Hardcore Bulking Part II - Training
In the first article of the series we attacked hardcore dieting and how to gain
maximum mass without maximum fat gains. There are two more pieces to this
puzzle, training and cycles. This article is going to focus on the aspects of
hardcore training, the type of training that goes along with all those calories
you have been eating. Off-season is the time we hit the heavy weights, a return
to the basics, meaning no cable-curls, no chrome weights, and no listening to
Backstreet Boys while training.
In a return to the basics, I assume and hope that you have been to the basics
before, if not this article is exactly what you need to start making gains
again. We need to define the basics, what they are, what they mean and why you
need them. When I refer to the basics, it is in reference to basic compound
weight lifting movements; squats, deadlifts, bench, clean and press, etc. The
core of your weight training should consist of basic compound movements since
they work the maximum amount of body parts at one time, they require stabilizer
muscles for support, and you can use the most weight possible to create
A compound movement such as the bench press is used primarily to train your
chest, but in addition to working your chest you will also train your triceps,
deltoids, rotator cuff, biceps, lats, and all tiny stabilizer muscles required
to balance and support the weight. Core exercises use more muscles than
isolation exercises; therefore, you can use more weight since more muscles are
recruited to lift the weight. If you want big triceps, you should bench heavy.
This may go against ingrained logic, by now you might be thinking how the hell
am I going to get huge triceps when I am benching to get a big chest.
Well, look at simple logic'.if you do the ever popular tricep pushdowns as your
mainstay of tricep training, you are short cutting your way to huge tri's. If
you are truly strong on tricep pushdowns, say you are so strong you can do the
entire weight stack at your gym, you might be pushing 200 +/- pounds and you're
probably thinking you are gonna get huge triceps'wrong. An isolation exercise
will never give you the mass you are looking for. Even if you can pushdown 200
pounds and you get a great pump, that is nowhere near the amount of weight you
are putting on your triceps for growth when you are benching 315 pounds or more.
No matter how much you can pushdown, it will still never be as much weight as
you can press, and with that logic, you will never get big triceps because you
are short cutting yourself on gains. Obviously if you are doing pushdowns with
200 pounds but can bench press 315 pounds, you are not using the most efficient
training to grow big triceps.
This logic applies to all your body parts; bicep curls are nowhere near as
effective as reverse grip bent over rows for back, leg extensions will never get
your legs big like squats and on and on. So now that you understand the
importance of compound exercises, you need to incorporate them into your
training off-season for ultimate growth. There is a time for isolation
exercises, like during pre-contest training, or when doing pre-exhaustion
movements for higher intensity training.
The whole training program is designed with the idea of maximum weights, maximum
recovery, and maximum growth. It is important to remember that muscular growth
takes place outside the gym, not inside it. Growth comes from rest and proper
nutrition. In the gym training is actually causing trauma and damage to your
muscles, you are not going to grow until you leave the gym, eat and sleep. This
training program is designed to incorporate with my hardcore bulking diet, the
training matches the eating. Compound movements burn a lot of calories, cause
the most tissue damage and require massive amounts of calories and protein to
repair and recover.
Each muscle is only trained one time per week, you can train most body parts
multiple times per week when you are doing primarily isolation exercises, but
heavy compound movements require lots of rest, usually one week will suffice for
recovery in most trainees, but since many exercises overlap body parts, if you
do not feel fully recovered before your next workout, don't train.
Ectomorphs require more rest than mesomorphs or endomorphs. If you are not
making gains on this training program and you are following my hardcore bulking
diet, chances are you are overtrained. Common signs of overtraining include;
restlessness, sleepless nights, chronic fatigue, lack of appetite, loss of
interest in usual activities, decreasing strength, and body aches among others.
There is an old saying that there is no such thing as overtraining, just under
eating. While this may be true in many individuals, this will not be true if you
are following my hardcore bulking diet.
