Do you want to GROW muscles, or SHOW muscles? It sounds like a trick question. You want to GROW muscles so you can SHOW them to EVERYONE! What I mean, is, when you’re setting your fitness goals, do your phrases include: I want a bigger chest; I want big arms; I want more muscle; I want to build muscle; I want a juicy booty. FUCK YEAH! Those are great goals! But there is a difference between working out and eating to GROW muscle, versus working out and eating to SHOW muscle (TWEET THAT SHIT!).
Check out these pics. After extensive research (read: cyberstalking) I’ve selected two fascinating examples of Hollywood physiques. Let’s discuss.
Socrates: “I know that I know nothing.”
SENSITIVE LIBERAL ARTS GRAD WARNING: When it comes to pictures and information in the media, you should always maintain a healthy dose of suspicion—-pictures are not real life, and do not reveal one iota of what transpired to attain that ‘look’. The following images are presented as departure points for a dialogue in the Socratic tradition, and should not be misconstrued as incontrovertible fact. #SATwords #polysyllabicvocabulary #prettylittlenoises
Also, I admit that by omission, this article may appear to reflect the contemporary bias towards muscle gain for men. Muscle gain is important on the road to health and hotness for men AND women, and I look forward to discussing this further in future articles. #muscleisgenderneutral
BRING ON THE MEAT!
Hugh ‘Wolverine’ Jackman
Weight: 203 lbs
Body Fat: 6%
Brad ‘Tyler Durden’ Pitt
Weight: 155 lbs
Body Fat: 6%
When you’re evaluating physiques, context is everything. I picked these two studs because structurally they’re ‘close-ish’ (they have similar body fat, they’re within a couple of inches height) but they represent two different physical ideals.
Wolverine is an example of a GROWER and Tyler Durden is an example of a SHOW-er.
Hugh Jackman was quoted in every reputable online entertainment gossip site regarding his nutritional coaching from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who recommended he consume 6,000 calories per day for 6 months. #devourmuchflesh
Training time was reported to range from 11-18 hours per week.
A Tyler Durden-esque physique comes from the opposite end of the nutrition spectrum (eating at a caloric deficit, or just under the calories your body requires at rest). Training demands are still comparable.
Is This Normal?
These are Hollywood business folk, with careers riding on their physiques. It’s similar to the performance demands of professional athletes—-they can tweak, and fine-tune, and micro-manage their nutrition and training variables because their jobs depend on it. But you don’t have to be an athlete or a performer—the overall science is the same for everyone. You have to create an environment conducive to your goals over an extended period of time. Your body does not want or need to lose fat. Nor does it want or need to gain muscle.
(Just to be clear, when I say ‘Your body doesn’t want or need’ I mean the corporeal vessel of flesh and fluid that we inhabit on this mortal plane of existence—what your body actually needs to survive. Not your soul, your mind or your inner gremlins. Those voices often tell you exactly what you ‘need’ to do. You just can’t trust all of them. #dievampiredie)
Muscle gain is metabolically demanding. So is fat loss. WTF does that mean? Neither process is ‘normal’ for the bodies. MEANING: Normal for your body is doing the bare minimum to survive. Prime Directive: get oxygen to the brain. But where’s the fun in that?
Metabolizing or ‘burning’ fat, and synthesizing or ‘growing’ muscle requires going above and beyond that which is typically expected of your body. It’s like throwing a party. You can say ‘I want to throw a party’, and wait in your apartment…chances of a party happening are slim (though when you live and work in a magical Ninja Club House filled with unicorns, dreams and glory, anything is possible). Most likely, when you say ‘I want to throw a party’, you invite your party guests (pick a plan to GROW or SHOW), you provide great snacks (nutrition), you’ve got a banging playlist and Cards Against Humanity (training), and you don’t have to be at work the next day (recovery). When you set up these circumstances, you increase your chances of having an awesome party! Now do it every week.
Depending on your % body fat, you could start to see changes in fat loss in as little as 6 weeks (sometimes less). That’s muscle SHOW. Just check out Snatched in Six Weeks. Fat loss occurs to SHOW the muscles underneath.
Muscle GROW, however, needs a larger window. Count on a minimum of 2 months to START the process (meaning, you’ll be training and providing adequate nutrition and recovery for that ENTIRE TIME). Then KEEP GOING! You have to coax your body into believing, trusting, and communicating that it’s okay to add muscle—-and then you have to stick with it.
If you want to be a GROWER, get on a plan that includes adequate nutrition, appropriate training, ALL the recovery and stick it in. Talk to me, or any trusted member of your MFF fitness team to get started. If you want to be a SHOW-er: same deal, just different nutrition. And smaller t-shirts 🙂
Have questions about how to pack on some serious muscle? Hit me up with your questions below!