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How To Train Legs and Build Muscle

Tired of not seeing results from your leg days in the gym? Thinking you’re training as hard as you can? STOP and THINK

Ask yourself these simple questions – Are you completely fatiguing your muscles? Are you adding in Supersets? Are you including Drop Sets into your workouts? Do you add forced reps? Are you going to complete failure? Do you pause during your working sets? Do you Pre-Exhaust your muscles?

If you’ve answered no to any one of those questions then there are a few changes you need to make in order to see the growth and muscle mass you’re so desperately wanting!

I am in the midst of my off season and my aim is to build real muscle as quickly as I can in my lower body. I wasn’t blessed with shapely legs and in order to reveal toned and muscular legs on stage I need to put the hard work in now to stimulate growth in my legs and glutes.

Check out my intense Leg Day Workout at Lougars Gym in Portsmouth with my Coach Clare Hendy.

This workout comprises of the following exercises and rest periods:

A1 – Heavy Leg Extension – Drop set and Forced Reps until Failure

A2 – Heavy Leg Press – Drop Set until Failure

Repeat 3 times with only 30 seconds rest in between sets.

B1 – Hack Squats – Drop set until Failure with Forced Reps

B2 – Sissy Squats – Until Failure

Repeat 3 times with only 30 seconds rest in between sets.

C1 – Alternate Lunges x 20 reps (10 per leg)

C2 – Step Ups x 20 reps (10 per leg)

Repeat 2 times with only 30 seconds rest in between sets.

D1 – Reverse Hack Squat – Drop Set until Failure with Forced Reps

D2 – Romanian Deadlifts – Drop Set until Failure

Repeat 3 times with only 30 seconds rest in between sets.

E1 – Lying down Hamstring Curl – Forced Reps and Drop Set until Failure

E2 – Lateral Box Jumps x 12 reps

Repeat 3 times with only 30 seconds rest in between sets.

So what actually does drop sets, forced reps and reps until failure mean? Well, you can clearly see within the first working set of my first exercise (Leg Extension) I can hardly move the weight up on my first rep, this is where my Coach steps in and helps me ever so slightly by lifting the weight with me (not taking all of the load) but making sure I still feel most of the weight. This is called a Forced Rep. I then continue these type of reps until I fatigue – I can’t do any more reps and my muscles are going to failure; however this is where drop sets step in and my coach drops the weight on the leg extension machine and I then continue repping out more reps. These reps are still guided by my coach but as you can see I am taking most of the weight. My muscles epically my Quadriceps are completely fatiguing here and once again my coach lowers the weight down for another drop set in order for me to completely fatigue my muscles and go to complete and utter failure.

But I am not done there! We quickly move straight over to the Leg Press machine (which is loaded with 100kg by the way – Ouch!) and complete as many reps as I can without pausing or resting – this is another important aspect to fatiguing your muscles and you need to make sure you are not allowing the working muscle any rest during the working set. My coach is by my side again to lend a hand with the weight on the last few reps that I can squeeze out by guiding the weight up, I then have to stay with the weight on my legs and glutes whilst a drop set is about to take place. Without racking the safety bars out and allowing my legs rest whilst my coach drops the weight, my muscles are again still under tension and are continuing to fatigue. The weight is dropped and I again have to rep out as many reps as I can without pausing, keeping the tension on the top of my quadriceps and deep into my glutes. I am again going to complete failure and by the time I have finished this first Superset my heart rate is exceeding limits and I am starting to drip in sweat!

That is how you complete ONE working Superset!

I think you can catch my drift with how the rest of the session went – and I can safely say it is the hardest I have EVER trained and has completely changed the way I push through my limits and how hard I train every body part.

Another key point to remember is my rest period in between supersets is extremely short, and approximately 30 seconds in length; if you’ve ever rested for only 30 seconds you can understand how little time that is in order for you to catch your breathe and get yourself ready for the next working set. This workout burns calories and tears your legs and glute muscles into pieces by shocking them with extreme fatigue and failure. This is how optimal muscle growth is gained and earned in the gym. Post workout nutrition is the next step to making sure your muscles grow and I will be posting about the best food sources and what you need to eat after training in my next post so stay tuned!

