Charles Poliquin

Charles Poliquin

Strength Coach
Born: 1961

Charles Poliquin aka the ‘Strength Sensei’ was born in the French-speaking part of Ontario, Canada. He was 1 of 8 children in a devout Catholic family. Always disciplined, he did martial arts in his youth, and at age 14 was the 2nd youngest child in Canada to earn a black belt. He began studying kinesiology as a teen and got his Bachelors degree in kinesiology and a Masters in exercise physiology. He wanted to know everything about strength training and traveled the world in his quest to learn all he could about the subject. A fan of Bruce Lee, he decided to ‘use what works and reject what doesn’t.’ He helped popularize the German Volume Training technique and trained elite athletes is 23+ different sports, including for the Olympics, the NFL and the NHL and authored 8 books on health and fitness. He was 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighed about 180 lbs. Poliquin passed away in 2018.

Known For:

CHARLES POLIQUIN’s Diet

Summary

On the surface, Poliquin’s approach to a diet that supports strength is simple: eat more protein. But like most things, looks can be deceiving and the eating plans he designed for his athletes depended greatly on where they were starting and their goals. For those looking to gain muscle, he recommended they consume 2+g protein per kilogram of bodyweight. For his lean athletes, he recommended a carb + protein drink after a workout to increase strength gains, but for those looking to lose weight, he recommended restricting carb intake. Protein shakes were okay with him, whey protein in particular, but whole foods affect the body differently and Poliquin recommended his athletes not depend too much on convenience foods.

Estimated Macros

  • Low-Medium Carbs 25% 25%
  • Medium Fat 35% 35%
  • High Protein 60% 60%

Diet Details

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Moderate Meals For Maximum Gains

Poliquin recommended 5-6 smaller meals for better nutrient absorption, which means eating 4 oz. of meat every couple of hours rather than a 12 oz. steak twice a day.

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Load Up On Protein

Poliquin had his athletes eat plenty of protein. Doing so not only builds muscle, but it also helps burn fat because the body uses more energy (read: burns more calories) to process protein.

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Whey Protein: The Gold Standard

Poliquin believed whey protein was the very best way to build muscle and burn fat because it provides a wider array and higher concentration of amino acids, giving the body more to work with.

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Switch It Up

Poliquin recommended changing the protein source regularly to get a maximum array of amino acids, and also to periodically make a dramatic increase in protein intake for more muscle gains.

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Pass The Steak

While Poliquin had no problem with his athletes using protein shakes, for fat loss he recommended eating meat and high-protein foods at all meals. He said processing whole foods requires more energy (burns more calories) by up to 50% than convenience foods, and whole foods also help regulate blood sugar and insulin.

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Watch Your Toxins

Poliquin says one overlooked cause of injury is toxic overload from heavy metals, pesticides and the like. He recommended reducing toxic load by doing chelation therapy to reduce the risk of injury.

What to Eat

R

Whole foods

R

Meat

R

Fruit

R

Vegetables

R

Whole grains

R

Whey protein

What to Avoid

Q

Junk food

Q

Processed sugar

Q

Diet soda

Q

Refined foods

Q

Chemical additives

Q

Artificial ingredients

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Poliquin on the Importance of Chewing

‘Chew your food…Even if you’re trying to gain muscle mass, it’s true too. Most people inhale their foods.’

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Poliquin on Mindfulness

‘Mindful eating is another way to lose fat and then most people who are not doing mindful eating and sitting in front of the screen consume far too many calories.’

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Poliquin on Carbs

‘There is no essential thing as an ‘essential carbohydrate.’ So I think for most people, it’s just sheer laziness that makes them [eat] carbs.’

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Poliquin on Carbs, Take II

‘If you’re fat, you don’t need to do blood work to find out that you don’t need carbs.’

CHARLES POLIQUIN’s Fitness Routine

Weekly Routine

Focus on the Muscle

Poliquin says that building muscle is a more effective way to slim down than focusing on losing fat.

No ‘Magic’ Routine

Poliquin scoured the globe looking for the ‘perfect’ routine, but of course he found was that there is no such thing, other than to keep changing things up. Every body is different, and needs novelty to keep it from adapting.

Skip the Foam Roller

Poliquin says foam rolling is a waste of time, and that increased range of motion and adhesions are more effectively treated and get longer-lasting results with a massage technique called Rolfing.

