You are here

Ultimate Guide To Packing On Muscle!

Get Huge Fast! The 2 Year Plan For Extreme Mass

Average: 3.9 (64 votes)
3.9 5 64
Here it is! The ultimate guide to packing on muscle mass. 6 stages, two years of training. Learn how to eat, what supplements to take, and how to train. Every set is detailed.

Sit down, and listen up. I’m going to train you.

You will get big, and you will get strong. But you have to do exactly as I say. Ready? Of course you’re ready! Well then, what are we waiting for…let’s get lifting.

What I’m about to present to you is my 2 year plan for massiveness. It is a step by step, 24 month map to maximizing your muscle mass. I am not playing games here, and this is not hype. This system will work if you follow it.

What does it mean to “follow” this 24 month plan? Ah! Glad you asked. It means:

  1. Never missing a workout. No excuses. To pack on muscle mass you need to be persistent. Taking weeks off won’t cut it.
  2. Never missing a meal. Starting to see the big picture yet? Eat to grow, eat to grow. All the hard training in the world won’t matter if you don’t eat properly.
  3. Trusting in the process. This program works. End of story. Believe and achieve.

Listen, there are a ton of theories and studies on the Interwebz. This plan involves common sense, straight forward hard work. If you jump off my plan every 2 weeks to follow the latest workout program of Mr. Olympia, or to follow the advice of the latest study, you will fail.

Eat, train and believe!

Dumbbell Curls

Before You Begin

Master Exercise Form

To become a master of muscle building, you also have to become a student of lifting. Learning proper form is essential. Watch the videos and read the descriptions for exercises listed in the following programs. Practice good form. Ask questions about good form in the forum.

Good form is essential. Training injury-free allows you to grow more quickly. No more bouncing the bar off your chest during bench press. No more cheat curls.

Ab and Bicep Obsession

I understand you want a six pack. I also understand you want big Arnold biceps. So when you peruse my workouts, you will most likely be asking the following questions:

  1. Where is all the ab work? I treat abs just like I treat every other minor body part, meaning that I DO NOT overtrain abs. You do not need to perform 16 sets of abs 5 times per week. This is not the route to a six pack. A six pack comes from diet, AND a six pack comes after you have first added enough muscle to your physique to frame that six pack and make it look good.
  2. Where is all the bicep work? Nothing builds bigger arms then heavy, compound lifts. You need to perform big, beefy exercises to build monster arms. Performing 20 sets of curls twice a week isn’t going to help you much. This program focuses on building your arms the fastest way possible, and that’s with heavy, heavy weight using heavy compound lifts.
The Importance Of Squats and Deadlifts

Squats and deadlifts rule the land of muscle building. Check out the natural bodybuilding profiles on Muscle & Strength…most every athlete lists squats and deadlifts as the most important muscle building lifts.

What does this mean for you? It means you NEED to perform them. No ifs, ands or butts. No excuses. You are not allowed to exchange leg presses for squats. You are not allowed to exchange pull-ups for deadlifts. If you do, you are not following this 2 year plan…you are following your own plan.

You MUST take the proper amount of time and practice squat and deadlift form. Never stop working on your form for these lifts. Never! Read something new each week about squat and deadlift training and form. ABIAlways Be Improving!

Barbell Squats

The Cornerstones Of This Program

The cornerstones of this program are:

  1. Simplicity. Complex, elaborate training systems might be sexy; slick training protocols like myo-reps, slow negatives and TUT might be sexy…but we aren’t looking to get married here. We’re looking to build muscle. This program uses simple, basic, good ‘ol fashion hard work.
  2. Progression. Want to get bigger? Try to perform more reps on every set. Want to get stronger? Try to perform more reps on every set. Want to be weak and small? Waste sets by giving half-hearted efforts. Nothing confuses the body greater than repeated attempts at more reps and heavier weight.
  3. Heavy Compound Lifts. Isolation exercises have their place in lifting. But they should always come AFTER an ample amount of heavy, compound lifts. Heavy, compound lifts tax multiple muscle groups and force the body to respond and grow.
  4. Training Shy of Failure. Do not train to failure. Perform reps until you believe that you might fail on the next rep, then stop the set. Training to failure is unnecessary, and takes away vital energy and strength that you will need for future sets.
  5. Food. Building muscle requires a surplus of materials. You can’t build an addition to a home or business using existing resources. You must bring in new materials. To grow, you need to eat more than it takes to maintain your body weight. Understand that it is virtually impossible to add muscle without adding some fat. And it is even more difficult to build muscle and lose fat. Put these ideas out of your head. We’re here to get big.
What Kind of Gains Can You Expect?

Beginners who lift hard and eat correctly can make amazing progress – and when I say amazing, I mean amazing.

In my first two years of lifting I gained over 20 pounds of muscle, my bench press improved by nearly 200 pounds, and I was squatting close to 400 pounds. Not bad for a small-boned, weak an unathletic teenager.

On this program you can expect:

  • Muscle Mass. Expect to gain 15 to 25 pounds of muscle during these two years. Picture what 25 pounds of hamburger looks like, and then add that to your body. That’s a lot of growth!
  • Strength. If you want a beefy bench press, you’ve come to the right training program.  You can expect to add 100 to 150 pounds to your bench press max during the next 2 years. And expect to add at least 150 pounds to both your deadlift and squat total.