Thank you for reading and as always this post was written by Hayley

BodyPower Bikini Competitor Competition Hayley Madigan Leg Day How to train Legs Abs Girls Who Lift Model Search Fitness Workout The Muscle Coaches

You can follow my journey to the BodyPower stage via my Instagram or Twitter 

Mornings are getting lighter and the days seem to be getting longer; it’s nearly Spring time which may send some of us into a bit of a melt down if you’re still trying to lose those stubborn Christmas pounds.  Even though the majority of us enjoy indulging in delicious treats and going out regularly for meals, after a few weeks of this repetitive cycle you may start to feel a little sluggish and all you feel like doing is lazing around on the sofa watching films all day. Sound familiar?

Well, as much as we love over eating, there comes a time when you wake up and you dislike what you see in the mirror. So what do you do? Do you try one of those fad ‘lose 6 lbs in 2 weeks’ challenges or start juicing up all of your food and pretend you’re doing a juice cleanse? No thank you! We know all too well that any fad diet that is hard for you to stick with will soon be forgotten and you’ll rebound straight back to the overeating of treats and junk food cycle that you cut out for all of 14 days – and then the weight piles back on and the cycle repeats itself!

From knowing how to lose stubborn fat quickly I recommend starting out with a few healthy swaps of your normal day to day foods by slowly starting to include a higher protein content to your meals and more nutritious whole foods that you’ll soon see as your ‘normal’ food and this way you won’t feel like you’re on any diet at all.

My Top 5 healthy Food Swaps for 2017 are:
Number 1:
High Fat Cream Cheese:

Philadelphia The Muscle Coaches

Swap with:
Quark Soft Cheese:

Quark Fat Free Cheese High Protein Diet Food

Number 2:

Nutella:

Nutella Chocolate Spread Full Fat Food High Sugar

Swap with
Jim Jam’s Hazelnut Spread:

Jim Jams Low Sugar Chocolate Spread Macros Diet Food

Number 3:
High Fat Cheese:

Cheese High Fat Protein Lactose Cathedral City
Swap with
Eat Lean Protein Cheese:

Eat Lean Protein Cheese Diet Macros Diet Food Low Fat

Number 4:
Fat Free yoghurt:

Fat Free Yoghurt High Sugar Onken Vanilla

Swap with
High Protein Greek yoghurt:

Total Greek Yoghurt 0% Fat High Protein Macros Diet

Number 5:
Breakfast bars:

Breakfast Bar Nutri-Grain Food Diet

Swap with
Grenade High Protein Carb Killa Bar:

Grenade Bar High Protein Bar Cookie Chocolate Fat Loss Macros Diet

This post was written by Hayley.

For more information on diet advise and personalised diet plans then email me at themusclecoaches@gmail.com

Tag me in your pictures (@tmchayley ) on Instagram or use the hashtag #themusclecoaches if you start incorporating these simple changes to your diet, we would love to hear from you!

Name: Paul Byrne
Nickname: Irish (wonder why!!)
Age: 32
Height:174 cm
Weight: 76kg
Sponsored by: The Muscle Coaches

