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Gain Herculean Muscle Mass and Power Fast!
During the past 29 years that I have been writing for the various bodybuilding magazines I have received letters from the readers requesting answers to their bodybuilding and nutritional problems. Of all the letters, at least 75% are from those who want to get "brutally huge" and powerful as fast as possible. It then seems that gaining muscle weight is still the foremost concern of the average bodybuilder.
A majority of you began training because you were below that certain muscular body weight that you personally considered ideal. From my 30 plus years of active involvement in the iron game both as a former bodybuilding and powerlifting competitor and as a contributing consultant to many of the bodybuilding magazines, my observations lead me to the conclusions that bodybuilders are perpetually on a ceaseless search for greater muscle size and want to "be big", no matter what their body types dictates. Most bodybuilders also reach a point when they feel their power would go up in a big jump if they could just add a few pounds of muscle body weight.
Gaining muscle body weight should be a relatively simple process, yet, it has always been given the status of a major problem! The down-to-earth concepts of gaining muscle body weight has suddenly been dignified with a lot of technical jargon. It has now become a deep science complicated with sophisticated advertisements and articles about metabolic programming. Frankly, I find it amazing.
You, the average bodybuilder who is underweight or who simply want more Herculean muscle mass, needn’t be frightened by these seeming difficulties. Like the vastly overinflated "science of bodybuilding" itself, most of this concern is totally unnecessary. Except for the very few advanced bodybuilders who might lie awake at night worrying about a blurred "cut" in his left pectoral, gaining muscle weight can still be a simple, quick and sure process.
What I propose to do in this article is present to you a unique but basic 4 Phase Program, that will accelerate your muscle body weight gains and double your present power, but first let’s review a few crude, basic, unglamorous facts. A normal health body maintains its average body weight by consuming a certain number of calories per day. If you continue consuming that number of calories but reduce the amount of your daily physical activities, your body over a period of time will become heavier. By the same token when you increase your daily calorie consumption but maintain your daily physical activities you will also gain weight. It seems pretty simple when I explain it this way, doesn’t it? Why then, do some bodybuilders fail to gain Herculean muscle mass as readily as others? That’s not quite as simple but is still not a big mystery.
Some bodybuilders have a faulty metabolism that prohibits the assimilation of use of food (nutrients) into a muscle weight gain. Others have peculiarities of body chemistry that causes shortages of iron, copper, B vitamins, enzymes or trace minerals that are vital to the gaining cycle. Other bodybuilders have such a faulty nutritional program that they do not consume the vitamins and natural elements they need; instead they are merely shoveling down "empty calories". Still others have digestive difficulties that allow the food they have consumed to be passed off as waste without being fully utilized. With rare exception, each of these conditions responds to eating correct foods in sufficient amounts, use of natural supplements and regular exercise with heavy weights.
All of the top champions in competitive bodybuilding recognize the value in obtaining Herculean muscle mass and power, for it has allowed them to make gains in muscle body weight, measurements, strength and endurance. Perhaps you may be wondering at this point whether adding Herculean muscle mass is good for one’s physique. I will let you be the judge of this as you consider the following: Bill Pearl was beaten in the 1956 NABA Mr. Universe by Jack Delinger. It was shortly after this narrow defeat that Bill decided to get Brutally Huge, and did so by increasing his muscular body weight to 255 pounds. It was at this new body weight that he had a 55" chest, 60" shoulder circumference, and 21" upper arms. My good friend, the late John Grimek who was never defeated in any amateur or professional bodybuilding contest that he entered, once increased his muscle body weight to a Herculean 250 pounds at a height of only 5’8 ½".
Some of the top physique champions of yesteryear have gone to some real extremes nutritionally to gain Herculean muscle mass. Bruce Randall, a former Mr. Universe winner once reached a body weight of 400 lbs. by following such dietary measures as drinking an average of 8-10 quarts of milk per day (though one day he drank 19 quarts of milk), an average of 12-18 eggs per day, along with 7 lbs. of meat per day. Bruce gained this Herculean size as a means by which to try and break some of Paul Anderson’s lifting records. This was the absolute extreme in eating for the purpose of gaining Herculean size that I ever observed.
