How to look like you’re on steroids, without taking steroids!

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I often get asked for advice, particularly from guys on the best way to build muscle and ‘look good’. Grant Henson is a friend of mine and a trainer I’ve known for over 10 years, he’s also one of the most respected Strength and Conditioning experts here in the North East. Grant was the very first trainer that I turned to for a hypertrophy program and he’s someone I still go to for strength and conditioning advice!

There’s no-one better placed to answer these questions, so here’s Grants guest post…..

How to look like you’re on steroids, without taking steroids!

Looking good is very important to everyone.


Looking good is intrinsically linked with THE most important thing in your life, loving yourself!

Now don’t mistake what i’m saying here with being arrogant, obnoxious or running about topless telling everyone how awesome you are! Im talking about really linking who you are and feeling confident about the way you feel and how you think others view you!

Building muscle is THE number one way to improve your shape. Losing fat will make you smaller but will not enhance your shape the way building lean muscle will!

Is he on the juice?

When I first started coaching clients most guys wanted me to get them big and muscular, being lean was a bonus but not crucial. Today the game has very much changed to big, muscular and sub 10% body fat. Anything less will just not cut it!

These days the look is muscular and lean, a tough combination to achieve unless you know EXACTLY how to train and eat right!

This new quest has left most gym goers to one of 3 things,

1, Getting frustrated at not being able to build ‘size’ AND get ‘lean’ as most information from fitness magazines is just garbage and never delivers real results.

2, Getting frustrated and taking steroids as ‘everyone else does’ and they look like I want to!

or and this is a small minority!..

3, Finding a coach who has a proven track record to deliver you results!

Do you really think if you buy a fitness/bodybuilding magazine that has over 20 different routines and articles (most of them contradicting one another) and that comes out every few weeks and so has to just churn out new material will have a clear concise answer to get lean and muscular?

If you love being confused and want to have 30 ‘experts’ all giving differing opinions on how to get in shape, then get buying and good luck!

The fact is nothing much new changes when it comes to getting in awesome shape even over a lot of years. However to sell lots of magazines, internet training packages etc there has to be a new ‘incredible sure fire look like a god in 4 weeks’ routine that people will want to buy into!

Ok so now I’ve set the scene that you need a clear proven plan from an experienced coach, here are a set of typical results from myself and one of our clients after our 6 week MLS program…


Many times people have commented on Facebook, Twitter etc ‘They must be taking steroids!’ and ‘that cant be possible without gear!

I love these comments!..

But not half as much as my clients do!

So here are a few of the secrets of our famous MLS results. Follow these and just wait till everyone thinks YOU are on steroids!

Top 5 MLS rules.

1, Pick a routine and change every 6 sessions!

After 6 sessions of ANY weights routine you will have adapted to the point where you will gain more by changing it up! If you have trained for 5 or more years every 4 would be beneficial!

You should be hitting 20-24 sets per workout each session and should train for OVER 4 hours per week. The research is very clear that people that train with weight for more versus less that 4 hours per week get FAR better results!

2, If you need to get bigger focus on the big 5!

If you want to look muscular and powerful you must work as hard as you can at improving these foundation lifts,

  1. Deadlift
  2. Squat
  3. Pullup/Chin
  4. Bench press/Dip
  5. Rowing

Forget any other exercise exists until you can lift a respectable weight in these!

Trust me, no one every got big doing one arm incline lateral raises!

Eat protein and above ground veg at EVERY meal!

If you don’t eat enough protein you will never get muscular and will find it virtually impossible to get lean! Need i say more?

Get your protein from meat as meat eaters have more igf1 hormone which builds muscle and strips body fat.

Whey protein is permissible post workout but is NEVER a substitute for real food!

Above ground veg is generally more fibrous, nutritious and has less sugar than its below ground family members!

And yes ESPECIALLY at breakfast! Meat and nuts is how all of our MLS clients start the day!

3, Eliminate grains!

Grains rapidly raise blood sugar causing insulin spikes and storing body fat. When they are processed i.e cereal, bread, crackers as in the case of wheat 10,000 times more rapidly absorbed!

If you ever want a 6 pack eliminate ALL grains!

Grains have only been farmed for around 10,000 years. A long time right? No! Not compared to how long it takes our digestive machinery to evolve! It takes the human gene some 100,000 years to change just 1/10th of a single % that’s why around 70% of white skinned and 45% of dark skinned people are wheat intolerant!

4, Supplement smart!

99.99% of supplements are hype and garbage FACT! How do I know? Over the last 14 years I have personally and professionally tested and taken them all!

So they are a waste of money?

No. The 3 best for packing on muscle are,

1, Bcaas

These are the 3 amino acids broken down directly from your muscles during weight training. When taken before and during training they will promote testosterone and growth hormone release. They also stop you breaking down muscle tissue and help fuel your mind and muscles as they are absorbed directly into the blood stream, bypassing your liver!

Recommended brand?

We sell Smart Tec’s 3:1:1 ratio capsule Bcaa. Higher leucine content and in capsule not tablet form for easier digestion without added bulking agents. take 10g 30mins before and 20-30g during training.

2, Creatine

Much used, much studied and still very effective for size and strength gains!

Recommended brand?

Kre Alkinlin. You will have more chance of taking a capsule than a powder and it only works if you take it! Kre is buffered so your stomach acid does not destroy it ( 80% of standard powder is destroyed by stomach acid before absorption). So you need to take less and more gets absorbed, result!

3, Leucine

The latest secret weapon for building lean mass, and a supplement I have been personally using with phenomenal results is leucine. This the amino acid basically tells your body to ‘start building muscle’ and has been shown to increase protein synthesis 145% above baseline compared to only 40% with whey protein!. This occurs with or without the presence of other amino acids. And research has shown that leucine stimulates mTor (a crucial signaller of muscle building in the body) 10% more than actual resistance training its self!

Recommended brand?

We stock Genetic supplements leucine capsules as they are high quality and the cheapest available! Take 5g in-between meals and always after training and last thing before bed.

Lastly and by FAR the most important is this,


Its not sexy, its not flashy but think of it like this…

If you work like a beast with an awesome program, buy all the correct supplements but only train 75% of the time, a person who trains pretty hard with a decent program and who has most of the supplements will ALWAYS be bigger and stronger than you!

When you get and awesome program, eat right, take the right supplements then do it day in day out without missing a session…. that’s when people start asking…

Are you on steroids?

Grant Henson

Grant is owner and head coach of Grant Henson fitness and Strength. Based at his 1500 sq foot private fitness centre he is known for being the ‘go to guy’ for body transformation results in the North East of England.




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