Picture yourself in 24 month’s time…thick as a brick, benching close to 300, and squatting mammoth poundages. Every brah within 30 feet of you will start asking:

  • Dude, what supplements are you taking?
  • Broseph, you take steroids?

Bench Press

The Plan

  • Phase 1“Crawl”. Stage duration, 2 weeks. During the crawl stage, you will hit the gym 3 times per week, practicing exercise form with light weight.
  • Phase 2“Stand”. Stage duration, 2 weeks. During the stand stage, you will hit the gym 3 times per week, slowly adding weight to exercises while practicing form.
  • Phase 3“Walk”. Stage duration, 1 month. During the walk stage, you will start to slowly push yourself. You will be working out three times per week, systematically adding weight to each of your lifts.
  • Phase 4“Charge”. Stage duration, 2 months. It’s time to “get it on”. During the charge stage you will start to push yourself on every set of every workout.
  • Phase 5“Crush”. Stage duration, 4 months. Now that you have built up some strength and confidence, and no longer feel “shaky” under the bar, it’s time to get hard and heavy. Training during the crush stage will involve fewer exercises, and more sets of basic, heavy compound lifts.
  • Stage 6“Destroy”. Stage duration, 16 months. This is the stage where the rubber meets the road. You will be grinding out reps and sets for 16 months, pushing as hard as possible, and getting bigger and stronger each month.

Don't cut corners, believing that if you rush into the next stage you will achieve faster results. This won't happen. Muscle building requires dedication to the process. Each stage is vital to your overall success. In the end, all that will matter is the effort you are making on each and every set, and the use of a smart diet.

Here are some ways to fail in the next 2 years:

  1. Exercise Swapping. These programs contain basic, core movements that are effective for Building muscle mass and strength. You can't expect to swap out deadlifts, squats, or any other vital exercise and make the same fast progress.
  2. Adding Volume. Don't add additional sets to these workouts. Adding in another arm day isn't going to speed up the arm building process. Adding in another chest day isn't going to speed up chest building. Muscle building isn't simply..."do more, get more." Muscle building requires recovery, sleep, food AND weight training.
  3. Adding Intensity. You do not need to add in rest pause work, giant sets, drop sets, or prolonged rep tempo to this system. The amount of weight you will be using during the next 24 months will be all you need to gain fast muscle mass.

Bench Press

Crawl - Stage 1

  • Stage Length - 2 weeks.
  • Workouts - 3 times per week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Goals - Practice exercise form with moderately light weight, and develop a weekly workout and eating routine.

This is the most vital stage of the program. If you miss a workout during this 2 week period, it's a sure fire sign that you will fail during the coming 2 years. So get to the gym! It's time to commit. It's time to sell out to the process. You want this, so do it. Make it a priority. You deserve success. If someone asks you to do something and it takes you away from a workout, answer no.

How Much Weight Should You Use?

You want to pick a weight that allows you to perform all sets without coming close to failing on a rep. Start light. Remember, you are in the gym during these 2 weeks to practice good form. You should not feel taxed after a set. Rest 60 seconds between each set, and keep moving.

Stage 1
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 2 10
Bench Press 2 10
Romanian Deadlift 2 10
Seated Barbell Press Behind The Neck (with back support) 2 10
Bent Over Row 2 10
Leg Press 2 10
Leg Curl 2 10
Barbell Curl 2 10
Seated Calf Raise 2 10
Sit Ups 2 10

Stand - Stage 2

  • Stage Length - 2 weeks.
  • Workouts - 3 times per week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Goals - Continue to practice exercise form. Add a small amount weight to the bar each week. You should not be challenging yourself with weight yet, and no set should be overly taxing nor close to failure.

The stand stage is a "prep" phase. By slowly adding weight, you will begin to learn about your body's limitations for each exercise. On some exercises, adding 5 pounds will feel like you've added 50. And on some exercises, adding 10 pounds may feel like you've added a feather.

When you do add weight and it still feels incredibly light, make sure to add a bit more then next time you perform the exercise. If it feels too heavy, back off the weight just slightly. During this stage you want to eventually get the the point where you have found a weight that is challenging without being taxing. This is a hard "zone" to define. Basically, you should mentally feel like...wow, if I add just a bit more weight, this is going to get difficult.

Stage 2
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 2 10
Bench Press 2 10
Romanian Deadlift 2 10
Seated Barbell Press Behind The Neck (with back support) 2 10
Bent Over Row 2 10
Leg Press 2 10
Leg Curl 2 10
Barbell Curl 2 10
Seated Calf Raise 2 10
Sit Ups 2 10

Pull Ups

Walk - Stage 3

  • Stage Length - 1 month.
  • Workouts - 3 times per week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Goals - Systematically add weight, starting to challenge yourself.

It's time to get more aggressive about adding weight. Workouts are now split up, and new variations of exercises are added. Each week you will add 10 pounds to heavier lifts, and 5 pounds to smaller lifts. For some lifts you may approach training to failure, which simply means that you can't complete another rep. If you reach this point with an exercise, do not continue to add any more weight. Continue to use this amount of weight throughout the remainder of the walk stage.

