My arms don’t fit into my sleeves of my shirt anymore! My big back won’t let my arms relax at my side! My neck is busting out of my dress shirt like the Incredible Hulk! Are these symptoms the reality your physique has created? Or maybe you’re not quite too big now, but you see the Fit Bus heading down the road to bulkiness.. As I’ve mentioned before, I went through a phase of getting “jacked” and trying to look as big as possible, but now other goals have influenced my focus and I’m no longer looking to grow my traps up to my ears.. Do you think people REALLY want to look like Ronnie Coleman? Does Jay Cutler have a physique that looks attractive in normal, casual clothes?? Just last weekend I had the luxury of spending some quality time with 3 beautiful ladies at a Sarasota Nightly “Hot Spot”.. This classy restaurant/bar attracts an entourage of Sarasota’s Premier Young Professionals, Ex-Big Business Owners who are retiring in the sun, & some of the most beautiful & intelligent women in Florida. While we’re carousing and exchanging stories of past laughs and good times, I notice an “Incredible Hulk-Like” figure walking by us with these traps busting out of his dress shirt, neck marinated in veins, & kind of a pissed off look on his face.. (Beefy Guys sometimes have a look that says “Don’t mess with me, or deal with my muscles!”) So, I asked my lady friends, “What do you girls think of that?” One girl comments, ”Scarrry! That guy looks like he’s coming to eat me..” Another girl notes, “He’s so cheesy-looking.. He’s gotta be on steriods..” Big, swollen muscles are cheesy-looking! This guy didn’t even look comfortable in his own skin (which is the worst part).. He had very nice clothes that spoke highly for his clean cut effort, but his body looked “stuffed” in his nice clothes! Even if you’re not on steriods, people assume you are, when you’re too thick with muscle.. Is that the presentation you want to deliver? Is that the type of attention you want brought to yourself?? Not only does having a nice lean, toned, & trim body get you more positive attention from the opposite sex, but this is more of a sustainable look & a healthier functionality for your body.. Let’s dig into the overdeveloped muscle plan, & see if we can unravel a few things to get your body away from the bulk, & saying goodbye to the Hulk!
Some Guys/Gals Need to Put on Muscle..
First of all, I don’t mean to bash bodybuilding.. Anytime a person is committed to making progress in anything & they are dominating their goals (Even if it is to grow your arms to 23 inches like The Terminator) I respect the dedication & work ethic.. I personally choose to channel my energy into a different place than making my body as big and swollen as possible; none-the-less, it’s impressive to see these athletes stick to their plan.. Now, if you are skinny, bony, & heavily ectomorphic, with a low BMI, adding a little muscle to your frame is a good thing.. Gaining weight can actually support a healthier immune system, create lean muscle tissue for bone support, & can add spice to your sex life.. Adding muscle is fine, but bulking in excess to get it is a red flat for lack of patience.. My experience & research shows, if you’re gaining more than 1 pound a week, you’re probably putting on excess fat in an effort to grow muscle too quickly.. Fat cells never disappear, or go away, when you’re trying to lose weight.. Those cells just shrink, so its important to not take them on in the first place.. This is bad news for bulkers.. Taking on more fat cells to gain muscle, leaves your body an outlet to get fat again & swell up later on when you slouch on your discipline eating habits.. The key is to get lean, and stay lean.. Put on muscle patiently, & don’t rush the growth process..
Calories, Calories, Calories + Lack of Cardio = Overdevelopment..
Again, if you’re over-muscled with mass, I commend your commitment to hard work, but have to question your eating habits.. In my opinion, A Discliplined, Clean Eater is more respectable than a Good Weight Lifter.. Weight lifting and working out is a 1 hour committment/day thing, where as sticking to eating right is an all day everyday thing.. Bodybuilders & “Big-Bodies” over-consume foods in the off season loaded with sugars and saturated fats to swell up their bodies and stage more room for muscle and expansion.. If that bodybuilder would lighten up on the calories & become less sedentary by jumping on a treadmill, their bodies would stop expanding & tighten up. You look the way you eat.. If you are big, thick, & bulky, you are simply overeating & under-active. If you don’t over-feed the muscle, it won’t overdevelop.. If you balance out your “Energy In vs. Energy Out” your body will lose its puffiness.. If you’re muscles are too big, then stop feeding them so much & reframe your focus to getting as lean & cut as possible.. When I’m performing 30 minutes of cardio 4-5 days a week (& Strength Training for 3 days), I typically only need about 13 calories per pound to keep my muscle.. If you have a genetically slower metabolism, and more endomorphic-shaped, get that number down to 11-12 CLEAN calories/pound.. To go from bulky to lean, like the guys you see in GQ, Mens Health, & other “good looking” Men’s periodicals, you have 2 options.. Stop over-consuming calories & feeding your body into expansion, (I would suggest a good maintenance level is 11-13 CLEAN calories/pound if your moderately active & performing aerobics at least 3 days a week) &/or crank up the cardio.. Both of these options will reduce “puffiness” in your shape, and shred your bulk into a lean & cut physique..
