Two Birds, One Stone; Muscle Mass with Strength Bias

Strength magazine

Regular readers of my blog, know I am not a strength coach. I’ve been training to get and maintain a better physique for nearly three decades, and have tried literally hundreds of training variations to gain my current insights. That said, beyond sports specific skill, adding muscle AND explosive strength is the linchpin to excelling in sports where size, speed and strength rule the day. This is why I’ve been asked; how to build mass and strength many times. I’m flattered. In fact, a semi-pro football hopeful just asked me this question, so I thought it was about time to do a blog post on it. And while I’d point those of you who are really serious about developing strength and more mass to real experts like my good friend, Pavel Tsatsouline or the legendary Bill Starr, I do have some advice on the subject and a program that is a variation of Bill Starr’s timeless, 5 sets of 5 routine.


The program effectively kills two birds with one stone; Muscle Mass with a Strength Bias.


For one, the key it seems to building strength is to avoid doing sets to failure. This sounds counter intuitive, but strength is largely dependent on the health of your nervous system and going to failure on multiple sets is simply too taxing on this system. In fact, many experts believe going to failure is bad for strength gains because you are training your system to fail. In the infamous words of Dr Squat; Fred Hatfield; “Success begets success”. This means, you want to systematically increase your weights in the big lifts, but stop just shy of failure. In short, you keep a rep or two in the “chamber”, which trains your muscles and nervous system to adapt to progressively moving more weight, but not to seek “failure” per se.


For Muscle Mass with a Strength Bias, try this.


Monday (Heavy Day)

Back Squats: 5 x 6 increasing poundages to near your 6-rep limit on last set

Bench Press: 5 x 6 increasing poundages to near your 6-rep limit on last set

Deadlifts: 5 x 6 increasing poundages to near your 6-rep limit on last set

or Bent-Over Rows: 5 x 6 increasing poundages to near your 6-rep limit on last set

Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 x 6-10

Calf Raises: 3 x 6-10


Wednesday (Light Day)

Back Squats: 5 x 6 THIS TIME increasing poundages not to exceed 50-lbs less than the last set on Monday (heavy day)

Good Mornings: 4 x 6-10 or Stiff-Leg Deadlifts: 4 x 6-10

Overhead Press: 5 x 6 increasing poundages to near your 6-rep limit on last set

Dips: When you can do 10 reps, start adding weight and drop the reps back to 6

Curls: 3 x 6-10


Friday (Medium Day)

Back Squats: 5 x 6 THIS TIME increasing poundages not to exceed 20-lbs less than the last set on Monday (heavy day)

Incline Bench Press: 5 x 6 increasing poundages to near your 6-rep limit on last set

Shrugs: 5 x 6 increasing poundages to near your 6-rep limit on last set

or Clean High Pulls 5 x 6 increasing poundages to near your 6-rep limit on last set

Straight Arm Pullovers: 2 x 6-10

Chins: 4 sets of 6-10 When you can do 10 reps, start adding weight and drop the reps back to 6

Disclaimer

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© 2011 Vince Andrich Real BodyBuilding, Vince Andrich Uncensored, & www.vandrich.com. All Rights Reserved.