Gain Muscle Mass

Fall and winter is primetime for a training transition. Summer is long gone at this point and the opportunity presents itself to get off the ultra-low carb diet and high-intensity circuits and get on board with putting on mass and getting powerful. Not only does this transition work because you’re swapping out the t-shirts for sweaters, but it’s a fresh way to stimulate the body as well. In the grand scheme of things, you need these blocks of change. Month after month, week after week of continuous bombardment of the muscles with volume and intensity would wear anyone down. Let’s use this month for size and power. And the way to do it effectively will require a change in thinking, and programming.

How it works
Now that you’ve fully accepted the fact that sub-5 or 10% body fat all year isn’t necessary, and quite frankly, understand that it could also be burning you out—your new mass and power plan could still take some getting used to.

You’re going to be working out three days per week. Structured as one day on, one day off. But don’t let the three days fool you into thinking life just got easy because after the first week of this program you’re going to pay close attention to the tempo of your repetitions. Instead of simply lifting start to finish, you’re going to follow a “3/1/3/1” tempo for higher repetition exercises (above 6). And for lower repetition exercises you will follow a “2/1/0/1” tempo. Essentially your “power” exercises in the low rep ranges will be explosive, and your “growth” exercises in the high rep ranges will be slower, controlled movements.

For both of these, you’ll feel it in the morning. We promise. And make sure to follow the rest periods—you’ll need them.

Attempt to either increase the weight, or the number of reps each week as you progress. You want to build monsterous size, but don’t be a monsterous lug head—increasing weight by very small increments like 5-pounds can surprisingly go a long way.

Understanding tempo training
If you’re bench pressing high reps for 3/1/3/1, it’s 3 seconds on the way down, 1 second with the bar at your chest, 3 seconds on the way up, and 1 second at the top. If you’re bench pressing low reps for 2/1/0/1, it’s 2 seconds on the way down, 1 second with the bar at your chest, an explosive push on the way up (0 seconds), and a 1 second pause at the top.

1. Flat bench press: 3 sets of 4-6
2. Incline DB press: 3 sets of 8-10
3. DB shoulder press: 3 sets of 4-6
4. BB wide-grip upright row: 3 sets of 8-10
5. DB lying tricep extension: 3 sets of 4-6
6. Weighted dip: 3 sets of 8-10
* Rest 60 seconds between sets

1. DB goblet squat: 3 sets of 4-6
2. BB landmine squat: 3 sets of 8-10
3. Alternating lunge: 3 sets of 8
4. DB stiff-legged deadlift: 3 sets of 8
5. Weighted rope crunches: 3 sets of 10-12
6. Hanging leg raise: 3 sets of 15
* Rest 60 seconds between sets

1. Weighted pull-up: 3 sets of 8-10
2. BB bent-over row: 3 sets of 4-6
3. Single-arm DB row: 3 sets of 6-8
4. Face pull: 3 sets of 8-10
5. BB curl: 3 sets of 6-8
6. DB alternating hammer curl: 3 sets of 8-10
7. DB shrug- 3 sets of 8
* Rest 60 seconds between sets