Instagram: @londonirishpaul
Twitter: IrishPaulb

When did you first start training?
I first started to train about the age of 24. (Back then at that age there was no craze like there is now haha)! I had got back from travelling and even though I had be trekking around with a back pack on my back didn’t help at all! I still had no muscle and weighted 63kg, so I thought that was the best time to start getting in shape and gaining some muscle.
It was quiet hard starting at first and massively intimidating….. I’m sure starting off everyone asks the same questions in their head….” what will I do? What is this machine? I better not read the instructions or others will know I’m new/ act like you know what you’re doing/ that weight looks too light I better lift heavier etc…….”
This is no truer that a leprechaun sitting at the end of a rainbow!!
I was lucky starting off that my trainer was my best friend (Matt) and was a security guard so was no stranger to working out. I still remember my first day… and the first thing Matt said to me:
“first have a look around and watch every person here train…they are here because they want to keep fit and grow muscle they aren’t interested in your exercises if anything they will critique your technique and motivate you so get rid of the intimidation, imagine you’re the only one here and start concentrating of growing”.
That stuck with me and helped me to focus on my goals. It made it easier to ask others questions about what the exercises were/ how to spot/ different techniques and after having a familiarity of training with different people, building confidence and overall enjoying the gym I decided to better my knowledge and become a Personal Trainer.
I was already at a point where I would train with different people and be asked questions during workouts so to better myself I thought I further qualification under my belt wouldn’t be any harm.

As I was in a full time job I had the opportunity through Premiere Training to undertake a level 3 Personal Training course part time. This ran for several months on a Saturday and Sunday every second week. Even though I can talk to the wall or become best friends with your nanny, don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a walk in the park. Not only did I learn how to train others but further my social skills, applying myself to interacting with large groups, off hand exercises and over all selling yourself. Don’t forget a lot of people start their careers and businesses from this, so knowing the direction you want to go at the end is helpful.

The main reason for achieving this qualification was because I love to help others and let say a bit of a social butterfly. So with having qualified knowledge gave me more confidence that I was giving the right advice to others.

I relocated about 3 years ago to London and decided to concentrate more on my career than Personal Training but that didn’t stop me advising others in the gym if anything for me it helped make now friends and from this led my Personal Training qualification down an avenue where I was asked to be a part of this site YAYYY. Oh yeah thanks mate lol.
This is good for me because it’s just talking and giving advice and knowledge which I have to others …. I don’t want to blog about being MR. Motivator or how to be meat head of the year but just the simplistic back to basic keeping fit and how to do exercises correctly. Maybe boring to some but I have come across some people where the smallest push start has helped immensely so hopefully through blogs I can also achieve this.

Eh so I have yet again waffled too much mate ha-ha! What else can I tell you?

How often do you train?
I usually train 5-6 times a week. I usually alternate my rest day but that may be depending on how heavy Saturday night is ha!

How long do you train for?
On average I train about an hour and half a day, having a plan for what I want to train and sufficient rest intervals between sets. I then normally have a 30-40 minute cardio session at the end which is my travel home.

What are your goals?
I would love to have my body in shape so that I could compete. I enjoy concentrating on individual muscle growth and focusing on trying to reach the best shape I can I suppose.

Which is your favourite muscle group to train?
Ohhhhh let’s see…aghhh I love them all lol. Ok at the moment its legs. Honestly I’ve never concentrating properly on them. For years it was just to get my upper body to grow but people forget that training legs helps boost your natural testosterone and don’t forget when your lifting/pushing or balancing where does this come from…your legs so at the minute my goal is to get these bad boys to grow Ha-ha

Can you talk through your weekly workout?
Eat…Sleep…Train…Repeat… ha-ha
My weekly rota really depends on how the day has gone and times I can work out. I normally train one muscle group and prime another at the end of my session before moving onto my cardio. By priming I mean some light exercises on a different muscle to the one with has been trained.

Do you follow a particular diet?
I would like to say I stick to a strict diet but I’d be lying. I could probably say I am a bit lucky as I’m not one to worry about what I eat it’s the opposite really, I have such a high metabolism that it’s hard for me to sustain weight so even though some people envy that I would gladly like a few more kg. In saying that I do eat healthy ensuring I have enough red meat/ protein/ fish alongside the odd cheat meal.

paul2

What supplements so you take?
Currently I use BSN True Mass (weight gainer), Huel for extra calories during the day in work and because it’s a taste I far rather that other meal supplement drinks and BSN Glutamine DNA/ Beta Alanine post workout.
Every few months I add a pre workout and for years I have stuck to the notorious No-Explode, it works well for me and “does exactly what it says on the tin”.

