Help out a fiction writer!

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  1. Help out a fiction writer!


    Hey everybody!

    I'm a hobby writer, and I'm currently writing a short story about a character who works out a lot. I don't know much about this subject, so I was hoping you guys could help me out!

    The character in question is a man in his early-to-mid 20es. He works out every day and has been for quite a while now. He also takes steroids. I imagine him having a body more or less like Charlie Hunnam in Pacific Rim. (I'm afraid as a new member, I can't post links yet... just google "Charlie Hunnam Pacific Rim")

    What would a realistic workout routine be for this character? How much time does he spend in the gym; what kind of exercises does he do, and how many; how much can he lift; etc... the more detailed, the more helpful.

    You can also just point me towards some existing workout routines that seem right for my character, either on this forum or elsewhere, that would already help a lot!

    Thank you so much for your time!


  2. If the image of your character is Charlie Hunnam, I don't think I would go the works out every day and takes steroids. His physique in that fits more with a crossfit or dabbles in mma kind of routine. Or just leave it as he's in his early 20s, so chances are his metabolism is still good and he works out 4-5 times a week split something like chest, back, legs, arms, maybe a second chest or arms day and does a lot of ab work.

    If the description of early 20s, has been doing this for a while, works out everyday, and takes steroids is more important, then he's going to take up a little more space.
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by Aleksandar37 View Post
    he works out 4-5 times a week split something like chest, back, legs, arms, maybe a second chest or arms day and does a lot of ab work.
    Thanks for your answer! Can you specify the above a little bit? What kind of exercises could he be doing, and how many per session? How much weight can he realistically lift/press?

    The only physical activity I do personally is running, so I really just don't know so much about working out.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Hylas View Post
    Thanks for your answer! Can you specify the above a little bit? What kind of exercises could he be doing, and how many per session? How much weight can he realistically lift/press?

    The only physical activity I do personally is running, so I really just don't know so much about working out.
    Got to be honest mate but there isn’t a stereotypical one size fits all answer.

    So many variables for us all in terms of what training suits us best, genetics, training history, nutrition, lifestyle etc.

    Looking at the pictures of Charlie, a mid 20’s guy with reasonable genetics could get that physique without steroids by the way.

    Steroids change the way you train (enables you to train longer and more frequently) so you’ll need to decide whether or not he’s using or not.

    I’d personally suggest he trains 5 days a week and you should take a look at Layne Norton’s phat program and westside barbell club workouts (although there are so many you could choose from).

    He’s definitely hitting the Big compound lifts (squat, deadlift, bench press) and probably some power cleans and overhead presses. He’ll train with intensity and focus. Squat day will involve feeling like he’s about to sh!t a kidney. You could throw some body weight stuff in like muscle ups and the salmon ladder (all the rage these days) - watch Arrow and you’ll see what I mean.

    If it’s the Charlie look you want I’d suggest he doesn’t spend much time on training arms. Forget the typical bodybuilding style imo.

    Good luck with the book
  5. Help out a fiction writer!


    I think the attitude/mentality/role of the character in question may also determine what training protocol and philosophy he would follow. As others have said, you donít need steroids to get a body like Charlie, but if you think that the use of steroids is important to his character development/depth, then I understand, and plenty of people his size do use steroids. As for how strong heíd be, that also depends largely on his training style, which itself depends somewhat on how you want to portray this character. The more details on the characters thoughts/actions/etc you can provide, the better we can try to help put together a hypothetical training protocol that would seem logical for him.
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  6. ^ Thanks Whiskey, I've taken a look at those programs, and it's very helpful! I realise that everybody trains differently. But I'd like to see some possible programs, so my character stays somewhat realistic.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by Hylas View Post
    ^ Thanks Whiskey, I've taken a look at those programs, and it's very helpful! I realise that everybody trains differently. But I'd like to see some possible programs, so my character stays somewhat realistic.

    My character does take steroids, it's kind of a plot point. But maybe I have to reimagine him as slightly bulkier than Charli then.
    Why does he use steroids? Whatís his attitude, motivation, history (sports, military, etc)? The more we know the more we can try to match a plausible routine and look to him.
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  8. Quote Originally Posted by muscleupcrohn View Post
    Why does he use steroids? What’s his attitude, motivation, history (sports, military, etc)? The more we know the more we can try to match a plausible routine and look to him.
    This ^^^^ and how central is his training to the story? As in is this story actually about training, steroids or the gym scene? Or is it generally an action/thriller type story where the main character is just in great shape?