Continue to focus on, and practice quality exercise form. As the weight gets heavier, you may notice that the weight shakes or feels unstable, and it's harder to keep good form. This shakiness will improve in the coming weeks as you gain strength, and is the primary reason why you are not ready to train full steam yet.

You will be performing Workout A and Workout B as follows:

  • Week 1 - A, B, A
  • Week 2 - B, A, B
  • Week 3 - A, B, A
  • Week 4 - B, A, B
Stage 3
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat +10 3 10
Bench Press +10 3 10
Romanian Deadlift +10 2 10
Bent Over Row +10 3 10
Barbell Curl +5 2 10
Sit Ups 2 10
Stage 3
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Press +10 3 10
Seated Barbell Press Behind The Neck +5 3 10
Leg Curl +5 2 10
Deadlift +10 3 10
Close Grip Bench Press +5 2 10
Seated Calf Raise 2 10

Dumbbell Bench Press

Charge - Stage 4

  • Stage Length - 2 months.
  • Workouts - 3 times per week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Goals - Time to push yourself and learn your limits! You will be training hard, and training heavy

Play time is over. It's time to push yourself. You will be working as hard as possible on every set of every workout. Try for as many reps as possible without training to failure. Stop a set when you feel like you may fail on the next rep. If you hit 10 reps for a set, do not perform any more reps. When you can perform 10 reps for all the listed sets with a given weight, add more weight!

Exceptions - Do not train near failure for squats and deadlifts. Leave a couple extra reps "in the tank."

Some new exercises have been added for the charge phase. Always keep good form when pushing for more reps. No exceptions.

Stage 4
Monday
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 6-10
Bench Press 3 6-10
Barbell Rows 3 6-10
Leg Curls 3 8-15
Sit Ups 3 10-25
Stage 4
Wednesday
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 3 5
Seated Barbell Press Behind The Neck 3 6-10
Barbell Curls 3 6-12
Seated Calf Raises 3 8-20
Side Bends 2 8-15
Stage 4
Friday
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Press 3 8-20
Close Grip Bench Press 3 6-10
Pull Up or Lat Pull Downs 3 6-10
Romanian Deadlifts 3 6-10
Sit Ups 3 10-25

Crush - Stage 5

  • Stage Length - 4 months.
  • Workouts - 3 times per week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Goals - You are learning about your body, and its strengths and weaknesses. During the crush stage you will live for progression - adding more reps and weight, using good form.

This will be a great period for muscle and strength gains. Workouts will be hard, focusing on a greater volume of heavy compound lifts. Continue to try for as many reps as possible without training to failure. Stop a set when you feel like you may fail on the next set. If you hit the top recommended rep range for a set, do not perform any more reps. When you can perform the top recommended rep range for all the listed sets with a given weight, add more weight!

Exceptions - Do not train near failure for squats and deadlifts. Leave a couple extra reps "in the tank."

If you have questions about form at this point in the program, make sure you ask for help in the forum

Please notice the addition of a 20 rep set of squats on Friday. During this set, it is recommended that you take several deep breaths in between each rep. This single set will be brutal - and brutally effective!

5x5 Exercises - 5x5 exercises are performed as follows:

  • Set 1 - 60% of working weight for 5 reps.
  • Set 2 - 80% of working weight for 5 reps.
  • Sets 3-5 - 100% of working weight for 5 reps.

No NOT worry if you can't complete 5 reps for all sets. Keep pushing until you can, and then add weight!

Stage 5
Monday
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 5 5
Bench Press 5 5
Barbell Rows 5 5
Leg Curls 3 8-15
Sit Ups 3 10-25
Stage 5
Wednesday
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 5 5
Seated Barbell Press Behind The Neck 5 5
Barbell Curls 3 6-12
Seated Calf Raises 3 8-20
Side Bends 2 8-15
Stage 5
Friday
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 1 20
Close Grip Bench Press 5 5
Pull Up or Lat Pull Downs 3 6-10
Romanian Deadlifts 5 5
Sit Ups 3 10-25

Destroy - Stage 6

  • Stage Length - 16 months.
  • Workouts - 4 times per week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
  • Goals - By the end of this stage, you should have gained upwards of 25 pounds of muscle in 2 years, as well as being strong as an ox.

Time for a change. You are lifting heavier weights, and taxing your CNS. You will be moving to a 4 day split routine. This split will focus on a variety of rep ranges, helping you to maximize hypertrophy (muscle growth). Continue to push yourself on every set, adding more reps and weight when you can. Also continue to refrain from training to failure.

For the next 16 months, you will be using the following sets and rep ranges, and progression patterns:

  • 2 sets x 4-6 reps. Use the same weight for both sets. When you can perform 6 reps for BOTH sets, add weight.
  • 2 sets x 6-12 reps. Use the same weight for both sets. When you can perform 12 reps during your first set, add weight the next time in the gym. If you complete 12 reps on your first set, do NOT add weight for the second set.
  • 2 sets x 12-15 reps. Use the same weight for both sets. When you can perform 15 reps during your first set, add weight the next time in the gym. If you complete 15 reps on your first set, do NOT add weight for the second set.

