Diet and Nutrition

Four Laws of Training and Growing: The Perfect Hypertrophy Plan

The Pursuit of Hugeness

There’s a lot of talk online these days about all the ways to get thick: HIT training, body-part splits, full-body training, push/pull programs, compound movements only, biceps curls every hour for 12 hours…

Doesn’t it get a bit overwhelming?

If you’ve spent any time in a commercial gym, then I’m sure you’ll have seen and tried plenty of different methods while attempting to gain muscle. 

Now I don’t debate that many methods work. However, I do feel that we often don’t explore the simple laws of gaining intense amounts of muscle mass that lead to the best gains of your life.

As I pondered the idea of how hypertrophy works, I was reminded of the 6th grade science topic:

stimulus = response.

But first, let’s talk a little HGTV (Home and Garden Television).  

The Grass is Always Greener…When You Train Smarter!

You may not be a homeowner, but bear with me. If you wanted to take a decent lawn and turn it into a badass lawn, you’d need to do a few things to make it happen.

First, you would need to mow it. Cutting the grass would act as a stimulus for it to grow.  It spreads seeds and activates the plant to regenerate. 

Secondly, you’d need to water it. As we all know, water is a critical nutrient for plants and all living things, and therefore without it, the grass will not grow or survive.

Next, it needs sunlight, another critical nutrient that keeps the grass alive.

Finally, you need to add fertilizer. Think of it as a “supplement” for your lawn, an optional ingredient your lawn could live without, but would surely benefit from if administered correctly. 

You’ll notice that out of the four things you can do to increase the health and look of your lawn, only one of them is the stimulant. The other three are all components of adequate recovery! 

Some of the same rules of growing a badass lawn will apply to building muscle. The response, or recovery strategy, has to be appropriate for the stimulus, and the stimulus has to be appropriate for the planned recovery strategy in order to yield the targeted response.   If you do one without the other, you won’t get anywhere! 

If I fire up my lawn mower and mow my lawn every day (stimulus), I’m not only going to look like a meth-head who just hooked up, I’m going to end up with nothing but a giant mound of dirt. And if I only mow twice a month, I’m going to end up with sparse grass and weeds all over my field of dreams!

Now if I mow just like I should, once every five days or so, but don’t get sunlight or water, I’ll end up mowing the same pathetic field of thin gangly grass I started with, getting nowhere.

OK, enough grass analogies. Let’s focus on the weights.

You lift weights as a stimulus to do what? Grow mad amounts of muscle, of course. If you stimulate something, you’ll get a response. The less intense the muscular stimulation, the faster the recovery, while the more intense the stimulation, the longer the recovery. 

So when setting up your weight training routine, you need to strategize your appropriate recovery method.  So let’s talk about how to do that!

The 4 Laws of Training

The Program

Your weight training program is your stimulus. This will determine what you’ll need to do during your recovery phase in order to achieve any kind of growth. If the muscles you target aren’t appropriately stimulated, you won’t achieve the desired effect.

When outlining your program, you’ll need to take a few things into consideration:

  • How frequently will you be able to “consistently” hit the weights?
  • How much time will you have during each training session? 

If you’re limited to three days per week of gym time, then a body-part split is obviously not a good choice for a mass routine.  If you can get there five days per week, but are limited to 30 minutes, then I wouldn’t suggest full body training if you’re trying to get huge!

If you know you can get to the gym three or four times per week, but you don’t have any consistency as to which days those are in any given week, then you may need to work with upper and lower body push/pull splits and forget about full body and body-part splits for a while.

Now we’ve all seen the controversies surrounding each method of training and the myriad of haters of a specific training practice.  However, all things considered, most of them work and it’s not the method that becomes the problem, but the individual training parameters and execution of those methods. 

They all have their place in the hypertrophy department.

It’s how these routines are put together and how much time and effort you take inside and outside of the training program that yield your results, good or bad.


