Leading fitness model, Kirk Miller recently joined us on our Facebook page for a live Q&A chat with our customers. Having previously been on the covers of Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness, Kirk is certainly in the know when it comes to training and nutrition. Find out what Kirk had to say in the chat transcript below:
Q. Lloyd Get Ripped Rivers: What’s the best exercise to bring up the vastus medialis?
A. Kirk Miller: All major quad exercises such as squats and hack squats will improve this, but for me focusing on a tempo of 4:1:2 equals faster gains from a better mind-to-muscle connection and a stronger isometric contraction…Put your ego away though as it’s a much slower rep.
Q. Alex Carmichael: In your opinion what are the best exercises for strengthening and toning the core?
A. Kirk Miller: Regular squatting, deadlifting and lunges using heavy weights at 6-10 reps will all improve your core. More specific ab/core exercises that will help are Swiss ball crunches with added weight and Russian med ball crunches too. Go heavy to with a rep range of 6-12 if you want thick strong core, and 80 per cent of any ab/core workout would be Lower abs/core
Q. Carl Creasey: Hi Kirk I’m a hard gainer (ectomorph) and have trouble with cheat meals due to anorexia background. How would you go about setting up a cheat meal would you worry about calories and macros etc?
A. Kirk Miller: Carl I hate the word ‘cheat’ as it puts negative view on enjoying a meal other than ‘diet’ food. When I ‘cheat’ I eat whatever I like within reason, especially if you’re an ectomorph. Having said this I think 80-90 percent of your diet should come from good solid whole food if you want to add quality muscle. Initial advice would be to increase carbs/fats, lift no more than 4 times a week and no cardio.
Q. Lawrence Cooper: How often to train abs and cardio?
A. Kirk Miller: I train abs once a week max, heavy 6-12 reps with a super slow tempo…always start with lower! I don’t normally do any cardio and I only recently starting doing 20 minutes 3-4 times a week as I’ve been eating a bit more junk and drinking booze in all the nice weather. If you want to burn the candle at both ends your exercise has to match it if you want to stay in shape!
Q. Jake Knotman: To cut my body fat significantly, should I cut out carbs completely from my diet?
A. Kirk Miller: Jake, do not cut out carbs, especially if you are natural lifter. Make only small changes week to week if you want to get leaner. It’s hard to say without seeing your diet, but I would favour increasing your exercise volume if you want to get leaner after years (me I mean) over over-dieting. You will resent your training and ruin your metabolism if you starve yourself into shape!
Q. Chris Gregg: Do you drink? If so, how often and how much?
A. Kirk Miller: I usually drink once a week and generally don’t hold back. If I am out I am out! If I drink beer I only like Coors Light, low in calories and doesn’t bloat me. But I generally drink vodka with diet mixers. I cut it out for a week or two if I have an important shoot or big expo coming up. I train to benefit my life, not take over it.
Q. Stephen Hazley: Best advice you have for FAT LOSS? I know a small deficit is required here, but things to optimise it? ie foods, meal timings?
A. Kirk Miller: Diet on as many calories as possible and make small changes week to week to ensure metabolism is optimum. Give a diet a chance for a week or two first. If it’s not working, make small changes and consider increasing the volume of reps within your protocol and/or add in some cardio.
Q. Sam McCormack: What are the best high protein foods to snack on? Not worried about limiting my calorie intake by the way.
A. Kirk Miller: If you’re not bothered about calories , I find nuts are the easiest thing to snack on. Too many will increase fat though. Eat bigger meals and you won’t get hungry.
Q. Steven Fox: Best exercise for hip flexor and lower core strength?
A. Kirk Miller: Squats, lunges, deadlfts and any big Olympic lift will work these best.
Q. Aaron Brunt: Hi there, I’m looking for the best exercises for abs and lower chest. Looking to build muscle. Thanks
A. Kirk Miller: My best Lower ab exercises by a mile are: hanging knee raises, reverse cable crunches, weighted Swiss ball crunches, Swiss ball ab crunches weighted 6-12 reps with a tempo 4:1:1-2. Slow & Squeeze!
Q. Darren Maddocks: What are the core exercises to bulk up the chest?
A. Kirk Miller: Not a big fan of lower chest exercises – for me this sharpens up when body is lower but if I had to pick, the best two would be wide grip dips leaning chest forward and cable flyes. Kirk Focus on the upper chest. Most people have a weaker upper chest than the rest of it. Incline dumbbells, incline barbell presses will build most muscle but keep your shoulders pinned back and don’t lock out your elbows…if you have a weaker muscle in particular chest go as heavy as you can but with correct form , slow the negative right down and concentrate on the isomeric squeeze …it will grow, fact!
Q. Craig Murphy: How often should you add extra weight to your exercises? How many days should you train if you have a hard manual job and can’t see mass gains?
A. Kirk Miller: Craig, I would look for some form of progression every session, whether it be one more rep or a little bit more weight if you’re doing the same workout week to week. If you’re not, then maybe switch up your program. If you have a hard manual job, increase your food and if it was me I would lift 4 times a week max. More time to recover and grow then buddy.