No Excuses Warm Up

Poliquin says a proper warm-up is essential to preventing injury, along with varying your routine.

Splits For Maximum Gain

Poliquin says he’s never seen a world-class bodybuilder who works the whole body on the same day. He believed split routines are the way to go.

Challenge Yourself

Poliquin says getting stronger isn’t really different from learning a foreign language. You must continue to try new things in order to grow. He also says rotating your exercises is a good way to prevent injury.

Workout Style

Z

A Charles Poliquin Routine

Monday: Chest & Back
Tuesday: Legs
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Shoulders, Biceps & Triceps
Friday: Rest

Routine repeats of 2 days on, 1 day off.

Following are some of Poliquin’s favorite exercises:

  • Hex bar deadlift
  • Split squat
  • Chin up
  • Barbell squat
  • Bench press
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Overhead press
  • Farmer’s walk
  • Glute-ham raise
  • Garhammer raise
  • Squat
  • Chin up
  • Barbell squat
  • Bench press
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Overhead press
  • Farmer’s walk
  • Glute-ham raise
  • Garhammer raise
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Poliquin on Results

‘If you’re 80% good and 20% terrible, you can’t expect to have 100% results.’

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Poliquin on Injury

‘The biggest cause of injury is to stick to favorite exercise ad nauseum.’

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Poliquin on Getting Advice Off The Internet

‘Stop wasting your time on the internet watching stupid stuff that doesn’t do anything.

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Poliquin on Goals

‘You really have to concentrate on one goal at a time.’l.

CHARLES POLIQUIN’s Supplements

Leucine

Leucine

Poliquin recommends leucine, an amino acid that is essential to retain and build muscle, especially as we age.

BCAAs

BCAAs

Branched-chain amino acids increase fat-burning and let you work out with more intensity and for longer periods.

Glutamine

Glutamine

Glutamine can help restore glycogen in muscles, which is critical to prevent overtraining.

Arginine

Arginine

Poliquin says arginine helps the body store more glycogen.

Magnesium

Magnesium

Poliquin recommends magnesium and theanine for better sleep.

Omega 3s

Omega-3s

Poliquin recommends omega-3s with vitamin D3 and K1 & K2 to increase absorption, which ends up costing less since you don’t need to take as much.

gotu kola

Gotu Kola

Poliquin recommends gotu kola to prevent stretch marks.

CHARLES POLIQUIN’s Lifestyle

Sleep Matters

Poliquin said if he had one regret, it was not getting enough sleep when he was younger. He would work 20 hours a day, getting only 3 hours of sleep.

On Values

In addition to raising eight children, Poliquin’s mother went back to school at age 46 to become a lawyer. His father was a journalist who spoke 9 languages. Poliquin says he learned the value of hard work at an early age

Going Global

When Poliquin was studying kinesiology, he discovered that most of the research in North America had been done on aerobic exercise. He went to Europe and taught himself German in order to be able to learn more about anaerobic activity.

Fate Intervenes

Poliquin got into weight training after he was the only kid to show up for karate class during a blizzard. His sensei didn’t want to teach to a class of one, and so they lifted weights instead. Poliquin was hooked.

Parlez-Vous Kinesiology?

Poliquin says he learned to say things like ‘Does pronation increase brachialis recruitment’ in English before he could ask simple questions like ‘Where’s the bathroom’.

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Poliquin on Sleep

‘If someone wants to increase their testosterone naturally, the single most important factor is actually sleep.’

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Poliquin on Screens

‘Avoiding screen time is very important for sleep quality.’

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Poliquin on Self-improvement

‘Take on one habit per week.’

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Poliquin on the Three Pillars

‘You can’t say “I’m just going to sleep for muscle growth” or “I’m just going to exercise”…or “I’m just going to eat for muscle growth.” You need all three.’

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Poliquin on Cryotherapy

‘If you use cryotherapy post-exercise, it will increase cortisol and it will actually slow down your progress.’

Recommended Products

gotu kola

Gaia Gotu Kola

Arm Size and Strength

Arm Size and Strength

Workout Systems II

Workout Systems II

German Volume Training

German Volume Training

German Body Comp Program

German Body Comp Program

Poliqin Principles

Poliqin Principles

Manly Weight Loss

Manly Weight Loss

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