Too much is worthless, and too little is worth even less. Too many guys will show up and absolutely crush a muscle group, only to wait six days to do it all over again.  We’ve all seen it.  Monday is National Chest Day across America.  Roll into any commercial gym around 5:30 PM on a Monday and you’ll have to shoot craps to try and get your shot at using a flat bench. Roll in any other day and you could take a nap on any given chest-orientated machine that’s not being used as a cell phone perch. 

FACT – Monday is National Chest Day across America

Somehow, people got the idea that training one muscle group per week was the absolute most effective way to get bigger and stronger. For the average natural trainee, this is absolutely false.

You need to stimulate your muscles frequently and adequately. Once a week won’t cut it, even it you hit it like Hiroshima. You’ll be recovered before your six days are up and your muscles will already have started to atrophy. In order to prevent this, you’ll need to hit those muscles again as soon as recovery has taken place.  For the sake of not having to write a book on this topic, I’m going outline a few programs for you at the end of this article. This will help you to increase muscular stimulation frequency, and find appropriate loading parameters within your hypertrophy routine. 

I often use Chad Waterbury’s method of loading parameters outline in his book “Muscle Revolution”, and because I appreciate his research and don’t want to steal his lunch money, I’ll leave it up to you to buy the book and read it. It’s a good starting point for learning how to increase muscular stimulation, get adequate recovery time, and how to not destroy the nervous system along the way.


Too many times I hear these gym rats saying crap like, “Slow and controlled…really squeeze it at the top!” or “Ten more sets of over-head triceps kicking flutters! C’mon baby!”

Now I’m sorry, but that’s not what I mean by intensity.

I’m talking about speed. If you’re not putting every ounce of mental fire power behind every rep, you’re not working in a manner that’s going to make you get bigger.

Look at the thighs of a marathon runner. Large? I think not. Now look at the thighs of a sprinter, longer jumper, triple jumper, or speed skater. Large? You bet your Wannabebig ass they are, especially in proportion to the rest of their bodies. Every rep behind the training of these individuals is intense! 

Now keep in mind that the speed of the bar doesn’t clarify the speed of the contraction.  If you’re working a bench press set and doing reps with 225 pounds, but are capable of 355 pounds, then you’ll be able to move that first load much quicker than you will the latter. However, when under the bar at 355 lbs, you’ll certainly be pushing with more than equal intensity and speed of contraction when performing the heavier set. 
Keep in mind the effort and force production you apply when performing every set. Whether you think its light or heavy, you need to give it every ounce of effort you’ve got in you.

Now, on a side note, I’m not as much of an advocate of simply moving the bar through the set as fast as possible, nor do I employ ridiculous eccentric phases.  Simply lower the bar with stability and control, and fire it off as fast as possible in the concentric phase. 

If you want to stimulate a muscle, put some intensity behind it!


I’ve hinted at this a few times already. Personally, I feel as though you should rotate through each phase every four to six weeks in order to prevent injury and promote CNS (central nervous system) health, which will only lead to better muscular gains. 

The movements you’d perform during a five-day split would certainly need to be less intense movements than what you’d perform during a three-day split. 

For example, exercises on a five-day split may look something like this:

  • Plyometric Pushup 4 x 5
  • Barbell Floor Press 4 x 4
  • Incline DB Press 4 x 8
  • Neutral Grip DB Flat bench Press 4 x 8
  • Blast Strap Pushup or Rings Pushup 4 x 12

Exercises on a three-day split may look something more like this:

  • Box Squat 5 x 4
  • Floor Press 8 x 3
  • Chest-supported Row 6 x 4
  • Standing Barbell Press 4 x 6
  • Russian Barbell Twist 4 x 8
  • Face Pull 4 x 8

The more recovery time available, the more intense the movements and the loads need to be.

How do you increase the intensity of a movement?  Increase the amount of muscle groups required to move the weight (i.e., dead-lift to snatch), increase the speed and load, or decrease the reps behind each set. 

Let’s outline a few training rules for deciding on what training parameters you’ll be attempting to utilize in order to change your physique. 