  9. @muscleupcrohn: My character does take steroids. I just feel like it fits his character, the way I imagine him; it's difficult to explain why.

    As for his motivation... there is some vanity there, so one of his motivations is that he just wants to look good. His idols are more underwear models than competitive body builders. Strength is probably less important to him than the visual.

    But he also just enjoys training. He has a lot of problems, but while he's training, he can forget about all that and just focus on his body.
    Lifting weights is also something he's just good at; so he enjoys doing this thing he's good at when he feels like he's failing in other areas of his life.

    Does this make sense to you?

  10. Quote Originally Posted by Whisky View Post
    how central is his training to the story? As in is this story actually about training, steroids or the gym scene? Or is it generally an action/thriller type story where the main character is just in great shape?
    Overall, it's not really a story about training/steroids/gyms. So I can fudge the details. But in the scene I'm trying to write right now, I have to know a little more about the specifics of his training program. He enters the gym and starts doing his usual routine, and while he's training, some other stuff happens in the background. So I need to have an idea what my character could be doing while the other stuff happens.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by Hylas View Post
    @muscleupcrohn: My character does take steroids. I just feel like it fits his character, the way I imagine him; it's difficult to explain why.

    As for his motivation... there is some vanity there, so one of his motivations is that he just wants to look good. His idols are more underwear models than competitive body builders. Strength is probably less important to him than the visual.

    But he also just enjoys training. He has a lot of problems, but while he's training, he can forget about all that and just focus on his body.
    Lifting weights is also something he's just good at; so he enjoys doing this thing he's good at when he feels like he's failing in other areas of his life.

    Does this make sense to you?
    Ok. So if he doesn't/didn't lift for some "practical" purpose (sports, military, etc), then I'd go for a bit of a different look than Charlie. I'd also aim a little bit bigger than him, particularly in the arms, since most people who aim for aesthetics place a good bit of emphasis on arms.

    If you want to keep the same sort of aesthetic as Charlie (pictured below):

    Zac Efron in Baywatch seems to be a step up (or at least leaner and with more of a tan), but still not overly-muscular:

    even bigger than that would be something like Stallone at his peak of training with former Mr. Olympia Franco Columbu:


    Do any of these speak to you for your character? Do you want him to be lean and vascular? Do you want him to be "clearly/obviously" jacked, to the point that people looking at him would pretty much know he's using some sort of steroids (which Stallone, pictured above, gets into that range IMO).
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  12. If he likes to train as an "escape" of sorts, perhaps he'd be a fan of high-volume workouts. If he's using steroids, he can get away with some of the "old-school" high volume workouts that can take 1.5-2 hours, if not more. A lot of the old-school bodybuilders even did double-splits, where they'd workout twice a day; sometimes just to do abs/calves/etc in the later workout, but sometimes to do two full workouts. It looks like (although I can't confirm it) when Columbu trained Stallone, he had him doing a double-split, but I wouldn't say a double-split is necessary, although if lifting is being used as an escape, it could give him more time to escape from reality. He could also be a big fan of "the pump" like a lot of the old-school bodybuilders were.

    My only concern is that if, as you said, his idols are underwear models (like young Mark Whalberg), then he wouldn't really be much bigger than them, right? Nothing against Mark, he was (and still is) in great shape, but I wouldn't say he had a physique that entails/necessitates steroid use.

    When does the plot take place? Perhaps idolizing physiques like Stallone and Van Damme would make more sense
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  13. ^
    I don't imagine him being lean and vascular. The picture of Stallone looks too much like a competitive bodybuilder. I imagine him more like a beefy jock. Like Charli, but you're right, perhaps with bigger arms.

    I sometimes see guys in public that don't look particularly "lean", but they still look pretty obviously jacked. Do you know what I mean? I think that's what I have in mind here.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by Hylas View Post
    ^
    I don't imagine him being lean and vascular. The picture of Stallone looks too much like a competitive bodybuilder. I imagine him more like a beefy jock. Like Charli, but you're right, perhaps with bigger arms.

