The bodybuilding orthodoxy would have you believe that you can hope for 3-5lbs of muscle gain in a year (as a natural lifter).
I say you can hope for 12lbs per year, if not more – when you learn to train correctly.
That comes to 1lb of solid new muscle mass each month. It’s a phenomenal result.
That said, it’s often the small things that make all the difference…the difference between 3 and 12lbs (if not more).
So here’s 5 THT-Training based tips to help you hit 12 or more lbs in a year (2017 is coming real soon, guys!)
(1) STOP TAKING JUST 60 SECONDS BETWEEN SETS
The advice I got when I first got into the iron game was that shorter rest periods – 30 seconds to 1 minute – was best for stimulating growth. Longer periods were only for strength trainers apparently.
But my subsequent research into the actual science of training for growth told me something quite different.
First watch this short video…
Yes, longer rest periods between sets at 2-3 minutes works best for size gains.
Training each muscle:
- 3 times per week
- for 8-12 reps per set
- with 2-3 minutes rest per sets
…sounds exactly like…THT Training doesn’t it? That’s because THT is based on science, not my opinion – and it works!
If you want the full workout, just pop in your email and click the button.
You don’t have to go to your email to click a confirm link or anything like that; the download will appear immediately after you enter your email. Enjoy them new gains! 🙂
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Studies show that 2-3mins between sets produces better gains. Click here for more Click To Tweet
(2) USE FULL-BODY TRAINING CYCLES, NOT JUST SPLITS
If you haven’t heard me comment on this before, it’s probably been about 2 years since I’ve used the split routine in THT Traininig. I now only use the 3-day full-body routine.
I train for 10 weeks, take a week off, then go back on the 3-day cycle. Total time spent in the gym is virtually the same over the course of 7 days as the 5-day split.
I make (slightly) better gains on a full-body training system. But both approaches DO work.
However, a recent study also concluded that a 3-day full-body routine produced better gains than a split. See my article here for details of the study.
(3) STOP USING LOW REP RANGES ALL THE TIME
I define too low as 5 reps or less per set. Such modes of training make more neural and strength improvements…but not much in the way of size gains/hypertrophy.
I’ve had so many people over the years email me regarding their lack of progress on 5×5 workouts (or even lower rep protocols). When they do, I tell them to see my post detailing the scientific reasons why 5×5 workouts will not build maximum muscle here.
The general consensus from people like
- Me 😀
- Tom Venuto
- Mark Sisson
- The Poliquin group
- The National Strength and Conditioning Association
…is that reaching a point of muscular failure between 8 and 12 reps produces the best gains in size.5 reps or less/set are not optimal for size gains. Shoot to reach failure between 8-12 reps Click To Tweet
(4) START LOGGING ALL YOUR WORKOUTS
Grrrrr. This annoys me. Guys that go into the gym with no structured plan and no way to keep a record of the weights and reps completed.
One of the most important factors in the muscle-building game is progressive overload i.e. making small, incremental strength increases in every muscle group over time. If you aren’t keeping records, you haven’t a clue what’s going on.
Fact is, you need to know the best exercises to stimulate growth, how often to hit each muscle, and exactly how many sets and reps to do…and log all of it. You get all of this for free by downloading my THT training package.
(5) STOP AVOIDING DIETARY FAT
A diet with adequate fat intake allows your body to optimize its production of anabolic hormones. These are:
- Growth Hormone
So why go without them? You can still build muscle on a low-fat diet, but why make things hard for yourself? Take the fast lane to success. Even when cutting, you need fat intake as the resultant anabolic hormones help prevent you from losing muscle in the process.Dietary fat allows your body to optimize its production of anabolic hormones. Click here for more Click To Tweet
Great sources of fat for building muscle are:
- Whole eggs
- Nuts and nut butters
- Red meat
- Full-fat milk
If you want my diet that will ensure you are getting enough fat, calories and protein every day, pop your details in below for instant access.
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Got all 5? Great! If you need any help, ask me below and I’ll help out 🙂
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I used to avoid all fat. Definitely saw better gains and an improvement in my mood when I brought some real fat into my diet.
hi, interesting article (many thanks) – on the subject of rest between sets, let me ask the question a different way …
if I only have 1 hour for my workout, would I see more benefit with:
a) fewer number of exercises/sets but with 2-3 mins rest
b) greater number of exercises/sets with 1 min rests
(in the study in the video, both groups did the same number of exercises/sets – obviously with a much longer workout for the group with the 3 min rests)
@Dave. You’d be better doing as many sets with the 2-3 minute rests. My free THT training already has this all catered for. You should get on it 🙂
Mark i have been using the THT full body routinr and i’m making a lot of gains.Do you think i need to do a split cycle or can i just keep using the full body routine?How to feel about using lower rep range like 4-6 reps for big compound exercises such as bench and squats(like the deadlifts on THT) in one session of the week to gain more stength?
@Dave, I’ve wondered similar things in the past in terms of finding the optimal number of sets. I found this info/study:
For muscle hypertrophy, 2-3 sets per exercise were more effective than 1 set, but there was no significant difference between 2-3 sets per exercise and 4-6 sets per exercise.
Krieger JW (2010). Single vs. multiple sets of resistance exercise for muscle hypertrophy: a meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 24(4):1150-9.
At the time I was hoping to get in and out of the gym with single sets per lift/muscle but alas I could not.
@Andre. Yes you can totally do back-to-back 3-day cycles. No, I only recommend 4-6 reps for deadlifts. THT is specifically a hypertrophy routine.
Hope that helps.
What I don’t like about your workout is there isn’t much variety with only two to do three days per week.
Mark, here’s a question for another post perhaps:
Any advice on stretching and mobility?
I’ve definitely gotten more flexible on a proper THT/JnR cycle, but i’m thinking long term health of my rotator cuffs, hip mobility etc.
Thanks for the work that you do
@Will. There is no 2-day workout in THT. Only 3-days and 5 days per week. There’s plenty of variety as the THT Exercise allows you to switch up exercises every 10 weeks. And you shouldn’t change more often than that as you’ll make more neural adaptations, not real strength and size gains. See this post for more on that issue https://musclehack.com/why-not-changing-your-routine-gives-you-bigger-muscles/
@Muhammad. Any basic stretches will help with this. You don’t need anything fancy. My only recommendation is that you do not stretch immediately before weight training. More on that here https://musclehack.com/should-you-stretch-before-training/