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Mass made simple

drew

drew

Senior Member
Dec 3, 2010
178
11
#1
Mass Made Simple
by Dan John


Coach Dan John's football team just won their second straight state championship. No surprise really. Building big strong athletes is, after all, what Dan is all about.

Now Dan is thinking about next season. Mainly, he's thinking about how he's going to get his juniors to put on some unadulterated muscle so they can play with the big boys on varsity next year.

Luckily for them, Dan knows a thing or two about packing on muscle mass.

Luckily for us, he's going to share that same info with us. It's pretty cool stuff, too: a brutal blend of heavy strength training, high-rep squats, and complexes.

Dear skinny bastards: This one's for you.

40 Pounds of Mass

Oh, I know, everyone is an expert on weight gain. The Internet is flooded with 145 pound skinny-fat experts.

Here's a summary of their mass-gaining methods: Stick a bunch of big words together in a row, or pull out a thesaurus and just jam synonyms into every sentence. Bam! Your audience will instantly grow bigger.

Recently at a workshop I was held hostage by a guy arguing that back squats are superior to front squats because of hamstring recruitment. The problem was that this guy, I was later told, had never done a squat in his life. Another expert.

Actually, I'm a fairly good example of actual bulking. In a four-month period, without steroids (always a caveat),I put on forty pounds, going from 162 to 202. What's interesting about my four-month, forty-pound gain was what I was doing before I started to gain size. Why? Well, it's probably what you're doing now.

At a bodyweight of 162 pounds, I benched heavy and hard nearly every day. At a bodyweight of 162 pounds, I did lat pulldowns, a variety of curls, lots of ab work, and I moved from machine to machine quickly. Then I met Dick Notmeyer and the scale began to move.

At Dick's place, there was a bar on the floor and a squat rack. Three days a week I walked over to the bar on the floor and moved it overhead a bunch of different ways. Two days a week I squatted the bar.

Soon, I was always hungry, so much so that I famously ate sandwiches just before dinner so I wouldn't be hungry while I was eating.

Dick had me weigh in every day, and it was shocking to watch the numbers go up daily. I came home one day after working out and my brother, who hadn't seen me in a few weeks, looked up from the table and said, 'Holy shit!"

Folks, that's a bulking program.

If you miss seeing someone for a few weeks and they don't recognize you, well, you have dialed it in. If, in two months, you find yourself smaller than when you started: welcome to the club. Most people who want to 'bulk" fail.

Why? Because:

1) They do too much of the things that get them tired, but not big.

2) They do too little of the things that get them big and really tired.


Read on and I'll explain.

The 3 Principles of Bulking

It's a formula you can bank on:

1. You must get stronger, but you can get there with any intelligent basic program. I've fallen in love with Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 program because, well, it works.

You need to do two things to get stronger: add weight and do more reps. The answer has never been: lift light weights for high reps, or lift heavy weights for few reps. The answer remains: Lift heavy weights for high reps.

2. The other part of the formula is as old as the rack. You need to do some serious squatting.

In the March 1980 edition of Ironman, Jack Kirwan offered a short article: 'A Seminar by Tom Platz." The honesty and candor of Platz was always his hallmark, and, if you didn't notice, the size of his thighs. His answer to small arms, small chest or whatever was simply to load the body up by squatting.

To repeat: The answer is squatting.

3. Finally, you literally need to spend more time on the bar. No, I didn't say "at the bar." Bourbon and squats don't mix. I've tried that workout. Trust me on this. No, the single best way I know to get more time with a bar in your hands is to use complexes.



Putting It All Together

The magic in a bulk-building program is putting these three elements together and surviving the workouts.

First, let me say this: Ideally, the best way to get ready for a bulking program is to lean out first.

Although it's counterintuitive, in my experience the athletes who've made the best gains have just come out of something that ate huge amounts of resources and time and energy and calories. The body adapted to that load and was primed to gain size, to adapt to any future crisis. That is why football players in December and wrestlers in March tend to put on ten to twenty pounds seemingly overnight.

