You're a skinny 16 year old who wants to build some muscle.
Scenario #1: 2018
You Google "how to build muscle".
9,970,000 results... well, fuck.
You start cycling through articles about creatine supplementation, anabolic windows, superset [...]
On January 1st of this year I turned 30.
As well as ushering in a malaise of cynicism and despair, crippling hangovers, an aversion to doing anything other than drinking tea in my pyjamas on a Friday night, and the weary acceptance that we wil [...]
Say "bodybuilder" to most people these days and they'll probably bring to mind a misshapen, oily blob that would look more at home inhabiting a cave in Frank Herbert novel than the stage of the Mr Olympia contest.
50 years ago, however, this word [...]
We live in an age of instant gratification.
Whether your tastes are mainstream (the latest films and music) or more off-piste (vintage headstones, excremental sculptures, men playing banjos with their ballbags), so long as you're connected to th [...]
Early in my career I was playing a club game in Christchurch for Marist Albion.
A teammate had taken it into contact and I was the supporting player so had to clean the ruck ahead of me.
I had come from the fly-half position and had a good star [...]
When God created the squat, he didn't just say, "Lo, ye angels, I have created yet another exercise, now let us knock off early for the day".
No, he gathered all the gang around him, Jesus, Satan, Gabriel, and proclaimed, "Behold the squat, a di [...]
In a recent post, we looked at an old-school 1940s bulk-gaining routine from former Mr America Alan Stephan, which serves as a great introduction to full-body training and building a classic physique the natural way.
But like any abbreviated begi [...]
With his gym/kitchen/laboratory hybrid hideaway, Dr Jim is something of a bodybuilding Bond villain.
He holds a doctorate in exercise physiology with a minor in biochemistry from the University of Connecticut.
He also makes a big deal of calcul [...]
One of the biggest problems I have with modern bodybuilding - and the fitness industry in general - is that everything is overcomplicated.
Let's take the classic example: teenage boy is sick of being weedy and bullied and wants to build muscle mas [...]
I remember it like it was yesterday.
One afternoon in my university gym, when I probably should have been in a lecture or spreading E. Coli around a lab, I had just finished my third drop set of triceps pushdowns and I thought I was THE MAN.
If you really sit down for one moment and think about it, when you go to the gym you’re paying to enter a building and perform manual labour.
I mean, if I asked you to spend an hour or so wheelbarrowing bricks or shovelling, you’d be looking t [...]
I don’t know about you but I prefer the simple things in life.
I like my coffee black and, more importantly, my strength programmes to be about as thrilling as an episode of The Antiques Roadshow.
Lately I’ve been devouring the works of Gre [...]
If there's one thing that editing Gymtalk has made apparent over the last few years, it's that most people are still completely clueless when it comes to bodybuilding and strength training.
Just take Rajan, for instance, who left this comment on o [...]
Most people in life are lazy and rightfully so.
Our lizard brain is always looking to conserve energy as it probably thinks we’re still roaming the Savannah, sprinting after warthog and bonking cavewomen from noon to dusk.
It never predicted [...]
Sometimes it’s tough to motivate yourself to get down to the gym.
You’ve been up since six, spent nine hours doing a job you hate and all you want to do is unwind on the sofa.
If this sounds familiar, perhaps it’s time to consider getting [...]
One of God's finest creations - the ultimate test of strength, static power and badassery.
An exercise that even your average gym newb can safely attempt and reap generous gains rather than wasting their time on pointless machine exer [...]
You’ve not seen any gains in the last week.
Panic overwhelms your mind.
It’s the protein, you’re not getting enough.
Or maybe you undershot your macro allowance two days ago causing your muscles to wither away.
It’s likely your wa [...]
As any regular readers of the blog will know, we're big advocates of the old school approach to bodybuilding.
In the 40s and 50s bodybuilders favoured intense full-body routines, lots of rest and recovery and a focus on general health and wellbei [...]
The 6th Century BCE.
As a blood-red sun rises on the Eurotas valley the men of Sparta spill forth from their barracks.
Battle-hardened demi-gods begin anther day of ceaseless toil, honing their bloodied bodies into athletic killing machi [...]
Here I’m going to address some common gym mistakes that I see over and over again with newcomers.
Along with Charlie's previous article on rookie mistakes in the gym, these are the absolute top tips for when you’re starting out, and hopefully [...]
We all know him, every gym has one.
The guy who steps into the squat rack, loads up far too many plates and proceeds to do what can only be described as, at best, half reps.
He’ll re-rack and then walk away looking proud of himself, secure i [...]
For many years now I have been something of a 5x5 evangelist.
Every format of the routine I have tried, from Reg Park's original programme to the Stronglifts and Starting Strength variations, has resulted in impressive size and strength gains.
Two things every bloke in the gym wants: the biggest biceps and the biggest bench press.
Well, believe it or not, these two things actually synergise quite nicely.
I know what you’re thinking, "Do you even lift bro? Bench pressing doesn’t w [...]
We all have days when we just can't be bothered.
Maybe it's the thumping hangover encroaching on your productivity, maybe it's the miserable weather dampening your mood, or maybe you just really want to find out whether the couple in Escape To [...]