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Training for Gaining: Phase I

Here's an outline of how your workouts should go:

Monday: Legs
Most guys lack in the legs more than any other muscle group. Let's get them
out of the way at the beginning of the week when we're coming off two days
of rest.
Squat, 5 x 5
Leg Press, 3 x 12
Lying Leg Curl, 5 x 8-10
Standing Calf Machine, 5 x 8-10
Seated Calf Raise, 3 x 12
Neck Strap, 3 x 12

Exercise Performance Notes

Squats: Regular barbell squats are generally preferred, but if necessary, in
order to maintain a flat back or for other safety reasons, use a Smith machine.
I know it's frowned upon, but it beats not doing squats if that's the alternative.
Besides, Dorian Yates can tell you it worked fine for him.
Either way, the squats are done bodybuilding style: bar high on the traps, feet
less than shoulder width apart, descend to below parallel, explode out of the
hole but don't lock out at the top. Keep tension on the target muscles. It helps

to keep everything tight. (This means everything: tense the thighs, hams,
glutes, lower back, abs, lats and traps. Even grab the bar with serious intent!)
Leg Press: The incline leg press seems to be the most popular type of leg press
machine these days. Leave the all-too-common practice of loading on every
45-pound plate in reach and doing little quarter movements to the kids. It
doesn't do much for development and it sure as hell doesn't impress anybody.
Again, keep tight, and lower down as far as you can without rounding the
lumbar region off the back pad. As with the squat, stop just short of lockout.
Definitely avoid hyper-extending the knees.
Lying Leg Curl: Nothing very complicated here, except that you want to
stretch at the bottom and flex the thigh biceps (an older term for hamstrings)
at the top of the movement.
Standing Calf Machine: The amount of overload is always important when
you're trying to add muscle size, but getting a good stretch is paramount when
it comes to calves. Go down as low as you cantry to touch the heels to the
floorpause for a two count, then up as high as possible and pause again.
Seated Calf Raise: For some reason, most guys tend to do even more short
bouncy movements with seated calf raises than other calf exercises. The style
should be the same as the standing movement: down stretch hold up
contract hold.
Neck Strap: Most guys neglect the neck. Don't be like most guys! It's an
important muscle group for appearance and injury prevention. The reason I
included the neck strap (basically a harness that fits over your head and is
attached to a chain to hold weights) instead of a neck machine is that very,
very few gyms have a neck machine. Very, very few have a neck strap either,
so I bought one and carry it in my gym bag. You may want to do the same.
With the neck strap, start by using the standard bent-over style, hands braced
on your knees, with the weight hanging down in front of you. Lower your chin
down toward your neck, pause, then raise your head as far back as possible
and pause in the contracted position.
As an alternate exercise, you can use manual resistance, either by applying
pressure with your hand or having a workout partner do the honors. For
starters, sit on a bench, touch your chin to your chest, hold one of your hands

to the back of your head, then raise your head backward, applying as much
resistance with your hand as is necessary to limit your reps to the target range.

Tuesday: Light cardio

Walk and/or slow jog for 20 to 30 minutes, just enough to get the circulation
going to help the legs recuperate from the previous day's session.

Wednesday: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Today we're working all the "pushing" muscles.
Bench Press, 5 x 5
Low Incline Flyes, 3 x 12
Dumbbell Press, 5 x 5
Seated Laterals, 3 x 12
Dips or Close Grip Bench, 5 x 5
Pressdown, 3 x 12
Hanging Knee-In, 2 x 15
Weighted Crunch, 2 x 15

Exercise Performance Notes

Bench Press: The granddaddy of upper body exercises! Everyone knows how
to do it, but not everyone does it right. For senior T-men, protecting the

shoulders and rotator cuff is a priority. This means you set your grip just
slightly outside of shoulder width, flare the elbows in, and push up straight,
not in a modified "S" curve or back. We'll do this touch-and-go style, stopping
just short of lockout at the top. The tempo is piston-like but controlled.
Low Incline Flyes: Set an adjustable bench at the lowest level possible, or
prop one end of a flat bench up on a solid block. You want to have an incline
of no more than 25 to 30 degrees; any higher tends to impact the shoulders at
the expense of the upper pecs. And remember, just because flyes are an
"isolation" exercise doesn't mean you should do them light.
Dumbbell Press: If you've been doing this in the usual mannerseated with a
back brace try them the old fashioned way: standing! Sure, you can handle
more weight seated and braced, but the standing version will build not only
shoulder size and power, but overall core strength. Plus, after you work on
these awhile, it'll be fun to shut down a young stud half your age when you
challenge him to do his presses "like a man."
Seated Laterals: Nothing fancy here, no twisting the wrists or pouring
anything out of an imaginary cup. Just keep the elbows slightly bent, palms
flat toward the ground, and keep them reasonably strict. A little body motion
is okay on the last couple of reps, but fight to get a peak contraction at the top
and don't drop the weight on the negative.
Dips: A great all-around upper body exercise, especially for the tri's and delts.
To put more emphasis on the tri's, stay more upright and lock out at the top of
the movement.
Be careful not to lower too far; triceps approximately parallel to the ground
will do the job. If you opt for close grip bench presses instead, your index
fingers should be about eight to ten inches apart with the elbows flared out
slightly to emphasize the outer head of the tri's.
Pressdown: You can use a straight bar or a tricep rope. Use full-range motions;
make sure the forearms touch the biceps. And, squeeze at the bottom
(contraction) part of the movement.