However, there was a bodybuilder I met up with in Miami, FL back in the late ‘60s who could run a close second to Bruce Randall’s "Shovel Method" (this termed was coined by Dr. Terry Todd when referring to gorging one’s self with gargantuan heaps of food) of eating. His name was Richard Simons and it was during that era (‘60s) that he was one of the prolific writers for Iron Man Magazine. This guy went on a 21 day program of intense training and a stepped up daily calorie consumption. He increased his daily calorie consumption from 5,000 to 9,000. To do this he was downing six to nine quarts of milk per day, along with 3 lbs. of meat-mostly hamburger, but for the sake of variety he would also eat plenty of cheese, fish and tuna. His protein consumption was a 250-390 grams per day and to make sure that it was properly assimilated he would drink 1 quart of papaya juice daily. He took in plenty of vitamins and minerals in supplement form.
His workouts consisted of high sets and reps utilizing maximum poundages and perfect form at all times. By following this program of heavy duty eating and heavy training he gained 25 lbs. of Herculean muscle mass in 21 days and weighted 225 pound at the height of 6’2". His upper arms measured 18 ½", forearms 15 ½" with a wrist of 7.8", chest 51 ¼", waist 34", thighs 28 ¼" and calves 16 ½". He told me that his primary goal was to one day weigh in at a rock hard 255 lbs. To do this he would go up to 300 pounds in body weight and then train back down slowly to his goal of 255 lbs.
Being a free-lance writer, in the fields of bodybuilding, powerlifting, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, etc. I have had the unique opportunity to not only observe the techniques for gaining Herculean muscle mass and power from the previously mentioned bodybuilders, but many other outstanding ones as well. All the champions that I have talked to about the subject of building Herculean muscle mass and power universally agree that its success is based on a 4 phase program which consists of the following:
1) POWER PROGRESS TRAINING SCHEDULE
2) TOTAL REST AND RECUPERATIVE SLEEP AND REST PERIODS
3) SUPER NUTRITION
4) POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE
In this age of bodybuilding sophistication, I realize that this 4 phase program will seem too easy, but be assured that it does still work. I will now discuss each phase individually. The first phase is the...
POWER PROGRESS TRAINING SCHEDULE
The exercise plan is set-up on a 90-day schedule by which you will work the 3 major and 4 minor muscle groups of the body (thighs, chest, back, deltoids, biceps, calves, and abdominals) on two non-consecutive days per week. These muscle groups are the important ones for gaining muscular bodyweight and power fast.
The calves and abdominals are structured into the schedule more for the intended purpose of improving your muscular shape and bodily proportions which have previously been unresponsive or neglected.
Depending on your past training experiences and capacity for hard work you can either work all seven muscle groups in one total body workout but if you don’t have the time necessary to give in a day to complete the entire training schedule you could go with a split training schedule where you utilize the popular PUSH/PULL system, where you train pushing and pulling muscles on a three on/one off. For example, during week one you might train thighs, calves, and abdominals, on Monday and Friday. Chest and deltoids can be trained on Tuesday and Saturday. Back and biceps are trained on Wednesday and Sunday. Thursday is a total rest day.
Beginning week number two, Monday is a total rest day with Tuesday beginning the training cycle all over again. If this type of a training schedule is not allowing you enough rest time between workouts, then you might adopt a modified version of the above where you train thighs, calves, back and biceps on Monday. Total rest on Tuesday, then on Wednesday work chest, deltoids, and abdominals. Total rest on Thursday and on Friday begin again with Monday’s schedule. Total rest from any workout is required on Saturday and Sunday of every week on this modified training schedule. Your training schedule should be kept simple and uncluttered.
The exercises you select are up to you but here is a listing some of my recommendations.
