Build A Body Like Matthew McConaughey With These Valuable Training Principles!

While most stars spend hours training to get in shape for the roles in their movies, you are not under such a deadline. Build a better body with the following sound training principles and tips!

Building A Body Like Matthew McConaughey

If you've looked on at Matthew McConaughey's body before and admired the degree of muscle and leanness he's built, you've probably been also curious what type of workout he performs.

While most stars spend hours training when it comes time to getting in shape for the movies, since you are not under a deadline, you can create a similar body type by using sound workout principles and maintaining motivation to stick with it.

Here are the steps you need to take.

Matthew McConaughey
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Matthew McConaughey In "Fool's Gold."
© 2007 Warner Bros. Pictures.

arrow Develop A Good Muscular Base:

    While Matthew is not overly huge, he does still have a good amount of muscle tissue on his frame. Therefore, the first step you need to take if you hope to develop a body that resembles him is developing this muscle mass so when you get to tweaking how it looks, the basic shape is there.

    For most individuals, the best way to accomplish this is going to be through heavy lifting on a three or four day split.

    Don't make the mistake that too many people make, going into the gym for an 'arms' day, a 'chest' day, a 'back' day, and so on.

Matthew McConaughey
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Matthew McConaughey & Kate Hudson In "Fool's Gold."
© 2007 Warner Bros. Pictures.

    Rather, group your muscles together and work them simultaneously in each workout. Studies have demonstrated that muscle tissues tends to respond the best in terms of growth when it's worked at a higher frequency, but in order to accomplish this, you'll have to be using this grouping principle.

    This said then, aim for a full body workout three times a week or an upper/lower split, where you work the upper body on two days of the week and the lower on the other two (being sure to allow a day for rest in between similar body parts).

    Additionally, as much as possible you should be incorporating in the exercises of bench press, bent over row, squats, deadlifts, and military presses.

    These are the most compound exercises that will stimulate the greatest number of muscle fibers at once.

    Related Muscle Fibers:

    Depending on where you are with your current training, this stage could take anywhere from six months to three years since developing a good amount of muscle is a timely process.

    Also be sure you are eating more food during this phase so that your body has the nutrition to manufacture new muscle tissue. If you notice yourself putting on body fat too rapidly during this process, then simply cut back on food slightly or consider adding a small amount of cardio training to your program.

Matthew McConaughey
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Matthew McConaughey & Alexis Dziena In "Fool's Gold."
© 2007 Warner Bros. Pictures.

arrow Dialing In:

    The second stage of the training to achieve this type of body then is going to be dialing in on the muscle mass that's already been built and leaning it down, while bringing out the definition.

    In order to lean down, this will be accomplished in two ways - a lower calorie diet and more cardio added into the workouts. Note though that the diet component is going to play a much larger role in achieving the results you're looking for than the cardio, so this is really what you need to put a large amount of focus on.

    Try and focus the vast majority of your carbohydrates right around your workout, then eat more lean protein and small amounts of fat throughout the rest of the day.

Matthew McConaughey
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Matthew McConaughey & Penélope Cruz In "Sahara."
© 2005 Paramount Pictures.

    Play around with your calorie intake until you're starting to see weight loss moving at the rate you'd like it to be. For most people, this happens at an intake somewhere around 10-13 x your bodyweight in pounds.

Bodyweight -

    Usually it's best to start at the higher value and then work your way downwards.

    When it comes to your cardio training, Matthew McCaughney is known for his desert runs, so if you want to do your best to simulate his training, you are in your best interest to take yourself away from the cardio machines.

    He claims to have what he's named the 'Burn Hill', which is essentially a steep hill he'll run up to get his heart rate up and muscles working. While this run isn't going to be a sprint, it's definitely not performed at a walking pace either.

Hill Sprints Hill Sprints
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Hill Sprints.
Video Guide: Windows Media (219 KB) - MPEG (1.12 MB)

    The great thing about taking your cardio outdoors is that it will put a better test to your agility abilities, helping to develop speed and quickness better than if you would have performed it on the treadmill.

Kicking Your Outdoor Cardio Workouts Up A Notch!
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Kicking Your Outdoor Cardio Up A Notch!
With the nature of outdoor activities there are ways you can make changes to the cardio you do or increase the intensity of your workout.
Shannon Clark

    Next up, to maintain the muscle mass that you've developed in phase one of this, you're going to perform resistance training.

    While weight training is one way to go about doing this, Matthew McCaughney typically performs a lot of bodyweight exercises that are inserted right into his run.

Matthew McConaughey
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Matthew McConaughey In "Fool's Gold."
© 2007 Warner Bros. Pictures.

    In this way not only is he increasing his metabolism, but also continually changing the workouts so the body never really knows what will be coming next.

    Related Metabolism Articles:

    Consider also throwing in core and abdominal exercises, along with bodyweight squats so you can work the vast majority of the muscles in the body.

    Keep in mind though that while this will be good for when you're away from the gym, ideally it's still smart to maintain some form of intense weight lifting program to keep your muscle mass as strong as possible.

    While in the previous stage you really focused on those main core lifts, in this stage you can expand a little and work on any body parts that you feel are lagging a bit, by performing isolation exercises to bring out their size and definition.

    Do keep total rest in mind still though, as when on a reduced calorie diet, your recovery abilities are even further compromised.

Matthew McConaughey
+ Click To Enlarge.
Matthew McConaughey & Matthew Fox In "We Are Marshall."
© 2006 Warner Bros. Pictures.


So, if you're looking to achieve a muscular, yet streamlined body, this is the approach you want to take. Rather than focusing long-term on building up as much muscle mass as possible, you'll build up as much as you feel you need, then switch gears and accentuate the looks of that muscle by lowering your body fat and ensuring all your body parts are complimenting each other.


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