Thursday: Active cardio

You have two choices here. You can perform a combination of sprinting and
walking, or you can jump rope. If you like the sprinting/walking combo, sprint
for thirty seconds, then walk for one minute. Ten sprints is a good goal for
now, and no, they don't have to be very fast at the beginning.
If you choose the jump rope option, don't worry about anything fancy with
your form, just keep moving. Start with one minute rounds, resting a minute
or so between rounds. For most seniors, a half dozen rounds will give you a
surprising cardio workout.

Friday: Back/Traps/Biceps
We finish off the week by working the "pulling" muscles.
Deadlift, 5 x 5
Barbell Row, 5 x 5
Close Grip Chin-up, 3 x 12
Shrugs, 5 x 5
EZ-bar curl, 5 x 5
Alternate Dumbbell Curl, 3 x 12

Exercise Performance Notes

Deadlift: I recommend the use of straps and an overhand grip, where both
palms are facing toward the lifter. The opposing or alternate grip (used for
powerlifting where straps aren't allowed) has two drawbacks for our purposes.
One is that the opposing grip puts a lot of stress on the biceps tendon
witness the numerous torn biceps suffered by powerlifters. This grip also

tends to put a slightly uneven stress on the back and hips due to difference in
"length" of the arms when using the opposing grip.
Place your feet no more than shoulder width apart, set your grip as described
above with the bar close to the shins, look up and pull, keeping your weight
on your heels. No need to lean back at the top of the movement as this can be
dangerous to the lower lumbar region and, again, we're not in a powerlifting
Barbell Row: Though Dorian popularized the reverse grip for rows (a style,
incidentally, that Reg Park had used decades before), the regular pronated or
overhand grip puts less stress on the biceps and is safer for most people. Keep
your knees bent (this acts as a sort of shock absorber to protect the lower
back), angle your torso above parallel to the ground, and pull the weight to the
waist, not the chest. Save the wrist straps for your max set.
Close Grip Chin: You can use either a triangle bar (I sometimes place the bar
used for seated cable rows over the chin bar) or a parallel grip if your gym has
a chin bar with this setup. Keep tension on the lats throughout the movement.
The trick is to stretch the lats at the bottom without fully straightening the
elbows (which transfers stress to the shoulders), then arch your back and pull
your chest as close to the bar as possible. If chins are too difficult at this point,
substitute the close grip pulldown, same basic style.
Shrugs: Regular barbell shrugs off a power rack is the number one choice, but
Smith machine shrugs work well and, for some, minimize back strain. If you
have access to a Hammer shrug machine, this is also a good alternative.
Keep the elbows straight (don't make a good trap movement a poor bicep
movement), shrug as high as possible, hold for a count of two, then lower and
repeat. Some guys do shrugs like they do calf raises short little jerky
movements that might boost their egos but don't do a thing for calves or traps.
A senior T-man knows better!
EZ-bar Curl: The EZ-bar is less stressful on the elbows than a straight bar and
still gives the old bi's a great workout. Strict style here, thighs, glutes, abs,
lower back tight, full extension at the bottom of the movement and a slight
pause and squeeze at the top. The last couple of reps on the last set you can
loosen up a bit, but work the biceps, not the back.

Alternate Dumbbell Curl: A favorite of big arm guys from Leroy Colbert to
Bill Pearl to Ronnie Coleman. From a dead hang, curl the dumbbell up and
pause at the top, then lower completely before beginning the rep with the
opposite arm. Try starting off each set with the weaker arm first (if you have

Saturday and Sunday: Rest, Eat, Enjoy Life!