What music do you listen to when training?
I love listening to RnB music during my cardio but during weightlifting I usually like listening to a decent house set.. Yeah I know a little different so have a podcast downloaded from one of my mates on iTunes: Spectrum- James John and Adam Turner

Who do you look up to or admire?
You know what my best mate Matt…. without his determination/ push and drive I wouldn’t be where I am today. (Also he’s scary if you don’t do what he says ha-ha) honestly though he gave me the confidence I have today. Obviously other athletes too as I admire their dedication and drive to ascertain their goals also.

What is your best achievement?
Raising money for two separate charities: firstly by spending 3 weeks trekking on the Great Wall of China & secondly hitchhiking from Cambridge to Morocco. Not only was it an exhilarating experience but also to know we helped kids less fortunate than ourselves in Africa.

What advice would you give anybody who wants to start training?
“first have a look around and watch every person here train…they are here because they want to keep fit and grow muscle they aren’t interested in your exercises if anything they will critique your technique and motivate you so get rid of the intimidation, imagine you’re the only one here and start concentrating of growing”.

Now what’s stopping you…..

Meal replacement shakes probably make you might think of fad diets and dubious promises of rapid weight loss. But they can be used in a way that is far healthier. I’m going to tell you about some of the benefits of shakes as part of a fitness-oriented lifestyle and give you some ideas for ingredients.

A boost for busy people

Sometimes, despite your best intentions, your workout comes around and you just haven’t had time to do the proper prep. Or maybe you haven’t had the chance to eat. In these situations, a nutritious meal replacement shake is your friend. It will give you the boost you need to stay on track and have a great session.

Calorie replacement, not ‘fat burning’

I’m not talking here about products that claim to burn fat. Rather than some low-carb, low-fat, vaguely protein-ish concoction, the replacement shakes I’m talking about are just that: a shake that will replace the calories you’d find in a meal. They’re made from healthy ingredients and have a sound scientific base.

Super-shake ingredients

You could try milled oats, which are full of good stuff like manganese, phosphorous, biotin and vitamin B1. Whey powder is a quick source of protein and amino acids. Super greens supplements give you the goodness of fruit, vegetables and herbs in a single hit. You could also add cinnamon powder or vanilla extract to your shake to give it that extra kick.

Quick and easy to make

You don’t need specialist equipment to fix yourself a healthy meal replacement shake, just a blender to blitz your chosen ingredients with whatever you’re using as your base liquid, such as milk. A set of scales is a good idea, too, so you can be sure you’re getting the right balance.

So think again about meal replacement shakes. Don’t just dismiss them as to do with crash diets and pseduoscience. Approached correctly and with the right ingredients, a shake can be a great addition to your fitness regime.

The Curve treadmill by Woodway, is manual. Meaning that it does not need electricity to work, making it green and eco friendly.  So you might wonder how does it it work?

The non-motorised Curve treadmill has a unique patented running surface. The slatted belt system  which is often a single belt on motorised treadmills is almost is, which allows the belt to glide smoothly. While the curved shape of the treadmill surface allows users are able to control their pace at will. The can speed up, simply start running, to slow down, allow yourself to drift down the curve. Which not only is better for joints and the knees,  but overall posture as you are not running to a forced set tempo but rather working with gravity.

The Woodway Curve - The Muscle Coaches

 

Apart from being cheaper to runner and safer for the environment, the Curve  allows runners to  increase their own tempo watching the interface, rather than being subject to ramp up/down speeds. They can reach full sprint in a few explosive steps which is ideal for HIIT or circuit classes as swell as not having a maximum speed.

 

Curve Specifications
Running Surface 17″ W x 67″ L
(43 cm x 170 cm)
Weight Capacity Run 500 lbs / Walk 800 lbs (4mph max)
Width 31″ (79 cm)
Length 68″ (173 cm)
Height 68″ (173 cm)
Speed Manual
Incline Curved
Unit Weight 245 lb. (Shipping Weight 330 lb.)

