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10 Advanced Cover Model Transformation Strategies for Men

Want to do a physique transformation or get yourself on the front of Men’s Health? Then this article is for YOU!

Physique transformations can be complicated and hard. However, there are some fundamental tips I can provide to help set you off on the right track.

Here’s the list:

  1. Perform High Frequency Weight Training,
  2. Add in HIIT,
  3. Periodize your Carbohydrates,
  4. Calorie Cycle,
  5. Include Strategic Refeeds,
  6. Take Caffeine & Green Tea ECGC,
  7. Follow my Advanced Arm Workout,
  8. Sleep More,
  9. Add in Advanced Training Variables,
  10. Start the 6 Week Mass Program

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1. Perform High Frequency, Metabolic Resistance Training

Sure, you should do weight training, that’s nothing new, I know. However, most people don’t do the type of weight training I’m referring to.

The type of weight training I recommend is metabolic drop sets and circuit based. It’s extremely high intense, metabolic and anabolic. It allows you to cram about 300% more volume, burn more calories and increase anabolic hormones.

It has several studies supporting its use, with them all showing superior fat loss compared to typical body building resistance training. It’s also great for preserving muscle mass, due to increased protein synthesis, volume and frequency.

This is a KEY part of the 20 Week Mass Muscle Building Protocol, helping to separate my transformation program from the rest and enabling the rapid results I see with my clients.

Firstly, it’s important to pair agonist and antagonist muscles, for legs and back you can also use giant sets to target the same area but position the exercises so they overload different joints and muscle fiber direction. This allows you to get a good amount of volume / reps / output in for 3-4 exercises without fatiguing after exercise one.

(NOTE: Learn all about Metabolic Resistance Training in this article)

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2. Add in High Intensity Interval Training

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is famous, providing drastic results in only 5/10 minutes of time. As with the metabolic resistance training, HIIT plays a big role in helping members stay healthy and lean, while they are bulking during the 20 Week Mass Muscle Building Protocol.

Plenty of research supports the benefits of HIIT, showing for only 5-10 minutes per day you can:

  • Drastically increase metabolism,
  • Burn as many calories as a 30-45 minute cardio session,
  • Improve markers of health,
  • Burn bodyfat,
  • Increase fat utilisation,
  • Decease blood sugar level,
  • Maintain muscle mass,
  • Improve aerobic and aerobic fitness (helping with the metabolic resistance training).

People are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of HIIT, however, there’s still one key issue.

Real HIIT is extremely explosive and performed at 150% intensity. After 20-30 seconds you should be absolutely exhausted- to the point of needing to lie down. This is the intensity they use in studies and research, so it must be replicated if you want the same benefits.

However, these days most people perform low intensity HIIT, which doesn’t have the same effect. There are only a few gym based workouts that you can perform for a true HIIT Workout.

HIIT is one of my favourite tools for body transformation, I use it with most of my clients and you should too!

3. Periodize & Tailor Your Carbohydrates

Carbs are a powerful tool if used correctly.

Get your carb intake wrong, you’ll struggle to lose weight and increase insulin resistance. However, get it right and you’ll boost training performance, recovery, anabolic hormones, metabolism and fat loss!

The key, that most people ignore is carbohydrate periodization.

Quite simply, you tailor your carbs to your life, diet, goals and exercise regime. In the last 2 years I’ve started to use carbohydrate cycling and periodization with most of my clients, it works wonders.

If you think about it logically, why would you eat the same amount of carbs on a rest day, a cardio day, a back day and a leg day? They clearly require different amounts of fuel and carbohydrates, it just makes no sense…

To tailor your carbs, try 2 or 3 set days. For example, have some meal or macro plans for a high carb day, a medium carb day and a low-carb day.

Here’s some example macros percentages:

High Carb Days: 55% Carbs, 30% protein, 15% fat (best for leg days, back days etc)

Med Carb Days: 35% Carbs, 35% protein, 30% fat (best for arms, chest, delts, HIIT etc)

Low Carb Days: 15% Carbs, 40% protein, 45% fat (best for rest or cardio days)

Carbohydrates rich food

4. Cycle Your Calories

If you understand the section above, this following point should be obvious.

As with carbs, calories should be tailored to your daily needs. This includes your exercise session but should also include your general activity that day, how many hours you were awake, etc.