Phase I: The Details

Exercise Tempo
Let's keep this simple. The matter of tempo of repetitions (so many seconds
up, so many seconds down, so many seconds in the stretch and contracted
positions) is not without importance, but the simple fact is that building mass
and power isn't rocket science.
From the standpoint of empirical evidence, or observation, I've trained around
Larry Scott, Draper, Arnold, Pearl, Franco, Zane, Ferrigno, Platz, Serge
Nubret, Bertil Fox, Ed Corney, Casey Viator, Mike Mentzer and numerous
other top guys from the 60's, 70's, 80's and early 90's, plus more current
bodybuilding stars, and almost without exception, if they paid much attention
to a strict "count" tempo, they were doing their best to keep it a secret!
In fact, most of these guys seemed to use fairly rapid, less than full range of
motion movements. Arnold, for instance, didn't lock out on pressing
movements, neither did Nubret or Ferrigno. Wheeler did a lot of short, quick
movements; Ronnie Coleman uses incredible poundages in an explosive style.
Near the end of some sets, Platz did everything within his power just to keep
the weight moving, and Bertil Fox gave new meaning to the term "loose form"
but then you can't knock the results as he was as thick and strong as they
come. Fact is, a lot of these guys didn't even count reps, let alone seconds up
and down!
So fellow T-men, what can we take home from all this? Beside the obvious
need for consistency and intensity in training, one thing that's key to size and
strength is keeping tension on the target muscle. How do we do that? In
general there are two scenarios. With compound movements (those involving
more than one joint and muscle or muscle group, such as squats or bench

presses), a general rule is to stop short of lockout in order to maintain tension

on the primary target muscle(s).
On squats for example, if you come fully erect with locked knees, you remove
most of the tension from the quads, hams and glutes. To prove this to yourself,
walk out of the rack with your normal squatting poundage and just stand there.
You might feel some discomfort in your traps and lower back, but little or
nothing in the quads or hams. Now bend your knees and lower yourself into a
quarter squat and hold that position. It won't be long before your quads, hams,
and glutes start talking to you loudly!
With isolation movements (exercises that involve a single joint and/or a single
muscle or muscle group), the reverse is true. On leg extensions for example,
muscle tension is increased by locking the movement out at the top and
holding for a brief pause. Again, a simple self-administered test will furnish
proof. Select your normal max weight for reps on the leg extension and power
through a set with no attempt to lock out on any of the reps. Rest a couple of
minutes, then do the same weight with a two second pause at the top of each
rep. Halfway through the set you'll feel the difference!
None of the above should be construed to mean that you should use an
"anything goes" cheat-style of exercise. Rather, on your heavy basics, keep the
movement controlled, concentrating on the eccentric or negative part of the
contraction and exploding on the concentric or positive part, much like a welloiled piston. As Bill Pearl once
told me, "Listen to your body and it'll tell you everything you need to know
about bodybuilding."

Rest Between Sets

Again, we're going to keep it simple. On your 5 x 5 exercises, usually the first
exercise for each body part in this routine, rest approximately a minute and a
half to two minutes. (On your last couple of sets of squats, you'll probably be
leaning toward the two minute mark.) This will allow you to recuperate
enough between sets to put forth maximum effort with maximum poundage.
On the second exercise for each body part, the 3 x 12 exercises, cut the rest to
about one minute. The idea here is to promote the pump. On body parts where

there's just one listed exercise (shrug for traps, leg curl for hamstrings), rest
about a minute to a minute and a half.

Sets, Reps, and Poundage Progression

For the 5 x 5 exercises, warm up very light prior to the first set, add weight for
the second, and hit your working weight for the next three sets. When you get
three sets of five with a given weight, increase by five pounds the next
workout and work up again.
As an example, for bench presses a hypothetical T-man might warm up with
an empty bar, then do 135 x 5 the first set, 175 x 5 the second set, then 205 for
the work sets. When he can do 205 for all three sets of five, add five pounds
and start the process over. In actual practice, the work sets might then run
something like 210 x 5, 210 x 4, and 210 x 3. Try to add a rep each workout
until 210 x 5, 210 x 5, and 210 x 5 can be performed.
For the 3 x 12 exercises, do one warm up set, then use the same poundage for
the remaining two sets. When you can hit the same working poundage two
times in a row, increase by about five pounds (this doesn't apply to the 5 x 5
workouts). Let's use the low incline flyes for example. Our hypothetical
trainee might warm up with 30's x 12, then jump to the 40-pound dumbbells.
When he can do the 40's for two sets of twelve, two workouts in a row, it's
time to go up in poundage. The reason for stabilizing at least two workouts on
a poundage is to give the body time to adapt, and to make sure the one
workout wasn't just one of those super days we all have from time to time.

Program Duration
Phase I of our "Training For Gaining" program will last from four to six
weeks, depending on individual circumstances. I recommend that you record
some baseline stats weight, body composition, your best weight/rep efforts
in each exercise, and maybe even some measurements at the beginning of
the program.

