One move I've always thought I was pretty good at? The bench press. I bloody love the feeling of pushing big weights up from a prone position and, ever since I watched Commando for the first time, I always wanted a great big pair of chiselled man boobs.
I got them at a cost – years spent overworking my chest and ignoring my back muscles meant I ended up with sizeable pecs but a proper hunch. And it also weakened my chest muscles to the point that I pulled one pectoral muscle away from the insertion point on my shoulder during an Royal Marine Potential Officer Selection Test I did for the mag about five or six years ago. It cost £3,000 of surgery and took six months heal – that’s a long time to spend feeling like a total numpty.
I learned my lesson after that and since then have worked hard to build a body that stops me from looking like a small weedy relative of King Kong. And one that’s a bit more injury-resistant too.
All of this is kind of relevant to this week of my advanced body transformation because my coach Pieter Vodden decided to subject me to possibly the toughest chest workout I've ever done – as many bench presses as possible in 30 minutes. This was all about getting enough volume in to promote growth and test my mental fortitude, and then test it some more. Yeah, in hindsight I think he might just have wanted to see me cry. He certainly got close.
Before you watch the video, have a guess how many reps I did in an hour. Then, when you've watched the clip, get down to the gym and have a go yourself. The first person to beat me and let me know on Twitter gets a prize!
But wait! Before you tap out your victorious total, you have to do the vicious FLR finisher at the end. I won't tell you much more about it here, I'll let the video do the talking for me. Suffice today you might want to find a quiet corner in which you can sit down have a word with yourself afterwards.
One last thing I forgot to mention in week one – I got my body composition measured by DEXA scan, the gold standard of body fat analysis. It was done at bodyscanuk.com and in the final video I’ll go into detail about how much my DEXA results changed over my 12-week transformation so keep your eyes peeled for that.
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Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.