Along with altering calories to match your daily needs, you should cycle them over a period of weeks.

I’ve discussed the importance of this on www.bodybuilding.com. In short, this is key to avoid metabolic adaptions to dieting, which causes a rapid decrease in anabolic hormones, metabolism, calories burnt, strength and increases your cortisol and hunger hormones – the complete opposite to what we need for physique transformation!

5. Add in Strategic Refeeds

To counter the above I use strategic refeeds, these are key for rapid fat loss and hormonal health, such as testosterone levels. If they weren’t in place, my fat loss clients would just end up weak, over trained and miserable!

They also provide an important psychological break, allowing you to eat plenty of food but in a strategic and beneficial manner, so it won’t mess up your progress (like cheat meals do)!

The refeeds must be in place at the right time and programmed in advance. I experimented for 2 years and analyzed all the research on it with a fine tooth comb to optimize the protocol I use in my programs and coaching.

If you add refeeds in too often or early, you will stall or slow weight loss. In contrast, if you wait too long then you may have suffered from some of the negative metabolic and hormone adaptations above. As you can see, it’s a fine balance and requires skill.

Here are 2 recommendations for you to try. As always, you may need to adjust based on progress!

  • 11 Day Normal Diet – 2-3 Day Refeed
  • 21 Day Normal Diet – 5 Day Refeed

For the refeeds, I use around a 25% increase in the 20 Week Mass Muscle Building Protocol. For those that on an aggressive diet, you may need a 50 – 70% increase in calories and macros. These extra calories can come from all 3 macros, just increase each one proportionally.

6. Take Caffeine & Green Tea ECGC

Most fat burners are a waste of time and money. However, caffeine & green tea have TONS of research supporting their beneficial use.

To start, caffeine is known as one of the worlds best supplements, inline with creatine. It has numerous benefits, including:

  • Increased Fat Oxidation,
  • Increased Adrenaline,
  • Increased Strength & Power,
  • Increased Higher Rep Bodybuilding Training,
  • Increased Release of Stored Fat Cells,
  • Increased Energy & Focus,
  • Decreased Fatigue,
  • Decreased Rate Of Perceived Exertion (stuff feels easier!).

As you can see, it’s pretty impressive. Green Tea also compliments this well and they work synergistically together. Like Caffeine, Green Tea also helps with leaning out!

Although I don’t recommend many supplements (most lack research & are a waste of money), these 2 play a staple role in a lot of my programs. Even when bulking or in a mass gaining phase, this combo can enhance performance and help keep the fat down.

Based on the research, this is the best legal and natural fat loss stack around.

39206968 - happy smiling woman making green tea outdoors. summer background. healthy eating concept. shallow depth of field.

7. Grow Sleeve Busting Arms

Arms are key for a cover model physique, however, most people have NO IDEA how to train them properly.

Here is some top tips for Arm Training:

    • Train Them Often: They won’t grow when you only train them once per week or just do 6 – 9 sets after a big muscle group like chest or back.
    • Prioritize Them:  If you only train them after other muscles chances are you’ll be tired, fatigued, short for time or ready to leave the gym. If you want to them to grow you should prioritize them, train them first and give them their own workouts.
    • Change The Movement: Sticking with the same exercise is sub-optimal and limits your growth. Alter the joint angles and emphasis on different parts of the strength curve.
    • Work All Parts Of The Strength Curve: Linked with above, most people do not OVERLOAD the arm muscles in the shortened or lengthened range. Because of the joints function and gravity, 95% of the common exercises all work the mid range. Unless you are purposely overloading the shortened and lengthened portion chances are you rarely train it.
    • Give Them Volume & Frequency: Just because they are smaller muscles doesn’t mean you can do 6 sets twice a week. At some point you will need to train them 2 -3 times a week with a high amount of volume to overcome plateaus.
    • Use Advanced Techniques: BFR, Rest / Pause, Intra-Set Stretching, MILO, Giant Sets, Dropsets are all needed as you become more advanced.
    • Eat To Grow: Because they are smaller muscles most people fail to emphasize their diet on arm days like they would on chest or leg days. Although I’m not saying they do require as much fuel as a full leg workout, you still need to be eating sufficient calories and protein to optimize growth and recovery.
    • Work Through a Full Range: Most people fail to get the muscle fully lengthened and shortened when performing an arm exercise, just pumping through the mid range and not recruiting all the muscle fibers within the bicep and tricep.
    • Be Strict: It’s very easy to start cheating when training the arms, going heavy and shifting your torso position so you actually only create small amounts of flexion and extension at the elbow joint.
    • Pick The Right Weight: Going heavy is a big mistake with arm training, as it’s smaller and only works through one joint it’s very easy for the shoulders and upper body to take over. For arms, ensure everything is fixed and the only movement occurs at the elbow joint.