    I sometimes see guys in public that don't look particularly "lean", but they still look pretty obviously jacked. Do you know what I mean? I think that's what I have in mind here.
    Ok. If you don't want him very lean or vascular, but more of a "beefy jock" look, since someone already mentioned Arrow earlier, how about something like David Ramsey from Arrow?

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  15. ^ yeah, that comes close. What kind of program do you think somebody like him could have?

  16. Quote Originally Posted by Hylas View Post
    ^ yeah, that comes close. What kind of program do you think somebody like him could have?
    Well, his character has a military background, but I'll focus on what the actual actor did/does.

    Here's an interview with him:
    https://www.muscleandfitness.com/ath...-it-old-school

    It talks about some things he does, both in regards to training, and other things, like meal prep and whatnot:

    "I still use the traditional stuff I learned from Benny—pyramid sets, forced reps, dropsets. I don’t worry too much about the weight I’m pushing. I just want to exhaust the muscle from different angles. I also hold the contractions to increase blow flow; it’s all basic, no fad stuff." He himself (the actor) has a background in martial arts, but I don't think that's "necessary" for your character.

    Seeing as he does "traditional stuff," like pyramid sets and dropsets, you can probably find a variety of splits/protocols that use these sort of thing. This philosophy fits will with your character IMO, as it's not focused on lifting very heavy, and can allow for some longer workouts and shorter rest periods, which would be ideal for an "escape" in the form of a workout. I can try to give you more specifics later, but I think this is a good base to work from based on what you're describing in terms of physique, attitude, etc.

    TL;DR: It's old-school stuff. Pyramid sets, some dropsets, mid-rep-range most likely (not too focused on weight), with multiple exercises (angles) for each bodypart, and probably also a good focus on the pump (he mentioned blood flow and holding contractions). There are tons of protocols/programs like this. It'd be the dedication, hard work, diet (and, in this characters case, steroids) that make him look very muscular, not some magic of his workouts.
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  17. ^ Thank you so much, that makes a lot of sense to me. If you do find the time later to point me to some specific programs, it would be greatly appreciated!
  18. Help out a fiction writer!


    Quote Originally Posted by Hylas View Post
    ^ Thank you so much, that makes a lot of sense to me. If you do find the time later to point me to some specific programs, it would be greatly appreciated!
    Happy to help. Iíll try to point you towards some workouts later if someone else doesnít do it first. Also, how tall is he? Ramsey is listed at 6í2-3Ē 190-200lbs. How tall your character is will determine how much he weighs to look like that, and also how strong he is on various lifts.
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  19. David Ramsey is a great shout for a beefy look.

    I was thinking hugh jackman as well, he did get shredded as hell as wolverine but his inbtween movies shape is solid.

    However, the one I think really nails it is mark wallbeeg in pain and gain.....

    Name:  BBF8EC2B-1B80-4114-BF2A-47832F109DFA.jpeg
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    Has enough size to be using but not ridiculous. I also seem to recall the workout program he used to prepare for that movie being widely available, honestly can’t remember what it is at the moment do think recall thinking it was a lot of volume. He was also doing stuff like waking at 3am to have a protein shake and then going back to sleep.

    I retract my previous statement about him not training arms etc based on the further info. If he wants to look good he’s hitting arms a couple of times a week.

    His sessions will still be based around the Big compound lifts though, there is no better way to forget the sh!t going on in your life than hitting heavy squats. As you unrack the bar it always feels heavy on your back, you instantly know you need focus to make the lift. There’s that split second as you begin the descent where you’ve passed the point of no return, the descent is now a certainty but the ability to stand the weight back up is a question mark. For the few seconds you take on each rep it’s impossible to think of something else other than the bone crushing weight across your traps.

    Just writing this is making me wanna go squat lol.

    Your guy is probably in the gym 90 mins to 2 hours.

  20. Quote Originally Posted by Hylas View Post
    ^ Thank you so much, that makes a lot of sense to me. If you do find the time later to point me to some specific programs, it would be greatly appreciated!
    I’d maybe look at GVT (German volume training).....
  21. Help out a fiction writer!