Increasing Volume

Once you get broken into this routine, you can add a little more volume by
making the last set of each secondary exercise a drop set. For example, on
chest, work up to your max weight on the low incline dumbbell flyes for set
number three, immediately drop the weight about 20% and knock out as many
reps as you can, then immediately reduce the weight again and max out on
reps (which won't be many at this point). In essence, this procedure will mean
you're doing ten sets for each body part not too many when you're only
hitting that muscle or muscle group once a week.
Phase II

Monday: Chest, Shoulders, Abs

For senior T-men who may be increasingly prone to shoulder injury or
nagging shoulder pains, combining pecs and delts makes sense from several
standpoints. Shoulders get worked strongly with chest and back and to a lesser
degree with arms and even legs. By hitting chest and shoulders together, we
allow more days for rest and recuperation.
Also, since the delts are pre-fatigued by doing chest work first, you can get a
shirt-splitting pump with less weight (which minimizes joint/connective tissue
trauma) and less volume, especially if you choose the right exercises.
Enough of the sales pitch. You'll note with this that routine we're
concentrating on "upper" pecs. Here's the outline; descriptions and a few
photos will follow:
Incline Press, 4 x 6-8
Incline Dumbbell Press, 3 x 8-10
Low Incline Flyes, 3 x 12
Seated Smith Machine Press: 4 x 6-8
Seated Non-Stop Laterals, 4 x 12

Abs (superset)
Weighted Crunches, 3 x 15
Weighted Knee In, 3 x 15

Exercise Performance Notes

Incline Press: We want a 30 to 35 degree incline on this one any higher
shifts too much of the focus from the upper pecs to the delts. Lower the bar
slowly, then explode upward. Try stopping just short of lockout to keep
tension on the pecs.
Incline Dumbbell Press: An old standby for size and power. Take the
dumbbells off the rack, sit on the incline bench and rest a dumbbell on each
knee. Lean back and "kick" the bells up to your shoulders one at a time. Begin
the presses from a dead start and explode upward, again stopping just short of
Low Incline Flyes: Set an adjustable bench at the lowest level possible or prop
one end of a flat bench up on a solid block. You want to have an incline of no
more than 25 to 30 degrees any higher tends to impact the shoulders at the
expense of the upper pecs. And remember, just because flyes are an "isolation"
exercise doesn't mean you should do them light.
Seated Smith Machine Press: After the preceding three exercises, your delts
will be pre-fatigued. For some, this means a cutback in poundages used for
shoulder pressing movements, but this can be an advantage as we can promote
growth and pump without having to stress the joints with super heavy weights.
Keep the reps nice and smooth slow descent from the top to just below
chin level, then a controlled explosion upward. As with most compound
movements, stop reps just short of lockout to keep tension on the target
Seated Non-Stop Laterals: This is a unique movement that'll make you feel
like someone is holding a blowtorch to your delts. Don't load up on this one
until you get used to it. The first couple of sets seem easy, but then the fun

Sit on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Always start with your weakest
side. Perform twelve laterals with one arm only, then do twelve reps with your
other arm. Still holding onto the dumbbells (you don't let go until all sets have
been completed), switch to the first arm for twelve more. Continue back and
forth until all sets have been completed.
By the end of your last set you'll know what I mean about not starting too
heavy. You'll also know why I've only included two direct delt movements in
this program!
Weighted Crunches Supersetted with Weighted Knee-Ins: For the weighted
crunches, lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell held behind your head. Cross
your ankles and raise your knees until they point directly at the ceiling (your
thighs will be at right angles to the bench and floor), then curl your torso up
slowly, hold the contracted position for a full two seconds, then slowly return.
As soon as you get your reps, adjust your position so that the
dumbbell is held between your feet for the weighted knee-ins.
Keeping your back flat on the bench and your knees bent,
lower the dumbbell until it nearly touches the floor. Pause
until you feel a lower ab "stretch," then return until the knees
are once again pointing toward the ceiling.
It's important to keep your knees slightly bent during the "leg raises" as the
straight legged position puts undue stress on the lumbar region and also
transfers some tension to the quads. In engineering terms, you have one "pivot
point," which is the hips.
Tuesday: Back, Traps, Neck
Deadlift, 4 x 6
EZ-Bar Row, 4 x 6-8
Seated Cable Row, 3 x 8-10
Front Pulldown, 3 x 12
Dumbbell Shrugs, 4 x 6-8

