Men’s Health Magazine take on the Lean Gains Challenge
Read Robert's blog on the Men's Health Website or read it below.
MH's Digital Editor has turned to James Haskell for help. Here's how he's getting on
Hello there. I'm Robert. The Digital Editor at Men's Health. And I'm thin. Not really thin like Chris Froome, but thin enough. Basically, I'm a thin enough person who works for Men's Health. As the marketing team would say, I'm so not on brand.
I've been working here since December. It's now February, soon to be March and I've stalled it long enough. It's time to get lean and bulk up. So where better place to start than our own very own Men's Health Transformation Club. Sod it, too late. Deputy Digital Editor, Ted Lane has been there and done it - and done it pretty damn good.
I know what to do, I'll sign up to the next Men's Health Transformation Club. Sod it, too late. It's already been handed out to guys around the office.
Can't say I didn't try...
You have a new email notification from James Haskell.
James Haskell? What on earth does the England and Wasps rugby player want from me? I scan his email and my eyes are drawn to a particular sentence that reads: "I want to get you in mental body shape as soon as possible." He wants to do what? Then it hits me. You see, James is the founder of James Haskell Health and Fitness (ingenious name) and has recently written the Leans Gains Bodybuilding eBook. It all suddenly made sense.
The rainclouds had parted, February’s drizzle gave way to sunshine, and there, standing in the sky, was this beast of a man, looking down on me with a glint in his eye that he wanted to hurt me. "Come with me, Rob," he whispers. "Come with me for six weeks and let me rip your body limb from limb. Let me cut out all sugar from your diet, fatty foods and alcohol, too. Let me wipe that smug smile from your face and put your body under so much strain that you will barely be able to walk, to wash your hair or even drink a cup of sugar-free, milk-free coffee."
It doesn't sound too appealing, does it? Yet here I am, the programme is underway and I'm too far in to back out.
The next 6 weeks
Every day James is bombarded with questions from both men and women about how to bulk up, lose weight and eat better. This book is his way of answering those questions, which touches on a number of topics such as supplements, macronutrients, hydration and overtraining.
He's also devised a 12-week training plan, which comes at a charge of course, and takes you on a physical journey with the guarantee - providing you follow his advice - that you will bulk up and build muscle, fast.
It's based around the concept of German Volume Training, which works by exposing muscle fibres to extraordinary stress by hypertrophying the targeted fibres through performing a single exercise for 10 sets. This method is very popular with both weightlifters and bodybuilders and to put it bluntly, it's tough (from what I've been told). But as he puts it in Chapter 1: "Trust me; there is no gain without some pain. Anyone who tells you differently is lying and selling you a false dream."
Me, I'm doing six weeks, just to test the water and see what this is all about. If I like it - only time will tell - I can carry on with the programme. James seems to think I will want to. I want to believe him.
As we all know, nutrition is half the battle. In fact, it's actually more than that, with research stating that nutrition makes up roughly 65% of your training programme - it's what most people fail on.
For me, apart from the early starts, it's probably the biggest contributing factor as to whether I will succeed or fail (that picture above is only three day's worth of food). Buying, preparing, cooking and then eating such an amount of food - five meals a day during some weeks - is hard going.
I'm quite a busy person, ok, so I'm not Erin Brockovich, but it's difficult finding the time. Thankfully, James has teamed up with Fresh Fitness Foods, who for at a price will supply you with your complete nutritional requirements each day, every day, all week. And for the next week, and the next week, providing you are willing to pay. Of course, you can go down your own route, and James provides more than enough advice on what and how much you should be eating. But for me, having food delivered to my door and access 24 hours a day to a qualified and experienced nutritionist makes sense.
That's the route I'm going down and I will let you know how I get on.
Over the coming weeks I will be writing a number of blogs, as well as video posts both with me and James, which will feature how I'm getting on along with any problems I might encounter. I'm sure there will be many.
This isn't a plug for James Haskell Health and Fitness or Fresh Fitness Foods. Far from it. This is a training programme that I want to take on to see whether, after 29 years of not going to the gym (my whole life has revolved around cardio sports) I can buy in to gym life, increase my appetite to a level it has never gone before and change my body shape to something I didn't ever think was possible.
I'm quite a sceptical person. MH Transform star, Ted Lane succeeded changing his body with flying colours and I still have difficulty believing it. He sits next to me! I want to see it work for my own eyes. And if you do too, follow me @RobertHicks15 and James @JamesHaskellHF.
I'm going to be honest in my blogs. If have trouble with an aspect of the programme I will say it. If things could be better, I will say it. I'll just make sure I don't see James for a few weeks after I've posted it. He's quite a big chap.
Click Here to see how Robert is getting on with the Lean Gains Challenge
You may also like
Posted on March 1st, 2016