I hate being a man sometimes. Eat lean and often to keep trim. Gorge on your body weight in chicken to muscle up. Cardio to strip down. No cardio -- you'll cannibalise your muscle. And don't get me started on carbs.
Being a lean beefcake, or at the very least, a beefy man, appears to be the fashion. Too many men want raging guns, angry pecs and Ben Cohen's bum, with a side helping of < 15 per cent body fat.
As a result, the condition of many body-obsessed men is rife with dietary confusion and gym-based contradiction. While I'm steering clear of actual diet tips in this piece, I can shed some light on how you can be a beefcake, even if you're not a genetic bastard of a muscle god.
Every weights-based workout needs to be shaken up every five weeks or your body will adapt and you'll totally plateau. This workout is good for the first five weeks, then you can reintroduce it again after a couple of other cycles.
Do weights five days a week to beef-up -- this will allow for the right amount of split across body parts:
If you want to bulk up, you do fewer repetitions. Tried, tested -- it works. You will also want to make sure that with each exercise, you hit the muscle throughout the full range of motion. Three sets at max weight probably won't let you do this, so, do five sets as follows:
Set 1: Medium weight -- at the fifth rep, feel like you can do another one or two; the focus is to complete a steady, controlled set throughout the full motion.
Set 2: Heavy weight -- at the fifth rep, take stock to see if you can do one more.
Set 3-5: Struggle on the fifth rep -- if you can't even crank it out by the fifth set, you're winning.
As mentioned, keeping reps down and weights up is the key to the beefcake side of the menu. You're probably used to reps of 10 as outlined in traditional workouts -- don't be fazed; do this for five weeks and you'll be a champion.
Now onto the workout:
Every day: Warmup -- 5 minute run / row / elliptical (cross-trainer)
Straight back deadlifts
Pull ups / Lat pulldown
Single arm rows
Overhand pull ups / overhand pulldown
Calf raise (machine)
Barbell chest press
Dumbell chest press
Incline chest press
Barbell shoulder press
Dumbell front raise
Barbell shoulder press
Barbell bicep curl
Dumbell bicep curl
Everyday: Stretch off, have a protein shake, and if you have time, do twenty / thirty minutes of light cardio to strip down just that little bit more.
You're looking beefier already.