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Phase Training to help increase muscle mass, strength, and power!

Last updated on September 27, 2019

We receive a tons of emails everyday here at from people all over the world asking pretty much the same question “Could you please give me a good mass building workout program?”. So we got to thinking what constitutes an exceptional mass building program. We'll you can't just have one article cover the subject, so I have broken it up into a series of 4 article with the first discussing the three phases of training. Every few weeks I will be highlighting different exercise and techniques to use in all three phases to keep you growing. So lets get started on the three phases of training.

The Three Phases of Training

Hypertrophy Phase - This is exactly what it name says, Hypertrophy. In this training phase we will be using a weight that we can handle for at least 8-15 reps with proper form. Sets for each body part will range from 10-20 depending on the muscle group. Be prepared to spend just a little longer in the gym because of the increased volume of exercises sets and reps. Each set will be taken to failure so choose a weight that will fail at the rep scale lower end and push hard to reach max reps. We will also be increasing weight on each set instead of remaining with the same weight as long as form hold true. If your form or the numbers of reps fall to far short then decrease weight down to previous set levels. You must strive to increase poundages use each workout for each bodypart.

Overload Phase - Well just like the Hypertrophy phase is about volume the Overload phase is about over load training. We will be overloading your muscles with as much weight as we can handle for no less than 2 reps and as many as 10. During this phase will use a pyramid principle for our reps from 10 down to 4 most of the time, and sometimes down to as low as 2. Sets will be about 4 to 5 with a total 2 - 4 exercises per body part. Intensity along with focus and concentration are the keys to success when training heavy. Always strive to keep your form and use forced reps and only cheat on the last 2 reps of your sets, and never loose control of your reps because this is where injuries come in and that can derail months of hard work. The overload phase will be concentrated in compound exercise the use the most muscle groups to move the most poundages.

Refinement Phase - Whenever an artist or craftsman reaches the final stages of a project, whether it be a painting, a piece of sculpture, or fine furniture, he frequently takes time to step back and examine his work. Why does he stop? What is he looking for? With each individual artist it could be something different. Yet each artist or craftsman would be instinctively searching his work for any tiny flaw or unfinished portion that might detract or mar the overall quality of that piece. After a thorough examination, he then makes certain critical adjustments that complete the work he has painstakingly labored over for so long.

During this phase just as the title suggest we will be refining our newly acquired mass. As the previous paragraph suggest we will be stepping back and looking at our over all physique and making adjustments, but we will also look to bring down bodyfat level and add muscular endurance to our bodies as we remove excess bodyfat to reveal a completely transformed physique. The exercises here will be both compound and specific with the reps ranging form 12 - 20 and set per bodypart ranging from 15 - 25. All sets will be done in a pyramid fashion, so weight will increase each set and forced reps will be use to extend set to their desired reps range. This nay be the hardest of all three phases considering dietary restriction that apply.

Phase1 - Hypertrophy:

Hypertrophy Phase (5 Days a Week Training Split)
Workout One (Monday): Chest & Abs
Exercises Sets Reps
Flat Bench Presses 5 15,12,10,8,8
Incline Bench Presses 4 12,10,10,8
Flat Bench Flyes 3 12,12,12
Dips 3 MAX Reps
Roman Chair Crunches 3 MAX Reps
Standing Broom Stick Twist 3 50-100 Reps
Workout Two (Tuesdays): Back & Calves
Exercises Sets Reps
Chins 3 Max Reps ( At least 10 reps )
Barbell Bent Rows 4 10, 10, 8, 8
Close Grip Pulldowns 4 12, 10, 10, 8
Standing Calf Raise 4 15, 12, 12, 10
Seated Calf Raises 3 20, 18, 15, 15
Workout Three (Wednesdays): Shoulders & Traps
Exercises Sets Reps
Seated Front Presses 5 12 Warmup, 10, 8, 8, 6
Wide Grip Upright Rows 3 10, 8, 8
Standing Side Laterals 3 12, 10, 10
Standing Bent Laterals 3 12, 10, 10
Dumbbell Shrugs 4 12, 10, 8, 8
Workout Four (Thursday): Biceps, Triceps, Forearms & Abs
Exercises Sets Reps
Lying Tricep Extensions 4 12, 10, 10, 8
Staright Bar Pushdowns 2 12, 12
Straight Barbell Curls 3 12, 10, 10
Barbell Preacher Curls 2 12, 12
Seated Barbell Wrist Curls 3 15, 12, 12
Leg Raises 3 Max Reps
Ab Machine Crunches 3 15, 15, 15
Workout Five (Saturday): Legs & Calves
Exercises Sets Reps
Leg Extensions 4 12+ Reps (Max Weight)
Squats 5 15, 12, 10 , 8, 7
Lying Leg Curls 3 12, 12, 10
Straight Legged Deadlifts 3 12, 10, 10
Toe Presses 4 12+ Reps (Max Weight)
Seated Calf Raises 3 Max Reps
Days Off Friday & Sunday

Days off are just that days off from training and should be used to heal your body and not for drinking and other excessive activities. To grow during any type of phase training schedule you need to adhere to principles that help your body recover.

Max Reps means just that maximum reps not stoping until no more reps can be completed, PERIOD!

Perform some type of Cardio at least 2 time per week.

