Get Huge Fast! The 2 Year Plan For Extreme Mass

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 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.

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475 Comments+ Post Comment

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 11/02/2010 - 16:48
William

Hi Steve,

I work on Saturday, And the hours of the local gym clash with the hours I work. The 3 days a week of the previous stages are perfect to say the least, but I'm not sure what to do when I reach stage 6.

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 11/05/2010 - 12:26
Steven

Hi William,

I would simply use a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday Friday schedule.

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 11/05/2010 - 13:26
William

Thanks Steve. I'll just do Saturday's workout on Friday. I wasn't sure if I needed Friday to recover.

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 10/25/2010 - 06:07
Ash

Hi Steve

Just a few quick questions on the supplements.

Is it necessary to take the creatine, BCAAs, glutamine and ZMA on days off?
or should I just skip the pre workout and post workout doses on days off?

The template looks very useful.

Thanks

Ash

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 10/25/2010 - 09:43
Steven

Hi Ash,

Creatine should be taken on days off. BCAAs work to increase muscle gains and recovery, so I recommend them on days off as well. ZMA...7 days a week as well.

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 10/24/2010 - 23:05
matt

One last question in regards to the 5x5 exercises.
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.

Would the the first 2 sets be the warm up sets:

-Set 1 - 60% of working weight for 5 reps.
-Set 2 - 80% of working weight for 5 reps

and the last Sets:

3-5 100% be were I try to lift my max
to hit 5 reps on all sets.

Sorry if these questions seem elementary, I am new at all of this.
Thanks:)

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 10/25/2010 - 09:41
Steven

Hi Matt,

Yes, the first 2 sets could be considered warmups.

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 10/23/2010 - 18:21
Sam

Thanks for this workout, been looking for something like this for a while, going to start it tomorrow!

Can you recommend an eating / dieting guide at all to go with this? Would taking Whey protein after a workout help?

On the days between workouts would it be beneficial to do some sort of CV to burn body fat? Running? Cross-trainer? or would this not help with muscle growth?

Cheers,

Sam

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 10/25/2010 - 09:40
Steven

Hi Sam,

Here is some advice on eating from the article:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/get-huge-fast-the-2-year-plan...

Whey protein is good first thing in the morning and post-workout. Casein protein is good in between meals and prior to bed.

Cardio on days off is a solid choice.

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 10/22/2010 - 22:42
matt

I have question in regards to the instructions posted for stage 4.It states "Stop a set when you feel like you may fail on the next set."Is this suppose to say stop a set when you feel like you may fail on the next REP?If not could you please explain what it mean to stop a set when you feel like you may fail on the next set. Thanks:)

Also could you please explain the 5x5 exercises. Not sure what working weight is. Thanks in advance :)
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.

Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 10/24/2010 - 09:12
Steven

Hi Matt,

Yes, it's meant to say next rep. I will change that.

Working weight is the maximum amount of weight you can perform 5 reps with.

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 10/20/2010 - 02:06
Alex

Steve,

I was wondering about a few thing. I'm 6'3" and 208 lbs. I was at 199 when I first started to gain weight, I lost about 70 lbs. before that. After I lost all that weight I wanted to get some muscle so I came to this site. Using a different routine I went up to about 206. The veins that were showing in my arms are disappearing ( is this supposed to happen?) and although I never completely lost my belly, its gotten a bit bigger. My arms have gotten noticeably bigger and pinching the back of them I know its not flab, but their not defined either.

Im only on week two, but I would like to get some reassurance before I commit two years to this.

I dont know what my BF% is ( i would guess more than 18, but less than 22%), and I realize that I will gain fat as I try to do this, but do I have to be at a certain threshold before attempting this? I'm averaging 2800 calories on workout days and 2500 on off days. High protein 250g - 300g per day.

One last thing: Are the entire two years spent in a caloric surplus, or do you cut at some point while still doing the exercises.