Load:  Keep your load in the range of 70% – 90% of your 1RM, occasionally dipping into a max effort once every six weeks or so.

Duration of Phase: You should shift gears on your hypertrophy training parameters every four to six weeks.  For example: Full-body three-day split at 90 percent loading for four weeks followed by Upper/Lower split at 75 – 80 percent loading for four weeks.

Frequency of workouts: Within each week, this will depend on the volume within each workout. However, unless you’re an “assisted” athlete, you’ll need to be hitting each muscle group no less than two times per week and no more than three times per week. 

Recovery time between sets: No less than 45 seconds and no more than 120 seconds. The fewer joints involved in a movement, the less recovery time required.  The more joints involved, the more recovery time needed. 

Sets and reps per muscle group: This will be determined by the frequency of stimulation.  The fewer times in a week you stimulate a muscle group, the more sets you’ll need to do, and visa versa. As a general rule of thumb, you can refer to Chad Waterbury’s “24-50 principle” for stimulation volume. These rep ranges are refer to training frequency from two to four times per week, but not to stimulating a muscle group once per week.

The Four Laws For Growing

1) Food

The most important part of your recovery phase is going to be the food you eat and when you eat it. 

We learned a long ago that the more protein constantly floating around the bloodstream, the more opportunities for the muscle to use it, particularly when paired with a low-glycemic carbohydrate. In other words, you need to be eating frequently throughout the day, and you need to eat high amounts of protein in every single meal. What are high amounts?  No less than 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. See protein, eat it!

If you’re one of those guys who are always claiming that you eat a ton of food, and still can’t gain weight, you’re mistaken. You just don’t really know what eating a ton of food is. When my athletes are trying to gain weight, they have three to four days out of a week that they consume upwards of eight thousand calories a day. Now that’s a lot of food! 

If you really think you’re giving it all you got in the stuffing-my-face-for-size department, don’t give up hope.  Keep your protein high and your low glycemic carbohydrates higher. You need to eat to grow, and if you’ve got the metabolism of a hummingbird, you need to eat a lot!

If you’re a little carb-phobic, then you may need to follow the eating recommendations of fellow Wannabebig author Christopher Mason and reread his article on Eating Optimally For Massive Size and Strength.  No need to rewrite a great article. Just read it and pay attention!

If you’d rather keep it simple and follow a few rules, try these on for size (pun intended)!

Rules for Big 

  • Eat at least your weight in protein every day.
  • Eat six to eight times per day.
  • Make protein the staple of every meal.

Start consuming about 50 grams of high-glycemic carbohydrates and 30-50 grams of easily digestible protein 15-20 minutes before you begin training, while maintaining consumption throughout the workout in order to stimulate insulin and load the bloodstream with sugars.  This type of “pre- and peri-workout” nutrition has been proven to lower interleukin-6, which is a catabolic inflammatory cytokine highly stimulated in the muscles during exercise. In layman’s terms, bring down IL-6, bring down stress, which we both know (or should know) does not help in building muscle!”
Consume another 40-50 grams of high-glycemic carbohydrates and an additional 30-40 grams of easily digestible proteins immediately following your workout to further improve your anabolic threshold, further increase protein synthesis, and keep glycogen levels up to par.

If you want to grow, you gotta get your nutrition in order

2) Supplements

If you’re really serious about packing on the pounds, you may want to strongly consider the use of supplements if you’re not already doing so. 

When it comes to supplements, there’s a good deal of confusion and hype that can negatively influence what you use and how you use it.  

For the sake of getting huge, we’re only going to talk about the supplements that I believe will pack the most punch for your money, and that are absolutely proven to work when it comes to building muscle mass. 

Protein – By and large, protein is the most important supplement in your arsenal. Unless you’re able to eat solid meals as outlined above, you’re absolutely going to need to add an additional protein supplement to your grocery list. 

