Mass Training Tactics By Hugo Rivera - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Mass Training Tactics By Hugo Rivera


      by Hugo Rivera Iron Magazine

      In this article, I will start presenting a series of routines that when performed in the sequence in which I present them are guaranteed to bring you the results that you are looking for.

      Our workout parameters are going to be determined by the phase we are in. There are going to be three phases that we will be repeating over and over again. The first week is an Active Recovery Phase. This phase will only be a 1 week long phase in which we will only train with weights twice a week on a full body routine.

      After this week, the next three weeks are going to be a high volume phase with short rest periods in between sets. We’ll call this phase the Loading Phase. After this phase we will do 4 weeks of higher intensity work (heavier weights) with longer periods of rest in between sets. We will refer to this phase as the Growth Phase. The logic is the following:


      Active Recovery Phases

      First, according to leading strength expert Tudor Bompa, Ph.D., “you are trying to adapt the anatomy of the body to the upcoming training so that you can create, or produce an injury free environment”. Essentially, your tendons and ligaments should be strong enough to support the stressful periods that will follow.

      Second, this phase is a great time to address any strength imbalance that your body might have. This is the reason why mostly dumbbell work will be used during this phase.

      Finally, this phase will act as a great time in which the body will re-charge its energy stores and allow for complete physical and mental recuperation.

      During the loading phase the body is stressed with an increasing high volume of work that if kept for too long will eventually result in overtraining and injury.

      During this phase, three things will happen:

      The growth hormone output goes through the roof due to the short rest interval between sets and the high volume.
      Hypertrophy (muscle growth) occurs by the body increasing the levels of creatine, water and carbohydrates inside the muscle cell. This henomenon is called muscle voluminization.

      The body’s recuperation capabilities are upgraded in response to the stress imposed by the increasing volume of work coupled with short rest intervals.

      During the Growth Phase the body is not stressed by volume. This time the stimuli for growth is heavy weights. If this phase would be kept for too long eventually the body would cease to stop making strength gains and you would plateau. This is the reason why we always need to go back to a Loading Phase.

      During this phase the following three things will happen:

      The testosterone levels go through the roof in response to the longer rest in between sets and the heavier weights.
      Hypertrophy (muscle growth) occurs by the body increasing the actual diameter of the myofiber (the muscle fiber size) through increased protein synthesis.

      Since your body’s recuperation abilities were built up to the maximum by the previous phase and the volume has gone down dramatically, these extra recuperation capabilities are used to increase strength and build more muscle mass. The reason the body does this is in order to be prepared for another stressful period like the one it just went through. This adaptation mechanism is the one that ensures the survival of the species.

      Putting It All Together

      Taking all of the information presented above, below are the first four weeks of your periodized program. Notice how the first week is an Active Recovery Phase week and how the volume after week 1 in increased dramatically.

      Week 1 – Active Rest

      Monday/Thursday:

      Modified Compound Superset:
      (Rest 1 minute after the 1st set of exercise 1 and then do the first set of exercise 2. Then rest a minute and go back to exercise 1. Continue this pattern until both exercises are done for the prescribed amount of sets).
      Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
      One Arm Dumbbell Rows 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

      Modified Compound Superset:
      Dumbbell Bench Press 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
      Pulldown to Front 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

      Modified Compound Superset:
      Bent Over Lateral Raises 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
      Dumbbell Shoulder Press 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

      Modified Compound Superset:
      Incline Dumbbell Curls 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
      Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

      Modified Compound Superset:
      Dumbbell Lunges 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
      Leg Curls 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

      Squats 2 sets x 10 reps (2 minute rest)

      Calf Raise 3 sets x 10 reps (2 minute rest)

      Weeks 2, 3, & 4 – Loading Phase

      Notes: If unable to train 6 days a week, then perform Day 1 on Monday, Day 2 on Wednesday and Day 3 on Friday.