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 10/20/2010 - 13:36
Steven

Hi Alex,

It is normal to gain a bit of fat while you are adding muscle. To minimize that, take a look at this article:

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

Weight training by itself doesn't create a decrease in vascularity, or the addition of fat. It is program dependent.

The diet over the course of two years should be in some form a calorie surplus.

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 10/16/2010 - 13:13
kostas90

hi :)
what about time under tension in reps between sets of each stage?what d u suggest for each stage?ty

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 10/18/2010 - 19:21
Steven

Hi Kostas,

My advice is to not focus on time under tension at all. Keep your primary focus on good form and progression, and let the weight natural control the rep speed.

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 10/11/2010 - 22:55
jhon

i eat 4000 calories a day and about 50 to 60 grams of protein a day.
i am 18 5'7 and weigh 180

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:29
Steven

Hi Jhon,

You aren't eating enough protein. Here are some articles that can help you better structure your daily protein intake:

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

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

Without protein protein intake, supplements won't help much. I would suggest starting off with protein powder to help you with your daily protein, and to also use a quality multivitamin and fish oil for general health.

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 10/08/2010 - 23:00
Murphy

Hi Steve,

I have been working out for about 6 months now i am 5'9 150 lbs and my max bench press is 185 lbs.I feel comfortable with my exercise form,what stage do you think i should start out on?

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 10/11/2010 - 12:37
Steven

Hi Murphy,

I would recommend starting at Stage 3.

No Profile Pic
Posted Thu, 10/07/2010 - 13:37
jhon

hi everyone,

my name is jhon and i take isatori 3xl, h-blocker, and morph. i was wondering if it would be alright to add isatori mx-ls7 to the other 3 suplements im taking...... im trying to grow muscle but i also want to lose the extra weight i have in my gut area,, or is there better supplements i could be taking?

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 10/11/2010 - 12:36
Steven

Hi Jhon,

Let me start by asking how many calories and grams of protein you are eating per day?

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 10/05/2010 - 18:20
joshua

Hey Steve,
I have stated this program but I have a few questions. I have been working out for about 2 years now and have not seen a huge difference. weights 3x a week. I am 29 5'8" and 173lbs. I gained some bulk and muscle but not a huge amount for the time I have put in. I have had weight issues in the past so I am pretty worried about in-taking more calories. I am the type of person that gains weight slowly but also loses it slowly. I have been at the 173lbs range for the last two years.
Right now on average I eat around 2000 - 2300 calories a day. and try my best to get protein. Usually around 140-150 grams. I was wondering whats a good dieting choice for me. Here is the deal...I have been a vegetarian for 15 years. I do eat dairy and eggs. right now I get most my protein from cheese, milk, eggs, protein shakes and almonds/nuts.
Any help in the right direction would be great.

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 10/11/2010 - 12:33
Steven

Hi Joshua,

You are in a good place, in that you know how many calories it takes to maintain your weight. I might suggest either trying 2300 to 2600 a day for 3 months, watching the scale closely, or trying more of a zig-zag approach at an average of 200-300 calories above maintenance.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/a-guide-to-muscle-building-an...

Make sure you are pushing yourself in the gym, or else any gains you do make will be mostly fat.

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Posted Sat, 10/02/2010 - 17:02
ben

hi the gym im at has everything bar a squat machine or anything i can put the bar on for suitable hights for squats therefore ill have to lift the bar up and over my head to do them but i wont be able to put full amount of weight on what should i do for this side of things?? cheers

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Posted Tue, 10/05/2010 - 13:28
Steven

Hi Ben,

Find a different gym! Seriously though, do what you can. use leg presses or hack squats if they have these machines available.

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Posted Fri, 10/01/2010 - 05:25
martins

Hi! I want to know is my diet good for this programm?

7am oatmeal 125g with gold whey, bannana, fish oil, creatine 3g
10am chicken 112g rise 100g and vegetables
1pm chicken 112g rise 100g and vegetables
4pm chicken 112g rise 100g and vegetables
7pm chicken 112g rise 35g and vegetables
10pm cottage cheese and bannana

after workout 30g whey, glikose(dextrose)30g

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 10/05/2010 - 13:26
Steven

Hi Martins,

The diet looks good. I might suggest changing up your protein and carb sources. You might get tired of eating the same thing each day. Plus, it's a good idea to eat different protein foods as they have different amino acid profiles.

