arnold bench press

Some people focus on getting lean in the new year while others try to put on size.

Let’s chat a bit about putting on slabs of chiselled muscle shall we 🙂

The only way you’re gonna put on size, is to train hard, smart, and consistently in the gym. You gotta train like a bodybuilder, but you don’t need to spend hours a day in the gym.

Focus on compound (multi-joint exercises) lifts and supplement with isolation exercises. Don’t believe it when internet sites say you’ll build big biceps by just doing pull-ups or chin-ups. You gotta attack the muscles you want to grow from various angles and various rep ranges (and most times, you’ll have to resort to isolation-type exercises).  Focus on free weight exercises and feel free to supplement with machine-based exercises and even the Smith Machine. Pay attention to your body mechanics and don’t do an exercise if it causes pain (duh!).

In regards to nutrition, I’m a big believer in eating clean, even if the the focus is hypertrophy. I’m not a huge fan of eating shit just for the sake of getting in more calories. Eat clean real whole foods and make sure to eat starches post workout. You’ll find it harder to build size on a low-carb diet, so make sure to eat 2 servings of yams, sweet potatoes or rice post workout. Also, try to get 15-20 grams of protein at each meal. Eat unlimited veggies and moderate amounts of healthy fats as well.

Next, you have to get motivated to pump the iron. Make sure to watch these two documentaries (you might recognize the main dude in each film) before going to the gym (I recommend Sunday night to fire you up for the week!).

First film: Pumping Iron (I wasn’t able to embed this video, so you gotta watch it on Youtube).

Second film: The Making of Pumping Iron (below).

Next, ed-ju-ma-cate yourself by reading these articles (you’re welcome):

1) 10 Reasons You’re Not Building Muscle

2) 5 Ways to Amp Up Muscle Growth

3) 5 Bodybuilding Rules You Have to Break to Build Size

Next, make sure your form is picture perfect. Read this 4 Weightlifting Techniques to Master.

Lastly, find a good hypertrophy focused program. Here’s a free workout you can do. I wrote this program with Toronto trainer and fitness writer Lee Boyce. It’s called the Hybrid Size Workout. You can find the link HERE.

Give it a go and let me know what you think. Be patient. Building muscle takes time and persistence. As the great trainer Bill Starr once wrote: Patience + Persistence = Progress.

Now, go and get it! No one else is gonna do it for you. Light weight baby!

-JK

sumo deadlift

I had always wanted to start lifting weights and get stronger, but didn’t know where to start. I was looking not just for a gym, but for training on proper technique to prevent injury and a program designed for my specific goals. I also wanted a fun and supportive atmosphere to keep me coming back. JKC delivered on all of this and more.

Jon and Thomas have a wealth of knowledge that help their clients get the most out of their time in the gym. Programs are continuously modified to keep the workouts challenging. Even through everyone’s program is unique, you always have the coaches and other clients cheering you on and pushing you to achieve new bests.

I recently turned 40, and I have been training at JKC since the summer of 2020. My partner Michael had already been training at JKC, so it came highly recommended. We had set up a home gym at the start of the pandemic, but needed to mix it up after the first lockdown. JKC differs from other gyms because of the personalized workouts. Jon, Thomas and Craig are great at challenging me to do more than I would on my own.

I had spent a fair bit of time in gyms in my teens and twenties but I turned away from the gym to focus on activities that I enjoyed more. What keeps me at JKC is that I do really enjoy it. I always feel that I’ve accomplished something when I leave at the end of my workout. The environment is really positive and focused on challenging yourself whatever your level of comfort and fitness. I’ve also seen results that I’m really happy with; having someone who really knows what they’re talking about to guide your workouts makes them way more effective and focused than just “going to the gym”.

Shortly after I started at JKC, I sustained a fairly major injury that took me off my feet for several months. When I started to get back to activity, it was very difficult. Jon and Thomas worked hard to tailor my workouts to my goals and what I could do. With their help, I’ve been steadily building back strength and function.

I had virtually no real experience using weights and felt intimidated going gyms. I avoided gym-goers using free weights, especially when hearing that loud crash, as they would drop weights to the floor. I thought this was to show everyone around them that they owned that area and that I shouldn’t go anywhere near! So I guess I just wanted to learn how to lift weights safely in a gym environment.

I spent over 18 years in the British Military, so I got to use some nice gyms. 99% of my time and experiences in those gyms was spent doing cardiovascular workouts, because I could just jump on a treadmill, plug in my head phones and do my own thing! JKC is different, because they have given me the confidence to use free weights and equipment that I had feared for years. Their demonstrations and knowledge is impeccable and I thank them for their continuous belief and support they show me at every session.

As Seen On: