How Taylor Lautner is Killing it in the Gym
Most of you will recognise Taylor Lautner as being to guy who played “that wolf in Twilight” – who became the alpha male I might add and lead the entire pack. But we’re not interested in that story at the moment. What we’re interested in, is how a young boy from Michigan, developed a kick ass physique and put himself in the shop window to play the alpha wolf in the first place!
So, as we’ve mentioned, Taylor Lautner became a household name the second he became Jacob Black in The Twilight Saga movies, as the much loved werewolf. It became very obvious that between the first and second movie, Taylor’s character was going to grow up and develop, which meant Taylor was going to have to hit the gym hard so he could build some serious muscle as well to make it all the more real and believable.
By his very nature, Taylor isn’t a naturally big or strong guy. With a relatively small frame, he is the perfect example of what hard work and dedication can achieve when you set your mind on a specific goal – to build big sustainable muscles with kick-ass abs!
Taylor gained about 30lbs and went from scrawny to brawny – a lean, shredded fitness animal!
Many people when they first start out with the dream of building muscle and developing a more defined and stronger physique, give in more they’ve even started, using excuses like “I’m just not cut out for this”, or, “I’m too small to grow muscle”. Taylor’s trainer, Jordan Yuam hit’s the nail on the head when publicly said –
“The less muscle you have, the easier it is to gain muscle mass more quickly”
So, the all important question is – How did Lautner stack on the pounds and develop a kick-ass physique? In the rest of this article I’m going to explore the training program Taylor’s personal trainer, Jordan Yuam, put him through, transforming him into the man we see today. I’m also going to through in my own opinions regarding training and how different style can or may impact people differently.
These are the steps that Taylor was put through – for all we know, he still does these exercise groupings in his own routine –
- Push Yourself
- Mix It Up
- Add More Tension
- Too Much Cardio is Bad
- Add More Movement
- Have a Recovery Plan
- Feed Your Body
- Set a Daily Calorie Goal
- Balance Your Meals
What does all of this mean?
I’m going to give you my own opinion now on what I think all of the above workout strategies mean and how Lautner used them to transform his body from boy to man.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut or caught in a plateau when it comes to weight training. However the critical factor when it comes to continually building muscle is to constantly “push yourself”. This is done by adding 30% – 40% to normal weight you would normally lift.
For example –
If you normally bench press 80kg, you need to push yourself to be benching 104kg – 112kg. That way you’re not only shocking your body but you’re ripping the muscles more aggressively forcing the fibres in them to absorb more protein and nutrients.
Ultimately if you push your limits every time when you’re training, there’s more opportunity to build bigger muscle much faster.
Mix It Up
This may seem like a slight contradiction to what I’ve already stated above, but as well as “pushing your limits”, I also think that if you’re looking to build a strong shredded physique, you also need to work on muscle shape and conditioning and this is done by “varying your volumes” during training.
In my opinion, to get the most from your workouts you need to very the way you train – vary the amount of weight and the number of reps you’re performing. This will constantly keep your muscles in a state on “uncertainty” so they won’t get used to a particular way of working.
Your muscles are forced to grow much faster when they’re constantly being made to exercise in a different way. Pushing your muscles to lift heavier weights, then shooting to lift lighter weights but for 4 – 5 sets of 12 – 15 reps will give you stronger, better looking results.
Add More Tension
If you’re anything like me, when you visit the gym, you’re instantly drawn to the weights section – Why? Simply, because in the most part, free weights and dumbbells are better for targeting muscles and forcing muscles to rip and and grow.
So how do you add more tension? You can do this simply by using a band to add more tension to your dumbbell movement. First of all though, it might be useful to understand why you’d want to do this. Let’s take the classic bicep curl for example. When you’re go from starting position to curling the the dumbbell to the peak of the lift, there is tension the whole way up, but when at the top or peak of the movement, you’re biceps can relax and the dumbbell is simply being supported in a resting position.
If you add a band to the dumbbell and anchor the end under your foot or a near-by heavy object, you’ve instantly added more tension to the weight, meaning, even at the very peak of the bicep curl, you’re having to continually control the weight as there is an added pulling force trying to bring the dumbbell back down.
Essentially, the added tension means you’re constantly in a state of “fighting the weights” and having to engage more muscle fibres than you would normally use. This in turn promotes much fast muscle growth.
Too Much Cardio is Bad
This might come as a surprise to some of you, but doing too much cardio if you’re trying to build and grow lean muscle can have a negative effect on your results. An excessive amount of cardio, can eat away at your lean muscle mass – especially if done directly before or after your weight training, as your body will use the energy stored with your muscles during a cardio workout.
