This Athlete Followed an Old-School Bodybuilding Workout and Diet for a Day
YouTuber Will Tennyson has recreated all kinds of famous fitness routines on his channel, from Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps’ infamous 12,000-calorie diet, to White House chef Andre Rush’s 2,222-rep pushup workout, to the training programs used by superhero actors like Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot. In his most recent video, Tennyson spends the day living like a typical bodybuilder, and follows all of the old-school gaining rules and myths which go along with that.
Tennyson starts the day with a hearty breakfast of eggs and oatmeal with peanut butter and protein powder, and uses the opportunity to address the myth that you have to eat big to get big. This is because weight tends to get conflated with muscle mass. “Don’t look at your scale weight,” he says. “The most important thing is your gym progress; if you’re making progress in the gym every week, you’re feeding your body enough fuel.” He adds that you also probably don’t need to supplement your meal with expensive BCAAs, as they can be found in the actual foods that you’re eating.
“Remember, supplements are the icing on the cake,” he says. “As long as you’re eating right and training right, that’s all you need.”
Before heading to the gym, Tennyson eats another staple bodybuilding meal—chicken breast, broccoli and rice—and speaks about another popular “rule” which states you should be eating protein constantly throughout the day. “Although it is optimal to build muscle with four to five protein servings per day, you’re not going to lose muscle if you don’t eat every two or three hours,” he says. “You can have to big meals a day, you can have one big meal a day, as long as you’re getting your protein for the day.”
During his leg day workout, Tennyson mixes up his exercises, as another bodybuilding rule indicates that “confusing” your muscles will help them to grow. But the way he sees it, that’s not necessarily a sustainable approach. “Pick a few movements that you like, master them, get better at them, get stronger at them, that’s how you get progressive overload,” he says. “Don’t come to the gym and just wing it.”
He also doesn’t agree that you should train until failure on every single set of every exercise. “Do the most amount of volume you can recover from to grow,” he says. “Don’t think that more is always better; it’s about finding that right balance for you.”
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