Neck Strap, 4 x 12
Exercise Performance Notes
Deadlift: We went over this one thoroughly in Phase I. To recap: Use straps
and an overhand grip. Place your feet no more than shoulder width apart,
position yourself so that the bar is close to your shins, look up and pull,
keeping your weight on your heels. Again, there's no need to lean back at the
top of the movement as I feel this can be dangerous to your lower back.
EZ-Bar Row: With the EZ bar you can use a reverse or curl grip with greater
safety than with a regular bar because the angle places less stress on the biceps
and biceps tendon.
Keep your knees bent (this acts as a sort of shock absorber to protect the lower
back), angle your torso above parallel to the ground, and pull the weight to the
waist, not the chest. The combination of a reverse grip and pulling into the
abdomen really hits the lower lats.
Seated Cable Row: Great for the entire upper back. Use a narrow grip (the
triangle bar used for close-grip pulldowns is good here), keep the knees bent,
lean forward slightly to feel the stretch on the lower lats, then bring your torso
to an upright position as you pull the bar into the abdomen. Hold at the
contracted position for a second or two, then repeat.
Don't lean back past the 90-degree angle or you'll transfer a lot of stress from
the lats to the lumbar region. A tip for those of you who tend to feel back work
in the biceps try using a false grip, i.e. don't wrap the thumbs around the
bar. Grip the bar lightly and mentally relax the wrists and forearms while
focusing the tension where you want it.
Front Pulldown: A good finisher for the lats and one that gives the lower back
a rest after all the deadlifts and rows. Use a grip just slightly beyond shoulder
width, pull the lat bar smoothly to the upper chest, hold for a definite pause,
trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together, then return slowly. Here we
want to stop just short of a full extension because once you straighten the
elbows and go to a full "lockout," a lot of stress is transferred from the lats to
the shoulder joint.
Dumbbell Shrugs: Three main pointers here: 1) Use a straight up-and-down
motion. No rolling the shoulders unless you're using pink plastic dumbbells in

the morning "toning" class. 2) Go heavy. 3) Use straps if needed. If you follow
pointer #2, you'll need them!
Neck Strap: We covered the neck strap in Phase I. A brief recap: If your gym
has a neck machine, use it, but since a neck machine in a fitness center is
about as rare as somebody using a squat rack for squats instead of curls with a
dime on each end of the bar, I opt for the neck strap. If the place where you
workout doesn't have one, you can get one for a few bucks at fitness
equipment outlets or even at Wal Mart.
We'll use the standard bent over style, hands braced on your knees, with the
weight hanging down in front of you. Lower your chin down toward your
neck, pause, then raise your head as far back as possible and pause in the
contracted position.
Wednesday: Optional Cardio
After the previous day's back workout, we're ready for rest, so our cardio will
be mild in terms of intensity. Walk or bike for 20 minutes and call it quits.
Remember, this is Training for Gaining!
Thursday: Biceps, Triceps, Forearms
"21" Curl, 4 x 21
Seated Dumbbell Curl, 3 x 8-10
Cable Curl, 3 x 10-12
Lying Triceps Push, 4 x 6-8
Rope Extension, 3 x 8-10
Pressdown, 3 x 8-12
Double Reverse Curl, 3 x 12
Exercise Performance Notes

21 Curl: A proverbial oldie but goodie. Start with the bar at the extended
position, down at the thighs. Curl up to the halfway position, stopping at about
mid waist level. Pause momentarily, then lower and repeat for a total of seven
At the completion of the seventh half rep, bring the bar up to the shoulders,
then lower to the halfway position, hold momentarily, and repeat. At the end
of the seven "top" half reps, lower the bar all the way to the thighs and do
seven full reps, all the way up and all the way down. 7 + 7 + 7 = 21. Do these
right (strict with little or no swinging and swaying) and you'll pump, you'll
burn, and you'll grow!
Seated Dumbbell Curl: You can use either a regular flat bench or a bench with
a back brace. If you go for the brace, minimize the pressure you exert against
it we're working biceps here, not thighs and lower back. Starting with the
palms facing one another, curl the dumbbells up simultaneously, twisting the
wrists slightly so that the palms face up at the end of the movement. Reverse
the movement on the way down.
Cable Curl: Do this one standing, using the short, straight bar. Cable curls are
usually more productive if you do them in a very controlled manner, with a
definite "cramp" or "squeeze" at the top of each rep.
Lying Triceps Push: No, this isn't a misprint. It's a lying tricep push, not
a press. This is a movement first popularized by Larry Scott (the first Mr.
Olympia, for you newbies) at Vince's Gym in North Hollywood. Done
correctly, it puts a lot of meat on the triceps, especially the outer head, and it
greatly minimizes strain on the elbows as compared to the standard lying
tricep press.
Use a narrow grip on an EZ-curl bar. Lie on a flat bench with the bar extended
over your chest. Lower the bar slowly until it nearly touches your chin, flaring
your elbows out. Push the weight up in a slightly forward motion, then repeat
with rapid, non-lockout movements. Bringing the bar to the chin and flaring
the elbows are what make this movement unique and productive.
Rope Extension: Though a "machine" exercise, rope
extensions are great for adding size, especially to the long
head of the triceps. Stand facing away from the overhead
pulley. Using the rope attachment, extend your arms fully,
tensing the tri's and locking out. Bring the rope back behind
the head, stretching fully and pausing, then repeat.