The following is a 4 day per week workout, designed to train each body part one
time per week, with overlap usually working each part twice per week. Each
workout day should allow for one hour of training, rest periods are to be 2-3
minutes between sets for all large compound movements, and 1 minute for smaller
exercises. You should strive to increase weight by 5lbs per week in all large
compound movements, and 2.5 lbs in small movements. It is important to either go
up in reps or weight each workout. Do not guess, keep a log book, just as with
your diet, you cannot know what you are doing and where you are going, if you do
not know where you have been. It takes 2 seconds to write down your sets and
reps in a small book, and then refer to it the next week so you know what you
need to improve on when you start your workout. Have a solid game plan, do not
walk around the gym with imaginary lat syndrome like the rest of the morons who
do not make any gains year after year. Commit to making gains, follow my
training and diet and you will grow'it is that simple.
Day 1: Chest and Delts
Bench Press 5x5 (ex: 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 315x5, and 365x5)
Incline dumbbell press 3x8
Weighted Dips 3x8 *
Jerk and Press 5x5
Side laterals 2x12
Day 2: Legs
Leg Extensions 2x15
Stiff leg deadlifts 3x8
Heavy dumbbell lunges 3x6
Standing calf 3x12
Seated calf 3x8
Day 3: Back
Chins 3x max reps or Pulldowns if you are too weak or heavy to do chins
Reverse grip barbell rows, Yates style 3x8
Rack Deadlifts 5x5 **
Barbell Shrugs 3x6
Reverse flyes 2x15 ***
Day 4: Arms, Abs and other crap
Standing barbell curl 3x8
Reverse grip bench on smith 3x12 ****
Preacher curls 3x8
Skull crushers 3x12
Full body stretching
* Dips for chest require elbows tucked in close to your body, chin tucked in
your chest and a forward lean.
** Set the pins 2 inches below your kneecaps on the squat rack. Add as much
weight as you can, take a wide stance and pull your dead. You will be able to
use much more weight and the focus will be on your traps and lats.
*** Bend over at the waist with 20lb or so dumbbells and do what is similar to
db chest flyes but reverse them to work your rear delts, rhomboids and terres
major and minor.
**** Use a smith machine and weight similar to your bench press. Keep your
triceps tucked in close to your body, lay totally flat on the bench and hold the
bar across your palms with your fingers facing away from your body ' toward your
toes, the opposite of a bench press grip. Let the weight come down slowly
building tension in your triceps like a spring and then explode up. Higher reps
make the triceps grow faster, you do low rep tricep workouts with chest and delt
That is it, each workout is one hour if you are slow, 30 minutes on a quick day.
The point is not how much you do, it is how hard you do it. For some trainers
this might seem like too much, for others, not enough. Even though the large
exercises are listed as 5 sets, that includes your warm-up and working sets. See
the example for bench, if you can do 365 for 5 reps, start with 135lbs for 5
reps, go to 185 for 5 reps, etc until you reach your working set as your last
set. That 5th rep must absolutely be your last rep. The following workout, use
that weight until you get to 8-10 reps, then add weight to bring it back down to
the 5th rep being your last and repeat each workout in that fashion so you make
gains every single week. So while 5 sets may seem like a lot on paper, you are
really only doing one all out full working set on each exercise with it taken to
full muscular failure.
I do not like or recommend forced reps. If you can't lift it, you shouldn't.
Sticking points is one issue, but you have all seen the kid in they gym benching
225lbs, where he is only do 135lbs and his partner is rowing the rest. Don't be
that guy. Do your own damn set and rack it. Occasionally add a drop set,
pre-exhaust, change the order of the exercises that day, etc., but stick to the
workout and make an honest effort to go up in weight each week or add reps.
Do this while following my hardcore diet in article one and you will make gains,
bar none. Even supposed hard gainers add 10-20 pounds of mass while following my
workouts. Drugs are not needed, food is. But since most everyone is on a cycle
these days, part 3 will address the hardcore cycle'.stay tuned.
By Gavin Kane
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