Training for Massive Gains
In my courses and seminars I explain exactly how to find what works for you and apply it immediately. If you keep an accurate training journal the information may very well be right within your reach, you just haven't learned how to exploit it.
Of course the way most people find this out is by trial and error over years of experimentation. Most never find it. They just don't know how! How can you tell if you are overtraining? You can tell immediately after, and often during your workouts! Most people are never told how! Why? Because even the best trainers in any gym just don't know, in most cases. Credentials do not always speak the truth. Even a great physique doesn't always tell the whole story. You have to know your body for one thing. If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or excessively tired after a workout, you are likely to be overtrained.
The best way I've encountered so far is to take your pulse rate every morning. You take a 60 pulse reading (beats per minute) each morning right after you wake up. If it goes any more than 7 beats above normal, for two days in a row or more, either you are overtrained or some other stress in your life is causing you trouble. Back off the training frequency and volume for a few weeks and see what happens.
How many Physical Education students do you know with massive muscles? They were taught all about how muscle is built in their University courses. Of course the information used in these courses and scientific studies is based on two types of trainers that just don't apply to the natural trainer. They are:
1. Drug using athletes, eg. Football players, and pro weightlifters.
2. Untrained subjects.
Chances are that if you are reading this you are neither of these.
Here's a good place to start:
Start with a two day a week split. Do the whole body each time. Don't panic keep reading. Choose 5 or 6 basic exercises for each workout. That means a different set of exercises for each of the two workouts. It would look something like this:
Bent over rows
I would recommend starting at a sub-maximal poundage for each lift. Start at around 85-90% and work your way back up over 4-6 weeks.
That's it for the basics. It is demanding but give it a fair try before you dismiss it. Now for the set and rep scheme...
Sets and Reps
The next thing you have to do is to decide how many sets you can handle. In general, the higher the reps the less the number of sets that you can tolerate. If you decide to try 20 rep squats (which I highly recommend) you can probably only handle 1 or 2 work sets with 1 or 2 warm up sets. In the 6-10 rep range most people can tolerate 2 or 3 sets.
The more sets you can do without overtraining, the better really. But DO NOT push it. Better to err on the side of too little than too much, believe me. Overtraining can take months to recuperate from before you can start to make decent gains again.
I don't normally recommend reps any lower than 5 but at some point you may want to try it, especially if you are training primarily for strength.
Deciding on the number of reps is a personal thing really. If you don't enjoy pushing yourself at a certain rep range then you are not going to work at it hard enough to make gains. There is a way to find your optimum rep range to work at for each exercise which will be covered extensively in my course. (E-mail me for info.)
There you have it. A sensible mass gaining program that will keep you going for at least a couple of months. After that you will probably have to alter the program to keep gaining. Most people who switch to such training often notice very rapid gains in the beginning and continues for quite some time. Good Luck and Keep Pumping.
Copyright © 2001 by Shannon Pittman, B. Sc.