      Day 1 – Shoulders & Arms (Monday/Thursday):

      Superset:
      Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 sets x 10-12 reps (30 second rest)
      Bent Over Laterals 4 sets x 10-12 reps (30 second rest)
      Superset:
      Dumbbell Curls 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

      Superset:
      Incline Curls 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

      Superset:
      Wrist Curls 3 sets x 15-30 reps (No rest)
      Reverse Wrist Curls 3 sets x 15-30 reps (No rest)

      On Week 3, add:

      Superset:
      Bent Over Laterals 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Concentration Curls 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Triceps Pushdowns 3 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

      On Week 4, add:

      Superset:
      Lateral Raises 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Hammer Curls 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Triceps Dips 3 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

      Day 2 – Legs (Tuesday/Friday)

      Superset:
      Squats 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Lying Leg Curls 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)
      Superset:
      Wide Stance Squats 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Standing Leg Curls 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

      Superset:
      Adductor Machine 3 sets x12-15 reps (No rest)
      Abductor Machine 3 sets x12-15 reps (No rest)

      Superset:
      Standing Calf Raises 4 sets x 10-12 reps (30 second rest)
      Seated Calf Raises 4 sets x 15-20 reps (30 second rest)

      On Week 3, add:

      Superset:
      Leg Extensions 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Seated Leg Curls 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      One Legged Calf Raises with Dumbbells 3 sets x 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)

      On Week 4, add:

      Superset:
      Leg Press 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Dumbbell Stiff Legged Dead lifts 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Calf Press (on Leg Press Machine) 3 sets x 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)

      Day 3 – Chest & Back (Wednesday/Saturday)

      Superset:
      Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Wide Grip Pull-up to Front (Palms facing away from you) 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)
      Superset:
      Chest Dips 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Close Grip Pull-up (Palms facing you) 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

      Superset:
      Dumbbell Shrugs 3 sets x 10-12 reps
      External Rotations (for strengthening of the rotator cuff) 3 sets x 15-20 reps

      Superset:
      Leg Raises 4 sets x 25 reps (30 second rest)
      Crunches 4 sets x 25 reps (30 second rest)

      On Week 3, add:

      Superset:
      One Arm Rows 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Dumbbell Bench Press 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Knee-Ins 3 sets x 25 reps (1 minute rest)

      On Week 4, add:

      Superset:
      Stiff Arm Pulldowns 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Incline Flyes 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Side Crunches 3 sets x 25 reps (1 minute rest)

      To Fail Or Not To Fail

      Regarding the issue of reaching muscle failure or not in all sets, the best advice that I can give you is to perform each set to the point where it would be impossible for you to perform an additional repetition on your own with good form. This philosophy has always kept me injury free and allowed me to train by myself for years without any accidents.

      Nutrition

      Critical to a successful mass building campaign is nutrition. While I could write a whole article (or even a book) solely dedicated to this subject, I’ll keep it simple. Eat 5-7 meals a day (It could be 3 meals and two protein shakes, or 4 meals and 3 protein shakes depending on your nutrient requirements).

      In order to grow, eat a total of 1 gram of protein (tuna, salmon, turkey, lean red meats, chicken, whey protein, or egg protein) per pound of bodyweight divided equally over 5-7 meals spaced out 2-3 hours apart. If you have a high metabolism eat 2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight while if you have a slow metabolism just do 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.

      Have complex carbs throughout the day such as potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, veggies and a combination of complex and simple carbs (fruits) for your post workout meal. As far as fats, keep them as low as possible by choosing low fat protein sources.

      However, supplement your diet with ten grams of fish oils (4 caps with meal #1, 3 with meal #3 and 3 with meal #5) and also 1 Tablespoon of Flaxseed Oil in two of your protein shakes.

      Cardio

      During the mass building phase it is still important to continue to do cardio. Twenty to thirty minutes right after the workout (or first thing in the morning on an empty stomach if you wish to train twice a day) four times a week will suffice.

      The reasons for this are the following:

      Improves cardiovascular endurance; critical when performing supersets.

      Helps remove waste created by the weight training session and creates new capillaries that are used to provide more nutrients to the muscle, something that helps rebuild the muscles quicker as well as recover faster in between sets and workouts.

      Finally, this type of exercise prompts the body to produce fat burning enzymes; something that helps us keep the fat off while we gain muscle mass.

      Conclusion

      Well, there you have it. Follow this routine for this month and by the time that you are done, I guarantee that you will have enhanced size and definition.

      Next month I will show you how to put a great Growth Phase together that will make your strength (along with your size) skyrocket by taking advantage of your enhanced recuperation capabilities and nervous system energy. Until then, take care and train hard!