You will be using the following training split:

Stage 6
Monday
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 2 4-6
Bench Press 2 6-12
Incline Barbell or Incline Dumbbell Press 2 6-12
Dumbbell Bench Press 2 6-12
Dumbbell Flyes 2 12-15
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Barbell Curl 2 6-12
Seated Dumbbell Curl 2 6-12
Concentration Curl 2 12-15
Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Weighted Sit Up 3 10-25
Stage 6
Tuesday
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 2 4-6
Squat 2 6-12
Leg Press 2 6-12
Leg Extension 2 12-15
Hamstrings
Exercise Sets Reps
Romanian Deadlift 2 4-6
Romanian Deadlift 2 6-12
Leg Curl 2 12-15
Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing or Seated Calf Raise 2 10-20
Stage 6
Thursday
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Behind The Neck Press 2 4-6
Seated Dumbbell Press 2 6-12
Upright Row 2 6-12
Side Lateral Raise 2 12-15
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Close Grip Bench Press 2 4-6
Skullcrushers or Seated French Press 2 6-12
Tricep Extension 2 12-15
Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Hanging Leg Raises 3 10-25
Stage 6
Saturday
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 2 4-6
Barbell Rows 2 6-12
Pull Up or Lat Pull Down 2 6-12
Dumbbell Row or Seated Cable Row 2 6-12
Straight Arm Lat Pull Down 2 12-15
Traps
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell or Barbell Shrugs 3 6-12
Rear Delts
Exercise Sets Reps
Bent Over Reverse Flyes 3 12-15

Eating Plans

It's time to eat. I will remind you that this "get huge" plan is not for the ab obsessed. I have provided several different eating options, some more aggressive then others. You will put on some fat during these 2 years, but keep in mind that the fewer calories you eat, the harder muscle building becomes. In most cases, even with the most aggressive eating plan, you should be gaining more muscle then fat.

If you make great muscle gains during your first year of training (and you should!), I recommend sticking with a more moderate diet during year two. The more muscle you gain in your first year of training, the less muscle you will gain in year two. So there is no sense overeating in year two of this plan.

If muscle/weights gains are coming too slow for you, there is only one thing to do - eat more! If you find that you are packing on pounds too rapidly, there is only one thing to do - eat less!

On the average, a trainee can gain around 16 pounds of muscle during his first year of training and 8 pounds during his second. Make it a goal to gain 2 pounds each month during year one, and one pound each month during year two. This would be a total gain of 24 pounds of muscle and only 12 pounds of fat. And that is an incredible amount of muscle mass! The extra few pounds of fat can be lost rapidly during a cut, but the muscle mass lasts a lifetime.

Find Your Maintenance Level

Muscle building requires that you learn about your own body. You must find out what your daily caloric maintenance level is to be successful with this plan. Simply stated, you need to find out how many calories you can eat per day without gaining or losing weight. How do you do this? Here is my suggestion...eat exactly 3500 calories per day for 2 weeks. No more, no less.

If you gain weight during this period, cut back by 300 calories per day and watch the scale again. If you lose weight during this period, add 300 daily calories. Continue "zeroing in" until the scale holds steady. This is your daily caloric maintenance level.

Now that you know your "maintenance level", it's time to pick a bodybuilding diet. Here are your choices:

  1. The Moderate Bodybuilding Diet. On the average, eat 300 calories above your daily maintenance level.
  2. The Aggressive Bodybuilding Diet. On the average, eat 500 calories above your daily maintenance level.
  3. The Zig Zag Bodybuilding Diet. On non-training days, eat your daily maintenance level. On training days, eat 500-600 calories above your daily maintenance level.

Which plan is best for you? This is a very complicated question. I will make some general suggestions, but you must understand that these suggestions are not be-all, end-all answers. You must still be wiling to monitor the scale and make appropriate adjustments.

  • If you easily gain fat, start with the moderate diet.
  • If you have a hard time gaining weight, start with the aggressive diet.
  • If you feel you're about average, it's ok to try any diet plan.
How Much Protein Should You Eat?

Good question! In general, I recommend eating at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours. There are a wide variety of dieting approaches in the bodybuilding realm. My simple recommendation is to eat your daily protein, make sure you eat enough healthy fats, and consume the rest of your calories in carbs. You can count grams if you want, but it is not necessary for this program. It IS necessary to eat enough, and that should be your primary focus.

Get Huge Fast Supplement Plan

The "Get Huge Fast" supplement plan is a template. Times are provided for example purposes only. Adjust it as needed:

  • 6 am - Upon Waking - 5 grams of BCAAs and 5 grams of glutamine.
  • 6:30 am - 1 gram fish oil, multivitamin.
  • Noon - 1 gram fish oil.
  • 2:30 pm - 40 grams of waxy maize (with whey protein drink).
  • 3:00 pm - 30 minutes Pre-workout - 5 grams of BCAAs, 5 grams of creatine, nitric oxide supplement.
  • 3:30 pm - Workout.
  • 4:30 pm - Post-Workout - 5 grams of BCAAs, 5 grams of glutamine, 5 grams of creatine, 40 grams of waxy maize.
  • 5:30 pm - 1 gram fish oil.
  • 8:30 pm - Before Bed - 5 grams of glutamine, ZMA.

