The XXL Shirt Club: 4-Week Mass Program
By: Luke Leaman, Poliquin Group
Reprinted from Muscle Media Magazine
Although exercise scientists like to discuss the importance of long-term planning, the average trainee is simply looking for a quick fix to resolve a particular issue. Perhaps an arm specialization program? Or a workout to add 20 pounds to their bench press fast? Among the most popular workouts are those that produce the most gains in lean muscle fast – and I have just the workout! First, let me assure you this workout is legit and consistently delivers great results. I’ve used it on myself to prepare for NPC physique competitions, where I competed at a body weight of 216 pounds with 4.5 percent body fat and 20-inch arms. I’ve also prescribed it to many of my clients, including competition physique athletes as well as average individuals who were highly motivated to look great naked. In short, it works!
Next, be aware this workout requires sound nutrition. This program, just by itself, will give you good results in muscle gain. But to add slabs of muscle, you also need to follow my nutritional advice and supplement protocol. This program contains a high volume of work – you are training six days a week! – to ensure that you not only gain muscle but also lose a significant amount of fat in the process. As such, you need to do everything possible in terms of diet and supplementation to ensure you can adequately recover from such training. Now let’s get to the workout. This workout is designed to be used for one month, six days a week, and the body part splits are arranged as follows:
Tuesday: Chest and Delts
Friday: Back and Arms
Sunday: Re-feed and rest!
For each of the lifts in this workout, I include a tempo prescription to ensure you give your muscles a precise training stimulus. In prescribing tempo, four numbers are used, such as 4210.
For each of the lifts in this workout, I include a tempo prescription to ensure you give your muscles a precise training stimulus. In prescribing tempo, four numbers are used, such as 4210. The first number indicates the seconds it should take to complete the eccentric (or down) motion; the second number indicates the pause before the concentric (or up) motion, which is the third number; and the fourth number indicates the pause before the next repetition. As an example, using a 4210 tempo in the bench press, you take 4 seconds to lower the weight to your chest, pause there for 2 seconds, then rapidly push the weight up in 1 second, and immediately begin the next rep (zero seconds of rest).
A1. Lying Leg Curl, Toes In, 4 x 8-10, 5010, rest 75 seconds
A2. Heels-Elevated Back Squat, 4 x 8-10, 4110, rest 75 seconds
B1. Romanian Deadlift (1 ¼ rep at the bottom), 4 x 10-12, 2021, rest 60 seconds
B2. Leg Press (1 ¼ at the bottom), 4 x 10-12, 2021, rest 60 seconds
C1. Standing Calf Raise, 3 x 12-15, 2110, rest 45 seconds
C2. 15-Degree Incline Reverse Crunch, 3 x 12-15, 2020, rest 45 seconds
Tuesday (Chest and Delts)
- Medium-Grip Flat Bench Press, 4 x 8-10, 4010, rest 90 seconds
- Dips, 4 x 8-10, 4020, rest 60 seconds
- 15-Degree Incline DB press, Neutral Grip, 4 x 10-12, 3030, rest 60 seconds
D1. Standing DB L-Raise, 3 x 10-12, 3020, rest 10 seconds
D2. Seated DB Overhead Press (Use D1 weights), 3 x max reps, 2020, rest 75 seconds
E1. Bent DB Reverse Flye, 3 x 12-15, 3020, rest 10 seconds
E2. Prone 45-Degree Elbows Out DB Row (Use E1 weights), 3 x max reps, 2020, rest 75 seconds
Prowler, 20 seconds hard, then rest 20 seconds. Repeat for 8 minutes, followed by 25 minutes of steady-state aerobics
- Lying Leg Curl, Toes Out, 4 x 10-12, 3120, rest 60 seconds
B1. Machine Hack Squat, 4 x 12-15, 2020, rest 10 seconds
B2. Leg Press, 4 x 12-15, 2020, rest 180 seconds
C1. Standing Calf Raise, 3 x 12-15, 2110, rest 60 seconds
C2. Kneeling Cable Crunch, 3 x 12-15, 2011, rest 60 seconds
Friday (Back and Arms)
- Medium-Grip Chin-Up, 4 x 8-10, 4010, rest 90 seconds
- Single Arm DB Row, 4 x 10-12, 3020, rest 60 seconds
- Straight-Arm Pulldown, 4 x 12-15, 2011, rest 60 seconds
D1. Preacher Curl, Wide Grip, 3 x 10-12, 3020, rest 60 seconds
D2. 15-Degree Incline Triceps Extension, 3 x 12-15, 2110, rest 60 seconds
E1. 45-Degree Incline Hammer Curl, 3 x 10-12, 2120, rest 60 seconds
E2. Seated EZ Bar Overhead Triceps Extension, 3 x 12-15, 2110, rest 60 seconds
40-second sprint alternated with 120-second walk/jog for a total of 40 minutes
Sunday (Re-feed and Rest!)
During this workout I recommend three different macronutrient ratios, as follows:
On Training Days:
Calories per pound of body weight, 13.5
On Non-Training Days:
Calories per pound of body weight, 10.5
On Sunday Re-Feed:
Calories per pound of body weight, 16
For supplements, I consider these the foundation: a high-quality multivitamin (with no iron for men unless they are anemic), elemental magnesium, zinc, fish oil, probiotic and digestive enzymes. To increase insulin sensitivity and activation of anabolism, I also recommend alpha lipoic acid, micro PQQ, cinnamon extract, green tea extract, chromium polynicotinate, and a creatine/beta alanine combo. I don’t feel comfortable assigning dosages in an article; the best course of action is to get a blood test to determine how well your current diet is serving your needs, then adjust supplement dosages accordingly.
After this four-week cycle, I suggest using a program that focuses primarily on fat loss, such as a German Body Comp protocol that uses high reps and short rest intervals. Simply changing the exercises in this workout and repeating would not produce the same results – and may even result in overtraining. Keep in mind that your body needs variety to continue growing.
I realize I’ve thrown a lot at you, but if you’re serious about adding a lot of lean muscle fast, this is the best program I’ve found to get you on the fast track to physical superiority.
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