Thứ Năm, 30 tháng 7, 2015


The key to building, and keeping, consistent muscle mass is variety. The best program in the world for you will give you results for only so long. That’s because our bodies are extremely adaptive. When they become acclimatized to a workout program, your results will diminish – and finally stop all together. That is why you will presented with two workout phases in this book:

  • Phase One: Foundational Mass Training
  • Phase Two: Peripheral Heart Action Training

Your 12 Month Training Plan

You will be alternating between these two workout systems over the course of the next 12 months. Begin with your Phase One Program. Stick with it for 8 weeks, focusing on getting stronger while maintaining perfect form. At the end of 8 weeks, take a complete week off from training. Then go into your Phase Two Program. Work this program for a further 8 weeks. Then take another complete week off. Now go back to your Phase One Program for a further 8 weeks.

This Phase One / Phase Two rotation with a week’s gap between each phase will allow you to complete 3 phases of each workout over the next 12 months.

Phase One: Foundational Mass Training

The bodybuilding magazines and websites have made building muscle extremely complicated (and extremely lucrative) to the extent that every guy thinks he needs to do at least 6 exercise for his biceps and triceps alone. Split routines are the default workout style. Anything less is for the pencil neck geek and the clueless klutz.

Let everyone else in the gym carry on their merry multi exercise, isolation focused way. You are going to train smarter. For a hard gainer to build muscle what’s needed is increasing the weights, dropping the reps, taking longer rest periods between sets and to focus on the basic compound exercises. That’s why your entire routine is going to consist of the big 6 mass builders …

  • Squats
  • Dead-lifts
  • Pull Ups
  • Bench Press
  • Military Press

That’s it! No barbell curls, no pec dec flyes, no lying leg curls. Put all of your energy and focus into the compound exercises that are already working every muscle in your body.

What’s more, you’ll only be in the gym twice a week. Go with Monday and Thursday, to provide maximum rest between workouts. Do not be tempted to do more exercise than this - it will be counter productive. Just make sure that every single second of every workout is full on.

From now on, your training mindset needs to be: Get in, work your body like hell, then get out.

Unless you get your choice of exercise right, you’re going to be wasting a lot of time in the gym for very little reward. Heavy compound movements are the key to building muscle mass. These are the multi-joint movements that work a variety of muscle groups simultaneously. They also simulate real life movements, like squatting down or lifting something off the floor. Prime examples of compound movements are chin ups, squats and the bench press. These exercises are not only the best way to build bulk and they will get you stronger quicker than anything else. And, because they work muscle groups simultaneously, they are far more time efficient than isolation movements.

Optimized Exercise Technique

The following exercises will form the basis of your training:

· Squats

· Dead-lifts

· Pull Ups

· Bench Press

· Military Press

Let’s now take a close look at each of these core exercises:


Squats are known as a compound exercise, meaning that they target more than one muscle group. This simple movement does, in fact, directly stimulate every muscle group in the lower body. The prime movers, however, are the inner thighs, the butt and the hips. Indirectly, the squat even provides a workout to the muscles of the upper body. It also generates a great cardiovascular benefit. By taking deep breaths between each repetition and forcing the air out of the body on the ascent, the heart and lungs will be working overtime to support the work of the muscles of the body. This ensures that a ton of calories are being burnt and that the cardiovascular system is getting a rev up at the same time.

Preparation: Place an Olympic bar on the squat rack. At a weight of 45 lbs you won’t need to add any added weight but make sure that use a pad in the middle of the bar to protect your neck.

Execution: Position yourself under the bar and lift it off the rack. Step back and stand with your feet spread slightly wider than shoulder width and pointing slightly outward. Keep your back straight, your chest thrust out and your head up. Now tense your abdominal wall, bend you knees and lower your body until your thighs are parallel with the floor. To avoid excess strain on the knees, don’t go down any further. While squatting, keep your head up and your back slightly arched.

In the bottom squat position, your lower legs should be almost vertical to the floor. Push through your heels as you return to the starting position.

Breathing: Because squats include an aerobic component, it’s vital that you use proper breathing technique. If you don’t you may start to feel light headed after a few repetitions. As you lower yourself, breath in deeply. Then on the way back up, forcefully expel the air in one breath. During the final few repetitions, take two or three quick breaths between reps.

What Not To Do When You Squat

· Squatting over a bench. Every time you touch the bench with your glutes, your spine will compress slightly. Over time this may cause vertebral damage.

· Placing a block under your heels / turning your toes too widely outwards. Both of these will place unnatural stresses on your knees and, over time, can lead to injury.

· Leaning too far forward. Not only does this increase your likelihood of suffering spinal injuries, it also takes the stress off the quadriceps and onto the trunk extensor muscles.