Optional - Beta- Alanine. Promising research is revealing a synergistic relationship between creatine and beta-alanine. Beta-alanine must be taken every 4 hours at approximately 750 to 800 mgs. It also also a good idea to supplement with taurine when using beta-alanine. For more information on the beta-alanine/creatine stack, please read: Stacking Creatine and Beta-Alanine For Better Results.

Related Articles View all Training Articles

  • Share This Article
  • Rate & Share
    Average: 3.9 (64 votes)
  • About The Author
    Steve is a powerlifter who has also spent 20 years training in bodybuilding. He is a national level competitor training for an all-time over 50 raw world record.
Related Supplements View all Top Supplements
Creatine Micronized

Delay Fatigue, Maximize Muscle Mass, and Boost Power Output!*

0
No votes yet
Quest Bar

High Protein, Low In Non-Fiber Carbs & No Sugar Alcohols!

4.8
Average: 4.8 (8 votes)

Comments (463)

Add a comment

No Profile Pic
Mungo
Posted Thu, 08/12/2010 - 04:34

Hi Steve,

On stage 5 is the single set of 20 reps of squats at the same working weight as the 5x5 on the Monday?

cheers

  • 2
  • 4
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 08/12/2010 - 11:22

Hi Mungo,

No. Use whatever weight you can for 20 reps. This will generally be much lighter than your 5x5 weight.

  • 3
  • 4
No Profile Pic
Gary
Posted Thu, 08/12/2010 - 08:20

hi steve,

this workout looks great, i have been working out consistently for almost 6 months now, i started at 150lbs and i am currently 172lbs, at 6 foot. i have seen a fair bit of progress so far, my 1RM for bench has increased from 125lbs to 175lbs and i am confident in my form. what stage do you suggest starting with?

  • 3
  • 3
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 08/12/2010 - 11:25

Hi Gary,

I would recommend starting at Stage 4. You may need a couple of lighter weeks to get used to the full body approach.

  • 3
  • 4
No Profile Pic
Ryan
Posted Thu, 08/12/2010 - 08:48

Hey love ya proram very impressed ive never used a bcaa sup or zma i noticed most zma products say take 2 -3 times a day should i stick to what you say in the plan and only have it at night or stick to what the bottle says im ALSO USING AXIS-HT a testosterone booster any advice is appreciated thanks.

  • 2
  • 4
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 08/12/2010 - 11:32

Hi Ryan,

Most guys I know take ZMA before bed on an empty stomach, primarily for improved sleep. BCAAs - I recommend a product like Scivation Xtend. I think you will find that it helps you recover more quickly.

  • 4
  • 3
No Profile Pic
Ryan
Posted Thu, 08/12/2010 - 21:36

Thanks steve,
im a little guy on the build and need plenty of carbs all day every day, would i take zma before or after my pre sleep drink?? and i noticed Scivation Xtend has glutamine in it would this relive me of buying glutamine aswell Thanks.

  • 3
  • 3
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Fri, 08/13/2010 - 12:13

Hi Ryan,

I would take your pre-workout and ZMA together. Regarding Scivation Xtend, I wouldn't take additional glutamine.

  • 3
  • 4
No Profile Pic
Nenad
Posted Thu, 08/12/2010 - 14:19

Hey Steve this looks lika a great plan and ill definietely try it but can u tell me is there a supstitution for behind the neck press since i heard from many sources that its very dangerous on rotator cuffs and other things...?

  • 2
  • 4
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 08/12/2010 - 15:43

Hi Nenad,

BTNs are fairly safe if you don't lower the weight below ear level. You certainly can try standing military presses instead.

  • 5
  • 3
No Profile Pic
EJ
Posted Thu, 08/12/2010 - 20:00

Hey Steve,

On stage 3, it says to increase weight +10 for heavy lifts but what if you hit the point where you just cant finish the 10 reps? Can you split the 10 into 5 x 2? One more question. Are fully body routines the same in terms of building muscle mass compared to split routines. I have been doing a 4 day split routine for 3 months but would like to change things up and try a fully body routine. Am I taking a wrong approach? Thanks!!

  • 4
  • 2
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Fri, 08/13/2010 - 12:10

Hi EJ,

If you reach this point with an exercise, do not continue to add any more weight. Continue to use this amount of weight throughout the remainder of the "walk" stage. Don't split the sets.

Full body routines are wonderful muscle builders. Prior to the steroid era, most lifters used full body routines. Both splits and full body approaches work, but for beginners, a full body routine makes more sense. Because a beginner is not using as heavy of weights, they can generally train a bodypart more often with overtraining the central nervous system, and without straining joints and tendons.

