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The Mass-Building Program to Look Bigger in Three Weeks thumbnail
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Get bigger in a hurry.

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In the realm of brology, shredding is for summertime, while bulking up is reserved for the fall and winter months—which means it’s time to start packing on the mass, bros. And as a competitive Strongman with national titles in both lightweight classes (175 and 150 pounds), I’m always working to pile on weight after such treacherous cuts to keep getting stronger and denser.

To get bigger, I do two things: eat more and lift harder. You’ll do the same as you follow the three-week program I designed. It places a focus on heavy-ass weights and intensity techniques. (Read more below.) If done right, this will be the toughest program you’ve taken on in a very long time. If you can handle it, though, not only will you be stronger and look bigger in 21 days, you’ll be primed to continue packing on mass while staying damn lean.

I do have one disclaimer: In my 10 years of experience as a personal trainer and Strongman, I’ve found that most guys are lucky to gain one pound of true muscle in a month. This means some of the weight you gain will come from water and, yes, a little fat—but that’s normal and totally healthy. The point is: A pound of muscle in three weeks is a solid triumph. You just have to work for it.

Training Explained

The workout spread out on the following pages is designed for a guy who is already pretty lean, or around 8 to 10% body fat. (You should have visible abs and very lean, defined arms, chest, and shoulders.) Below, I list the methods implemented to help you get monstrous in little time

BODY-PART SPLIT: Arnold and the gang at Gold’s were on to something. By focusing on one muscle per week, you’re able to annihilate it with a lot of volume and then give it the subsequent week to recover (a key for growth).

HEAVY WEIGHT: For every set, you should come within a rep or two of failure. If you feel you can grind out more, finish your set and up the weight another five to 10 pounds.

REST-PAUSE: This is a classic bodybuilding technique used to take your muscle tissue past failure—and a personal favorite of mine. Each work out will have rest-pause sets. For these, ensure that you have nothing left in the tank after- ward, then rest 10 to 15 seconds and crank out another four to six reps. Be sure to rest two to three minutes before starting your next rest-pause set.

MAX-REP SETS: OK, I’ll admit that this is brutal—even for me. At the end of every workout, you’ll be tasked with performing as many reps as possible for three to five straight minutes to keep your already tired muscles under continuous tension to really spark growth. The goal is to get 50 reps. A lot of my clients can’t even grind out 20, so do what you can to finish strong.

SMART PROGRESSION: Each week, you’ll add five to 10 pounds for the lower-rep compound lifts. For the higher-rep accessory moves, keep your weight the same and aim to add two to five reps.

NUTRITION: While following this program, consume one pound of protein per gram of body weight. Also, I highly recommend consuming 40 grams of simple carbs during your workout and 40 to 100 more grams post-workout, along with 30 to 50 grams of a high-quality whey protein. As for the rest of your diet, split up your calories between carbs and fats however you like, but the goal is to gain two pounds per week.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brad Baldwin, C.S.C.S., is an NYC-based personal trainer and Strongman national champion in the lightweight divisions. Follow him on Instagram: @thebradbaldwin. 

Week 1: Repeat this circuit for 3 weeks

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