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Training For Size and Strength

by Phil Henson

If you ask people what their training goals are...at least 90% will tell you that gaining size and/or strength are their #1 priority. While most powerlifters know that a low volume - heavy weight - low repetition workout is best for gaining strength (with added size as a bonus), many bodybuilders have stayed away from traditional powerlifting routines.

Periodization is necessary for bodybuilders and powerlifters alike - this means that different styles of training should be incorporated at various times of the year with each focusing on different training goals. Yes, it is OK for bodybuilders to train like powerlifters and vise versa. With this in mind - the following routine is a suggestion (there are many good routines out there) for anyone whose goals are size & strength.

The workouts focus on the big 3 - squat, deadlift and benchpress because these are the lifts to concentrate on - you should bust your butt to make your sets and reps on these 3 exercises! Rest at least 3 to 8 minutes between sets when the workouts become tough. The other exercises in the program are considered accessory work - rest only 1 to 2 minutes between sets on the accessory work! Make sure you are getting excess calories with at least 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day (example - a 200 lb. man needs 300 grams of protein per day). Also make sure to get at least 8 hours sleep per night! After finishing this 6 week program - move to more moderate or lighter weights for your next cycle.

First off- you need to know your current one rep max on your exercises since your workouts are based as a percentage of your current 1 rep max. If you do not know your current max - here is a general guide to help you determine it. If you can do:

  2 reps with ? - multiply ? by 1.06 for your 1 rep max.
  3 reps with ? - multiply ? by 1.12 for your 1 rep max.
  4 reps with ? - multiply ? by 1.15 for your 1 rep max.
  5 reps with ? - multiply ? by 1.18 for your 1 rep max.

Here is the program:

      Week 1 - Use 75% for 3 sets of 6 reps on the Big 3, 60% for the accessory work.
      Week 2 - 75% for 3 sets of 6 reps on the Big 3, 65% for the accessory work.
      Week 3 - 80% for 3 sets of 6 reps on the Big 3, 70% for the accessory work.
      Week 4 - Drop the sets to 2 and do 85% for 6 reps on the Big 3, 70% for 3 sets on the accessory work.
      Week 5 - 2 sets of 3-4 reps (bust your butt to get that 4th rep) at 90% for the big 3, 70% for 3 sets on the accessory work.
      Week 6 - 2 sets of 3-4 reps (bust your butt to get that 4th rep) at 95% on the big 3, 70% for 3 sets on the accessory work.

    DAY

    EXERCISE

    SETS

    REPS

    MONDAY

    SQUATS

    LEG EXTENSION

    LEG CURL

    STANDING CALF

    SEATED CALF

    2-3 per above

    3 SETS

    3 SETS

    3 SETS

    3 SETS

    3-6 per above

    10-12

    10-12

    10-12

    10-12

    WEDNESDAY

    BENCH PRESS

    INCLINE DB PRESS

    MILITARY PRESS

    DB LATERALS

    SKULLCRUSHERS

    2-3 per above

    3 SETS

    3 SETS

    3 SETS

    3 SETS

    3-6 per above

    10-12

    10-12

    10-12

    10-12

    FRIDAY

    DEADLIFT

    SEATED ROW

    LAT PULLDOWN

    BARBELL CURLS

    2-3 per above

    3 SETS

    3 SETS

    3 SETS

    3-6 per above

    10-12

    10-12

    10-12


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    Disclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only. We strongly recommend that you consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. MuscleNet.com is not a licensed medical care provider. The reader should understand that participating in any exercise program can result in physical injury and agrees to do so at his own risk. The findings and opinions of authors expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of MuscleNet.com.

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