Phase2 - Overload:

Overload Phase (4 Overload Days a Week Training Split)
Workout One (Monday): Chest & Shoulders
Exercises Sets Reps
Flat Bench Press 5 10, 8, 6, 4, 4
Incline Dumbbell Presses 4 10, 8, 6, 6
Standing Military Press 5 10, 8, 6, 4, 4
Seated Rear Laterals 4 10, 8, 8, 6
Workout Two (Tuesdays): Back & Traps
Exercises Sets Reps
Chins 3 10+ Reps
Power Deadlifts 6 10, 8, 8, 6, 4, 2
Supported Dumbell Rows 3 8, 8, 6
Brabell Shrugs 5 10, 8, 6, 4, 4
Workout Three (Thursday): Biceps, Triceps & Forearms
Exercises Sets Reps
Close Grip Benches 4 12, 10, 8, 6
V-Bar Pushdowms 2 12, 10
Incline Dumbbell Curls 3 10, 8, 8
Hammer Curls 3 8, 8, 6
Reverse Curls 3 10, 10, 8
Workout Four (Saturday): Legs & Calves
Exercises Sets Reps
Leg Extensions 2 15 Reps Warmup
Squats 7 12 x 2 Warmup, 8, 6, 6, 4, 4
Leg Curls 4 12, 10, 8, 8
Hyper-Extensions 4 Max Reps BWT
Standing Calf Raises 5 12, 10, 10, 10, 10
Days Off Wednesday, Friday & Sunday

This exercise phase involves max weight and max effort. Every workout should tax your CNS to the max so when your off days arrive take them off, do nothing that is any way shape or form strenuous or requires any continuous effort. This doesn't mean you can't go out and mow the lawn, use your head.

NO BS WEIGHTS - When it says down to 2 or 4 reps it means 2 or 4 reps. You should not be able to get more than that without assistance. Wrap up - Strap up and get the weight moved. This is not the cupcake round. This requires effort and focus to move big weights. If the effort applied is genuine the growth will also be genuine.

Phase3 - Refinement:

Refinement Phase (6 Days a Week Training Split)
Workout One (Monday): Chest, Abs & Cardio
Exercises Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Presses 4 15, 12, 10, 10
Barbell Bench Presses 4 15, 12, 10, 10
Decline Dumbbell Presses 4 20, 15, 12, 12
Machine Flyes 4 25-30
Crunches 3 30
Reverse Crunches 3 20
30-60 Minutes Stair Climber ( Cardio )
Workout Two (Tuesdays): Back & Abs
Exercises Sets Reps
Dumbbell Pullovers 3 20
Front Pulldowns 4 15, 12, 12, 10
Pulley Rows 4 15, 12, 10, 10
Dumbbell Rows 3 12, 12, 12
Hanging Leg Raises 3 15
Jackknifes (V-ups) 3 20
Workout Three (Wednesdays): Shoulders, Traps & Cardio
Exercises Sets Reps
Machine Bent Laterals 3 15, 12, 12
Seated Side Laterals 3 15, 12, 12
Seated Front Presses 4 12, 10 ,8, 8
Upright Rows 3 12, 10, 10
Dumbbell Shrigs 4 12, 10, 8, 8
30 - 60 Minutes Stair Stepper (Cardio)
Workout Four (Thursday): Biceps, Triceps, Abs & Cardio
Exercises Sets Reps
Two Handed OverHead Dumbbell Extensions 3 12, 10 ,10
Close Grip Benches 3 10, 8, 8
Rope Pushdowns 2 15, 12
Barbell Curls 3 10, 8, 8
Seated Incline Curls 3 12, 10, 10
Barbell Reverse Curls 3 12, 10, 10
Standing Cable Crunches 4 15
15 - 30 Minutes Seated Exercise Bike (Cardio)
Workout Five (Friday): Legs & Calves
Exercises Sets Reps
Leg Extensions 4 15, 15, 12, 12
Squats (Shoulder Width Stance) 4 15, 12, 10, 10
Barbell Lunges 3 12, 12, 12
Lying Leg Curls 4 15, 12, 12, 10
Staright Legged Deadlifts 3 15, 12, 12
Toe Presses (Off Leg Press) 4 15
Donkey Machine Calf Raises/Seated Calf Raises 4 15
Workout Six (Saturday): Abs & Cardio
Exercises Sets Reps
Machine Crunches/Roman Chair SitUps 3 20
Hanging Knee Raises 3 15
Standing BroomStick Twist 3 100
30 - 60 Minutes Treadmill 45&#dreg; (Cardio)
Days Off Sunday

This exercise phase involves max volume, max effort and muscular endurance. Every workout should tax your CNS to the max so when your off day arrive take it off, do nothing that is any way shape or form strenuous or requires any continuous effort. This phase also has many dietary restrictions the other 2 don't have.

Don't take this phase lightly as it setup your next cycle. You will know your strengths and weaknesses after this and will have very good idea of what needs your most attention, what body parts grow faster then others, and where to adjust to adjust your training during the next phase cycle.

Don't add more sets than that are already there, doing so only invites overtraining and stalls you progress. Always drive to use more weight each workout and never settle!

Conclusion - Now that we have covered all three types of phases and the three different styles of workouts we can now take a look at the complete 15 week program. Notice that there will be a lot of changes being made every 3 - 4 weeks with this program and the reasoning for this is simple. The changing styles of workouts keep the body off gaurd and keeps you progressing. During this 15 week period your body will never have a chance to adapt to what your doing which will lead to some really good muscle gains during the program.

It's important to supplement your diet when trying to bulid muscle mass. I recommend using 10-20g a day of glutamine, 10-15g a day of creatine, 5-10g of Glucosamine along with the following: aminos, nitric oxide, whey protein, testosterone boosters, and weight gainers. Now you got your infomation, what are you waiting for! Get OFF YOUR ASS AND GET GOING!!!

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