  • 6
  • 4
No Profile Pic
V
Posted Fri, 08/13/2010 - 20:41

Hey Steve,

I'm pretty much a beginner at working out again, I think. I still workout every now and then. I did go the gym a lot, back when I use to weigh 245lbs about few years ago. I dropped my self down to 140lbs. I lost all the weight and some muscle as well. Right now, I'm 6'0ft, 160lbs. A lot of people tell me now, that I'm too skinny. I'm pretty much looking to get bigger arms, chest, and still get abs. There are so many workout plans out there, and I just don't know whats good. I'm really motivated right now. I just started going back to the gym, earlier this week. My main goal is to put on mass, but I've been scared that I might get too fat again. My diet is very limited as well, due to religion. I only eat Chicken as my meat. I'm pretty healthy when it comes to eating. I'm sick and tired of being the same old me. I want a change in me. PLEASE HELP. My main questions for you are, will this workout work for me and and what stage do you recommend for me to start at. If this workout is not for me, what workout do you recommend. Finally, what protein shakes and other supplements do I need to take.

Thank You.

  • 2
  • 5
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 08/16/2010 - 11:13

Hi V,

Most all workout plans are good if you train hard and eat right. It's best to stick with a muscle building approach that really motivates you to hit the gym. In the end, it's your effort and diet, and not so much the approach, that will help you reach your goals.

This workout will work. For diet, here are some articles I recommend to help you to gain muscle without gaining too much excess fat. Also keep in mind that extra muscle will make you look more lean.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/your-go-to-guide-to-gaining-m...

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-...

Let me know if you have any questions.

For protein...whey protein is good first thing in the morning and post-workout. Casein is great in between meals and before bed. I would add to these a quality multivitamin, and fish oil - like Scivation Essential FA. Once you are on a roll and are making some gains, you can start to experiment with creatine and nitric oxide and pre-workout formulas for energy.

  • 2
  • 3
No Profile Pic
Charlie
Posted Sat, 08/14/2010 - 19:56

Dear Steve,

I have a question about what program/nutrition plan I should be on. My goals are to maintain bodyfat% (about 11%) and to build muscle. I would like to add about 15lbs of muscle. I guess first of all I should ask if that's "building muscle or mass", because I guess I don't necessarily know the difference. Next, I don't know if I should be starting this plan or the 5 day powerlifting split you have made as well. My last question is if I should zig zag or just one of the base muscle building diets on M&S. Looking forward to hearing from you, keep up this awesome work!

  • 5
  • 3
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 08/16/2010 - 12:47

Hi Charlie,

When I reference mass it's meant as muscle. It's hard to add muscle without adding a little fat. But with that said, you won't be adding a shocking amount of fat with a plan like this. The added muscle will actually make you look leaner.

If you are moderately experienced with squats and deadlifts, you could perform the Power, Muscle, Burn 5 day split. But I wouldn't recommend that routine if you consider yourself a beginner.

For diet, a zig zag approach is definitely worth trying. If you don't like it, try a conventional bodybuilding diet. The best way to learn what works for each of us is by doing.

let me know if you have any questions.

  • 4
  • 3
No Profile Pic
jiakai
Posted Sun, 08/15/2010 - 01:47

its me again
and i have a question in mind
before follow this routine
i worked out at home with 40lb dumbbells for about a year
did all the exercise with dumbbells made some gains
so when i begin this routine i went straight to the stage 3 the walk stage since i already have experience lifting weights.when i first started i only can squat 150 now its been a month i have added 40lbs to my squat and now i can squat 190 7lbs over my weight and add 40lb to my deadlift too lifting at 140lb now.im feeling im over training all though im only training every other day. i felt my intensity of my training is not given me enough time to recover.for example triceps thats a muscle is beeing worked every other day like benching and close grip.if im adding weight every week or 2(sometimes i feel im not ready i give it another week) that means my workout will gets more intense as the month progress and i feel im not letting my muscle fully recover for next workout.even though my muscle doesnt hurt but i heard that it could still be recoverying.

  • 4
  • 3
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sun, 08/15/2010 - 10:27

Hi Jiakai,

Your body will recover. It might take a month to adapt to a full body routine, but you won't be overtraining. You are performing a moderate volume of weekly sets for each muscle group. Keep eating big and getting plenty of rest and you will be fine.

It is normal to feel a bit of stress from progressively heavier loads.

  • 3
  • 6
No Profile Pic
jiakai
Posted Thu, 08/19/2010 - 00:20

its been a month and 7 days
my legs have gotten bigger(like a inch) and stronger
but my arms still remain the same although i have been adding over 40 lb of weight to my benching
why is that?
currently i have a 12.25 inch arm, flex about 15.5
how long would it take for me to get a 15inch arm without flexing using this routine?

  • 3
  • 3
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 08/19/2010 - 11:06

Hi Jiakali,

Keep pushing for more weight and your arms will start to respond. I think if you see this plan through, you could have 15 inch arms in anywhere from 12 to 24 months from now.

  • 3
  • 3
No Profile Pic
Nenad
Posted Mon, 08/16/2010 - 04:57

Hey Steve one more question um, i was lifting weights for about 8 months than i stopped for some time untill recently i started serious trainig again for maybe a month and half. Now i like this program alot but could i just start from "walk" phase since i know rly good form for all exercises listet above and want to maximize muscle gain without losing time on light phase (if its only purupse is learning form). Im doing all of exercises in this program right now just on other scaduale so i kinda know form good and am constant improving it?

