Building Muscle Archives


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Powerful Training Secrets

Nick Nilsson has been all around the block on training issues. In his latest offering, Powerful Training Secrets, Nick is giving you a TON of information for a nominal monthly fee.

Nilsson is well-known and highly-respected in the strength and conditioning field. He's also probably even better known for his unconventional training methods.

I suggest you take a quick look at Powerful Training Secrets. It will be money well-spent.

Here are some highlights:

If you're sick of getting mediocre results even when you're training your butt off…or if you're just plain tired of repetitive books and magazine articles full of things you already know… or if you simply want to make the best progress humanly possible, you need the good stuff…the kind of innovative, high-powered “mad scientist” information that you just WON'T find anywhere else online OR in magazines or books.

  • unique and powerful exercises that have NEVER appeared anywhere else – these exercises go WAY beyond the typical exercises. Say goodbye to plateaus in muscle development with these laser-targeted movements.
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…all brought to you in a HUGE site that I'm CONSTANTLY updating with great new information.

I'll tell you right now, the information in this site will vault you literally YEARS ahead in your training knowledge. These are the most powerful training secrets I know that have taken me more than 20 years of neverending research and experimentation to come up with. Now I'm bringing them to YOU.

I encourage you to give this resource strong consideration. Powerful Training Secrets is a gold mine.

Building Muscle in 30 Minutes a Day – Advanced Training

mike-mentzer-dumbbell-chest-press_0Yesterday we talked about basic training principles and gave you a workout routine to follow that would build muscle in only 30 minutes a day every other day.

Today, we're going to discuss various methods for increasing your workout intensity.

Building muscle in 30 minutes a day

There are many different tools you can use to boost your intensity:

  • Forced reps
  • Negatives
  • Rest-Pause
  • Supersets
  • Pre-exhaust
  • Drop sets
  • Pyramids

There are more, of course. Plus, there are other ways to add to your exercise intensity, one of which is resting less between sets.

Feel free to look up each of those terms. The ones I want to talk about today are supersets and rest-pause.


Supersets are two sets performed back-to-back with no rest between sets. Once you've performed your 2 sets, you can take a brief rest period (no more than a minute). There are variations of supersets, too.

The traditional use of supersets called for taking opposing muscle groups and exercising them together. For example, to build upper arm mass, you might do a set of tricep extensions followed by barbell curls.

Another variation was labeled “pre exhaust.” This type of superset was devised to place maximum intensity on a major muscle group like the chest. Here's how it works: You know when you do bench presses and your triceps and/or shoulders fatigue before your pecs? Pre exhaust supersets get around that by doing a pectoral isolation exercise (like the dumbbell flye) immediately before a compound movement (the bench press).

In essence, you're isolating the pec first with the isolation exercise, then following with the compound exercise. If you do it right, your pecs will receive the bulk of the load and will fatigue first.

Pre exhaust works best with the big muscles, like the thighs, back, and chest.

One last variation of supersets that I want to touch on: It's a variant of Peripheral Heart Action and Circuit Training. The idea here is to take two muscle groups that are not near each other and doing two, three, or more sets all together. For example, you could do a overhead presses and squats in a superset. The objective is to get blood flowing throughout your entire body. Not so much for building muscle size, but it's great for building muscular and cardio endurance.


Rest-pause is a super high-intensity training principle that can build massive muscle size in little time. It is very effective at muscle hypertrophy. But it is brutally difficult on both the muscles being trained and the mind. It hurts.

Of course, there are many variations on the rest-pause theme. Originally, powerlifters would take their One Rep Max (1RM), do 1 rep, rest 10-15 seconds, and do another one for a total of 5-6 “sets.”

However, we're not talking about powerlifting here are we? We're talking about building maximum muscle in little time. So we modify rest-pause to achieve that goal. Here's how:

Load the bar with a weight you can lift for 6 reps and do 10!


You read that right. Do your normal 6 reps and then rest for 10 seconds. Then do as many reps as you can and rest again for 10 seconds. Keep on going until you get to 10 total reps. If you chose your weight right, you may do 6 reps, then 2 reps, then 1 rep, and finally 1 more rep. You may need help on the last one (incorporating another High-Intensity Training, or HIT, principle called “forced reps”).

You can apply either of these principles in the workout laid out yesterday. I suggest you try both, but not in the same workout!

These methods are very intense and you should be very sore the day after your workout and perhaps for a few days more after that! Don't over do it.

Here's a recap of the week:

Image credit:


Reps Build Muscle

Rep range that builds the most muscle size

YOKOSUKA, Japan (Sept. 13, 2010) American professional iron man athlete Karl Gillingham spots Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Ardinis Strickland, from Dallas, during a bench press competition at the Fleet Recreation Center at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka. Gillingham visited Yokosuka during his tour of Japan installations to meet with forward-deployed service members. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brock A. Taylor/Released)

I could have (maybe should have?) entitled this post, “What Rep Range Builds the Most Muscle?” or something to that effect, but I liked the sound of “Reps Build Muscle.”

Mostly because they do.

