Not to be confused with tourtiere or meat loaf, a beefcake is a large, muscular gym-goer whose goal is to get as big and strong as possible.
Below is a “recipe” for creating a Grade A Beefcake. Here are the four ingredients:
1) Consume Calorie Dense Foods
If you want to become a beefcake, you need to eat. A lot. If you’re not gaining weight, you need to be consuming more calories. Period. That being said, you don’t want to go overboard and accumulate too much body fat. While a little bit of fat gain is inevitable while in a gaining phase, the goal is to minimize it as much as possible while maximizing muscle gain. I’d suggest eating slightly above your maintenance calories, with the goal of gaining 1-2lbs every month.
Food sources aren’t as important as the amount of food you’re eating, BUT ideally you should be eating nutrient dense food sources, and your daily protein intake should be 1g/lb of body weight (a 160lbs person should be eating 160g of protein or more).
Recommended food sources would be the calorie dense options such as steak, eggs, milk, nuts and nut butters, and whatever vegetables you’d like. Starchier carbs like rice and potatoes are always a great option to add in pre and post workout. Get your hands on some protein powder if you’re having trouble reaching your protein quota. An actual beef cake could be a good meal to try out.
Again, don’t get too caught up in what exact foods you should eat. As long as you’re eating enough calories to make gains, you will become a beefcake.
2) Lift Heavy Things
Part of being a beefcake means being strong, therefore strength training needs to be a priority. Stick mainly to basic barbell and dumbbell movements such as squats, deadlifts, presses (bench and overhead), and rows. Bodyweight exercises like pull-ups and dips are great as well.
Stick to 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps and perform these exercises as heavily as possible with good form. Each session you should aim to add 5lbs to each lift.
I’d recommend lifting 4-6 days a week, hitting every body part 2-3 times a week.
A sample week may look something like this:
M – Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
T – Legs/Back/Biceps
W – Rest or optional HIIT
T – Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
F – Legs/Back/Biceps
S – Weakpoint Training (Chest/Arms/Calves)
S – Full day of rest
3) Get Your Pump On
Heavy lifting shouldn’t be your only focus. It’s just the meat and potatoes of your training. As every beekcake knows, you should feel free to indulge in some dessert.
We all know that no feeling out there beats the feeling of a solid pump. After your main heavy lifts, go hard on your glamour muscles with lower weights and higher reps, and get a sweet pump.
Lateral raises, curls, triceps extensions, pec flyes (big pecs = pay checks), calf raises, and shrugs are all great exercises to perform after the main movements. You can play around with 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps, or you can get funky and try out some intensification methods such as supersets, drop sets, rest-pause sets, slow tempo, etc. Feel free to try out crazy workouts like CT Fletcher’s 200 rep triceps gauntlet.
Don’t get too bogged down with what to do. Just let your inner bodybuilding bro out, and have some fun.
A sample Chest/Shoulders/Triceps day may look like this:
Bench Press – 4 sets of 5 reps
Seated Dumbbell Press – 3 sets of 5 reps
Weighted Dips – 3 sets of 5 reps
Lying Dumbbell Flyes – 3 sets of 12 reps
Cable Lateral Raises – 5 sets of 12-15 reps
Push-ups – 3 sets of As Many Reps As Possible
Finisher: Triceps Gauntlet
4) Sleep As Much As Possible
After a long day of eating meat, killing it in the gym, and enjoying some fun in the sun on the beach, a beefcake will need to turn the lights out and get a lot of quality sleep.
Everyone will find out what works best for them but in general, you should aim to be getting 8 hours every night, and if possible, squeeze in a nap or two throughout the day. Sleeping is vitally important in helping your body recover, which means more long-term growth and less injury.
I recommend trying out melatonin and ZMA as sleep-aid supplements if you find you’re having trouble either getting to sleep or staying asleep.
To wrap this whole thing up – 1) Eat a lot of food to fuel performance and gain muscle, 2) Focus on lifting heavy with proper form, 3) Have fun chasing the pump after you finish your heavy lifts, and 4) Prioritize sleep to ensure adequate recovery.