· Allowing the knees to ride over the toes while allowing your heels to lift off the floor. Keeping your lower legs almost vertical may feel unnatural at first but it can make the difference between injured and healthy knees. Keeping your shin bones vertical drastically reduces your risk of injury.


Often referred to as the king of exercises, the barbell deadlift is an extremely effective mass builder. It specifically targets the legs and back, but will place secondary adaptive stress upon nearly every muscle group in your body. Here’s how to perform them correctly:

Squat down so your feet are under the bar, and the bar rests against your shins. Grip the bar using an alternate hook grip to prevent it from rotating. Your hands should be a little wider than shoulder width apart. Make sure to keep your back flat and tight throughout the movement.

Begin lifting the bar with a long, strong leg push, extending your knees and hips. Your knees should be bent as you lift the bar past them. Pull your shoulder blades together as you do this. Push your hips in toward the bar and keep the bar close to your body throughout the lift.

Continue the lift as if pushing the floor away from you with your feet, unless you stand up straight with your knees locked. Brace your shoulders back as you lift. Also make sure that you grip the bar tightly, so that it doesn’t rotate in your hand.

With your knees unlocked, and maintaining a tight, flat back and keep your head up, start to lower the bar under control. Your knees should be bent as you lower the bar past them. Move your hips back and down as you descend.

Slowly move your hips and shoulder together when lowering the bar back down to the start position. Do not drop the bar. Make sure that you are bending at the knees and pulling your shoulders back.

Correct lifting technique is essential with this movement. Never lift with your spine flexed forward. Not only will the exercise be ineffective if you do, but you also risk spinal injury. Always raise and lower your shoulders and hips together. Keep the bar close to your body and do not drop it at the end of the movement. Always lower the bar under control.

Dumbbell Variation

Using dumbbells for the deadlift recruits more muscles to control and stabilize movement. It is a good way of developing strength and technique for heavier barbell lifts. Start with light weights to determine your range of motion. As with the barbell lift, keep your back flat and the weights close to your body. Do not pause at the bottom of the movement or allow the weights to ‘bounce’ as you lower them.


Wide Grip Pull Ups to the front are a great movement to widen the upper back and create a full sweep in the lats. Chinning yourself so that you touch the chest to the bar rather than the back of the neck gives you a slightly longer range of motion and is less strict, allowing you to cheat slightly so that you can continue your reps even after you are tired.


Take hold of the chinning bar with an overhand grip, hands as wide apart as practicable.

Hang from the bar, then pull yourself up, trying to touch the top of your chest to the bar. At the top of the movement, hold for a brief moment, then lower yourself back to the starting position.

Tips for Maximum Results

  • Pay attention to the details so that you can extract the most from the movement. Let your legs hang down straight, and don’t jerk your way up. Just pull yourself up in a smooth motion, then let your body down under control. Jerking movements shift the effort, taking tension off the lats.
  • For maximum stretch and contraction, lower yourself to the very bottom of each rep and pull up until the bar touches the chest (or your chin in the later reps of the set).
  • A grip just outside the shoulders is very effective. However, you should vary it to stimulate the muscle somewhat differently. The wide grip invites the tendency to do half reps, but better development comes with full range ones.
  • As you move your grip on the pull up bar closer to your midline, the greater the lower lat development along with the intercostals. Try a series of sets, starting with and finishing narrow, inching your grip closer with the set.
  • Shoot for a specific number of reps, say 50, rather than counting sets. On the first set you may do 10 reps. Perhaps you struggle with eight on the second set. You’ve now got 18 reps. If you make five on the third set, you’re up to 23 reps. Continue to add them until you have reached 50, even though it may take you 20 sets to do it. That will allow you to build both size and power.
  • After you’ve mastered 10-12 reps in any type of pull up, you can start to put weight around your waist. That’s when the muscle really begins to grow. Add about ten pounds at a time, which should make the reps harder. As you become stronger, ad more weight. It’s only when you are able to start adding weight that your last will really grow!


The bench press is a key compound mass builder for the entire body. It places you in a position of power, enabling you to lift very heavy weight and, therefore, exert maximum stress on the working muscles. While its major target is the chest, it also works the triceps, the shoulders and the back. In other words, it gives a damn good workout to your entire upper body.

Before we delve into the specifics of bench press performance, let’s make it clear what our goal is. We’re interested in building muscle, right? The bench is a tool towards that end. That is why we refer to ourselves as bodybuilders rather than power-lifters. For power-lifters the weight itself is the goal and that means that the exercise, although bearing the same name, is performed in a quite different way to a person who is using it as a tool to work their body. The being said, how do we use the bench press to build muscle?

