9 top muscle-building tips from Jason Statham
The dreaded dad-bod used to be one to identify and repel. The brow-beaten, lumpy, couple-of-pints-at-the-local, slouched frame spoke of everything that wasn’t toned, dynamic and shredded.
Jason Statham has changed all that. By becoming a dad. And we don’t imagine he’ll be donning slacks, comfy shoes and getting a paunch and obsessing over the thermostat any time soon. Yup, now the chiseled, stubble-faced, gritty and ripped dad-bod is something to aspire to.
Luckily, The Stath is here to perch you on his knee and give you some wise paternal work-out words of wisdom.
1. Trim your training time
Dawdling on the exercise bike come gym time? Make use of Statham’s mantra: “Your body is like a piece of dynamite. You can tap it with a pencil all day, but you’ll never make it explode. You hit it once with a hammer: Bang! Get serious. Do 40 hard minutes, not 90 minutes of nonsense.”
And just in case you dare to disagree, the science is on his side too. Crushing your gym sessions into brutal workouts no man could do for longer than 40 minutes is the key to a lean core, according to a major study from Southern Illinois University.
The research found shorter workouts filled with heart-pumping compound exercises (we’re looking at you,burpees) creates a giant tab of energy your body has to settle with belly blubber long after your workout finishes. Yes, that’s right, spendinglesstime in the gym maxes out your metabolism.
2. Never stick to the same workouts
“It’s all about not being bored. It’s about not doing the same thing over and over,” says Statham. “I never do the same workout twice.”
You know it’s true; monotony seriously saps your motivational stores. And training the same muscles every seven days won’t only lead to strength imbalances, but you’ll likely pick up an injury by neglecting your stabilising muscles.
So how do you unchain from your standard gym schedule? It’s up to you. “Basically, how I feel when I get up is how I train,” says Statham. “It’s all about being a good listener of your own body.”
Crack open theMHworkout vault to find a workout for every move. Whether you’re trying tobeat the bulge,bulk up your musclesorunleash a summer six-pack, we’ve got the workout for you. And yes, we’ve even gotthe workouts Statham himself uses.
(Related: The easiest way to change your workout plan)
3. Keep your eye on the target
Before we go any further, we’ve got a question for you: why do you want to build this body? You’ll want to give this a fair bit of thought before you answer. “I’m a firm believer in attitude,” Statham says. “Some people just don’t have that desire, and they need a good kick up the arse.”
So how do you avert a half-hearted gym session (and a boot in the rear from the world’s biggest action star)? Pick a specific goal. A study in the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology found setting a weekly target you can track makes you more likely to commit than striving for a vague end goal. Think 'lose 2lbs by Friday' or 'add 5kg to my bench press in 5 days', not 'get ripped in time for beach season’.
(Related: The five best ways to motivate yourself to work out)
And here’s the good news: it gets easier as you go. “Once you start getting fit, it’s one of the best motivators in the world because you start feeling the results,” advises Statham. “The weight starts to fall, you get a bit lighter, you start moving around… there’s nothing better than that feeling.”
4. You don’t need a gym membership
Or a PT, for that matter. All you need is a small spark of fitness creativity: “You’ve got to improvise with what’s around you. People have too many excuses,” says Statham. “I’ve built a gym in my garage and I’ve been training on my own, training smart.”
(Related: The urban workout you can do absolutely anywhere)
5. Train smart, eat smarter
Heard youcanactually out-train a bad diet? Not from Statham, you didn’t. “I eat cleanly because it’s just smart to do that. I’m much, much fitter than I’ve ever been.”
Loading your plate with burgers and chips might get your RDA of calories, but dirty bulking isn’t the method to shrink your blubber. Why? Junk food doesn’t contain all the nutrients your biceps need to bulge. The most effective way to build true-strength muscle is a healthy mix of macros (seeour guideif you’re not sure).
(Related: Can you really eat whatever you want and still be in good shape?)
But don’t worry too much if you’re reading this in the Burger King car park. Statham himself used to have a, say we shall, liberal outlook on cheat days. “I used to train then go down the boozer and smash it up with pizzas… You’d get so isolated doing these films that you’d think, ‘Fuck, I’m not eating another chicken breast and fucking broccoli.
“I did that for years and years and your body’s good at buffering that kind of abuse. But the older you get, the smarter you get.”
Lesson learned: if Statham can turn it around and become one of Hollywood’s finest then you’ve got the potential to nail your nutrition. Well, after you read ourultimate six-pack diet plan, that is.
6. Make the most of your mobility
Hitting the squat rack every day might be great for lifting your ego, but your muscles aren’t going to thank you. “Get it wrong and you get injured,” says Statham. “I remember ages ago I got injured just doing a one-rep max on a front squat. That put me out for months…”
The perfect prevention: get smart like Statham. “I educated myself. I started doing mobility work, figuring out how the shoulders work, how the hips work.” Consider that your cue to check outour complete beginner’s guide to mobility stretching.
But Statham’s suppleness isn’t only to prevent injuries. It’s the right route to gain all-round functional fitness you can’t achieve in the weights room. “Musclemen grow on trees,” he says. “They can tense their muscles and look good in a mirror. So what? I’m interested in practical strength that’s going to help me run, jump, twist, punch.” Final verdict: keep functional fitness and mobility in mind and you might be the star of a rebootedTransporter.
7. Fix your own injuries
Dealing with a heavy dose of DOMS? Constant muscle pain stretching your patience thin? Save your money and become your own physio.
“You don’t need someone to help you fix these injuries. You can fix them yourself. You just need the know-how,” claims Statham. And (you won’t believe this) we’ve got all the guides you need to beat any body aches. Fromhealing soreness with a foam roller, toavoiding concussionand curingsport’s most common ailments,MHhas your covered.
8. Eat more often
Lean definition doesn’t mean completely starving yourself. Statham sets himself a limit of 2,000 calories a day and trains hard on a small calorie deficit. This means he’s able to burn fat quick. Very quick — in the past he’s cut 8.5kg in just six weeks.
His main weapon? Statham deploys six small meals a day, which spurts your muscle growth. As a study publishedJournal of Nutritionshowed, you’ll build 25% more muscle if you evenly space out your protein throughout the day, rather than lumping all your protein on one plate in the evening.
(Related: All the muscle-building nutrition tips you to build blockbuster muscle)
9. Write your diet wrongs
We know. Tracking your macros across six meals is a hell of a task. But it’s not impossible. Add some discipline to your diet by taking note of all your grub, just like Statham. “Writing everything down makes it impossible for you to muck it up,” he says. Protein shake after your workout? Jot it down. Chugged back Statham’s recommended 5.5 litres of water per day? Jot it down.
(Related: Find out exactly what macros you need for you training goals)
And calm down, you don’t need to carry your food diary under your arm all day. You can useMH’s personal trainer tool to store all the nutritional info for each of your meals. Going digital will not only save you time (and lead in your pencil), but as a study for the AmericanJournal of Preventive Medicineshowed, keeping a food diary can double (yes, double) your weight loss, as you’re more likely to watch what you eat. Easy.
Video: How To Get A Body Like Jason Statham
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