Triceps Pressdown: You can use a straight bar or a triceps bar on a pulldown
machine. Either way, squeeze at the bottom (contraction) part of the
Double Reverse Curl: This one gets both the forearm flexors and extensors
(bottom and top of the forearms). Grasp a straight bar with a pronated (palms
down) grip. Starting from a position with the bar touching your thighs, elbows
tucked tightly into your sides, curl the bar up slowly. Pause at the top, then
lower slowly to the starting position and do a wrist curl, rotating your palms
back and up as far as possible. Hold the contracted position for a count of two,
and repeat. After three sets of these, simple tasks such as holding a pen or
buttoning your shirt can be a challenge!
Friday: Thighs, Hamstrings, Calves
Squat, 4 x 6-8
Dinosaur Hack Squats, 4 x 8-10
"5 Breath Pause" Leg Presses, 4 x 12
Seated Leg Curl, 4 x 8-10
Stiff Leg Deadlift, 4 x 12
Calf Machine, 4 x 8-10
Donkey Calf Raise, 4 x 20
Exercise Performance Notes
Squats: Again, regular barbell squats are generally preferred, but if necessary
in order to maintain a flat back or for other safety reasons, use a Smith
machine. As mentioned in Phase I, the squats are done bodybuilding style: bar
high on the traps, feet less than shoulder width apart. Go to slightly below
parallel and explode out of the hole but don't lock out at the top.
Dinosaur Hack Squats: The original hack squat this one is guaranteed to
have the tennis player looking, clip board clasping, certified personal trainers
waving their "toned" arms frantically and screaming for you to stop. Here's
how we get such an amusing reaction:

Place your heels on a two inch block of wood with a narrow stance. Hold a
barbell up tight against your lower glutes, right where they tie in to the upper
hamstrings. Keeping the bar in that position, lower into a full squat, pause
momentarily at the bottom, and come back up, but don't quite lock out. Keep
the movement controlled but piston-like: down, pause, up to near lockout and
back down again.
A couple of sets of these and you'll either want to throw the gym's fancy hack
squat machine out of the window or you'll embrace it!
"5 Breath Pause" Leg Presses: The icing on the leg pump cake! We'll use the
same basic technique as described in Phase I with one important difference:
you do the goal reps, then lock out at the top position, take in five breaths, do
your second set of goal reps, lock out at the top while you take in five breaths,
and repeat for four total sets.
Will you feel the pump and burn? Oh, hell yes! But you'll probably be more
concerned with just trying to breathe or trying not to throw up!
Seated Leg Curl: These hit the hamstrings from a slightly different angle than
the lying leg curl, similar to doing a concentration curl for biceps versus a
standing barbell curl. If you don't have access to a seated leg curl machine, no
problem, just revert back to the lying leg curl. Either way, remember to stretch
at the extension part of the movement and "flex" the thigh biceps (hams) at the
contraction part.
Stiff Leg Deadlift: These are actually semi-stiff legged in that the knees are
"soft" or just slightly bent. The wrinkle here that really hits the hams is to
place your toes on a two inch block of wood or a couple of 25 pound plates.
Get a full downward stretch, but come only to a position where the bar is at
mid-thigh level. This restricted upward range of motion combined with the
elevated toe position really keeps the focus on the hamstrings.
Calf Machine: The amount of overload is always important when you're trying
to add muscle size, but stretch is paramount when it comes to calves. Go down
as low as you can (try to touch the heels to the floor), pause for a two count,
then up as high as possible and pause again.
Donkey Calf Raise: If you have access to a donkey calf machine, great. If not,
do them the old fashioned "Arnold" way: a solid bench to rest your forearms

on, a two inch block or weight plate for stretch, and a partner or two to ride
your back.
Saturday: Light Cardio
Walk and/or slow jog for 20 to 30 minutes, just enough to get the circulation
going to help the legs recuperate from the previous day's session.

Rest Between Sets

Rest between sets will vary anywhere between zero to two minutes, depending
on the exercise. For instance, a couple of minutes between sets of dinosaur
hack squats won't seem like much, while on arm work a minute will be about
right. But don't forget, on some exercises like seated non-stop laterals and "5
breath pause" leg presses, there's no rest at all!

Sets, Reps, and Poundage Progression

On exercises that call for sets of six to eight reps, pyramid up, starting light
for your first set and maxing out for the target reps on the fourth and final set.
On exercises that call for sets of eight to ten reps, warm up on the first set, hit
your max weight the second, then immediately drop the poundage 10 to 20%
for the third set. On exercises that call for sets of twelve reps, try to maintain
the same poundage for all sets.
As stated in Phase I, when you can hit the same working poundage two times
in a row, increase by about five pounds.