    Quote Originally Posted by Whisky View Post
    David Ramsey is a great shout for a beefy look.

    I was thinking hugh jackman as well, he did get shredded as hell as wolverine but his inbtween movies shape is solid.

    However, the one I think really nails it is mark wallbeeg in pain and gain.....

    Name:  BBF8EC2B-1B80-4114-BF2A-47832F109DFA.jpeg
Views: 54
Size:  33.3 KB

    Has enough size to be using but not ridiculous. I also seem to recall the workout program he used to prepare for that movie being widely available, honestly canít remember what it is at the moment do think recall thinking it was a lot of volume. He was also doing stuff like waking at 3am to have a protein shake and then going back to sleep.

    I retract my previous statement about him not training arms etc based on the further info. If he wants to look good heís hitting arms a couple of times a week.

    His sessions will still be based around the Big compound lifts though, there is no better way to forget the sh!t going on in your life than hitting heavy squats. As you unrack the bar it always feels heavy on your back, you instantly know you need focus to make the lift. Thereís that split second as you begin the descent where youíve passed the point of no return, the descent is now a certainty but the ability to stand the weight back up is a question mark. For the few seconds you take on each rep itís impossible to think of something else other than the bone crushing weight across your traps.

    Just writing this is making me wanna go squat lol.

    Your guy is probably in the gym 90 mins to 2 hours.
    That pic of Mark was also something I was thinking of mentioning. Either way, itís still a similar training protocol as Ramsey IMO.

    As for Markís thing about waking up for a shake, remember, part of that was the time crunch for him to get in shape for the role IMO. Didnít he have to pack on a good bit of size pretty quickly? Plenty (most) people even bigger than Mark donít wake up to have a shake if they arenít in some sort of time crunch.
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  22. Quote Originally Posted by muscleupcrohn View Post
    That pic of Mark was also something I was thinking of mentioning. Either way, it’s still a similar training protocol as Ramsey IMO.

    As for Mark’s thing about waking up for a shake, remember, part of that was the time crunch for him to get in shape for the role IMO. Didn’t he have to pack on a good bit of size pretty quickly? Plenty (most) people even bigger than Mark don’t wake up to have a shake if they aren’t in some sort of time crunch.
    Absolutely, I mean waking up for a shake is pointless in 99% of cases but figured the op might like the indication of mindset he had. The weight gain they quoted was something like 56lbs in 7 weeks (although personally I struggle to believe that regardless of roids, unless his starting point was dehydrated to near death it’s a ridiculous weight gain).

  23. Honestly, Iíd recommend giving a look at Arnold Schwarzeneggerís Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. Thereís free PDFs of if floating around the internet if you donít want to buy a copy. It outlines a ton of exercises and old-school training splits that fit the bill of what youíre looking for (preferably some of the more advanced ones). It also has a ton of pictures and stuff that may help you as youíre writing anything relating to workouts.
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  24. Quote Originally Posted by muscleupcrohn View Post
    Also, how tall is he? Ramsey is listed at 6í2-3Ē 190-200lbs. How tall your character is will determine how much he weighs to look like that, and also how strong he is on various lifts.
    I don't imagine him being particularly tall or short... a superficial google search gives me 5'10" as an average for a white american man, which seems about right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Whisky View Post
    His sessions will still be based around the Big compound lifts though, there is no better way to forget the sh!t going on in your life than hitting heavy squats. As you unrack the bar it always feels heavy on your back, you instantly know you need focus to make the lift. Thereís that split second as you begin the descent where youíve passed the point of no return, the descent is now a certainty but the ability to stand the weight back up is a question mark. For the few seconds you take on each rep itís impossible to think of something else other than the bone crushing weight across your traps.
    Ok... that was straight up inspiring! You mind if I nick some of that for my story?
    Your picture of Wahlberg is also very nice, maybe comes closest to what I had in mind for my character.

  25. Quote Originally Posted by Hylas View Post
    I don't imagine him being particularly tall or short... a superficial google search gives me 5'10" as an average for a white american man, which seems about right.



    Ok... that was straight up inspiring! You mind if I nick some of that for my story?
    Your picture of Wahlberg is also very nice, maybe comes closest to what I had in mind for my character.
    No worries bro - feel free to use it. Hope it turns out well
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