Choosing a protein like Nitrean is a surefire way to know that you’re getting what you’re paying for!  It is an excellent tasting, clean, and highly bio-available product that obviously stands out in the crowd.  
Carbohydrates - Wait?  Supplement carbohydrates?  That’s right, and usually in the form of dextrose, maltodextrin, or waxy maize. Trust me…it’s a lot easier to knock down some Nitrean with a 50 gram serving of dextrose or waxy maize immediately following a gut buster, than it is to eat five pieces of white bread and ten egg whites.

It’s especially convenient to mix up a solution of the two so that you can sip on it while you train.  This will greatly aid in the prevention of muscle catabolization and will decrease fatigue. Opticen is a great choice for a post workout, combined carbohydrate and protein hit. You’ll get 35 grams of carbohydrates and 40 grams of protein per serving.

BCAAs – Branch chain amino acids make up approximately 35 percent of your total muscle mass and are quickly depleted during intense weight training.  By supplementing them before, during, and after your weight training, you’re preventing catabolism and encouraging protein synthesis, which is muscle growth!  Yes, you get a good amount of them from the high quality proteins that you eat, and even more so from a good protein supplement like Nitrean.  However, supplementing BCAAs is a cost-effective way to saturate your muscle tissue and save on excess calories.

Creatine - People can argue all they want, but anyone who has used creatine knows that it works.  Does it build muscle?  Not really, although some research does suggest that it may aid in protein synthesis.  Does it aid in building muscle?  It absolutely does.  Without getting too scientific, creatine plays a role in the creation of ATP, which is the chemical energy on which muscular contraction is based.  The more creatine available, the faster your body can produce energy, which means increased intensity and decreased fatigue during weight training.  Better stimulation to the muscles = better muscular response! Check out AtLarge’s Creapure Creatine Capsules for a convenient way to supplement with Creatine.

Fish Oil – If you’ve spent any time reading about health and fitness, then I’m sure you’ll have come across the benefits of omega-3’s, especially from fish oil. They’re downright ridiculous!  However, for the sake of muscle building, I’m only going to name a few.  They can help to decrease inflammation, and we’ve all had achy joints and mad trigger points. If there’s a supplement that can help decrease joint pain, and in return, allow you to move heavy loads properly again, you should probably take it! 

Fish oil may also help to increase focus and elevate mood.  Feeling a little down?  Not going to make the gym?  Maybe that wouldn’t happen if you were taking your fishies. Fish oil may increase insulin sensitivity and can aid in the body’s metabolism of carbohydrates, allowing more carbs to be stored within the muscle tissue (and not your waistline). It also aids the heart and cardiovascular system, aids in preventing stroke and certain types of cancer, and has been proven to help prevent and treat many mental disorders among children.  Get on it!  You can grab some here – Fish Oil Capsules

3) Sleep

Let’s face it…you’re busy. You wake up around 9 a.m., eat a bowl of Cheerios with skim milk, throw a granola bar in the backpack, and head out to school or work. You get to the gym around six, check out some girls, do some bench press, and hit the shake bar. You get home, play some Halo with your online crew, and hit the sack around 1 a.m. with a stomach full of Lil’ Caesar’s Hot n’ Ready. 

You don’t have time for sleep, I get it. I also get why you’ve got the chest of a Calvin Klein underwear model and the arms of a marathon runner. You need to sleep! 

Hopefully, your diet and workout are a little better than I projected.  However, if you’re not sleeping, you’re not growing. When and how we sleep is when and how our body repairs. Would you like spotty healing for 4-5 hours, or intensive full blown healing for 7-9 hours?

When you sleep, your body produces the growth hormones responsible for allowing your CNS and muscular system to adapt to the training you’ve performed that day, also known as Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand (SAID).  This happens when we sleep, so it’s obvious that if you want to adapt–or in other words, to GROW–then you need quality sleep!