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Posted Wed, 09/29/2010 - 15:54
antony banks

Hi steve, a month in the new program goin great. Movin on to stage 4 nxt week. just a quick question, could you suggest an alteritive to leg press? Thanks once again for your help, cheers Tony.

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 10/05/2010 - 13:23
Steven

Hi Anthony,

I would try front squats or hack squats instead of leg press.

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Posted Mon, 09/27/2010 - 16:38
kostas90

thank you very much for your answers :)..my last set at 5x5 u mean the last rep should be look like a failure right? i forgot to say that in my gym we dont have 1.25kg plates to place +1.25++1.25 in the bar to get 5 pounds in my small lifts(3rd stage) so i add +2.5kg+2.5kg plates in the bar at my first set for 10reps..on the second set,because i was close to failure at first,i removed the 2.5kg+2.5 plates to finish it with the remained weights and on third set with the same weights..the next week i will do the first 2 sets with +2.5kg+2.5kg plates on bar and so on till i can lift the same weight for all sets right?i mean the increasement of weight in bar each week should be at the first set and not in the last one?for example lets say that in my presses behind the neck i can put 7.5kg and 7.5 on each side of the bar for the first set for 10 reps..but i cant do the same for the second set so i get down to 5kg on each side for the next 2 sets..the next time i get into the gym,i begin again with 7.5kg+7.5kg on each side of the bar and i see that i am not close to failure so i remain this weight to my 2nd set and i decrease in my 3rd and so on..should i do this or begin the exercise with 5kg+5kg on each side and increase on the following sets or do it like the way i did?till now i am using the first method..am i wrong? i do this for all exercises
also check my nutrition if you have time and tell me if u have any suggestions
or corrections :) http://www.muscleandstrength.com/forum/diet-nutrition/46959-my-diet-plan... thank u very much for your interest :)

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 09/28/2010 - 11:44
Steven

Your last rep on a 5x5 doesn't have to be to failure. It will merely be the hardest rep on the 5x5. I don't recommend training to failure. If you are close to failure you should back off the weight. You want to be able to perform 5 reps for all of the 5x5 sets.

Regarding other exercises, it's ok to not get the same number of reps. The program states: "When you can perform 10 reps for all the listed sets with a given weight, add more weight!"

Use the same weight for all sets.

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Posted Sun, 09/26/2010 - 19:09
kostas90

and one last..sr for that..:p when u say 100% of working weight u mean the last rep is just one step below to failure?

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 09/27/2010 - 10:45
Steven

On a 5x5, not all 5 rep sets will be one rep shy of failure. Your last set may be.

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Posted Sun, 09/26/2010 - 18:56
kostas90

also what about the timing of reps?i mean seconds of negatives and positives and what about relax time between the sets during the first stages and last stages?thanks

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 09/27/2010 - 10:44
Steven

Hi Kostas,

I do not recommend focusing on rep speed. Rep cadence should be natural. As far as rest between sets, I recommend 90 to 120 seconds between most sets, and up to 3-5 minutes for heavy taxing sets of squats and deadlifts.

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Posted Sun, 09/26/2010 - 18:54
kostas90

hi steve,
do u suggest any deload week or rest week between some stages/months or not?if yes what would u suggest?

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 09/27/2010 - 10:42
Steven

Hi Kostas,

You could take a rest/de-load week every 8 to 12 weeks. The best place to take a rest is after stages. Once you hit stage 6, you can rest every 8 to 12 weeks.