Program Duration
Phase II of our Training For Gaining program will last from four to six weeks,
depending on your progress. If you've recorded baseline stats (weight, body
composition, your best weight/rep efforts in each exercise, etc.), you've taken
a lot of the guesswork out of the equation.
Phase III

We're going to work each body part once a week with the exception of the
feeder workout. The sessions will be brief, concentrated and intense! Most
days you should be in and out in under an hour, warm-ups included. As

always, the exact workout days are up to the individual. However, the
recommendation is three on/one off, two on/one off to allow for maximum
recuperation. Here's an outline:
Monday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves
Tuesday: Chest and Abs
Wednesday: Back plus a "feeder" workout for quads, hams and calves
Thursday: Off
Friday: Shoulders and Traps
Saturday: Biceps, Triceps, Forearms
Sunday: Off
Note: Even though this routine includes a feeder workout for legs only, the
arms are worked to some extent during chest, back and shoulder workouts and
shoulders are worked during chest and back. In other words, don't panic. Your
arms and shoulders will get plenty of work!
Now, let's break it down workout by workout. After that I'll provide exercise
descriptions where appropriate.
Monday Legs
Squat, 5 x 5-8
Hack Squat, 4 x 8-10
Leg Extension, 3 x 12
Lying Leg Curl, 5 x 8-10
Calf Machine, 5 x 8-10
Tuesday Chest and Abs

Bench Press, 5 x 5-8
Smith Machine Incline Press, 4 x 8-10
Incline Flyes, 3 x 12
Hanging Knee-in, 2 x 20
Rope Crunch, 2 x 20
Wednesday Back (Plus Feeder Workout for Legs)
Barbell Row, 5 x 5-8
One Arm Row, 4 x 8-10
Front Pulldown, 3 x 12
Deadlift, 5 x 5
Feeder workout for legs
Leg Press, 2 x 20
Seated Leg Curl, 2 x 15-20
One Leg Calf Stretch, 2 x 20
Thursday Off
FridayShoulders and Traps
Seated Dumbbell Press, 5 x 5-8
One Arm Laterals, 4 x 8-10

Wide Grip Upright Row, 3 x 12
Smith Machine Shrug, 5 x 5-8
Saturday Biceps, Triceps, Forearms
EZ-Bar Curl, 4 x 6-8
Alternate Dumbbell Curl, 3 x 6-8
Scott Curl, 3 x 8-10
Dips, 4 x 6-8
Dumbbell Triceps Press, 3 x 8-10
Pressdown, 3 x 10-12
Reverse Curl, 3 x 10-12
Wrist Curl, 3 x 10-12
Exercise Performance Notes
In our overview of Phases I and II we covered exercise performance for most
of the movements in the above routine, plus other fine points such as exercise
tempo, rest between sets, and weight progression. There are, however, a few
movements in Phase III we haven't done in the other two phases. Let's cover
them briefly.
Hanging Knee-in: This is best done from a chinning bar with some type of
strap device to relieve stress from the grip and allow you to concentrate full
effort on the abs.

Keeping your knees bent, raise your upper legs up toward your chest, hold for
a two count at the contracted position, then lower slowly and repeat. You can
hit obliques along with lower abs by doing "three way" reps: one rep off to the
left side, one to the center, and one to the right side.
Rope Crunch: The rope used for triceps pressdowns and
triceps extensions works perfectly here. Kneel in front of a
high pulley or lat machine, keep your hands and elbows
locked, then curl or "crunch" your torso downward, trying to
touch your elbows to the ground. Pause and contract the abs
forcefully, then return slowly to the beginning position. As with
the knee-in, you can do a three way rope crunch, doing reps
alternating from side to middle to side.
Leg Extensions: Though admittedly not in the same class as squats (or hack
squats or leg presses) when it comes to adding quad mass, leg extensions, like
any resistance training exercise, can help add leg size.
The problem often lies not so much with the exercise itself, but with the
execution. All too often guys look to leg extensions as a "finishing" movement
(whatever that means) or as a way to "burn cuts" into the frontal thigh. You
hear a lot of that even from top level bodybuilders, which just tends to verify
the hypothesis that the best advice on building muscle doesn't always come
from the pro levels!
If you use a weight that wouldn't begin to challenge a female ACE-certified
personal trainer, or if you substitute leg extensions for squats or leg presses,
don't expect to get much in the way of size. If, however, you work into a
Dorian Yates-like psych up, put on the absolute limit you can handle for the
required reps, and work those reps as if the blonde hottie in the sprayed-on
tights is doing a little breast-heaving cheer for you, well, you might just add
some size!
Dumbbell One Arm Row (Standing): A good movement that hits lats, rear
delts and lower traps. Do this T-man style: both feet planted firmly on the
floor, though in an offset position. If you're doing the rows with your right
arm, your right leg will be positioned back to the rear and your left hand will
be positioned on your lef thigh. Leave the knee-on-the-bench stuff to the girls;
they look great doing them that way. On the other hand, if you're using a
weight equivalent to those little pink plastic dumbbells they use in "toning"
classes, then you can put your knee up on a bench, too.