      Mass Training Tactics Part #2
      In part #1 of mass training tactics, we talked about how to properly cycle your training in order to assure continuous gains in muscle size and strength. We discussed the importance of having Active Recovery Phases coupled with Loading and Growth Phases. This month our focus will be on how to properly implement a Growth Phase.

      Like we previously mentioned, during the Growth Phase the body is not stressed by volume. This time the stimuli for growth is heavy weights.

      During this phase the following three things will happen:

      The testosterone levels go through the roof in response to the longer rest in between sets and the heavier weights.
      Hypertrophy (muscle growth) occurs by the body increasing the actual diameter of the myofiber (the muscle fiber size) through increased protein synthesis.

      Since your body’s recuperation abilities were built up to the maximum by the previous phase and the volume has gone down dramatically, these extra recuperation capabilities are used to increase strength and build more muscle mass. The reason the body does this is in order to be prepared for another stressful period like the one it just went through. This adaptation mechanism is the one that ensures the survival of the species.

      Modified Compound Supersets

      Before we present the routine, we first need to discuss what a modified compound superset is as this is the main technique that is crucial to the success of this program.

      In a modified compound set, you pair exercises usually for opposing muscle groups or for opposing muscle movements (e.g. Push vs. Pull). First you perform one exercise, rest the recommended amount of seconds and then perform the second exercise (i.e.: For instance, first do Biceps, then do Triceps).

      Then rest the prescribed amount of time again and go back to the first exercise.

      A modified superset for Dumbbell Curls and Triceps Pushdowns in which you perform 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 6 repetitions for each exercise will look like the following:

      Dumbbell Curls 1 set of 10 reps
      Rest 90 seconds
      Triceps Pushdowns 1 set of 10 reps
      Rest 90 seconds
      Dumbbell Curls 1 set of 8 reps
      Rest 90 seconds
      Triceps Pushdowns 1 set of 8 reps
      Rest 90 seconds
      Dumbbell Curls 1 set of 6 reps
      Rest 90 seconds
      Triceps Pushdowns 1 set of 6 reps
      Rest 90 seconds
      Dumbbell Curls 1 set of 6 reps
      Rest 90 seconds
      Triceps Pushdowns 1 set of 6 reps
      End of modified superset

      If you look at it, you will be resting 3 minutes plus the amount of time that it takes you to perform the other exercise (so you actually are resting a given muscle between 3.5 and 4 minutes). Using this technique of pairing exercises in a modified superset fashion not only saves time and keeps the body warm, but it also allows for faster recovery of the nervous system between sets.

      This allows you to lift heavier weights than if you just stay idle for 3 minutes waiting to recover. An additional benefit of this technique is that it saves time plus it follows the “limit rest to a maximum of 90-seconds in between sets” rule.

      Putting It All Together

      Here is the recommended Growth Phase routine. For this routine, the following applies:

      If unable to train 6 days a week, then perform Day 1 on Monday, Day 2 on Wednesday and Day 3 on Friday.
      When 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 6 reps is prescribed, choose a weight where you can perform 10 repetitions. Then on the second set for that exercise increase the weight and perform 8. Finally increase the weight once again for the third exercise and perform 6 repetitions. On the 4th set use the same weight used for the third exercise.

      Weeks 1, 2, & 3 – Growth Phase

      Day 1 – Shoulders & Arms (Monday/Thursday)

      Modified Compound Superset:
      Military Press 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
      Rear Delt Rows (Performed on T-Bar Row Machine, elbows and upper arms away from torso in order to primarily stimulate the Rear Delts and not the Lats) 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
      Modified Compound Superset:
      E-Z Curls 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
      Lying E-Z Triceps Extensions 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

      Modified Compound Superset:
      E-Z Preacher Curls 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
      Triceps Dips 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

      Superset:
      Wrist Curls 2 sets x 15-30 reps (No rest)
      Reverse Wrist Curls 2 sets x 15-30 reps (No rest)

      Day 2 – Legs (Tuesday/Friday)

      Modified Compound Superset:
      Squats 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
      Lying Leg Curls 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
      Modified Compound Superset:
      Wide Stance Squats 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
      Standing Leg Curls 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

      Superset:
      Adductor Machine 2 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)
      Abductor Machine 2 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)