How do you get it?  Here are a few rules to follow:

  • Reduce alcohol and stimulants.
  • Reduce spicy foods and foods that are high in saturated fats several hours before bed.
  • Avoid large meals directly before bed.
  • Eliminate all lights and shut off your computer.
  • Meditate.
  • Supplement with ZMA (can be a wild ride the first two or three nights).
  • Wake up earlier.
  • Be consistent.

It seems simple, but it’s often the little things in life that take you the furthest.  Count sheep, do yoga, pray, read the Anarchist’s Cookbook, whatever you gotta do to relax.  Nobody gives a damn but your body, so get some damn sleep!

4) Soft Tissue Work

Hopefully you’ve recently read Nick Tuminello’s Upper Body Warm-Up and Lower Body Warm-Up articles and were somewhat introduced to the art of foam rolling.  If you haven’t, do so when you’re done here and learn a little something about warming up! 

You can take similar principles and apply them greatly toward your recovery.  More specifically, utilizing SMR (Self-Myofascial Release) techniques helps to unlock adhesions and allow blood flow and muscular contractions to function as normal.  If your muscles are locked up with trigger points, then your movement patterns will be greatly flawed. Your mobility will suck and only continue to worsen, and your active muscles will become hypertensive and overactive, while your inactive muscles will begin to atrophy and become more inactive, providing your body with zero aid for movement.

As this happens, your performance will obviously decrease and you’ll be primed and ready for injury like an X-51 Hypersonic Cruise Missile.  If you undo the damage by utilizing SMR techniques, allowing your muscles to heal and become balanced again, you’ll significantly increase your muscles’ ability to do their job.  Therefore, you’ll stimulate more motor units, yielding a better opportunity for growth.  As a personal side note, SMR techniques and dynamic mobility have become the cornerstone for my training. Since implementing these methods over the last two years, I’ve been able to increase performance much faster than before, decrease pain like never before, and increase size without feeling like Frankenstein. 

Start taking ten minutes prior to every workout and roll your tissue out!  If you don’t know how, considered purchasing Nick Tuminello’s DVD on Self Myofascial Release, or just do some of your own research.  However you go about it, just start doing it, all of it!

Self-myofascial for Hips and Glutes at Nick Tuminello’s Training Facility

Wrap Up

Ok, let’s reiterate a few strong points that’ll get you shopping in the big and tall department in no time!

  • Change your programming modalities frequently; however, when following a program, be consistent!
  • Focus on speed and power during every rep of every set!
  • Don’t write your own programs.  Find someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to programming and listen to them.
  • Don’t beat the crap out of yourself every single day.  Too much stimulation is just as bad as too little.
  • Don’t ever walk into a gym for bicep day.  Please, just don’t be that guy.  Be the guy who bends bars during deadlifts and hogs the squat rack with front squats and rack pulls.
  • Eat like the biggest animals in the world, not like the smallest.
  • Be smart about your supplements.  Buy what you know works, and spend the rest of your money on good food!
  • Sleep and grow.
  • Give your muscles a little ghetto spa treatment.  Foam roll and stretch.  It’ll be the best thing you’ll ever do. 

Now go, do yourself a favor….lift something heavy!

A Little Somethin’ for Reading the Whole Thing…

I’ve provided three different hypertrophy routines for you to give a go – a three, four and five day split!

Full Body 3-Day Split

Note: Day 1, 2, and 3 are separated by one off day while Day 3 and 1 are separated by two off days. 

Day 1

Begin with a proper 20 min warmup including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – full body

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. * Box Squat  6 x 4/2 x 8 120 sec 80-85/70
2. Floor Press 8 x 3 90 sec 85
3. Chest Supported Row 6 x 6 60 sec 75-80
4. Push Press 5 x 8 90 sec 70-75
5. Weighted Chin 3 x 8 45 sec 70-75
6a. ** FB Neutral DUmbell Press 3 x 10 30 sec 70
6b. ** Bent-over Lateral Raises 3 x 8 30 sec 70-75

* Perform 6 sets of 4 reps at 80% of your 1RM, then lighten the load to 70% of your 1RM and perform 2 sets of 8 reps.