So why should gyms like it?

In the competitive fitness market, it is even more important to retain members, and the Curve gets results! The Curve’s manual  nature of operation has got amazing results and when it has been compared to motrized treadmills, has burnt up to 30% more calories. This is du to more muscles engaging during the workout. Abdominals and core stability play a bigger role on a Curve workout compared to most running ones. It appeals from walkers to serious athletes  who keep coming back to enjoy this rather nifty machine.

Name: Pearl Davison
Nickname:
Pearly
Age:
25
Height:
5’8
Weight:
10st 3lbs
Sponsored by:
Yoga Kula (Yoga Studio in Leeds for winning Miss England sports woman)

Instagram: @pearlypeach21
Facebook:
@pearlsusanneinspiration

When did you first start training?

It was back in 2010 following a period of weight gain in first year of University.
I became overweight at university, falling into the fresher’s trap of drinking alcohol every night and eating junk food. Soon my weight crept up and I become feeling lethargic, under confident and none of my clothes fit. I knew it was then time to change. Being as stubborn as I was back then, I refused to get a personal trainer wanting to do it all myself. I began running and tried an extreme diet (Atkins- ALERT – would not recommend) where I was eating probably less than half the calories my body required. My workouts were focused around aerobic style, lots of cardio and not a weight in sight. I remember looking in the mirror and seeing myself as ‘straight up and down’ Bean pole a likely I’d say with flat chest and flat butt, I was slim then, but the amount of effort and work that I put in didn’t show on my body.
It wasn’t until I signed up to the local gym that I started to change my style of workouts. After around a year of doing cardio and lots of high intensity classes (sometimes 3 in one day…) I switched up my regime. I began weight training & results came & I was hooked! I realised with weights I could actually shape my body and I was in control!

Pearl Davison The Muscle Coaches

How often do you train?

I train 6 times a week because I love it! Some days are lighter than others, if my body asks for rest & my muscles are sore, I will do an active rest & do some yoga (my favorite being ashtanga).

How long do you train for?

Max 80 mins, but usually around 1 hour. I like to get in do my thing and then get going.

What are your goals?

My goals are to maintain a healthy mind and body and to balance my training with life.
I always try and maintain this during lead up to bikini competitions, my overall goal is health & longevity.

Which is your favourite muscle group to train?

LOWER BODY! I Hamstrings, Quads, Glutes & Calfs! I love training legs because these are the ones I see most potential in positively changing 🙂
Second to that, it’s shoulders.

Can you talk through your weekly workout?
I don’t have a set workout plan, I don’t really do the typical split body parts
My week may look like a combination between
-Weight lifting with the majority being compound moves such as squats deadlifts, push press
– Classes at Sudden Movements Gym (Colin – the owner follows Ido Portel style moves) therefore I use my body in such unique ways usually focusing on body weight movements
– Ashtanga and Kundalini Yoga at Yoga Kula.
– Plyos / High Intensity Classes & Use of the Free weights at Virgin Active

Do you follow a particular diet?

I try and eat 80% clean foods and allow myself something if I wish 20% of the time. I follow an If it fits your macro plan too (IIFYM) which allows for flexibility within my eating habits.
Usually my main foods are:
Eggs, Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Heck Sausages, Chick Peas, Lentils, Sweet potato, Oats, All Veggies, Grapefruit, Apples, Berries, Bananas, Coconut oil, Cashews, Almonds and nut butters, Fage Yogurt and Rice cakes and lots of spices for flavour!

What supplements so you take?

I use a multi vitamin (when I remember to take it) and vitamin c.
I also use Warrior Blend Hemp protein for my protein pancakes when I make them.
ZMA is something which I use sporadic (usually run out & forget to use) which helps with ensuring I have enough Zinc, Magnesium and can help with sleep!

What music do you listen to when training?

I like a variety, I’m very open when it comes to music.
Favourites are usually YouTube mixes of Gym Motivation, which help with those final reps 😉 Dubstep, House, Reggae…
My favourite at the minute is Battle Tested Mix from YouTube ✌🏽️

Who do you look up to or admire?

