5 Session tips for building mass and 5 session tips for dropping body fat.

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I am an online personal trainer, I have helped 1000’s of people achieve their fitness goals. I am probably best known for my works with Hollywood’s biggest stars getting them into superhuman shape for film roles.  As one of the online training pioneers I believe with the right guidance anyone can achieve superhuman results.

A lot of people over complicate this side of training, they try and categorise different sets and reps into different goals.

The truth is although different sets and reps do achieve different things, often more than one of these will be useful to you achieving your goals.

The key to a successful plan is only partly to do with the sets and reps, you have to take into account other factors such as rest periods and exercise selection.

And one more thing, never forget your nutrition.

A plan designed for muscle building will only build muscle if you are fuelling your body correctly, this plan could actual result in muscle loss if you are not nailing your nutrition.

Likewise if you are looking to shred body fat and following the best fat loss plan in the world but are still overeating you will not get leaner, in fact quite the opposite.

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Building muscle

A lot of people short change themselves here by only sticking with the classic bodybuilding rep ranges.

What if I told you that those strength movements you may not have been doing will massively help you muscle building?

Also you may find that very high rep sets for example 90 second timed sets will supercharge your results. Isn’t that endurance training? Don’t be fooled, these in a calorie surplus can help take you to the next level.

Five steps to results in building muscle

1. Do you strength work – a great example of this is the classic 5x5. If you are completely new to weights you may want to start with 4x6-8 for the first couple of weeks.  Between sets you will need 2-3mins to recover.

These strength sets will fuel an anabolic response within your muscles creating a better environment for muscle growth.

2. Do your hypertrophy sets  - these sets will help to build muscle there is no denying it. Work in a range of 4-5 sets of 8-15 reps. Between sets you will need 60-90 seconds. These movements can be supersetted to make the session time efficient.

3. Do some higher rep work, this may be as mentioned above some 90 second sets. Try these with push up on chest day or leg press on legs day as examples. 2 sets here will be sufficient.

I also like to include circuits or pairs to achieve these longer sets too. An example is tricep dips onto push ups 4x12+12.

4. Recovery and refuel. Simple stuff here. If you are looking to build muscle then you have to fuel your body to do this. Inadequate nutrition will certainly halt your progress. Also remember you get stronger during your recovery not during your training, so make sure you recover effectively and allow enough time between sessions.

5. Stick to the plan. Results come through consistency not through chaos and constantly changing up your plan. Stick with the basics and get good at them. Make subtle changes to progressively overload your muscle (reps, sets, weight). 

Five steps to getting lean

1. Do you strength work – Yes this will seem like dejavu..

When trying to drop body fat, don’t forget that muscle mass you have worked hard for. You will be wanting to keep hold of that stuff. To help maintain this when leaning out do your strength sets on the big lifts even if it’s just a couple of times per week.

A great example of this is the classic 5x5. If you are completely new to weights you may want to start with 4x6-8 for the first couple of weeks.  Between sets you will need 2-3mins to recover.

These strength sets will fuel an anabolic response within your muscles creating a better environment for muscle growth.

2. Do your hypertrophy sets  - these sets will help to build muscle there is no denying it. Work in a range of 4-5 sets of 8-15 reps. Supersets are also your new best friend and keep the rest nice and short to up the intensity. 0-60seconds between movements.

Make sure to sufficiently replenish your carbs post workout like you would when aiming to build muscle. Just keep the overall calories and carbs lower throughout.

3. Do higher rep work and circuits.

Using circuits to add intensity to the end of these sessions is great. Pick 5 total body exercises (goblet squats, DB clean and press, Burpees etc etc) and do 4-5 rounds of 12-15 reps of each. Keep the rest short to keep the heart rate high.

4. Get your nutrition right. This is so crucial it should be higher in the list. It should probably be 1,2 and you will not lose body fat if your nutrition does not match your goals. Simple.

5. Add some cardio into the mix. This along with the nutrition will be the key difference. Cardio should still be included in a muscle building plan to an extent but it should be a major feature of a fat loss plan. Do intervals and some low intensity cardio to maximise this. The less time you have the more the focus should be on intervals. Sessions can be short but if they are they have to intense, so make sure you are committed.

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