  • 4
  • 2
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 08/16/2010 - 12:50

Hi nenda,

With your experience you could definitely start with the Walk phase.

  • 3
  • 3
No Profile Pic
Ryan
Posted Mon, 08/16/2010 - 21:39

If i cant seem to do seated barbell press behinde the neck can i use millatary press ntricep pushdown to replace it or would you recomend something else ?? cheers

  • 4
  • 5
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 08/17/2010 - 12:22

Hi Ryan,

You can use the military press.

  • 4
  • 3
No Profile Pic
kyle
Posted Tue, 08/17/2010 - 12:15

Hi Steve,

I've been working out this summer and have tried to select a good plan. I'm 5'8 and weigh 150 lbs have some fat I'd like to lose (especially lower belly) as well as bulking up 20 lbs. or so if possible. Would this plan work? I also feel confident w/ form and feel I have a good base w/ strength would it be appropriate to skip past phases and if so which one should i start with?

  • 2
  • 2
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 08/17/2010 - 12:25

Hi Kyle,

This plan will help you pack on muscle, but it can be very difficult to lose fat at the same time. With that said, having more muscle generally makes you look leaner. If you have good form, I would start with the Walk phase.

  • 3
  • 6
No Profile Pic
Anthony
Posted Sat, 08/21/2010 - 05:04

Hi Steve:

Fantastic program by the way! Just one question though; I have been working out for about 7 months already. However, I've only focused on biceps, triceps,chest, and some legs (and more recently, shoulders). So certain muscle groups are further along than others. Would it be possible to do different phases at the same time for the appropriate muscle groups or would it be better to just start in one phase for all muscle groups?

5'10"
155 pounds (70 KG)

Thank you!

  • 4
  • 5
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 08/23/2010 - 12:48

Hi Anthony,

I would stick with the same phase for all bodyparts. You could probably start at phase 3. You could push yourself a bit harder, or add weight for bodyparts that are more advanced.

  • 3
  • 4
No Profile Pic
Peter Venkman
Posted Tue, 08/24/2010 - 04:46

Steve I'm curious. No protein at all?

  • 6
  • 4
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Wed, 08/25/2010 - 12:29

Hi Peter,

From the article:

"In general, I recommend eating at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours. "

  • 4
  • 2
No Profile Pic
Jon
Posted Tue, 08/24/2010 - 22:33

Steve,

This looks like a great program. I am 6'3" and a large 330lbs, I bench about 250lbs and squat about 350lbs. I have been doing martial arts 3 days a week for several years (14-15) and have been lifting for size m/w/f for about a year or so. I want to drop fat while still adding muscle size, I was told that is the best way to the lose fat. Will this program work for me? How would I need to modify the diet outlined? How will this program affect my martial arts?

  • 4
  • 3
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Wed, 08/25/2010 - 12:32

Hi Jon,

With your experience I would probably start with Stage 3 just to get the hang of a fullbody approach. For diet, with your height and weight I would suggest eating around 2500 calories per day, with the goal of losing about 2 pounds per week. If you lose weight too quickly, eat a bit more, and vice versa.

Training hard on this routine will allow you to maximize muscle retention and strength while dropping the fat. Since this is a high volume style approach, I think it will work well with martial arts training.

  • 3
  • 2
No Profile Pic
Jon
Posted Wed, 08/25/2010 - 12:57

Thanks Steve,

One more thing, I have been lifting 80-85% of my 1rm with 4 sets of 4-6 reps. Should I drop the weight and up the reps or keep the weight and drop the reps?

  • 3
  • 3
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 08/26/2010 - 09:01

I would use an appropriate weight (challenging weight) for each rep range. You don't want to allow yourself to get weaker. Even thought you might be using a slightly lighter weight for some of the sets, it will still be pushing your body. A fullbody routine can take a few weeks to get used to so I wouldn't over do it during the first couple weeks.

  • 3
  • 4
No Profile Pic
carl
Posted Wed, 08/25/2010 - 01:34

Hi. (43 yrs old) young & athletic once - years ago! I've been working out for just over a year now (again). started doing cardio at 260 lbs (6'3")running, rowing, cycling, etc... got down to 240 last summer and started lifting. over the winter - learned how to eat and now down to 220 and twice as strong as last year(doubled weights). still learning the science of eating right to maximize returns in the gym. As I read you material I may be overworking and under-eating as my recovery is terrible. I'm doing sprints now every second day (learning to stretch again). I still have roughly 10 - 15 lbs of fat to go to abs and have been bulking up arms (triceps) & chest - though biceps can't seem to bulk up & shoulders & Legs just starting to work on. As weight dropped off my shoulders and arms seemed to shrink (fat I hope) & went from size 40 waist down to 34 now so thats good. I'm going to give your routine a try (stage 5-6) but two concerns: 1) are you sure there are enough exercises here? seems like short time in gym. 2) the plan seems a bit much! I need a pharmacist and a nutritionist to help me set up a eating plan - not to mention a spotter to follow me around the gym! Is there a simpler way to ensure proper intake ??