** Perform set (a), rest 30 seconds, perform set (b), rest 30 seconds and repeat.

Day 2

Proper 20 min warmup minutes including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – full body

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. Walking Barbell Lunges 5 x 20 (10/side) 120 sec 70
2. Incline Dumbell Press 6 x 8 90 sec 75
3. Neutral Grip Pulldown 8 x 4 90 sec 80
4. DB Lateral Raise Cheaters 5 x 8 60 sec 70-75
5. Single Arm DB Row 3 x 8 45 sec 70-75
6a. Weighted ½ Dips 5 x 4 60 sec 80
6b. Barbell Curls 5 x 4 60 sec 80

Day 3

Proper 20 min warmup including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – full body

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. Sumo Deadlift 5 x 6 120 sec 80
2. Bench Press 6 x 4 90 sec 80-85
3. *Pullup 6 x 4 90 sec 80-85
4. Upright Row 5 x 8 60 sec 70-75
5. Incline Neutral DB Press 3 x 8 45 sec 70-75
6a. Leg Extension 3 x 10 30 sec 70
6b. Single Leg Barbell RDL 3 x 8 30 sec 70-75

* Add weight to your pullup if necessary, and if body weight pullups are still too difficult, move to prone wide grip pull downs.

Upper/Lower 4 Day Split

Day 1 Lower Body

Proper 20 min warmup including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – Lower body and back

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. Broad Jump 4 x 4 90 sec Body Weight
2. Sumo Deadlift 5 x 6 120 sec 80
3. *BB Bulgarian Split Squat 4 x 8 60 sec 70
4. Romanian DeadLift 3 x 8 60 sec 70-75
5. Hack Squat (Full ROM) 3 x 15 60 sec 60-65
6a. Weighted Jump rope 4 x 45 sec 45 sec Body Weight + 15-20lbs
6b.  Seated Calf Raise 4 x 10 45 sec 70

* This works best when utilizing a barbell and elevating the forward foot 3-4 inches.

Day 2 Upper Body

Proper 20 min warmup including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – Upper body and hips

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. Incline BB Press 5 x 6 90 sec 80
2. Neutral Grip Pulldown or Pullup 4 x 6 60 sec 80
3. FB Neutral DB Press 4 x 8 60 sec 70-75
4. Bent-Over Lateral Raise 4 x 8 60 sec 70-75
5. Barbell Push Press 4 x 8 60 sec 70-75
6. EZ Bar Curls 4 x 6 45 sec 70
7. *Single Arm Preacher 2 x 25 60 sec 40-50
8. Russian BB Twist 3 x 16 (8 each side) 60 sec 70

* Only perform this movement if using a Hammer Strength type machine, selectorized machine, or a cable attachment.  If you only have dumbbells and barbells available, move to a standing single arm supinated dumbbell curl, possibly adding a forward lean.

Day 3 OFF

Day 4 Lower Body

Proper 20 min warmup including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – Lower body and back

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. Box Jump 5 x 3 90 sec Body Weight
2. Front Squat 5 x 6 120 sec 80
3. Elevated DB Reverse Lunge 4 x 8 60 sec 70
4. Weighted Squat Jumps (Dumbbells) 3 x 10 60 sec 60
5. *SHELC 3 x 8 60 sec Body Weight
5a. Weighted Jump Rope 4 x 45 sec 45 sec Body Weight + 15-20lbs
5b.  Seated Calf Raise 4 x 10 45 sec 70

* If 3 x 8 is too easy with two legs, move to using one leg at a time.