Anyone who holds a full time job/ busy job and competes/ trains and has a family to look after! This is some many peoples reasons for not exercising & eating well and those who do this- find ways! And they are truly admirable!

What is your best achievement?

Placing in all 7 my bikini shows top 4 including 2 British Finals &
Winning Miss England Sports Woman 2016.

What advice would you give anybody who wants to start training?

Fitness does not have to be ‘the gym’ a lot of people do not connect with this environment.
Just move your body, find what you love, tennis, dance, fast pace walking… Your journey is unique to you, find your passion & follow it.

Pearl Davison

Are you feeling a little bored with walking, running or jogging on the treadmill? Have you been working out on a treadmill for a while, but you’re are not getting the results you hoped for? Fear not! Treadmill workouts are becoming incresingly popular in gyms around the world, and they will be sure to boost the effectiveness of your workout for quicker results. These special workouts combine different running speeds, and change of inclines to mix things up a little. We reveal three fun workouts that will help you to shed those pounds, and keep you mentally stimulated when you’re next on the treadmill.

Simple 30 Minute Tempo Workout

So this is a very basic treadmill work out, and it is a good one to start with if you are new to the whole idea of treadmill workouts. Simply start with a 10-minute light walk or gentle jog. This should be enough just to warm up the body, but not be so intense that it wears you out or breaks you into a sweat. After ten minutes, you are ready to up the tempo to around a 7 on the treadmill (on a scale from 1 – 10). This should be fairly intense, so if you’re not feeling it work your muscles after 3 minutes then you can switch it up even higher. Finally, take things right back down to a very slow walking pace. You should stay like this for another 10 minutes to allow your muscles to cool down.

30 Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, and it is a huge hit with personal trainers and workout fanatics around the globe. It combines short but intense movements with breaks which allow you to cool down and catch your breath. This method will burn a lot more calories as opposed to just running non-stop, so it can boost your overall levels of health and stamina. Just be prepared to work really hard during the intense parts of the workout.

Begin this workout with a 10-minute light jog to warm up the body. Then crank up the speed to a 9 or a 10 intensity and run for 1 minute, after the minute, you can crank it back down to a 1 or 2 and have a gentle walk to get your breath back. You should repeat this running/walking section 8 times in a row (if you can handle it). After that, you can switch back to a low setting for a very light jog for 5 minutes before ending the workout. Remember, HIIT workouts can be very intense, so if you’re completely new to the method you may want to start with just 4 repetitions and then slowly build it up from there. Always listen to your body when working out.

treadmill
30 Minute Hill Treadmill Workout

Last but not least is the hill workout. This workout is particually good if you are looking to tone up muscles in the legs as well as the glutes. And while it may not be the most fun of workouts, the results and satifaction you’ll feel after completing it will certainly be worth it. Start on a low setting and jog for 1 minute. You can then swtich the treamdill to a steep incline (as much as is bearable for you). Run on this inclide for 2 minutes, and then switch back down to a flat treasmill for 1 minute of gentle jobgging. Repeat this process fives times. You can end the workout session with 5 minutes of gentle jogging to allow the body to cool down.

It is worth noting that you can modify the work out to better suit your running style or the amount of time you have to workout. You can also try mixing together two workouts (such as the Hitt and the incline run) to target different areas in the body. Just whatever you do, don’t cheat! Afterall, You’ll only be cheating yourself. So next time you head down to the gym, try out one of these calorie-burning workouts and see how much of a difference it makes to your fitness levels and muscle tone. Enjoy your treadmill workout!

If you’ve been training for a while, you’ve probably heard people say that to keep progressing you’ve got to keep your body guessing. But that doesn’t apply to your brain as well. The reverse in fact. Keep your grey matter guessing and it can seriously hinder those gains.

So I can’t be the only one that gets anxious about finding answers to those niggling questions we all get. Is this the right diet? Is this training regime on target?

