The Esquire body MOT – part 2

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Over the weekend it finally happened. Summer arrived, albeit briefly, and England’s men responded in time-honoured fashion by sitting around drinking with their shirts off. For a triumphant few it was the moment they had been waiting for – the chance to finally reveal their toned biceps and summer-ready torsos. But for many others, it was a painful reminder that there is work to be done. 

Following our Esquire body MOT part 1 which looked at fat loss, this week we're focusing on those looking to gain size rather than lose it - to add muscle to an already lean physique instead of eradicating a beer gut. So, for everyone out there looking to fill their t-shirt a little more convincingly this summer, Esquire spoke to personal fitness trainer Pete Fraser (www.petefraser.com), who devised the following program. Again, as with our first circuit, the emphasis is on clearing out the cobwebs and getting you active. Complete this first phase three times a week, for six weeks - we'll be showing you what to do next in due course.

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The five commandments:

1 Protein, protein, protein - You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again. If you want to pack on size, your body needs protein. Turkey breast, chicken, fish – whilst you are exercising regularly, it’s almost impossible to eat too much of this. If you’re looking to get bigger, chances are that you have a fast metabolism. So go eat, and enjoy.

2 Full range of motion - Don’t rely on momentum (‘swinging’ the weights) during your sets. Instead, use perfect form, extending and contracting your muscles to their fullest - that’s what will give your muscles the ‘shape’ you want. Remember to keep your breathing smooth, exhaling through your mouth and tensing your core.

3 Get Low - Even if you crave a barrel chest and arms like the Hulk, don't neglect your lower body. Add squats to your routine at least once a week - legs are a huge muscle group, and by working your legs you give yourself a much more complete workout. Your heart works harder, and your body actually generates far more testosterone than if you were to only work your upper body.
4 Fewer reps, more weight - As Ronnie Coleman famously said; "everyone wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy ass weights!". To gain mass, when you get right down to it, you're going to need to challenge yourself. That means using heavier weights, and doing no more than twelve reps per set. As ever, don't forget about the form.
5 Egg at bedtime - If you’re serious about packing on some mass (or aiming for some kind of Christian Bale post-Machinist pre-Batman body transformation) then try drinking egg-whites just before you sleep. The high-protein (that word, again) drink will fuel your muscles for the 7-odd hours when you’d otherwise go unfed. Also, you get to pretend to be Rocky.
Try this specially-designed workout from Pete Fraser three times a week for the next 6 weeks and you'll start to put you body on track for transformation. Next week - a closer look at nutrition.
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The Scrawny To Brawny Workout:

Warm up for 5 minutes

Then:
1/2 mile, 6mph, Gradient: 2
1/2 mile, 6.5mph, Gradient: 3
1/2 mile, 6.8mph, Gradient: 1

Stepper - 10 mins, medium resistance
Flat barbell bench press – 12 reps, 10 kg either side
Incline dumbbell fly - 12 reps, 6kg
Seated dumbbell shoulder press – 12 reps, 6kg
Lat pulldowns: wide grip, upper chest – 12 reps,
Lat pulldowns: close grip, lower chest – 12 reps, 40 kg
Tricep dips – from a bench, straight legs – 10 reps
Forward lying, lower back raise – 10 reps

[Repeat circuit twice]
To finish:

Lying/bent knee crunch – 2 x 20 reps
Head to knees crunch – 2 x 10 reps
Forward plank hold – 30 seconds x 2

STRETCH