Look how Lean and Toned Sports Illustrated’s pin-up girl Marissa Miller is.. (She’s the blonde-haired gal on the right).. Marissa couldn’t have that Lean, Firm, Tone without Strength Training.. Have lifting weights made her bulky at all?? No.. Strength training and a Sexy Fit body go hand-in-hand.. Her diet is obviously very clean & she looks great because of it..)
Strength Training Isn’t the Reason You’re Bulky..
How many times have we all heard, “I don’t want to lift heavy weights because I don’t want to get bulky”.. Bulkiness and over-developement is a by-product of overeating, not your weight training routine.. If you were eating overeating calories, and NOT lifting weights, you would still swell up without the influence of weights.. Muscle comes in two forms.. Hard or soft.. To be lean and toned, you need that muscle to be firm & hard.. Heavy weights gets you there.. I’ve seen female runway models lifting weights in a heavy rep range to add firmness to their bodies & these women are the epitome of slim physiques.. Victoria Secret Models are asked to be firm and lean, not plump & soft.. The firmness only comes from heavy weights, and “leanness”/low body fat, comes from cardio and diet.. High reps will leave your muscles soft & spungy.. If lean and toned is your goal, you are not doing yourself any favors by lifting light weights that can be lifted over 15 reps.. This is only aerobic work, and if you’re choosing this routine to lose weight, you’d be better off going straight to the treadmill.. Bulky, Overweight, Skinny, Skinny-Fat (The Worst Combination), or whatever your shape, heavy weights speeds metabolism, adds lean tissue, upgrades intensity in your workout, & tightens muscle fibers for better bone structure support.. Strength training isn’t why you’re bulky and overdeveloped, so this doesn’t have to be eliminated (Great News for Big Bulky Bodies.. Bulky Guys are typically obsessed with pressing iron, so trying to keep them away from this would be Torture.. The Strength Training Can Continue!) You will tone up & slim down, in the kitchen & on the cardio equipment..
A Lasting Note on Trimming Up..
There’s a community of bodybuilders that are dedicated to & only focused on “getting huge”.. I commend the work ethic and discipline from these guys.. But, you may notice these huge bodybuilders look awkward in professional attractive clothes, more girls are turned OFF by their bulky muscles and turned ON by the lean, trim, sexy abercombie-style body-type, & these bodybuilders aren’t popular on the big screen.. Why doesn’t Hollywood endorse Bulky, Heavy-Muscled Bodies? Maybe its because the look doesn’t sell.. Most people aren’t attracted to thick, heavy bodies weighed down with muscle.. Arnold Shwartzeneggar, Steve Reeves, & Louie Ferrigno are rare bodybuilding exceptions that broke into Hollywood, but none of the three swelled up and bulked intensly like bodybuilders today.. (They had abbreviated bulking cycles, but stayed fit & lean most of the year) Arnold weighed between 220-240lbs for his big hit movies (Slim for his genetics.. A bodybuilder of his genetics and frame today could easily bulk to 300lbs. but Arnold never did.. He even kept cardio in his regimen in the off season). Steve Reeves is my favorite bodybuilder & aggressively speaks out against today’s “bulking for muscle” mentality.. And Louie.. Louie was the Incredible Hulk (The biggest of the 3, and got stuck with the scary monster roles.. Lou Ferrigno’s a great guy though and I do respect him).. This summer, step into more of a lean and cut physique by getting away from your bulking/bodybuilder mentality by picking up the consistent cardio & clean eating habits.. You’ll look and feel more like an efficient, healthy, attractive athlete that wants to live forever!
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