Watch any high-level bodybuilder or well-muscled guy and you know it’s true: You have to be a little crazy to get that big. But self-sacrifice, a badass attitude, and an ironclad constitution in the gym aren’t always enough to guarantee dramatic gains. Knowing what kind of training you need to do and when to apply it can mean the difference between toiling in van for years and making steady progress until you’re scraping up against your genetic ceiling. This month, we bridge theory and practice to bring you a crazy-like-a-fox-muscle-growth program. It’s a proven plan based on hard science, but it will push your tolerance for hard work and intensity to the max. The training may seem insane, but so will your gains at the end of four weeks.
Choose a light weight and perform two sets of 100 reps of one exercise per body part. If you have to stop along the way, rest 10 seconds and then continue until you reach 100. Rest 90 seconds between sets.
- Back, 2 sets of 100 reps: Seated cable rows or lat pulldowns
- Chest, 2 sets of 100 reps: Barbell or dumbbell bench press
- Thighs, 2 sets of 100 reps: Leg press, squat or dumbbell squats.
Partial-Range Reps: lower the weight only a few inches and then lock it out. Hold the lockout for at least five seconds on each rep. Because you’re using a small range of motion, you can use weights that are 20-50% heavier than your max. Rest two minutes between sets.
- Back: 3 sets of 6-8 reps: Rack pull, top-third chinup, or any row variation. (Note that the rack pull is already a partial-range movement–the top half of a deadlift. You do not need to shorten the range any more.)
- Chest: 3 sets of 6-8 reps: Barbell bench press, top-third range only.
- Thighs: 3 sets of 6-8 reps: Squat or leg press, top-third range only.
Choose a weight you can perform 10 reps with and do only three reps per set. Rest 10 seconds between sets. Continue until you can no longer get three reps, and then rest however long you need to get another three reps. Do as many sets as you can in 15 minutes.
- Back: 15 minutes: Chinup, lat pulldown, any row variation or deadlift.
- Chest: 15 minutes: Barbell or dumbbell bench press.
- Thighs: 15 minutes: Barbell squat, front squat, dumbbell split squat, or leg press.
Heavy Strength Training
Perform a set of five reps, then three reps, then one rep, increasing the weight accordingly each set (you’ll do three sets total for each body part). The one-rep set should be a little less than your absolute max. Rest two to three minutes between sets.
- Back: 3 sets of 5,3,1:Deadlift, weighted chinups, or any row.
- Chest: 3 sets of 5,3,1: Barbell or dumbbell bench press.
- Thighs: 3 sets of 5,3,1: Barbell squat, front squat, or leg press.