So if you’re looking to shed excess weight, then cardio is good and highly recommended. But if you want to build lean muscle mass with kick-ass abs, you need to cut down on the cardio and focus on the weight training with a balanced diet.
Add More Movement
No, I’m not talking about adding “extra cardio” into your workouts. What I mean by adding more movement, is to add different directional movements into your training. We all get trapped in the “old way of training” which is very two dimensional – we lift things up, push things way and pull them towards us in a forward and back motion.
By adding more stepping movements and introducing sideways lifts and resistance work into your daily training routine, you’ll naturally engage more of your core. Don’t get me wrong, at first, you’re abs will feel the strain and ache more than they have before, but your six-pack will pop and this way of training is a sure fire way to get shredded quickly!
Have a Recovery Plan
If you’re anything like me when I first started out training in the gym, then all you can think of is; “What am I training tomorrow?” and, “Can I squeeze in an extra training session?”. It’s great to be able to train to your heart content, but sometimes over training can detrimental to your results – why? Your muscles will never have an opportunity to recover properly, so they’ll never grow or develop into their potential or as you’re hoping they will.
Now I’m a little wiser and have some experience to fall back on, I know rest and recovery is just as important as training hard in the gym and adding the extra plates to the bar.
“Train smarter not harder” is a phrase that I often share with friends and people I’m training. The way I look at recovery and rest is, making time to recover is making time to grow and regenerate.
Feed Your Body
Nutrion is vital to building and sustaining a fit, ripped and muscular body. Just eating food isn’t going to cut it and you’ll need to carefully plan your meals. It’s sometimes easier to think of food as necessary fuel for your body, rather than what you favourite dish is.
You need to ensure you’re taking on the right amount of calories in a combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats….Yes your read that right, healthy fats are extremely important to building muscle and staying healthy.
Obviously the easy and first thing you should do is look at how you can introduce my protein into your diet as this is one of the building blocks to muscle growth. Depending on what you’re doing, I try to remember this phrase “Carbs to go and protein to grow”. Carbs will give you the necessary energy to be able to workout, but the proteins are what your muscle fibres will use during a workout and during the recovery period when rebuilding themselves.
Set a Daily Calorie Goal
I’ve never been one for tracking my calories or macros, but I can see the benefit in doing this, especially if you’re starting out, and it obviously worked for Lautner – his physique speaks for itself!
So where do you start? First of, think about what you’re trying to do, what is your goal? If you’re looking to build muscle, then you’ll be training hard, and looking to grow therefore you’re going to need more calories that perhaps you would normally take in.
Setting a daily goal will hep in two ways. It’ll mean you don’t introduce too many calories into your body if you’re trying to get ripped, and likewise it’ll push you include more calories if you’re lifting more to build bigger and stronger muscles.
Probably a controversial question, but I think it’s one that most of you will be thinking about – Did or does Lautner use supplements or steroids? I must state that this part of the article, like the rest above is solely my own opinion and not a fact based statement.
So, what do we already know? Taylor has literally transformed his body from looking like a scrawny boy, to a ripped muscular physique, which has no doubt lead to him playing many movie parts and also played a big role in him becoming a recognised model for many leading brands.
There are many forums across the web, and whenI say many, I mean hundreds, that have all discussed the possibility the Lautner may have used supplements or taken steroids to grow lean muscle so quickly. I think there are two very different ways to look at this, if he did take steroids, and if he didn’t –
Did Lautner Take Steroids?
- Gained 33lbs in 5 months
- Gain was pure lean muscle
- 5 months = time for 2 cycles between filming for twilight.
If you look at how fast Lautner developed his lean muscle mass and overall size, you can see how people can associate steroid use. It’s extremely difficult to add 33lbs of lean muscle mass in that short time being completely natural. It’s difficult but not completely impossible.
- Has a personal trainer
- Has a personal dietitian
- Added size gradually over 5 months
- Has a naturally athletic body
Bearing in mind that Taylor had a personal trainer who literally put him through his paces during every single training session and a dietitian who carefully created a nutrition plan to recover and build muscle, it’s pretty easy to see how Lautner packed on the pounds and developed his physique.
He’s also being paid to grow a bigger more muscular body to match the character that he’s playing.
There are also claims that as well as building lean muscle, Taylor Lautner also cut his body fat down (somehow), therefore making him looking more muscular than before he started training.
My Disclaimer – My Opinions
Like I’ve stated all the way through this article, these are my opinions and not the words of anyone else. I’ve researched the many posts across the internet and used my own knowledge to and come up with my own opinions on the workout and training habits of Taylor Lautner and whether or not her used supplements during his training.
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