The guys at SFN EXPO have asked me to create an article, covering 5 key points to developing an “Olympia worthy physique.”
The scope of this content should really highlight to you the importance of doing certain things on a consistent basis to grow your physique. Not everybody has the genetics to become an IFBB Pro, or a Mr. Olympia but we ALL have the ability to develop a great physique and ultimately become the best version of ourselves which is all anybody can ask for.
Here’s a no BS, honest outline of what you need to do in order to push your physique to the next level.
Developing An Olympia Worthy Physique: Nutrition
In an industry where there are so many options, protocols and supplements on offer I find it really frustrating when people aren’t consistent with their diet first! Your nutrition is the absolute foundation to your results. It facilitates recovery, growth, energy output and everything else which is imperative to developing that physique you’re after. If you can’t commit to your diet then forget achieving your results.
Here are my nutritional fundamentals for you.
1. High meal frequency is a must, you’re going to maximise muscle protein synthesis (MPS) by eating protein rich food every 2-4 hours which will boost recovery and growth. This will also help create an environment where energy levels are stable, which leads to better performance in the gym. Finally, you’re insulin sensitivity is also going to benefit from this which again facilities with fat loss and anabolism. Don’t skip meals!!
2. Gut health is crucial and something far too many people in the bodybuilding world over look! High protein diets by nature are very acidic, therefore you need to ensure you’re eating enough vegetables to help maintain a healthy gut. Adding in pre-biotics, pro-biotics and digestive enzymes will also aid gut health. In order to assimilate and absorb all of the nutrients you eat you must have healthy gut function otherwise everything else is compromised.
3. Talking of protein intake, everyone is different however somewhere between 1-2g of protein per pound of lean body weight is where most people will need to be in order to build muscle in the off season and retain muscle going into prep. Make sure you have at least 4-5 different sources of protein in your diet to ensure you get a varied range of amino acids and more importantly you don’t develop an intolerance. So many people eat the same s*** every day which leads to gut issues.
4. Fats are an essential nutrient to the body scientifically speaking, alongside protein. Therefore you should NOT be excluding them from your diet at all. Aim for omega 3 based fats primarily to help with hormonal output, insulin sensitivity and joint health.
5. Whilst everybody’s carb tolerances vary do not avoid carbs because you’re going to really struggle to build quality muscle, perform well in the gym and burn fat as you’re metabolic rate suffers. So many people are afraid of carbs when they really don’t need to be, if you’re getting too fat this will be down to overall calorie intake ultimately.
Those are the corner stones of your nutrition briefly covered.
Developing An Olympia Worthy Physique: Training
Whilst nutrition is the essential foundation to your results, training provides the stimulation required to develop new muscle tissue which ultimately leads to the visual change in your appearance. Like nutrition, training is often over looked and people tend to end up going through the motions, missing many important factors which can really accelerate their progress.
My Y3T training programme is the ultimate approach to training as it comprehensively covers every single aspect of physiology to ensure you’re getting the very most out of your body in the gym.
It combines low, moderate and high rep ranges over a 3 week cycle whilst rotating the training volume and intensity levels. By doing this you’re ensuring that you hit every single muscle fibre within the body. Most plans only hit one type (out of 3) of muscle fibre, which may only account for half of your overall muscle mass at best. As a result, you’re failing to stimulate all of the other muscle fibres which means you’re not maximising your hypertrophy potential.
Rotating your rep ranges on a cyclical basis (rather than all in one workout) you’re also going to allow your joints to recover better as well as your CNS. CNS recovery is essential and often over looked for building muscle, as its this network which dictates muscle fibre recruitment as its stimulated (via different motor units!). If you don’t focus on CNS recovery with an intelligent approach to training you’ll fail to progress.
Finally, the inclusion of moderate and high rep ranges really helps create that finer detail and separation within the muscles which as a bodybuilder you want. Mass is great, but the quality and overall appearance of it matters just as much! Never forget that.
Developing An Olympia Worthy Physique: Condition
I’m just talking about condition on stage or even during your prep. I’m talking about your year round shape which so many people neglect which is why they struggle to really make that next level, here’s why. There is NO sense in getting fat in the off season for the sake of weight because your insulin sensitivity is going to suffer which makes it more difficult for the body to utilise carbohydrates for recovery and growth. It also increases your oestrogen levels!! Year round my athletes stay in good condition in order to focus on adding quality muscle, rather than unwanted fat which at the end of the day has to come back off for show prep. If you’re too fat at the start of your show prep, you’r going to suffer more going into that show and more importantly, as you push harder to drop the fat you’re going to risk losing too much muscle.
My athletes are known for their crazy conditioning on stage and that’s something I always insist on, on a bodybuilding stage razor sharp conditioning is so important.
Developing An Olympia Worthy Physique: 3 Dimensional
Everybody has strong and weak muscle groups, your focus really should be on making your weak muscle groups catch your better groups. Don’t think because you have a set of great arms that’s enough, it’s the total package which we are looking to present on stage. Train your weak muscle groups even harder, make them your priority and be smarter with your training. My using a 3 dimensional approach to your training, such as Y3T, you will ultimately create a more 3D physique.
Developing An Olympia Worthy Physique: Waistline
I’m a big believer and fan of keeping your waistline as tight as possible. That classic look it’s so pleasing to me and ultimately having a small, flat waistline really exaggerates your mass and v-taper which is all apart of the illusion you want to bring to the stage. So many people cause their guts to really distend with huge calorie intakes in the off season (often more than they need) along with gut health issues, which again are avoidable with a smarter approach to eating.
There’s a brief insight into my beliefs on developing a great physique going forward.
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