Day 5 Upper Body

Proper 20 min warmup including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – Upper body and hips

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. 1- Board Press 6 x 3 120 sec 85-90
2. Chest-Supported Row, wide grip 5 x 6 90 sec 80
3. *Weighted ½ Dips 4 x 8 75 sec 70-75
4. High Pull 4 x 6 60 sec 70-75
5. Single Overhead DB Press 4 x 8 60 sec 70-75
6. Blast Strap or Ring Pushups 3 x failure 45 sec Body Weight
7a. Weighted Chin 3 x 8 60 sec 70-75
7b. BB Rollouts 3 x 8 60 sec Body Weight

* Serious forward lean

Day 6 and 7 OFF

5 Day Body Part Split

Day 1 Quads

Proper 20 min warmup including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – Lower body

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. Front Squat 4 x 6 60 sec 75
2. Walking Barbell Lunges 4 x 20 (10/side) 60 sec 70
3. DB Squat Jumps 4 x 8 60 sec 70-75
4. Hack Squat 4 x 15 60 sec 60-65
5. Leg Extensions 3 x 12 60 sec 65-70
Free Time Calves 2 movements > 30 reps, < 50reps    

Day 2 Chest/Triceps

Proper 20 min warmup including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – Upper body

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. Incline DB Press 4 x 6 60 sec 75
2. Floor Press 5 x 6 60 sec 75
3. FB Neutral DB Press 4 x 8 60 sec 70-75
4. Incline Cable Fly 4 x 10 60 sec 70
5. Weighted Dips 3 x 8 60 sec 70-75
6. Supine DB Extension 3 x 8  60 sec 70-75

Day 3 Back/Biceps

Proper 20 min warmup including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – Upper body

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. Weighted Pullups or Supine Pulldown 4 x 8 60 sec 75
2. T-Bar Row 5 x 6 60 sec 75
3. Neutral Grip High Low Cable Row 4 x 8 60 sec 70-75
4. Single Arm DB Row 4 x 10 60 sec 70
5. * Bicep Death March      
6. ** Preacher Curl Up Set      

* Use an EZ Bar and one pair of DB’s: EZ 10r, DB 20r, EZ 8r, DB 16r – 60 sec rest- EZ 8r, DB 16r, EZ 6r, DB 12r – 30 sec rest- EZ 6r, DB 12r, EZ 4r, DB 8r, EZ 2r, DB 4r – DONE

** Start with a weight you can perform easy for 6 reps.  Do 6 reps as fast as you can, add 5lbs, repeat: focus on speed and eliminate all recovery time between additions.  Reach the peak and drop back down by 5lbs performing only 3 reps again for speed until you reach starting weight.  One set only.

Day 4 OFF

Day 5 Hamstrings

Proper 20 min warmup including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – Lower body

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. Sumo Deadlift 4 x 6 80 sec 75-80
2. Romanian Deadlift 4 x 8 60 sec 75
3. Barbell Glute Bridge 4 x 8 60 sec 70
4. SHELC 4 x 10 60 sec Body Weight
5. Seated Hamstring Curls 3 x 8 60 sec 70-75
6. Free Time Calves 2 movements > 30 reps < 50 reps    

Day 6 Shoulders

Proper 20 min warmup including dynamic mobility and foam rolling – Upper body

Movement Set/Rep Recovery Load % 1RM
1. Barbell Push Press 4 x 6 80 sec 75-80
2. Lateral Raise Cheaters 4 x 8 60 sec 75
3. Upright Row 4 x 8 60 sec 70
4. Face Pull 4 x 10 60 sec 70
5. Seated Arnold Press 3 x 12 60 sec 70-75
6. *Single Arm DB Shrug 4 x 8  60 sec 70-75

* Heavy forward lean.

Day 7 OFF

Written by Mike Scialabba

About Mike Scialabba

Mike is the Director and Owner of the Missoula Underground Strength Training Center located in Missoula, Montana.

He’s an Expert Strength Coach and has been in the business for nearly a decade working with hundreds of individuals utilizing conventional and unconventional training methods. 

Michael has sent over a dozen kids to collegiate football and basketball and has spent endless hours in the trenches getting dirty with real training and real results.

Be sure to check out his blog!

Discuss, comment or ask a question

If you have a comment, question or would like to discuss anything raised in this article, please do so in the following discussion thread on the Wannabebig Forums – Four Laws of Training and Growing discussion thread.