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Building a Quality Physique: The Secret Sauce

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
Mammoth Sniper Challenge
Mammoth Sniper Challenge
March 8, 2017
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I get asked all the time what my secrets are to building my physique. What my “secret sauce” is. Most the time, these questions are coming from a novice athlete or gym goer. It always seems like they are waiting for me to announce the one secret that is going to propel them to exactly where they need to be. They are looking for that special workout plan, diet, or tip that will change the rest of their life. Then they seem disappointed to hear that there is no "secret." You must start with the basics, stick to the basics and finish with the basics. There are certain things that are a staple to building a great physique. The first is nutrition.

There is no special diet or special foods that will build a great physique. It’s as simple as eating healthy foods the majority of the time, keeping the calories where they need to be, and getting the right ratio of macros. Many years ago, before I started Staggs Fitness and became a personal trainer, someone asked me if I would build a diet plan for them. I loved helping people and decided to put one together to help him out. This guy was a physique competitor. When I gave him his plan he was a little disgruntled and said, “This is it?” I was a little dumbfounded and explained to him if he implemented it into his routine, and made minor adjustments as he went, he should have great success. Later, I heard from another friend that this guy was upset because the plan I gave him was "nothing special."

Hitting some pads. First time in like a year and first conditioning in a couple months. Fun exercise. And before the out of shape keyboard warriors chime in, yes my form probably ain't perfect. Go back to watching TV. It's been a year and I never played football. Just doing this for exercise not to make the NFL. ? #staggsfitness #teamstaggs #sizeslim #football #exercise

A post shared by Tim Staggs (@timothystaggs) on Jul 1, 2016 at 3:18pm PDT

My point to the story, if you haven’t figured it out already, is that there is no special diet plan. There are little things you can do with your foods, but they are only going to make slight differences. If you want to build a quality physique, stick with a variety of healthy foods, get the right macros and eat the right amounts. No one or two foods are going to magically build your physique.

When it comes to working out the same thoughts apply. Stick to the basic exercises and principles that Arnold Schwarzenegger would have done back in the day or any of the incredible physiques from that time. Some basic exercises you should always be incorporating are squats, presses, and deadlifts. These should be the core of any exercise program. Then add in other compound exercises like bent over rows, pull-ups, lunges, shoulder presses and leg press. Finally, add in the other basic exercises like chest flyes, dumbbell shoulder raises, calf raises, hamstring curls, leg extensions, bicep curls, and tricep extensions. Stick to 3-5 exercises per body part, 3-4 sets per exercise, and 8-10 reps per a set. Now I’m not saying 5 reps, 20 reps, giant sets, supersets, or drop sets are bad and don’t have a place in your regiment. What I’m saying is stick to the basics and then add to it as you build. I see too many novice people in the gym doing the silliest exercises that they saw in some video, magazine, or, even worse, from an incompetent trainer. Even if the exercise is a good one to incorporate, 90% aren’t doing the form correct anyway. Build your physique with the basics!! Once you have built a solid foundation then add in some different exercises, but keep doing the basic core exercises and principles!!The only "secrets" to building a great physique are hard work, consistency, and sticking to the basics.

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