To Reach The Right Audience
10am - 11am – Understanding Your Client’s Motives and ‘Why’ – How To Go From Average Results To Exceptional Results and Keep A Diary Full Of Happy Customers (Adherence Strategies)
11am - 12noon – Resistance Profiles Of The Exercises You’re Going To Use With Your Clients – What To Look For And How To Optimise
12noon – Lunch Break (30 mins)
12.30pm - 2pm – Fat Loss Metabolism and Nutritional Strategies For Results
2pm - 3pm– Periodisation / Organisation of Training Systems For Transformation Results
3pm - 4pm– Results Based Personal Training Sessions
4pm - 5pm – New Client / Lead Gen Strategies – Q and A on Business / Marketing / Personal Training / Systems / Anything You Want To Know or Ask
FINISH – Go Home, Recover and Level Up Your Personal Training Skills, Client Base and Career.
*Dates are limited throughout the year and on a first come, first served basis.
Simply put, this is your chance to learn how to by pass other personal trainers in your gym and accelerate your growth so that you're a personal trainer who gets results, never panics about where their next clients is coming from and finally build a long lasting personal training business.
The internship will be held at my private personal training gym in Sheffield, 376 Cemetery Road, Sharrowvale, Sheffield, S11 8FT and will start at 9am and end at 5pm with an 30 minute break for lunch.
Please note: The gym will also be busy with my coaches and clients training at the same time.
THESE TRAINERS HAVE LEARNT HOW TO DELIVER BODY TRANSFORMATION RESULTS TO THEIR CLIENTS AND THE STRATEGIES THAT I USE TO LET THESE RESULTS BUILD MY PRIVATE PT BUSINESS FOR ME