How do you lean out? I think having you walk the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine consuming only protein and fats would drive down your body fat levels. You might as well walk barefoot, too, to regain the strength in your feet, toes, and ankles. Next, you'd move to a warm, sunny place and begin the serious training.

Not practical? Okay, fine. Leaning out can be done in a variety of ways, but I refuse to ignore the Velocity Diet. The great lesson of the V-Diet for me is that I didn't take in enough protein previously. I also agree with Chris Shugart's basic contention that the really important changes are psychological.

Now, I understand that few people will take my advice about leaning out first. If you ever get a chance to actually try this order — leaning out followed by bulking up — you'll be amazed at the difference.
 
Growinboy

Growinboy

MuscleHead
Sep 25, 2010
502
44
#2
Ya see SO MANY skinny little fucks doing leg extensions, etc that will NEVER grow... GO SQUAT PUSSY!!!
 
Rein

Rein

MuscleHead
Sep 10, 2010
1,241
128
#3
I have been squatting for many years in a row without great results. Yes, i did get a lot stronger and faster but i didn't gain any mass whatsoever. I only started gaining mass on my legs after i started doing alternate, one leg presses followed by hack squats, then lunges and finally a few sets of leg extensions.

Sorry but the only thing squats did for me were to cause me lower back problems.
 
pux888

pux888

MuscleHead
Oct 1, 2010
1,256
65
#4
I agree that squats can only do so much...for me it takes a massive amount of sets and reps to get my legs growing. Maintaining leg mass is SO much easier then the initial work. I do alot of drop sets and partial reps until failure, that seems to work best for my body type.
 
drew

drew

Senior Member
Dec 3, 2010
178
11
#5
Sorry but the only thing squats did for me were to cause me lower back problems.
This is caused by a weak core or improper form.

It a fact that squat (done correctly)will tax and stress your body so much it cause secretion and release of GH(growth hormone)causing your entire body to grow.

I explain to my clients like this Doing heavy compound movements your body muscle groups and CNS will say WTF why is he doing this to us we're weak and wernt ready so by doing them and stressing these groups your body will try to adapt(GH and hypertrophy)and be ready for the next time you SQUAT/DEADLIFT
 
Get Some

Get Some

MuscleHead
Sep 9, 2010
3,441
640
#7
This is caused by a weak core or improper form.

It a fact that squat (done correctly)will tax and stress your body so much it cause secretion and release of GH(growth hormone)causing your entire body to grow.

I explain to my clients like this Doing heavy compound movements your body muscle groups and CNS will say WTF why is he doing this to us we're weak and wernt ready so by doing them and stressing these groups your body will try to adapt(GH and hypertrophy)and be ready for the next time you SQUAT/DEADLIFT
EXACTLY drew! nice job. Most people give up on squats because they're "hard." For me personally, I have trouble holding the bar on my shoulders because of the way I have to bend my arms back (I have shoulder problems). But I fight through it anyway because I know that doing ass to the floor squats is going to light my legs on fire. I enjoy looking like a newborn calf walking out of the gym after a squat day, stumbling a few times as I go out the door, lol.

I've said this before, if you want to get big....make LEGS your favorite workout.
 
pux888

pux888

MuscleHead
Oct 1, 2010
1,256
65
#8
Very true GS, legs are the key to over all body mass! Plus if you have the balls to push through the puke and pain everything else is a breeze.
 
Glycomann

Glycomann

MuscleHead
Jan 19, 2011
494
117
#9
Lee Haney talked about this. One year when he was training Holyfield for a fight he injured one leg and really couldn't train legs hard. He came in smaller and softer and he discussed the GH effect and the overall growth that hard leg training provides. I have to think that one of the best bodybuilder's in the world knows what he's talking about. And he came before the massive drug abuse era.
 
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