I met this guy in October 2009 in Orlando.
He was presenting at a conference where he was talking about how he helps other guys around the world that were like him, skinny, and want to put on muscle.
It is great have him here on EFI.
If you have ever trained that client that asks you, “how do I put on weight and muscle?” Then you know who he helps.
Even if you are not a skinny guy looking to add on muscle, Vince has got some great tips for you.
Vince, let the readers know about yourself.
I was formally known as “Skinny Vinny” and grew up as a competitive distance runner and triathlete and excelled from the local to national level. It wasn’t until I got a degree in Kinesiology and lived with a bunch of jacked up meatheads in University that I started catching the “muscle building” bug.
After a hung up my running shoes I pursued a career in the fitness industry, but I didn’t look like a personal trainer (I was still scrawny Skinny Vinny) so got some help from a local provincial bodybuilding champ in his 40’s (who looked like he was in his 20’s) and I started taking his advice.
Within six short months I shot up from 149 pounds to 190 pounds of solid muscle. From there I pursued a very successful career as a personal trainer which lead into writing my first book revealing how I achieved my skinny-to-muscular transformation.
Over the past ten years I’ve been dedicated to helping skinny guys transform their bodies, just like I did.
What is the biggest mistake that you see people make in the gym, when they are trying to build muscle?
I’m sure Ben will say the same but it’s not what they are doing, but HOW they are doing it.
Most people lift like football players and just focus on moving weights from A to B without any thought on creating fatigue in the muscle or stressing a muscle through it’s full range of motion. A minimum of 99% of guys in the gym are not following programs aligned to their goals.
For instance, next time you’re in the gym, watch how long a guy’s set lasts, maybe 20-24 seconds stops, which is not even close to the optimal time under tension when it comes to muscular hypertrophy, 40-60 seconds per set. So to summarize:
- Not executing a full range of motion (for their body type).
- Sets not lasting 40-60 seconds when their goal is hypertrophy.
What is your number one tip for someone, that they can do right now, that will improve their muscle building?
I know this doesn’t side very much but often times guys get their workouts done using 80% inertia (i.e. momentum), and what I call fools gold! Ever notice how often a guy wants to tell you how much he lifts.
Because you would never guess but what he looks like! Most guys select their weights based on the impact it’ll have on those watching, not on what impact it’ll have on their body.
Slowing down the weight is your first step to seeing bigger muscles.
The eccentric should always be slower than the concentric. Four seconds to lower and two seconds to raise the weight is a great place to start.
In our programming we teach our students dozens of different ways to manipulate a lift. No more boring workouts!
You have spent a lot of time in the gym and have seen some crazy stuff. Is there a way that people do an exercise or workout that can have a negative effect on their joints?
Yes, read my answer above.
I think the biggest mistake is NOT CONTROLLING THE WEIGHT.
One of our amazing and late teachers taught us, “Control is the currency for growth.”
If you’re not in control of the movement, you have no business working with that weight. You must earn the right to move heavy weights and if you’re not controlling the weight, it’s controlling you.
I have reviewed the first 3 phases of H-MAX (Hypertrophy MAX) and in one of the DVDs you were wearing those funny five finger shoes. Why do you wear them and when do you not wear them?
Imagine how well your hands would function if you wore baseball gloves on your hands until the age of 25?
Those gloves would shut down the function of your hands!
You wouldn’t be able to move your fingers in every direction. That’s what happens when we wear big, bulky supportive shoes all our life, we lose function of the musculature that surrounds our feet.
Don’t believe me. Take your shoes and socks off right now. Try to spread your toes, not extend them, SPREAD YOUR TOES.
Can you do that?
Most people can’t and if you can’t it means that you probably have muscles in your feet not doing their job, which can lead to a very dangerous situation when you start overhead pressing, squatting and deadlifting with heavy loads.
Did you know your foot has 55 different joints and each one of those joints has it’s only range of motion and plane of movement?
Once those muscles stop working, the rest of your body loses the “suspension system” your feet were designed for.
In short, big bulky shoes are HORRIBLE for your feet and the funny five finger shoes get the musculature in your feet to begin working again. This is a complex topic but I hope that analogy helped.
I really liked your “Weak Side Rule.” Can you share that with EFI readers?
Of course, Ben and I have slightly different outlooks on this, actually.
I prefer my clients address imbalances and weaknesses by always starting with the weak side and never doing more reps on the strong side.
This helps minimize the imbalance and a simple step you can take to build a more balanced and proportional body (it’s important to note that there is NO SUCH THING as a perfectly balanced body but we strive to minimize imbalances).
Where can people get more information about you and H-MAX?