With the summer well and truly over many of you will be taking part in BulkTober trying to gain as much mass as possible ready for next year. Whilst this is a good idea it can also leave you feeling a little rubbish about the way you look, carrying more body fat and not having any abs can lead to less selfies and reduced self confidence. Is bulking really worth it? Well, I guess if you are going to consume a lot more calories than usual you may as well put it to good use and build a stronger physique than you already have. Throughout these months focus on building a STRONG core and this will give you foundations to grow...
Building a strong core doesn't involve hundreds upon hundreds of crunches, it doesn't involve doing every single exercise on one leg and it certainly doesn't mean you have to try balancing on a swissball for hours on end. When I type the word core I am picturing you as an athlete without lower back pain, good flexibility and incredible strength, ready at any time to lift some serious weight. Your core is where most of your power comes from in sports and when lifting weights in the gym. Compound moves, running, Crossfit, rowing, swimming all require your core to push you through.
Exercises which will work your core are ones that are most demanding of your body. Squats, deadlifts, bench press, lunges and so on are all going to work those muscles around your midriff. I also urge you to perform exercises which involve you standing rather than sitting or laying on a bench, why? Because when you sit down on a bench and perform a shoulder press or bicep curl, you will be less likely to engage your core muscles. So stand up and engage the core muscles when lifting weights above your head, out in front of you or to the side, be strong in this area and you will push one or two more reps out.
Strength isn't just associated with how much weight you can lift in one particular movement, it can also be measured by how far you can go in a particular movement. Think about it, if you are really tight, rarely stretch you aren't going to be very strong in the amount of work you can do. Being flexible is going to allow your body to work harder and at a greater output, it also means your core can develop stronger because you can now lift more. Staying flexible and injury free is key when looking to get bigger and grow stronger, stretching is not just for yoga classes!!
It goes without saying that any strong, well developed physique isn't living off rabbit food. You have to give your body the nutrients it needs in order to grow and adapt. Make sure you are eating enough protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats with fruits and vegetables so that your body is functioning properly. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make and the sole reason why you see no change, your diet must be number one and just important in your eyes as your training. Keep on top of everything and you will be building a strong core in no time!!