Google around for advice on how to get in shape, and you’ll come across thousands of articles and videos, with much of them dishing out completely different advice.
One trainer says one thing. Someone else says something completely different. Then another trainer comes out and contradicts everything the last one said.
And it’s that rabbit hole of contradictory training and diet advice that Jacked: Fads and Facts in the Pursuit of Muscle was written to drag you out of. Or, even better, to stop you clambering down there in the first place.
Inside, I break down the latest fitness research on subjects ranging from fasted cardio to fitness trackers, and take a hard look at what it does (and doesn’t) tell us about how to build muscle faster or lose more fat.
Here’s some of what you’ll find inside:
– How a simple training tweak can instantly make every back exercise more elbow friendly (I used this simple adjustment to train my lats without pain when I was suffering from a bad bout of tennis elbow) – page 48
– The lazy way to a more flexible body (and why you don’t need to do ANY stretching, just as long as you’re including THIS form of exercise in your training program) – page 115
– Why building muscle doesn’t require lifting until you can’t lift anymore. Page 100 shows you a proven (and very simple way) to tell if a set has been effective at stimulating growth
– The strange but surprising truth about testosterone and muscle growth (and why more isn’t necessarily better) – page 66
– Why cheat days are overrated for fat loss – page 7
– How many sets your muscles need to grow (and why you can build muscle with a lot less exercise than some people think) – page 26
– Why copying the workouts and diets involved in the various “celebrity transformation” before and after pictures that you see on social media is rarely a good idea (there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than you’re being told) – page 10
– You need one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight to maximize muscle growth, right? Wrong! – page 134
– Discover the time of day when workouts will build more muscle, with the same amount of exercise – page 70
– How to stop cardio putting the brakes on muscle growth – page 74
– When to ignore the conventional wisdom that says you should do every exercise through a full range of motion (you’ll build muscle just as fast with less risk of injury sabotaging your gains) – page 48
– How some elite athletes are training with weight machines to improve their race times (and why so-called “functional training” is overrated) – page 32
– What to do if you’re a hardgainer, and the standard advice to “follow an abbreviated training program where your workouts are brief and infrequent” hasn’t worked – pages 23-24
– Straight talk about what HIIT can and can’t do for fat loss – page 104
– A quick crash course in how to lose fat and build muscle simultaneously (it can be done, and I’ll show you the research that proves it) – page 79
– Why your squats don’t need to be ass-to-grass to make your quads grow (and why following a “one size fits all” recommendation for squat depth can set you up for injury) – page 43
– The truth about what really drives rapid muscle growth (and why all the advice from chest-pounding trainers who insist that you must add weight or reps every workout to make your muscles bigger doesn’t work) – page 126
– The real reason your muscles get sore after training (and why it’s no guarantee that your workout has been an effective one) – page 106
– Why the stock advice to “slow down your reps” can actually put the brakes on muscle growth – page 56
– When not to trust your fitness tracker – page 138
– How often should you train each body part for maximum growth – once a week, twice a week, or every other day? Read pages 118-121 and you’ll know
– A little-talked about (but risky) way to “kill off” stubborn pockets of fat once and for all (no diet or exercise required, and no needles, scalpels or scars) – page 57
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