Tag Archives: training

So … you wanna get big ???

I have worked with hundreds of athletes, weekend warriors, and average Joes.  Some needed to drop a few pounds while others would be considered “hardgainers” – those guys that say “no matter what I do I can’t gain weight.”  Thankfully, I had the remedy and was able to change their ways.

  1. athlete01Sleep – If you want to pack on muscle, your hormones need to be optimal.  When you sleep, your body releases growth hormone.  If you are only getting 4-5 hours a night, or waking up every hour, that needs to change.  You will need to block at least 8 hours per night, preferably at the same time every night.  If you find that you are waking up fairly often, then supplements such as zinc, magnesium, cordyceps, ashwaghanda, and 5-HTP may help you out.
  2. Eat 6-8 times per day – If you want to get big you cannot skip meals.  If you skip a meal you’ll never get it back!  Hardgainers generally have higher metabolisms and need to eat more calories.
  3. Get enough protein – You will need to get 1.5 – 2 times your bodyweight in grams of protein daily.  If you weigh 160lbs that would be 240g-320g daily.  Break that up into 6-8 meals and you should be in the range of 30-40g per meal.  On workout days I like to be taking in a little more than on my off days.
  4. Train at the same time – Studies show that if you are on a routine of getting to sleep, waking up, and training at the same time every day, then your results will be improved.  Schedule your workouts like they are appointments that you will not miss.
  5. During the workout – We recommend taking BCAAs during your workout.  We use Poliquin brand BCAAs because they have the optimal ratio of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.  You need to take 15-20g during the workout, or don’t bother.  This will help keep you in an anabolic state and give you the building blocks to repair your muscles after a grueling workout
  6. Post workout shake – We like to use a combination of Carbohydrates, Protein, and Glutamine.  The amount works out to approximately 1g of Carbs per lb of bodyweight, 0.25g of protein per lb, and 0.10g of Glutamine per lb.  Timing is important, so try to have it as soon as you finish your last set.  Do not mix protein with liquids until right before you are going to ingest it.
  7. Time under tension – If you want to put on muscle, you need to make sure that you are keeping your muscles working, or under tension, for 40 -70 seconds.  We use tempo in our exercise prescriptions. Say you are performing a bench press at a tempo of 4010, 4 seconds down and 1 second up; that means every rep takes 5 seconds to complete.  If you are doing 10 reps that’s 50 seconds that your muscle is under tension.  That’s a huge difference from 10 reps at 1010.  If you want your body to change, you need to push it to make it do so.
  8. Choose Compound movements as your base – Squats, Deadlifts, Dips, Military Press, Chin Ups, Bench Press, Bent Rows. You can do some isolation exercises, but these compound movements need to be your major lifts.  Do not be afraid to lift heavy weights, either.  When you are done your workout, you should be dragging yourself out of the gym.
  9. Working out is not a social event – On your program you need to have specific rest periods.  When you are done a set, start your stopwatch.  When it reaches the specific time you’d better be lifting!  Do not be hanging around talking to everyone that walks by…..maintain your focus! You can pick up girls on the weekend!
  10. Train Hard …Then go Home – Your workouts should not keep you in the gym.  After your general warm up (approximately 10 min) your workout should be 45 minutes to 1 hour.  After that your testosterone levels start decreasing.  You should be able to determine how long it takes by multiplying tempo x reps x sets and adding in the rest periods.  We like to use antagonist muscle pairings to get more work done in less time.  For example, Chest/Back.  You perform a set of chest, rest, and then move on to the back.  If you take 60s rest between sets it will be 2½ to 3 min between chest sets.  You should be fully recovered and be able to handle more weight.

Here is a sample program for hardgainers – Extended Giant Sets.

Day 1 – Chest/Back

Order

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

A1 Supinated Chin Ups

4

4-6

4010

15s

A2 Pronated Chin Ups

4

3-5

3010

15s

A3 Horizontal Rows – feet elevated

4

8-10

2012

3m

A4 45 Incline DB Bench Press – N to P

4

4-6

4010

15s

A5 DB Bench Press – Neutral Grip

4

6-8

3010

15s

A6 Decline DB Bench Press

4

8-10

3010

3m

B1 Bent Lateral Raise

3

8-10

2011

10s

B2 DB Flies

3

8-10

2110

60s

 

Day 2 – Legs

Order

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

A1 Back Squats

4

4-6

4010

15s

A2 Low Pulley Split Squats

4

8-10

3110

15s

A3 Backwards Sled Drag

4

 40 yds

XXX

3m

A4 Lying Hamstring Curls

4

4-6

4010

15s

A5 Romanian Deadlifts

4

6-8

3010

15s

A6 Back Extensions

4

8-10

2011

3m

B1 Standing Calf Raises

3

8

1011

10s

B2 Seated Calf Raises

3

25

1011

60s

 

Day 3 – Shoulders/Arms

Order

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

A1 Dips

4

4-6

4010

15s

A2 Close Grip Bench Press

4

3-5

3010

15s

A3 Lying Tri Extensions –EZ Bar to head

4

8-10

2012

3m

A4 Thick Barbell Curls

4

4-6

4010

15s

A5 Reverse Preacher Curls – EZ Bar

4

6-8

3010

15s

A6 Incline Hammer Curls

4

8-10

3010

3m

B1 3 Way DB Lateral Raise

3

   5ea

2011

10s

B2 Cobra External Rotations

3

8-10

2110

60s

 

Larry Jusdanis

Larry Jusdanis

Larry is an accomplished Strength and Conditioning Coach with more than 20 years of strength coaching and is a disciplined leader who demonstrates exceptional creativity in developing athletes and executing programs that consistently exceed expectations.

To get more information about SST please visit www.sstcanada.com

To check out how these programs can be done in complete safety, visit us at www.xperformm.com