Let me explain. We'll start at the extremes. Single reps don't really build mass. They really don't do anything at all but boost your confidence. They really don't build strength either. Doubles don't do much else (unless you do them in a specific way called rest-pause).

Triples do build strength and power. Many powerlifters train with triples.

Let's move on to the other extreme. Let's start with 50 rep sets. Do they build muscle? Maybe. But they don't build the components in the muscle that contributes most to size. They do have a place, though.

I'd say anything over 50 is out for true muscle-building effectiveness. I will say that 100 reps, for example, do build muscular endurance. And they give a great pump.

What about 25 rep sets? They certainly have a place. I'd say 25 reps is the outer limit of practical muscle-building sets. The calves and forearms, which work a lot throughout a day just gripping and walking, need higher rep sets. I generally don't go below 10 rep sets for calves and often go to 20-25 reps per set.

However, for the rest of the body (abs included), 25 reps per set is really not that effective for building muscle.

Reps Build Muscle

The rep range that gives you the most “bang for the buck” when trying to build muscle is 6 to 10 reps. These are the sets that, if performed intensely, will pack on the most muscle size. This rep range builds the size of the muscle fibers themselves, as well as increases the mitochondrial mass and quantity, the sarcoplasm volume (the mostly-water fluid in the cells), and other important muscle hypertrophy mechanisms.

If you want to build muscle mass as quickly as possible, you'll load up the bar with as much weight as you can lift for between 6 and 10 reps. Anything more or less is not nearly as effective for building size.


How to Consume More Protein Without Supplements

omelet-648197_1280Food supplements can be very expensive. Whey protein powders are all the rage. They're made from milk, are easily digestible, and hit the bloodstream very quickly.

However, they are fairly expensive.

For the guy or gal who wants to build quality, lean muscle mass, the typical guideline is to take in at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, preferably 1-1/2 to 2 grams in a mass-building or bulking up phase. Without breaking the bank (and all the banks seem to be broken right now, yes?), you can consume this much protein only by consuming a ton of milk (see these two articles, “Gallon of Milk a Day” program and GOMAD), beef, poultry, fish and… …the incredible, edible EGG.

How to Consume More Protein Without Supplements

Eggs are a complete protein, containing all the “essential” amino acids, and provide about 6 grams per egg. As far as food goes, eggs offer the highest “biological value” protein there is (this is a fancy way of saying that the protein is easily assimilated by the body). In short, eggs are a MUST HAVE menu item! Especially if you're laying off on the expensive supplements. But how do you eat enough eggs to make a difference? Hard boil them.

Here's How to Hard Boil an Egg

  • Take a dozen eggs and a really big pot mostly filled with water.
  • Place your oven on high. Put in the eggs and bring to a boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, cook the eggs for 10-12 minutes.
  • Then, pour out the water, replace with cold water and let stand for 15-30 minutes.
  • Refrigerate.

Now, you can eat these just as they are (without the shell, of course) or you can add them to virtually anything, like salads, sandwiches, and as additions to your meals and snacks.

If you're trying to add weight, eat them whole and eat 2 eggs with every snack. That will get you 6 eggs a day, or an extra 36 grams of protein per day.

This, in effect, replaces about one protein shake a day.

Of course, your snacks ought to add up to between 20 and 30 grams of protein (depending on body weight), so you'll have to supplement with milk. Lots of it!

In fact, to get to 20 grams per snack, you'll have to eat 2 eggs plus one 8-ounce glass of milk.

All other things being equal, you can replace 3/4 of a cup of milk with each egg while on the GOMAD program. Which means that you can really cut back on your milk consumption! (This is a good thing, for the most part.)

Alternatively, you can keep drinking your gallon of milk a day PLUS the eggs and you'll gain more weight than ever before. If you do spring for some whey protein powder, you'll be even farther ahead of the pack.

In the “old days,” trainers like Vince Gironda prescribed dozens of eggs a day for his pupils during their mass-building phases (3 to 6 weeks at a time, tops, plus every 4th day, go to a regular diet — see Cycling for more information on this important concept). Eggs seem to have an extraordinary anabolic effect on the body, increasing growth hormone production, and driving your gains like crazy. A few notes:

  • Eat the whole egg. Don't throw anything but the shell out.
  • Space your meals to be 2 hours or so apart.
  • If you do use food supplements, invest in digestive enzymes. Eating more than a couple eggs a day gives a lot of people some serious gas problems. The aid in digestion is worth the money. Your co-workers will thank you, too.
  • Don't fall for the “organic” nonsense with eggs. There is no proof that there is any difference between eggs produced by chickens in pens, free range, no hormones, or “extra hormones.” I have this theory: Chickens fed growth hormones probably pass those hormones to their eggs and consequently to those who eat them.

I do believe you can make serious gains without supplements. However, like anabolic steroids, you can “get there” faster with supplements.

bodybuilder guy

Want Faster Results?

Look, I know how hard it is to build muscle. Trust me when I tell you it took me 20+ years to figure it out. But once I did--BAM!--muscle appeared almost overnight. Give me your email address and I'll send you the keys.