Here’s the basic technique:

Lie on a bench with your head, torso and hips resting against it and your feet planted on the floor. Take a hold of the bar with a full overhand grip and with your arms slightly wider than shoulder width. Lift the bar off the rack so that it is being supported above your collar bone.

Pulling your shoulder blades together, slowly lower the bar to just above your nipples. Press back up in a slightly arcing movement until the bar returns to it’s starting position. Stop just short of lock-out and remember to keep your shoulder blades pulled back.

The following tips will allow you to optimize your technique:
  • Either place a four inch block under your feet or position your feet on the bench. This will lessen the likelihood of back arch during the movement as well as preventing your quads from taking some of the load that should be going to your chest.
  • After taking a grip on the bar which is wide enough so that your forearms are not quite parallel, lift it off the rack and, with it positioned above your mid chest, pinch your shoulder blades together.
  • Lower the bar to the sternum (that is, just below the nipples). Your elbows should end up at 70 degree angles to your sides and your forearms should be vertical.
  • Touch your chest (never bounce), forcefully stretch your pecs and immediately drive upwards, squeezing your lats and arcing the bar up to its start position at mid chest. Lock out briefly between reps. Keep your shoulders down throughout the pressing movement.
  • Breathing: inhale while the bar is overhead, hold your breath during the descent and breathe out as you press back up.

Five Things To Never do on The Bench

Bring the bar down to your upper chest. It will place way too much harmful stress on your shoulders and could, if done repeatedly, land you in line for surgery – which is definitely not recommended.

1. Perform hip thrusts. The hips MUST stay down on the bench. If they don’t, not only are you wasting the exercise, you are also courting major lower spinal disc problems.

2. Use a thumbless grip. It keeps the wrist hyper-extended, making it more injury prone. The thumbless grip also makes it easier to lose control of the bar as well as giving you less grip strength. All of which gives it the big thumbs down.

3. Let momentum do the work. It should go without saying that every exercise in the gym needs to be done with a controlled movement. Momentum negates your effort, robbing you of results and fooling yourself into thinking that you’re strong. In addition, it’s dangerous – especially when you’re handling heavy poundages. Bottom line – NEVER bounce the bar off your chest when benching.

4. Twist your neck around – no matter how hot that babe who just came into your peripheral vision looks. If you do you’re just asking for trouble – a guaranteed recipe for remaining dateless and desperate.


The military press is the granddaddy of all shoulder exercises. It directly hits the front and side deltoids, to give you both shoulder width and thickness. When you do the movement from a seated position the movement will be stricter than when standing.

Basic Military Press technique:

From a sitting position, grasp a barbell with an overhand grip and hold it at shoulder level, pams underneath for support, hands outside your shoulders, elbows tucked in and under.

From a position about even with your collarbone, lift the bar straight up overhead until your arms are locked out, being careful to keep the weight balanced and under control. Lower the weight back to the start position.

Optimized Military Press technique:

From the bottom position, move your elbows forward so that they are actually in front of your torso, rather than flared back. This will take the focus of stress from your upper back and place it on your delts. This will also relieve a lot of the tension from your spine. This may require you to drop back the weight slightly. The enhanced delt focus, however, will more than compensate.

Extra Tips:

Use a wide grip (too narrow a grip shifts the focus to the triceps)

  • Do not lock out at the top of the movement
  • Keep your back arched throughout
  • Do not bounce the weight off your chest

The Workout

Now that you’ve got to grips with the proper performance of each of the exercises in your back to foundational mass training workout, let’s take a look at how to put them together to ensure maximum results. Remember that you’ll be working the whole body in each session and training twice per week. The ideal training days will allow for a minimum of two full rest days between them.

Rep & Set Scheme

For every exercise, except for pull ups, use the following rep scheme:

  • Warm Up – 15 reps
  • Working sets – 12 reps
  • 10 reps
  • 8 reps
  • 6 reps

For Pull Ups, set yourself a target of 30 reps in the first two weeks. Do this is as few sets as possible, as described in the Pull Ups exercise description. After two weeks, up the target to 40 reps. After two more weeks, lift it once more to 50 reps.

Both research and experience have shown that bodybuilders get the most muscle building benefit from training with a weight that is between 70 and 75 percent of their one rep maximum. Your one rep max is the amount of weight that you can lift while doing one full-out rep with perfect form. When you pyramid your reps, as you will be doing, you slightly increase the weight as you decrease the reps.

The weight that you choose should mean that you are training to failure one ach set. This means that you will be continuing the set until you can’t do any more reps with that weight without stopping to rest. You’ll be doing 4 working sets on each exercise (apart from pull ups, which will take as many sets as required to hit your target). You need to do at least 4 sets in order to have the volume of training necessary to fully stimulate all of the available muscle. If you do more sets per exercise, your total training volume will be so great that you risk over training.

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