The Hodge Twins have become the bad boys of the fitness world using their edgy comedy and straight-talking to amass over 2,000,000 YouTube subscribers. Use their new brand of training advice to double-team your workouts and make twice the gains
Their unique brand of advice is fast turning this duo’s videos into cult classics. But not because Keith and Kevin Hodge have the big production values of fitness systems such as P90X, or huge-budget special effects.
Think of them as The Blair Witch Project of the fitness world – original, street and no holds barred.
And if you want someone to weigh in on just about any topic with unabashed honesty peppered with boundless profanity then theirs is the most honest channel on the internet.
It’s no bulls**t fitness advice that’s entertaining and rock-solid, but also includes more comments and stories about life in general where viewers send in subjects of the day via emails.
It’s abundantly clear they’re now doing their dream job with explosive career prospects on the horizon.
They’re currently developing their own TV show that’s afforded them the opportunity to work with several comedians they’ve always admired.
Now, before you reach for your mobile device to get your fix of their videos, here is a behind-the-scenes look at the Hodgetwins training, motivations and nutrition philosophies.
The Hodge Twins vital stats
Between 205 and 215lbs / 88.5-93kg
6’3″ / 190cm
42 (As of 2018 – born in 1975)
The Hodge Twins workout
Frequency: Train each muscle 2x a week
Reps: 5-8 reps (compound movements), 8-12 reps (isolation movements)
Rest: As long as it takes to recover
Routine: “We go on feel. Sometimes we might do quads and biceps together. Other times we’ll do shoulders on their own, depending on what our body tells us on the day. As long as you hit each muscle group twice a week, you’ll get optimal gains. We got good gains doing the typical bro-split for the first two years of training (each body part hit once a week), but when we switched to each muscle group worked twice a week our gains increased – for natural athletes, this way of training is optimal”
When it comes to building muscle, progression gets gains. In fact, trying a new workout every four to eight weeks and taking rest weeks is a time-honored practice among lifters.
This periodized approach is the key to long-term exercise success and avoiding overtraining, found research in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
However much your training benefits from change, there is often a program that works best for your particular body type and the Hodgetwins are no exception.
“Working each body part twice per week using a rep range of five to eight reps for compound movements, such as squats, deadlift and bench presses, and 8–12 reps for isolation exercises, like concentration curls and tricep push-downs, seems to be the formula we’ve had the most success with,” they explain. “Plus, we don’t train to failure.”
This notion might go against the mantra of yesteryear’s bodybuilders, but research is lending plenty of credence to it.
A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology got one group of athletes to train to failure and the other to train to non-failure.
At the end of six weeks there was no significant difference between the gains made by either group.
Yep, that’s right – all that extra effort for no additional reward, so save your breath and listen up to the Hodge wisdom.
This was actually echoed by further research at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, that discovered lifting less weight more times is just as effective at building muscles as lifting with heavy weights.
Plus you’re probably less likely to get injured, which is important at the Hodgetwins’ age. At 42 years old (in 2018), it’s about longevity rather than smashing the records of your 19 year old self.
Lift smart – not big.
The HodgeTwins Diet philosophy
They often run cooking segments (diet has always formed a huge part of their broadcasts) answering questions from viewers and showcasing the best foods for building muscle.
That said, some of the HodgeTwins broadcasts have explained how to eat a post-workout meal at McDonald’s – yeah, we’ve all been there.
But despite the odd indulgence, their strategy is still quite traditional yet still unique. “We eat 120–140g of protein a day,” says Kevin.
“I don’t get a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight because I weigh 206lb. That’s way too much protein because your colon and kidneys are getting a pounding.
I eat 2,500 calories a day to get both stronger and bigger because I know how my body runs.
Find the calories you need to maintain growth then make sure you have enough protein.
Some days it’s real easy to get carbs because they’re in everything and in one meal you can consume all your fats for the day.
There ain’t nothing wrong with tracking your nutrients, but we ain’t be doing all that, I eat what the f**k I want to eat wherever I want to eat: Taco Bell, KFC, Chillis – flexible dieting or whatever you want to call it.
We eat well, as long as we’re getting all the calories. If you find your own way of eating that fits your lifestyle, you’ll make all kinds of gains.
I count my calories and make sure I get my protein. You can’t do a bulking routine for the rest of your life or you’ll get heart disease – you need to find how much food you need to maintain.”
The HodgeTwins take on the fitness industry
The fitness industry can be a fickle workplace and not without elements that can kick your blood pressure up a notch.
“One of the things we don’t like about the fitness business is dealing with some of the egos where people think they are better than others because their fitness level may be better at the moment,” they explain.
“It’s discouraging to people still trying to obtain their best personal fitness level.”
Getting started on your journey is far more important than wondering about how good you can or should be.
In fact, research at Michigan State University found that athletes report more life-skill and character development when coaches place greater emphasis on self-improvement rather than winning alone.
So even though the Hodge Twins have a tough-as-nails veneer, on the inside it’s clear they genuinely care about their supporters and try to tailor things to each individual as much as possible.
“The one-size-fits-all mentality is another one of our pet hates,” they explain.
“We are all different and everyone’s body reacts differently to different exercises and nutrition, volume and/or rep ranges. What may work for you may not work for someone else. We are very clear about that in our advice to people. Sometimes you have to try a number of different approaches or a combination of routines to reach your fitness goals.”
Though genetics is a fledgling science it is beginning to answer why this phenomenon stops some people from maxing out their T-shirt sleeves no matter how many curls they do.
Some people respond very well to weight training, some respond a little and others don’t respond at all, found research in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise.
Using the same training program in that test, the worst responders lost 2% of their muscle mass and didn’t gain any strength, while the best responders gained 59% more muscle and increased their strength by 250%.
Those staggering differences beg the question: how likely are you to draw the genetic short straw?
Well, research in the Journal of Applied Physiology found 26% of people gained no brawn at all after a month-long weight-training program.
However, that does not mean that a quarter of all lifters are destined to a lifetime of spaghetti arms.
The non-responders simply didn’t react to that kind of weight-training protocol, so take their advice and mix it up and see what works best for you.
The Hodgetwins YouTube channel – living the dream
Though the Hodge Twins can sometimes project an air of anger this is usually applied for comedic effect because it’s abundantly clear they love what they do.
“Our fans not only inspire us, but they are also the real source of our credibility,” they explain. “We constantly receive before and after photos from our fans that show us exactly what impact we’ve had on helping them reach their fitness goals and optimum health. It is life changing for them, so it’s personal for us. It’s why we do what we do the way we do it. We don’t sugar-coat anything and give them the same advice we ourselves follow on our own fitness journey.”
This is what separates them from other fitness channels, the personal touch and willingness to poke fun at themselves. But it’s not all jokes. Behind the personas are two guys with some serious fitness chops.
“We are both International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) certified personal trainers,” they explain. “It was important to us both to become certified because we do take fitness seriously. We wanted to have access to the best information and so we’re constantly doing research and updating our knowledge on what’s new in fitness and nutrition.”
So while their information delivery isn’t done in a text-book-boring drone fashion you can still take their knowledge and advice seriously.
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