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Posted Fri, 09/24/2010 - 00:58
ang3lus

Hi Steve

thank you for this great article

myself and my girlfriend have been working out together, we bought a home gym also with loose dumbbells and barbells and well with help from other articles on this site i put together something of a routine for us but having read this iam not sure if i should scrap what we have been doing and rather do as you have suggested above, what we have been doing is in the forum over here http://www.muscleandstrength.com/forum/member-training-journals/44808-an... also i have been taking the following supplements Creatine - C-AKG (Pre-workout Anabolic Creatine-NO2 Pump Formula.)Protein - Whey-TECH Mulit-vitamin - Optimum Nutrition Opti-men and Opti-woman for the Misses, Fish Oil - SSN EFA's i can provide links to the products if you like :-) i think we both have been working out well i mean we both sore 2 or 3 days after so iam guessing that means that if we keep at it there will be change. only thing iam not so good at is the diet part to be honest i find it quite confusing really.

Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 09/26/2010 - 17:56
Steven

Hi Ang3lus,

Proper diet is essential. Without it, you are wasting your training and supplements. A muscle will get sore, but without proper nutrients, you won't make the progress, and achieve the results you are looking for.

For diet, check out these articles:

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

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

To keep it simple, aim for 3500 calories per day, and 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours. If you aren't gaining weight after 2 weeks, eat more. If you gain more then a pound per week, eat 300 fewer calories per day...

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Posted Wed, 09/22/2010 - 13:49
Steven

Dude, would this be ok with teens? It seems AWESOME!

Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 09/26/2010 - 17:55
Steven

Absolutely!

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Posted Sun, 09/19/2010 - 19:25
Mark

Steve, in the final Destroy stage you use a 2 x 4-6 + 2 x 6-12 pattern for the heavy compound exercises (squat, bench, Romanian DL). Can you talk about how that pattern maximizes hypertrophy? Also why doesn't the conventional deadlift use that pattern- is it just that there is already enough back work?

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 09/20/2010 - 15:17
Steven

Hi Mark,

I am not a big fan of high rep deadlifts using high weight. As the lower back fatigues, I think you are asking for trouble if you keep pushing the reps too high. Too many things can go wrong.

As far as rep ranges, I like the variation because heavy weight challenges you in a different way. Heavier sets tend to be more taxing from an eccentric point of view - it's much easier to lower 225 on bench than 325, if that makes sense. Also, heavy sets help build tendon and connective tissue strength, which helps you months and years on down the road during heavier hypertrophy sets. I also like rep variety because the variety is enjoyable, and the heavy sets are a real challenge.

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Posted Sun, 09/19/2010 - 15:58
Craig

Hi Steve --

A nutrition question concerning this work-out program: On the off-days, should you maintain the same level of protein intake (160-240 gms/day) as a training day? What do you feel the optimal protein and carb intake should be on the off-training days?

Thanks for all of the insights and tips you give, Steve!

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 09/20/2010 - 15:09
Steven

Hi Craig,

You want to keep the same protein intake on off days. Your body is repairing muscle and needs the raw materials. As far as carb intake, check out this article. It might help:

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

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Posted Sun, 09/19/2010 - 00:58
Ravi

hi
i m gonna start this program i wanna ask about the cardio cuz this program doesn't say any about doing cardio like how cardio i should be doing and how many times a week
thank u

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 09/20/2010 - 15:07
Steven

Hi Ravi,

You can perform cardio 3-4 times per week for general health post-workout, or on off training days.

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Posted Wed, 09/15/2010 - 20:43
Adam

Hey, I have been doing high volume training for the last five months, and am needing to switch to a three day split that leads into a four day split. I found this workout and it looks awesome, I am just curious what stage you would recommend I start with? My current weights are 345lb-Squat, 210 Bench, and 260 Deadlift. Thanks!

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 09/16/2010 - 14:09
Steven

Hi Adam,

With your experience I would start with Stage 4, but take a week or two with slightly lighter weights to get used to a full body approach.

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Posted Mon, 09/13/2010 - 16:06
Marco

Hi Steve I saw your workout plan and I think its very helpful, but my question is, if I already have a workout experience for two years in most exercises mentioned in the plan but haven't done a few others like squads or deadlifts do you think I should start with stage 1? Oh and can you also rest for two days instead of 1?