One-Leg Calf Stretch: Some years ago I watched my longtime friend Boyer
Coe, a Mr. America, Mr. Universe, and Mr. World title winner, doing one-leg
calf raises off a high block. He didn't use any weight; he simply concentrated
on maximum stretch (especially in the down position) and performed sets of
about twenty reps with each leg non-stop for at least fifteen minutes!
It was Boyer's opinion that stretch was absolutely vital for superior calf
development, and that working the calves lightly and for pump in-between
heavier calf workout sessions aided in the development of this "tough" muscle
group. Boyer's calves were solid testimony to the effectiveness of his
methods. When I started incorporating calf stretches a couple of times a week
in addition to my regular leg workouts, my calves sprouted new growth as
As noted in the workout overview, do three sets of at least twenty reps for
each leg, and do the sets non-stop, one leg right after the other until all sets are

One-Arm Lateral: This is a good size and power movement for the delts. Hold
onto something solid like the uprights of a squat rack with your free hand and
use a little body movement to get the weight "into orbit." And don't be afraid
to go heavy. Sure it's an isolation movement, but isolation doesn't mean
light per se, only light in comparison to a compound movement.
Chances are you won't use as much weight in lateral raises as you do for
dumbbell presses, but if you deliberately limit yourself to little bitty weights
in an exercise, the results will be little bitty muscles. You should be able to use
about 15 to 20% more weight on these than on regular lateral raises.

Wide Grip Upright Rows: Upright rows can be a tough movement on the
rotator cuff, but this version tends to go easy on the shoulder joint while
hitting the front and side delts and the traps.
The key to the movement is to take a shoulder-width grip and slowly pull the
bar up only to lower chest level. Hold momentarily, mentally squeezing the
traps, then lower and repeat. Guys with shoulder problems might find the
much maligned Smith machine helpful here as you can lean slightly back

throughout the movement, which tends to relieve some types of rotator cuff
stress while hitting the target muscles very effectively.

Scott Curl: In recent years, this exercise has become known as the preacher
curl or bench curl, but having trained at Vince's Gym in North Hollywood
back in the '60s when Larry Scott (the man who popularized this exercise and
for whom the movement was first named), I still think of them by their
original name.
Unfortunately, most of the curl benches currently available have a pad that's
too long, which means your elbows will be impinged to some degree. Others
are designed to allow for the use of maximum poundage rather than to provide
maximum muscle stimulation. By that I mean that one side of the pad is set at
about a 45 degree angle, which, since you're dealing with straight line
gravitational force (i.e. if you release the weight it'll fall straight down, not out
at an angle), is obviously far from optimal.
However, you can simply use the narrower, straighter, up-and-down side of
the pad, happily ignore the stares from all the personal trainers and other
civilians, and benefit by getting maximum stretch at the bottom of the curl,
maximum contraction at the top, and no elbow stress along the way.

Dumbbell Triceps Press: An excellent movement for size and power, and
especially good for the long head of the triceps. Grasp a dumbbell with both
hands, letting the weight rest in your palms. Allow the dumbbell to come back
behind your head until you feel a full stretch, then extend upward with an
explosive but controlled movement. The stretch this exercise provides may be
one reason it's so effective. To really isolate the tri's do these in a "free" seated
position, straddling a flat bench with no back brace.
Reverse Curl: You can do these with a standard bar or an EZcurl bar, just position your hands so the palms are facing
away from you at the top of the movement, the opposite of
how you perform a regular barbell curl. Keep your elbows
tucked into your sides and do each rep slowly and without

Wrist Curl: You'll definitely want a straight bar here. Perhaps

the most efficient (or at least comfortable) way to do these is
seated on a flat bench, with your forearms resting on your
thighs. Try to curl the bar up as high as possible, and don't
skimp on the poundage. Bill Pearl used to do these with
something like 250 pounds and his forearms were beyond
After four to six weeks on this final phase, I recommend you take up to a
week off from training (you'll probably need it anyway), then you can start
either on a variation of Phase I (perhaps grouping quads, hamstrings and
calves on one training day, chest, back and abs on the second, and shoulders
and arms on the third) or Phase II (the primary idea here being to combine a
major body part with a minor or smaller body part).
If you find that Phase III has given you the most results in size and strength,
you could try adding a second feeder workout during the week. For example,
you could do two sets of fifteen reps each on incline dumbbell presses and
seated cable rows on your shoulder/trap day.
Just for kicks, you might even try one of the six-day-a-week routines used by
such mass monsters of yesteryear as Bill Pearl, Reg Park, Sergio Oliva, and
Dave Draper. These guys worked each body part two or even three times a
week (the very thought of which causes some of today's trainers to shake their
head in horror at the grim specter of overtraining) but they were big and
they were "relatively" drug free, especially by today's standards.