Hitting a plateau is one of the most frustrating experiences that can befall any lifter.
It's up there with getting injured, waiting 30 minutes for the squat rack to become free and your great aunt Marjorie trying to convince you that a banana con [...]
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 [...]
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 a Frank Herbert novel than the stage of a Mr Olympia contest.
50 years ago, however, this word wo [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
As an early 20s male, my single gym quest in life was the zenith of bigger arms.
I (and I assume most others my age) set out on an insatiable crusade to get a slightly bigger bicep peak enabling me to down pints while balancing the glass between my [...]
We all know that the best things in life come in threes:
Back to the Future, The Naked Gun, Boob Academy I, II and IV (III was a misfire, IV a sublime return to form).
So here we come to the end of my trilogy of rugby (specifically front row) [...]
Let us return to that bastion of homo-eroticism, physical graft, mud, and a quintessentially English desire to cause physical pain while being bound by strict rules that is rugby.
For the uninitiated, you should probably consult my previous explet [...]
For many aspiring bodybuilders, Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Golden Era' physique is still the definition of perfection.
It oozes class and panache, like a Da Vinci painting, a Rachmaninoff concerto, or a cracking pair of tits.
However, in their [...]
If you've read any of my previous workout reviews, you'll know that I'm an ardent advocate of full-body routines.
This training methodology was employed by almost every major bodybuilder up until the mid-1960s when steroids become as prevalent as [...]
There is more to strength training than looking like a musclebound Peter Sutcliffe, bench pressing a small family car and eating your body weight in chicken breast.
I mean Gaston clearly trained for strength - necking loads of eggs and generally s [...]
When I first started getting into bodybuilding in my teens, my only sources of information were a copy of a bodypart split routine which Arnold Schwarzenegger had used in the mid-70s and the advice of a peer who claimed he could bench press 200kg wi [...]
Ignoring the historical, biological and social implausibility, imagine, for a second, if Hercules and Owen Wilson had had sex and raised the child on a beach in Southern California with a diet rich in heavy squats, anabolic steroids and protein shake [...]
It is largely agreed that in his heyday Tom Platz had the best leg development the world has ever seen.
Although his highest placing at the My Olympia was a mere 3rd in 1981, he legs were unquestionably in a league of their own.
In an era where the [...]
If I could time travel, aside from using it to make millions a la Back To The Future Part II, I would pay a visit to my 15-year-old self and impart some pearls of wisdom:
Get a haircut, stop wanking into a sock, and, most importantly, forget those e [...]
Before the advent of modern bodybuilding, with its isolation machines, designer supplements and toxic chemicals, there was a secret weapon which bodybuilders used to grow freakish amounts of muscle in a short space of time.
This was a weapon so ho [...]
When I first started taking bodybuilding seriously in my late teens, I would devour as much information on different training routines and philosophies as I possibly could.
I consumed articles on eccentric training, rest-pause, 5x5, supersets, tri-s [...]
There comes a point in every bodybuilder's training regime, usually about the time you're doing a triple drop set of lat raises and you struggle to finish a set with 5kg dumbbells, when you think, "Oh fuck this, I want to be strong!"
This happened [...]
With an opening gambit of 'Real Science, Unreal Results', I couldn't help but be interested in this workout.
After all, a quick search on YouTube for other guru workout programmes reveals myriad hokum, quasi-debilitating looking exercises and gratui [...]