Q: I would be interested in learning how to gain mass. I am a hardgainer when it comes to muscle. Can your program allow for kettlebells?
My Answer: In Tactics and Strategies there’s a chapter on kettlebells for the purpose of bodybuilding. The chapter essentially provides info on how to construct a kettlebell program with a bodybuilding focus. In other words, building muscle for looks with strength as a nice side effect. The chapter also has a program that you can follow.
Q: Hello James, I have a question for you: I am a large guy (about 320), and I started working out. When I do situps, my lower back really hurts. It doesn’t matter if I do crunches or full situps. Is this normal?
My Answer: If you’re using every other muscle BUT your abs, then yes, it would be normal for you to have lower back pain. But at 320, ditch the ab work. You won’t get a six-pack or reduce the size of your waist by doing sit-ups or crunches. Work on losing fat throughout your body overall by working out your whole body, not just your abs. This means predominantly whole body movements. A good primer on using whole body movements to generate whole body fat loss is my article Strength Training for Fat Loss.
Once you generate total body fat loss, THEN you can work on your abs.
Q: I want to know if I follow the Hypertrophy Training for Ectomorphs program and I go twice a week to my Krav Maga lessons (which involve a lot of cardio), then am I facing overtraining and less hypertrophy? Just for info, I’m preparing for the RCMP cadet program. Am I on the right track with this?
Thanks a lot. Your work is inspiring.
My Answer: Thanks for the compliment. You should be OK, but if you find it taxing on your body, then just do the 10-8-6-15 program twice a week (evenly spaced out) instead of 3 times a week. Also keep the workouts under an hour to avoid overtraining. Typically, when one regularly engages in martial arts or some other athletic activity, then strength training in the gym twice a week is best. Most people find it to be overtraining if they went to the gym 3 times or more AND played a sport or martial art.
Anyway, good luck with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police!