Warming up and stretching is important to build a good chest. It is a large muscle group that needs proper extensions to ensure good build. Inclined and flat bench presses are very good for chest growth and definition. “I also believe that push and pull ups are really helpful because you can do them anytime and anywhere. Push ups also help in building stamina and upper body strength. That is the benefit of using your own body weight as a part of your workout,” says Gautam. “Also, focus on the exercise you are weaker at. If you find it more difficult to do inclined bench presses, make sure you do more reps of them in combination with flat bench presses. Target your weaker area and lift more weights to strengthen it. Challenge yourself.”
Concentration is the key for badass, defined arms. Since arms are the most visible of the muscle groups, most of us tend to focus on bulk. “That is a mistake,” says Gautam. “Bulk is of no value without definition. When you are working on your biceps, concentration curls are the most important exercise in the set, along with hammer and preacher curls. Do not pursue visibility alone. It is also important to work on your forearms. Most people don’t do that. That is when your arms look askew because of bulky biceps but narrow wrists.”
Lat pulleys, close grip push and pull ups, one hand dumbell exercises, pull over and shrugs work on the back extensively. Make your own combination for definition and growth of the muscle group. Also, new combinations stave off boredom, which evidently sets in for people who have been working out for a long time. “Also, be careful of your lower back while lifting weights. Most people tend to be reckless while lifting heavy weights and end up screwing up their lower back. The problem is, if your lower back is injured, the injury is long term and you will not be able to do any kind of workout at all. Wear a belt for precaution if possible while working out,” Gautam advises.
“I do core workouts every day, because it also helps me keep my body in check and my diet under control. You should listen to your body and understand what its needs are. Most of us put on weight on our sides. So, I have designed a 450-rep ab workout which includes 150 sides, 150 lower abs and 150 upper abs concentrations. The workout is without any weights and consists of crunches, leg raises and leg lifts, which I have found to be advantageous for my body,” says Gautam.
It is a common complaint that Indian men do not focus on legs because of their obsession with their arms and chest. Unlike the west, which focusses on athletics and hence preaches about defined legs and abs, India is about size, leading to asymmetrical bodies that are heavy above the belt but weak and wobbly below. “Concentrate on calves and glutes. While you might work on your hamstrings and thigh muscles, if you have no butt and no calves, your legs will look out of shape. When you are wearing slim or skinny pants, this becomes especially evident. People are too worried about what is seen. Hence, they focus on arms and chests, while important muscle groups like the glutes and the calves are ignored,” Gautam adds.
Gautam’s Top 5:
- Diet is the most crucial factor. I cannot harp on that enough. The break up is always 70 per cent diet and 30 per cent workout. Proper diet control and awareness about nutrient intake is very important.
- Keep yourself hydrated at all times. Water helps cleanse your system and keep you fit, alert and gunning to go.
- Educate yourself on proteins and carbohydrates. You should know what food items consist of how much nutrients, so that you can measure and map your intake.
- Flexibility is an added advantage and helps keep injury at bay. Always diligently stretch before and after workouts. Do proper warm ups to avoid cramps and muscle pulls.
- It is a myth that vegetarians cannot build bodies. Map your protein intake according to your diet. Also, steriods are not mandatory for muscle growth and bulk either. I am an example of a vegetarian, no-steroid lifestyle.