‘Tis the season to be bulking

BNOC of the Year and gym-lover TJ Nartey gives the inside line on how to go from twig to rig over Christmas

BNOC christmas the tab the tab exeter TJ Nartey

We all love Christmas, don’t we? Family time, gifts and, most importantly, all that fantastic food. Most of you see the holidays as a chance to indulge in traditional Christmas delights.

However, there are some of you who see the three week vacation as a chance to clean up your usual university diet and bulk up. Here are five tips to do precisely that over the Christmas holidays:

Murk that turkey


Yeah, yeah. We used chicken, but you get the gist

Critical. And not a particularly arduous task if you love meat. Protein is the key to getting dench, so devour that turkey that your mum has taken so long to prepare.

100 grams of turkey will contain roughly 30 grams of protein. So eat as much of that as possible to pack on the protein and see that torso grow.

Pump the iron


Whilst pumping, get some heavy beats going on your iPod

When you wake up in the morning, the first that should be on your mind is the gym. Without the interruptions of university lectures and seminars, you have the entire day free.

You no longer have to worry about cutting your workout short because of that looming one o’clock lecture. Make the most of this time – and do not be that guy in the gym lifting grandma weights.

Go to the heavy section, pick up those dumbbells and pump. If you are not aching like mad afterwards, re-evaluate yourself.

Spread out those leftovers


Eight smalls meals are better than three large ones

Very rarely is the Christmas feast finished on Christmas day itself. Boxing Day leftovers is something else you should look forward to.

However, rather than just stuff them down you in one go, spread those stuffed turkey leftovers across the day. Muscles are like spoilt girls: high maintenance tings.

They aren’t satisfied with just the three meals a day; they want like seven or eight. This routine will keep your metabolism revved up throughout the day and will result in you packing on quality mass a lot quicker.

Cut out that Christmas pudding


Chocolate protein powder + milk = heaven

The common misconception that people have is that if you just eat loads of anything and gym, you’ll get big. There is no doubt that you will get bigger – but most likely in the stomach region.

This means cutting back on the Christmas pudding, I’m afraid. Excess simple sugars are only going to add a few inches to that waistline.

Stick to complex carbohydrates and if you feel like something sweet after a meal, just prepare yourself a creamy protein shake. Same satisfaction, with a much better nutritional content.

You booze, you lose


If you want a good rig, imprint this image in your mind

‘Tis the season to be jolly’. If you want good results, you may need to reconsider this statement. Booze needs to be kept to a minimum.

By all means enjoy the odd glass of wine on Christmas day, but alcohol is full of ‘empty’ calories which will prove detrimental to your physique.

Instead, drink lots of water – eight pints a day or so. Being hydrated significantly improves your gym performance which indirectly maximises your muscle building potential.


Have a fantastic Christmas, Tab readers.

Follow these steps religiously and I can assure you that, come January, your shirt that was relatively baggy and loose on you three weeks before, will now be as lycra across your godlike rig.

Photography by Ben Stupples.