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

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 joined JKC because I wanted to better care for my physical health, but didn’t really know how, or where, to begin.  Seeking help from a trainer seemed like a wise choice, and I had heard great things about the staff at JKC. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate exercising.  So, I’ve only ever tried sticking with a gym routine twice in my life.  Each experience consisted of me wandering around, not knowing what to do, and settling for an elliptical machine or something else that seemed comfortable and non-threatening.  Each session was the same, and I felt like I was wasting my time.

Each session at JKC, however, is specifically crafted for me.  I don’t have to think about what to do, because I’m told what to do.  I don’t have to worry about how to do things properly, because I’m shown (sometimes multiple times!) how to accomplish each task.  I don’t have to be concerned about slipping into a comfortable routine, because Jon and Thomas won’t let that happen.

I’m 29 and I just had my 3rd Liftiversary 🥳 at JKC. I chose to train here because of the great word on the street and the fact that at lululemon, we’re encouraged to support our local community. My day-to-day routine is very busy, and I love showing up and having to think very little about my workout. The vibes are always good, my music choice is usually accommodated, and the bys are incredibly supportive and compassionate, helping me reach my goals (even when I had a broken hand). I also get to be my weird self, and am embraced fully.

Astrid Billfalk-Kelly

Personal Strength Training by Thomas King

I wanted to add strength training to my cardio, but have always felt gyms to be a bit intimidating, and was worried I would hurt myself without some supervision and help. JKC was highly recommended by several work colleagues. Thomas and Jon are both fantastic, making sure that everyone gets a highly personalized work out in a very supportive environment. The attention to detail and professionalism are second to none. The groups are very small, but very supportive and make the workouts even more fun. Since getting pregnant (36 weeks as I write this) I’m so happy that they continue to help me get stronger while always being safe.

I started training at JKC in 2016 because I’ve always had upper back issues that became aggravated through work. I sought out other training and physio, but experienced little to no results. A client of mine happened to be coming to JKC for a similar issue and highly recommended it. I have had great success and haven’t looked back! I always feel like I’m getting programs tailored to my needs and I’m never bored. I’m 30 weeks pregnant now with my second child and have been able to workout through both pregnancies here at JKC. Even on my least mobile days, I felt safe to workout because my programs were specifically modified for my needs.

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