Tim Robards' Five Tips for Building Muscle
If there’s anyone who understands how to get results, it’s Tim Robards. We sat down with him on a rare moment that’s he’s still, to get his tips on what to do, eat and think, to build up muscle. Listen, learn, then train.
Train regularly to build strength
We need to stress our body to stimulate it to change. The body has an amazing ability to adapt to stress, whether that’s through lifting dumbbells or even your own body weight. If you are training in and around the 10 rep range, it tends to stimulate size, whereas 50 reps will stimulate more endurance adaption.
Think of it like a light bulb with a dimmer switch. The more regularly you train, the more you can turn the dimmer switch up and turn the power on. Soon after your muscular size will start to change, along with the muscles’ efficiency to get fuel in and waste out.
Not all exercises are equal
Generally, if you want mass bulk without specifically targeting, then go for big compound movements like squats, deadlifts, rows and bench. I’m a fan of using bodyweight where possible and the instability of the rings to build mobility and joint strength and more than one single plane of motion. I think the combination of some rings and callisthenic-type training, along with some power lifting moves in a 6-12 reps range, is generally the way a strong, well balanced body can be built. Also, supplementing your diet with a protein powder can support protein synthesis, helping rebuild and repair muscles after a strenuous workout.
Recovery is important
Apart from a 721 balanced nutritional lifestyle, I like to add some amino acids like L-Glutamine, a little protein powder if I haven't had much that day, as well as Epsom salt baths, cold showers or a dip in the ocean. If it’s a big session and I want to help boost energy and support muscle strength and powder and I may use some Creatine before and after also.
Eat in balance
Get your carbs from veggies as much as you can, of all different colours. Feed your good gut flora with fibre and avoid too much sugar and processed carbs. These days, I’m more fat-adapted than I used to be and combine intermittent fasting with adequate amounts of fat, rather than focusing on things like rice and pasta. I feel much better for it! For me, I love fueling up with things like poached eggs, avocado, poached or smoked salmon and lots of greens.
Two things that have changed a lot in the last 100 years is our intake of sugar and vegetable oils. I try and avoid both as much as I can. I keep my sugar to when I feel like a dessert or a treat, while I just avoid vegetable oils. I am conscious at keeping my omega 6 fatty acids down and vegetable oils don't necessarily help with this at all. A healthy balance of omega 3 to omega 6 is considered to be 1:1 or 1:2, and I have seen reports to say the modern diet is more like 1:20. Considering most modern lifestyles, I would go back to what your ancestors may have eaten.
Consistency and dedication are key
The simple truth is that you need to push yourself to stimulate muscle growth and changes to your body. Nutrition is important; adequate protein is a factor, but don't forget about other lifestyle factors like sleep and recovery. Consistency is the key, and in time it can pay off.