THIGHS-Barbell back squat and/or barbell hack squats
CALVES-One-legged heel raises and/or donkey heel raises
ABDOMINALS-Quarter ab crunches "Gironda style" and/or leg raises
CHEST-Supine barbell bench press and/or incline dumbbell press
DELTOIDS-Barbell press behind neck and/or barbell upright rows
BACK-Measured movement power deadlifts and/or barbell bent over rowing. The measured movement power deadlifts begin where the barbell is positioned just below the knee.
BICEPS-Barbell curls and/or dumbbell curls
Suffice it to say that I do not have enough scope and spaced reserved in this article to go into a description of the technique emphasis of the exercises listed.
"LOW SET, MODERATE REP, HEAVY POUNDAGE" PRINCIPLE
You should consider working each of the seven muscle groups for 5 sets of 6-8 reps (excluding 1-2 muscle specific warm-up sets of one exercise each, the exception being for the calves and abdominals where the rep pattern should be 15-20 per set. The number of work sets may seem low but this is one of the best ways to avoid "Self Destruct Training." As Lee Haney, 8 time IFBB has said on many occasions, "STIMULATE not annihilate!"
Intensify the 5 Sets/6-8 Reps Methodic with the...
12 WORKOUTS POWER-REPS INCREMENT SCHEDULE:
Using a hypothetical power poundage of 500 lbs. in the Barbell back squat, the following 12 workouts power-reps increment schedule reveals how to intensify the 5 Sets/6-8 Reps Methodic.
1st Workout: 5 sets/6 reps "x" 500 lbs.
2nd Workout: 4 sets/6 reps "x" 500 lbs.
1 set/7 reps "x" 500 lbs.
3rd Workout: 3 sets/6 reps "x" 500 lbs.
2 sets/7 reps "x" 500 lbs.
4th Workout: 2 sets/6 reps "x" 500 lbs.
3 sets/7 reps "x" 500 lbs.
5th Workout: 1 set/6 reps "x" 500 lbs.
4 sets/7 reps "x" 500 lbs.
6th Workout: 5 sets/7 reps "x" 500 lbs.
7th Workout: 4 sets/7 reps "x" 500 lbs.
1 set/8 reps "x" 500 lbs.
8th Workout: 3 sets/7 reps "x" 500 lbs.
2 sets/8 reps "x" 500 lbs.
9th Workout: 2 sets/7 reps "x" 500 lbs.
3 sets/8 reps "x" 500 lbs.
10th Workout: 1 set/7 reps "x" 500 lbs
4 sets/8 reps "x" 500 lbs.
11th Workout: 5 sets/8 reps "x" 500 lbs.
12th Workout: 5 sets/6 reps "x" 505-510 lbs.
You can easily see from the listing above how the power-reps progressions are made. On the exercises for the thighs and back you can increase your poundage 5-10-15 lbs. and on the exercises for the chest and deltoids poundage increases can go from 2.5-5 lbs.
Rest 5-6 minutes on exercises for the thighs, back and chest. For the deltoids, calves and abdominals rest 2-3 minutes between sets. Rest between actual exercises should only be long enough to allow you to change the poundage.
One of the best ways to keep your muscle gains momentum going is to vary your training volume and intensity.
To do this you might consider using the Tonnage System where you multiply "x" the tonnage (lbs.) "x" times the total number of reps (volume) performed in the particular exercise "x" times the percentage (%) of your current one-rep maximum "x" times the distance (foot lbs.; example: a 3-inch movement is .25) "x" the number of sets. When you have completed this the tonnage (lbs.) is then divided by the number of reps (volume) to find the mean intensity. This is the average weight on the barbell used during this exercise. To find the relative intensity divide your top exercise poundage used for an exercise into you current one-rep maximum.
Other ways to keep the muscle gains momentum flowing is to alter your exercise performance bio-mechanically. You can do this by altering your stance, grip, bar placement, the movement itself, speed of the movement in the rep itself as well as periodic use of a different exercise altogether. Use dumbbells in the place of barbells, etc.