8. Sleep More,  A lot More…

Not sexy, but just as important (if not more important) than exercise, diet or any supplement protocol. Sleep is extremely unappreciated and there’s plenty of research showing it can help you get shredded, improve health, reduce disease risk and add muscle!

Several studies have highlighted that to start, if you have a bad nights sleep you are:

  • More likely to overeat that day,
  • More likely to make bad nutritional choices,
  • More likely to skip the gym,
  • Have decreased workout performance,
  • More likely to cut your workout short,
  • Have increased hunger and cravings,
  • Reduced metabolism,
  • Reduced daily activity level (simple things like walking),
  • Decreased strength,
  • Decrease in anabolic hormones,
  • Increase in cortisol.

As you can see, it has a MAJOR impact on every aspect of physique transformation! If you have a bad days diet or skip a training session not much will happen, however, get a bad nights sleep and it can have a cascade of effects!

Sleep has a profound effect on your Testosterone levels as well, several studies have found just 5 nights of reduced sleep (5 hours) can drastically decrease testosterone levels.

Try to sleep at least 8 hours per day, when training and dieting hard your body can require more, I recommend some clients have 9-12 if needed.

Take relevant steps to optimize sleep as well, quality is as important as quantity. Aim for a deep and uninterrupted sleep:

  • Remove any lights (even little red dots),
  • Make sure your blinds / curtains block all or most of the natural light from windows,
  • Invest in a good mattress,
  • Block Blue Light, don’t use any electronic devices 60-90 minutes before bed,
  • Take relaxing supplements or sleep aids, such as 5-HTP, GABA, ZMA, Melatonin etc.

9. Utilize Advanced Training Variables

After a few years in the Iron Game you can’t expect to grow like a newbie again. Research shows you have around 1.5 – 3 years of rapid growth, at this point the rate of muscle mass drastically drops.

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When this occurs, the use of ADVANCED techniques becomes vital. By utilizing the latest and greatest techniques you can continually grow and add strength.

Here is an example of muscle growth following an advanced training method, compared to typical resistance training (e.g. 10 reps, rest and repeat).

As you can see, Muscle Growth Increased by around 230%!

I now rely heavily on these advanced methods with clients such as pro bodybuilders, cover models and elite athletes. They play an integrative role in the 20 Week Mass Muscle Building Protocol and based on feedback from members they work wonders!

There’s a range of advanced methods to choose from, you don’t need to add them all at once either. Try a 4 week block with one, then move to the next etc.

10. Join The 20 Week Mass Muscle Building Protocol

All of the points above are combined into a simple to follow, done-for-you transformation program. It’s helped hundreds of people get jacked while staying lean, now it’s your turn too.

This isn’t just a random gym workout, it’s a full plan, containing everything you need, with free updates for a whole 12 months.

I made it to help people who couldn’t work with me on a 1:1 basis, bare in mind, I charge $150 for a in person 1 hour session or $350 for 1 month of coaching. As you will see from the program, your getting incredible value and knowledge for a fraction of the cost.

I’m so confident you will love it that I offer a FULL 100% Refund Guarantee if you don’t. It’s that simple, I want you to be happy and get fantastic results…

All the risk is on me, you have absolutely nothing to lose (except for bodyfat that is!).

Learn More About The 20 Week Mass Muscle Building Protocol HERE

 

About the author

Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN

Rudy has a 1st class BSc in Exercise, Nutrition & Health and a Masters in Exercise & Nutrition Science from the University of Tampa. Rudy currently works as a Human Performance Researcher, Sports Nutritionist and Physique Coach. Over 7 years he has helped over 500 people around the world achieve long last physique transformations.

He now works closely with a variety of professional athletes and teams, including the NBA, USA Athletics, World Triathlon Gold Medalists, Hollywood Celebrities and IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. If you would like to get in contact or work with Rudy please contact him on social media.

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