Q. Inigo Ollisbouris: Just finishing a 10 week cut on Monday – I’ve lost 21lbs. What is your advice on increasing caloric intake and maintaining good composition and should I de-train before changing my workout routine. Thanks.
A. Kirk Miller: I’d suggest 3 days off, then gradually increase carb/fat intake but keep it clean if you’re looking to minimise body fat gains. Your muscles are never in a better state to grow after a dieting phase so workouts including drop sets etc will really help gain some good muscle when rebounding out of the dieting phase.
Q. James Coy: Don’t want to drop the common comment, but what are your 3 compound lift PR’s? Also, do you include any powerlifting or Olympic styles in your training, and if so/not, why?
A. Kirk Miller: James, I can’t remember the last time I did a 1 rep max, but have recently lifted 10 reps on 140kg squat, 7 reps on 200kg deadlift. I do not bench press though as I get no great benefits for chest development and I have temperamental rotator cuffs from giving it hero bench pressing when younger!:) I also power clean and press which is fantastic exercise. I am soon to start Olympic lifting with a trainer in the coming weeks. It will have great benefits.
Q. Milos Markovic: How many grams of protein per kg of weight do you/did you take in your diet and how many calories are there in your diet? Could you also tell us the split percentage of carbs, proteins and fat?
A. Kirk Miller Milos: I don’t get that technical mate. I eat pretty much the same food week to week apart from ‘cheats’ when I eat what I like. As I have a fast metabolism, my ratio would be around high carbs high protein & medium fats, basically a lot of food!
Q. Tony Abbey: How much do you weigh in your picture Kirk?
A. Kirk Miller: I weigh around 81-83kg at present, but use the mirror and go on feel more when monitoring progress.
Q. Bartosz Nadrowski: I will be honest, I don’t like to train abs but I want to achieve a physique like you, which means I have to train it… so there is the question…
A. Kirk Miller: I hate training abs also. I do them once a week and heavy. See previous comments for the best exercises and my comments on dieting on as many calories as possible and small changes week to week. The key word when wanting to get in shape or make progress, whatever your goal, is consistency EVERY week with nutrition, supplements and training. If you’re still not making progress, you’re not training hard enough or properly.
Q. Ross Robinson: Hi Kirk, I’d be interested in knowing a bit more about your diet- macro cycling? Grams of protein per kilo? Brilliant conditioning in the pic.
A. Kirk Miller: I’m currently eating around 400-450g carbs , 300g protein, 100-150g fat …thank you, Giles is a great photographer.
Q. Aaron Nyan Scott: Kirk do you think a home gym can create a great body? im looking to buy a squat rack, and numerous dumbells and barbells but im not sure if i need all the other machines a gym can offer?
A. Kirk Miller: Aaron a home gym with a few bits if kit can create a good body, not a great body unless you have loads of kit. it would be okay when you first start out but as you improve and your body with it you will need more variety for a grata all round physique. You can’t beat a great gym mate.
Q. Charlie Ramsay: Kirk I constantly have the feeling of fatigue, lack of energy. I’ve tried taking three weeks off gym as I may thought it could be overtraining however I feel exactly the same as I did when I was working out 4 times a week. Any ideas?
A. Kirk Miller: Charlie, how much sleep do you get? My initial thoughts would be to have a look at your diet. Send me your diet via my website www.kirk-miller.com through the online section and I will take a look.
Q. Niall Valerio: Is it OK to train legs if you are playing a sport that involves a lot of running and jumping-basketball a few times a week or is this overtraining?
A. Kirk Miller: If you want big legs you have to lift. I only noticed better gains in my legs when I quit football.
Q. Jonathan Winspeare: Hi Kirk, have you tried cluster sets for hypertrophy development? Thanks.
A. Kirk Miller: Yes mate, I was introduced to them by my good friend Shaun Stafford. They tore me apart! Great workouts, very intense and a great way to shock the body into a state of growth whilst minimising body fat!
Q. Daniel Rozek: Hey Kirk, I really would like to reduce my bodyfat. Right now I am at about 10-11% and want to go for 8%. Any idea, because I’ve already tried several kind of diets but the last part is always getting me. I’d appreciate any advice. Thanks!
A. Kirk Miller: Daniel, chuck in some extra HIT cardio if your diet is on point. An extra 1-2 per week initially, 20 minutes per time. If you feel diet isn’t great, gradually reduce some calories – nothing drastic to minimise muscle loss.
Q. Tom Beavis: Hi Kirk, I seem to be constantly ripping up my shins when doing deadlifts, even through long socks. Would you say this is all down to poor form or is this something everyone can experience? Cheers
A. Kirk Miller: Tom, you’re probably pulling it a fraction too close to your shins. You’re also possibly not using your heels enough as the initial driving force in the movement so the bar is rolling back to your shins more than driving up just close to it. Then make sure you drive your hips forward at the top of the movement and don’t over hyper extend.
Kirk Miller: Have to go now but thanks for all your questions hope I helped. Follow me on twitter @Kirk_Abs_Miller for any advice too. Plus check out my website for any help via my online training. Have a great weekend!