Carl Froch's Guide to Getting Shirt-Filling Arms

(Image credit: Unknown)

1. Hit the Pool

“I work on three-minute rounds,” says Froch. “I do six lengths – three breaststroke and three front crawl, then a minute of recovery. I’m used to it from boxing, so I know I can recover. I do seven rounds of that.”

2. Use Your Own Weight

He’s always done high-rep sets of press-ups and pull-ups but working on gymnastics, Froch says, hugely improved his core strength. If a handstand press-up’s too much, start with the “pike” version: feet on the sofa, body at a right angle. It’ll shift the pressure to your shoulders and work your abs. 

3. Keep Runs Short

For a pro boxer, weekly 10K runs are the order of the day. Now? Not so much. “I still run, but over shorter distances,” he says. “Look at sprinters – they’re in great shape.” Six sets of 400m with 60 seconds’ rest takes less than 15 minutes, but it’ll build road-warrior cardio. 


(Image credit: Unknown)

4. ...And Reps Low

Froch focuses on full-body moves like the deadlift and bench press, which prompt your body to release growth hormone and testosterone. Five is the magic number: do five sets of five reps, increasing the weight each set until you can only just manage the last one. 

5. Eat Red Meat

“I’ll probably have red meat a couple of times a week,” says Froch. “I’ve got a good farm shop where I live so one of them will be a top-quality steak.” It’s worth the expense: grass-fed steak has more omega 3s and CLA, which give you energy and help to burn fat. 

6. Don't Beat Yourself Up

The occasional Snickers isn’t a diet-wrecker, and focusing on things you can’t have will only make you crave them. If chocolate’s a problem, tell yourself “Not now, but later,” when you have a craving – studies suggest you’ll feel less tormented than if you try to resist temptation entirely. 

Photography: Steve Neaves

Stylist: Hayley Lawrence

Grooming: Laura Tucker

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.