If you’re like me, you’ll groan whenever you need to change your diet or training regime. Not because you hate change, or because you’re lazy. The problem is working out how to separate fact from #fitfam fiction.

Admit it, the first place you’ll go to prep for a new diet or training regime is probably google. Good luck. Search for ‘beginners bulking diet’ and you’ll get 1,850 results. But dig a little deeper into the detail and you quickly end up like a dog chasing its own tail:

‘What is the best rep and set range for building muscle?’
‘Should you eat carbs in the morning or evening?’
‘What’s the best post workout foods?’

It’s a classic case of information overload. You can research for hours on end, trying to find a suitable diet or routine, only to find that there seems to be more ‘best’ ways to build muscle than there are gym-goers who can’t put the weights back on the rack (pet hate).

It’s like the two door riddle in Labyrinth: ‘Which one’s right?’ ‘What if I pick wrong?’. Choice anxiety can quickly kick in. I know that sounds made up, like the ultimate first world problem, but it’s real I promise. And it can be frustratingly effective at stoking stress and stopping decision-making.

Even worse, pick any two articles giving fitness advice, even on the same website, and you can bet that they’re not just giving different opinions, they’ll stare you straight in the eyes and give you completely contradictory advice.

It’s not surprising people stick to the workout their personal trainer gave them when they first stepped foot in a gym. And then they wonder why they’re not progressing.

Bored at the Gym

So what should you do? The irony of this next section is not lost on me. I realise I’ve just added another digit to the results of anyone trying to solve this problem. But I’m not here to tell you there’s a simple solution, only to give you three rules of thumb, which could help you narrow your search:

1.    Bin the broscience – stay clear of the foruma – at the very least, make sure you have a big bucket of salt by your side. You’ll need it for all the ‘advice’ you’ll get. There’ll always be some kid bragging that they bulked up by drinking nothing but beer 24/7.

Stick to the experts. And that doesn’t mean anyone with a PhD after their name. A doctorate in the propulsion parameters of penguin poo won’t help you here (a real PhD, by the way). So check out people like Jim Stoppani or Layne Norton.

2.    Pretend you know nothing – some would say I’m at expert at this next rule of thumb. What i really mean though is that you should ignore your preconceptions. We’ve been brought up to think that eating fat makes you fat. Wrong. But if you search for what you think is the correct answer to any question, you’ll find the result you want, not necessarily the answer you need.

It’s the same with illnesses. Think cats cause you cancer? Ask and the internet giveth. One of the first articles that pops up is actually from the Daily Telegraph, reporting on research showing cats give you brain tumours. Pretty reputable you might think.

But dig a little deeper and you find out the research has been misrepresented. Cancer Research UK criticises the ‘limited and tentative evidence’. But by this point, confirmation bias has already kicked in…and your cat has already been kicked

3.    Perfect is the enemy of good – I used to spend weeks researching and trying to perfect the right diet and training regime, but because I never thought it was perfect, I’d slip back into old habits and routines.

This is the problem of pursuing perfect over good. Results are rarely immediate and the lack of progress can be blamed on the perceived lack of perfection. It’s easy to retreat back into your comfort zone, particularly if you saw results previously.

Don’t be paralysed by perfection. Do some research, come up with a plan and just give it a go. It might not be perfect, but trial and tweak. Everyone’s different, so track what you’re doing and don’t be afraid of seeing what works for you.

This post was written by Andy Legon. Write and advocate for the Huffington Post. Additionally follow Andy on Twitter at @AndrewLegon

Name: Alex Briggs

Nickname: Briggs

Age: 20

Height: 6”0

Weight: 170.8 lbs

Instagram: alexbriggs23

Twitter: alexbriggs23

Website: https://www.facebook.com/alex.briggs.775

When did you first start training?

I first started training when I was 17, around 3 years ago. I started training due to the fact I was bullied at school for always being the smallest and in truth I was the smallest in my year. I had an eating disorder and food intolerances when I was younger. This made it very hard for me to eat much therefore maintaining a small and thin body.

