Can you go from scrawny to brawny in just ten weeks? With just two weeks to go the workouts are getting bigger – but is MF’s Sam Rider?
After more than a decade of intensive weight training in an attempt to pack on muscle I’ve got nowhere. My bodyweight has flat lined since I turned 17 and I can’t seem to put on any mass no matter how much I train or eat. So I’ve sought the help of transformation specialist Adam Gethin, founder of Creating Physiques, to help me overcome my ectomorphic genes. We set out a top-end target of adding 10kg in ten weeks, but right now anything would be a bonus.
One is never enough. It’s true for drinks on a night out, silverware in your trophy cabinet and beach holidays in a calendar year. And it’s also true for building muscle in the gym – as I found out during this transformation. Doing one exercise for each muscle group is not going to cut it. For example, I’ve always struggled to get bigger shoulders, but that’s because I thought just doing push presses, for three sets of ten reps once a week was enough to develop them. How wrong I was.
In the above video you join me for a shoulders, back and biceps workout in week eight. First up are four sets of seated overhead presses, swiftly followed by three relentless tri-sets of lateral raises, partial lateral raises and wide-grip upright rows to attack the deltoids from every angle. With each exercise Adam has abandoned the principle of doing a prerequisite number of reps, in place of simply making me keep the muscles under constant tension by reducing the weight so I can keep pushing until complete failure.
Excuse my French
With the finish line in sight, all the emphasis of my training is on this form of hypertrophy workout to increase muscle cell size. That means using at least three exercises per body part and bombarding them with infinite reps, endless sets, a painfully slow tempo and short rest periods, while I bombard Adam, my chief tormentor, with numerous expletives for putting me through this punishment.
Watch the video above – with these colourful words edited out, thankfully – and if you have any questions, ask me on Twitter @SamRiderMF. We’ll be posting videos weekly videos so you can follow my progress – and you’ll be able to see the full feature with the final photos, the workouts and the diet plans that got me through the ten weeks in our August 2014 issue, on shelves from 25th June.
For more of MF’s transformations visit our MF YouTube playlist here.