      Superset:
      Calf Press 4 sets x 8-10 reps (No rest)
      Seated Calf Raises 4 sets x 15-20 reps (30 second rest)

      Day 3 – Chest & Back (Wednesday/Saturday)

      Modified Compound Superset:
      Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
      Wide Grip Pull-up to Front (Palms facing away from you) 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
      Modified Compound Superset:
      Chest Dips 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
      Close Grip Pull-up (Palms facing you) 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

      Superset:
      Dumbbell Shrugs 2 sets x 10-12 reps (No Rest)
      External Rotations (for strengthening of the rotator cuff) 2 sets x 15-20 reps (No Rest)

      Superset:
      Hanging Leg Raises 4 sets x 25 reps (No Rest)
      Crunches (performed on Decline Bench) 4 sets x 25 reps (30 second rest)

      Week 4 – Active Rest

      Monday/Thursday

      Modified Compound Superset:
      (Rest 1 minute after the 1st set of exercise 1 and then do the first set of exercise 2. Then rest a minute and go back to exercise 1. Continue this pattern until both exercises are done for the prescribed amount of sets).
      Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
      One Arm Dumbbell Rows 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
      Modified Compound Superset:
      Dumbbell Bench Press 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
      Pulldown to Front 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

      Modified Compound Superset:
      Bent Over Lateral Raises 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
      Dumbbell Shoulder Press 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

      Modified Compound Superset:
      Incline Dumbbell Curls 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
      Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

      Modified Compound Superset:
      Dumbbell Lunges 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
      Leg Curls 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

      Squats 2 sets x 10 reps (2 minute rest)

      Calf Raise 3 sets x 10 reps (2 minute rest)

      Training Routine Notes

      Notice on the routine above that some exercises for body parts like forearms, traps, rotator cuff, and inner/outer thighs are still performed for high repetitions in superset fashion (one after the other with no rest in between). The reason for this is because these are auxiliary muscle groups that get enough indirect stimulation from the rest of the basic exercises.

      Therefore they do not need to adhere to the same cycling principles that the other muscle groups require. In addition, notice that while we do vary the volume of exercise for Abs and Calves, we still adhere to using supersets and pretty high repetitions. This is because these type of muscles are endurance type muscles and therefore respond better to heavy weights performed for a relatively high number of repetitions.

      This is true of the abdominals as well. As soon as you start being able to do more repetitions for the abdominal muscles than what is recommended in the routine, feel free to start adding resistance to the movement. This will bring a quality to the muscle that is not seen on bodybuilders that do not train their abs with weights. Just be cautious with how much weight you initially add as adding too much weight too soon could trigger either a lower back injury or a hernia.

      Nutrition

      Just as we mentioned on the previous article, nutrition is a critical component to a successful mass building campaign. Since our training volume has gone down, we won’t be burning as many calories as we were burning before. For this reason, most endomorphs would benefit from lowering their carbohydrate calories just a bit in order to avoid gaining fat weight.

      So for endomorphs (people with a slow metabolism) I would recommend a total of 1 gram of protein (tuna, salmon, turkey, lean red meats, chicken, whey protein, or egg protein) per pound of bodyweight divided equally over 5-7 meals spaced out 2-3 hours apart with 0.8 grams of complex carbs per pound of bodyweight.

      Also reduce the amount of Flaxseed Oil from two Tablespoons to just 1 early in the morning (if using Fish Oils, then reduce the recommended amount from last month to two capsules taken three times a day with Meals #1, #3, and #5).

      If you have a high metabolism, still adhere to 2 grams of carbs and 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight with the 2 Tablespoons of Flaxseed Oil (or ten capsules of Fish Oils). Again, remember that complex carbs such as potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, veggies are to be consumed throughout the day and a combination of complex and simple carbs (fruits) are consumed for your post workout meal. Protein is consumed in all meals.

      Cardio

      Still continue to do cardio for twenty to thirty minutes right after the workout (or first thing in the morning on an empty stomach if you wish to train twice a day) for four times a week.

      Remember that when used properly, cardiovascular exercise actually aids in the recovery process as well as helping produce fat burning enzymes; something that helps us keep the fat off while we gain muscle mass.

      Source: http://www.ironmagazine.com/2013/mus...ining-tactics/

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