This affected me more than people realised and in my head I had something to prove. Once I started going to the gym I would always receive comments like “you’ll always be small” and ‘you’ll never look good”, I used this as motivation and I got my head down and started listening to my older brother James and friends Tom and Kitey. This gave me time to learn and set goals and further achieve what I expected of myself.

How often do you train?

I train 4-5 times a week. Depending on circumstances I try and get 6 sessions in a week.

How long do you train for?

3 years of training has enabled me to learn a lot and test a lot of theories and workouts but usually I train for an hour and a half. This is the period where I’ve seen the best results alongside a solid diet.

What are your goals?

My Goals are to inspire people to do something they love whatever that might be. Also by featuring in magazines and competing in competitions I’m hopeful this will help spread the positivity that I have to many people. I know what I’m capable of and won’t stop working until I’ve achieved it. If I stay consistent with my diet and training anything is possible.

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Which is your favourite muscle group to train?

My favourite muscle group to train is by far Chest, find chest the most rewarding body part for me because it’s something I can’t progress on very quickly so when I do I’m happy.
Can you talk through your weekly workout?

Monday – Chest, Tuesday – Back, Wednesday – Rest day, Thursday- Legs, Friday- Shoulders. Sometimes if I get enough time I’ll strain Saturday or Sunday, I’ll usually focus on what I’m most unhappy with (which is a lot) but focus on certain body parts to remain in proportion. I also usually try and leave as much time between chest and shoulders because training them too closely together, effects my results.

Do you follow a particular diet?

Yes, my diet is very clean and on a daily basis I eat; steak, chicken, oats, almonds and my favourite sweet potato. I’m lucky as being a student, income doesn’t support the food I’d like and need to eat but I feel extremely grateful my brother, girlfriend and family help me out and couldn’t thank them enough for what they do for me. However, I do occasionally enjoy the odd burger or dominoes as a cheat meal. My diet will be clean and on target all week but Sunday is usually my cheat day where anything goes but does sometime end up being clean anyway.

What supplements so you take?

Honestly? I’m don’t take a lot of supplements because I simply forget! The supplements I take are whey protein, BCAA’S, Fermented Cod liver oil and the occasional pre-workout. This makes it easy to maintain and track what’s going in my body and when

What music do you listen to when training?

I listen to a variety of music when I train from heavy metal to R&B but my favourite would have to be rap and grime. I think music is very important when it comes to training because it can get you ready for a session and calm you down afterwards. Except when you forget your earphones, that’s not ideal.

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Who do you look up to or admire?

I’ve only ever been inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dwayne Johnson, this is because growing up I was a huge wrestling fan (I still follow it) and when I first glimpsed at Arnold, my words were “I want to look like that”. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good physique and certain people’s success but the only one who motivates me, is myself and the people who notice my hard work. After all, I don’t do this to be better than anyone else, I do this to better myself and not being where I want to be is motivation enough.
What is your best achievement?

My best achievement by far is meeting some amazing people such as Tristan Edwin Everard Mills and Simon Barnes and of course Dane Michael. By simply looking after my body, I’ve been lucky enough to be given some very appreciated opportunities such as working for the Adonis Cabaret Show and working with Simon, who is extremely talented. It’s also given me better financial opportunities such as being a butler and hosting hen parties all around Brighton and Hove. My ultimate achievement will always be people telling me I inspire them and telling me I’m the reason they’re starting their journey. Since starting the gym I’ve been contacted about TV appearances, Sponsorship deals and even photoshoots. I’ll forever be humbled and grateful to the people who have made this all possible.

What advice would you give anybody who wants to start training?

Do it! Training has changed my life and would do it all over again. Training isn’t just good physically. It gives you a form of relief and achievement. For me, it’s a lifestyle. If I didn’t go to the gym, I’d feel lost. You don’t necessarily need a goal to follow either, just go and enjoy It.