  • 3
  • 3
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Wed, 08/25/2010 - 12:41

Hi Carl,

1) Yes. Definitely enough - for most. Some individuals will need additional work, but not many. So many volume routines in magazines are designed for steroid users and not naturals. Progressive resistance and a good diet will serve you better than volume for volume sake, and it is good on the joints. Believe it or not, I only perform 5 sets each week for chest and shoulders, and 2 sets for biceps.
2) I actually tried to keep it simple. My best advice is to eat 3 meals per day - breakfast lunch and dinner. Have some form of protein at each meal (eggs, beef, fish, chicken, cheese), and a healthy carb source like brown rice, oatmeal, etc. In between meals try whey protein in whole milk with a banana and a handful of almonds, or something along those lines.

If you don't count calories and know what you're putting into your body, you will make it nearly impossible to reach the goals you want. Imprecise dieting can lead to both fat and muscle loss, leaving you think but flabby.

Sorry to say, but to look good you have to master your own body.

  • 3
  • 5
No Profile Pic
bea
Posted Wed, 08/25/2010 - 14:34

Hi,

I'm in the stage part and i find, i can't add any weight yet but the weight i have been doing for the past 3 weeks it's too light.. in my gym the smallest plates they have are of 2.5 kg and if i add it on, the way i did the past 2 days, i find, that i can't get to 10 reps or 8 and i feel i didn't have a good work out at all as the weight its a bit heavy but if i don't add on it feels too light. What can i do??I feel like if i don't add on weight i won't gain any muscle!!

Thanks.
Bea.

  • 4
  • 3
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 08/26/2010 - 09:52

Hi Bea,

Even if your strength isn't increasing, it's OK. The important thing is to push yourself and try for more reps on every set. Also, sometimes you simply need to add the extra weight and take a short term decrease in rep total. For example, if you can lift 95 pounds for 10 reps, it's ok to move up 100 pounds and only do 5 reps.

  • 4
  • 5
No Profile Pic
Ruch
Posted Wed, 08/25/2010 - 15:41

Hi,

I have been lifting for 7 months now. If i want to follow your schedule where do i have to start??

  • 2
  • 2
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 08/26/2010 - 09:53

Hi Ruch,

If you have decent squat and deadlift form, I would start at Stage 3.

  • 3
  • 3
No Profile Pic
Arnold
Posted Fri, 08/27/2010 - 11:04

hi steve,

such a great guide for beginners, could you possibly give a program including fat loss while maintaining and toning the muscles without sacrificing body size. thx steve

  • 3
  • 4
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sun, 08/29/2010 - 16:57
  • 3
  • 2
No Profile Pic
Drew
Posted Sat, 08/28/2010 - 18:14

Hey Steve,

I was wondering if I should be taking all the supplements during my non-workout days too?

Thanks!

  • 3
  • 4
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sun, 08/29/2010 - 16:59

Hi Drew,

The body grows during recovery, and not during a workout, so nutrition on your off days is very important. The only supplementation you should skip on workout days is ore, and intra-workout.

  • 5
  • 3
No Profile Pic
Drew
Posted Sun, 08/29/2010 - 21:55

So to clarify, my non-workout days should consume as much BCAA's, creatine, waxy maize, protein, etc. as my workout days?

  • 3
  • 2
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 08/31/2010 - 12:11

Hi Drew,

You still take whey, multivitamin, fish oil, BCAAs, glutamine, creatine. You don't take nitric oxide or a pre-workout supplement, nor do you take waxy maize.

  • 2
  • 4
No Profile Pic
Zachary LaFlamme
Posted Mon, 08/30/2010 - 09:05

Steve,
I think this is a great article and I really do appreciate your approach to lifting. Im 6'1" and I weighed 185 last year and could dead lift 335lbs for about five reps and i could bench 225 3 or 4 times. I have cut back some weight from my midsection and im only at 170 lbs now. Some of my strength has dropped a little but i can gain the weight back easily. In what stage do you think i should start this program. I have about 3 years of good lifting experience. Thanks for your help

  • 3
  • 5
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 08/31/2010 - 12:14

Hi Zachary,

I would recommend starting on Stage 4. You may need a couple of weeks to adapt to a full body routine. Even though you've been training a while, they can tax the body in a completely different way.

  • 4
  • 4
No Profile Pic
Nenad
Posted Mon, 08/30/2010 - 10:49

Hey something just came to me on Destroy stage, for example on monday there's chest/bic, so if consuming protein shake immediatly after completing all chest straight sets and than all biceps sraith sets, do biceps get more effect from protein since i take it while biceps are more fatiqued, chest is resting for sometime 10-15 minutes maybe. It might be a stupid question but would it be better to superset chest/bic, and sutch in order for both muscle groups to get same boost from protein shake? And while we're at it do supersets have any advantage over straight sets except saving time? My only current goal is hypertrophy...

  • 3
  • 2
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 08/31/2010 - 12:20

Hi Nenad,

No need to drink whey after chest. It does help to drink a BCAA supplement like Scivation Xtend during your workout though. If you can't afford Xtend, sip on watered down whey while lifting.

Regarding supersets - they really aren't more effective than progression of weight. Progression of weight is always the primary key. Supersets can help in some cases, but when you are still growing rapidly, there is really no need to complicate a workout.

  • 4
  • 2

Pages

Add new comment