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Frankie NY's Mass Building Program

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Frankie NY
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2003/08/21 17:56:50 (permalink)

Frankie NY's Mass Building Program

NOTICE: THIS ROUTINE ASSUMES AT LEAST 6 MONTHS OF BREAK IN TRAINING FOR BEGINNERS.

THIS ROUTINE IS INTENDED FOR THE NATURAL TRAINER ONLY

Several of you have asked me for a good mass building program, so here it is. I've used this routine with many natural bodybuilders as well as professional football players looking to add some bulk in the offseason.

How many days a week? I've seen the best results with natural bodybuilders in a bulking phase on 3 days a week, training each exercise once a week. I know almost every program in the magazines you guys read will say 4 days a week, training each muscle twice a week, but my experience with hundreds of guys is that guys that train 4 days a week never make the same gains as the ones that train 3 days a week. If you train a muscle hard enough, you just can't recover in less than 6-7 days. Just because the soreness is gone doesn't mean that the muscle is recovered. 4 and 5 day splits are fine for cutting phases but not for bulking.

How to split things up? Push, pull, and legs seems to be the best split for most guys. Working shoulders with legs doesn't yield good growth in the shoulders because they end up overtrained. On push shoulders get hammered, on pull shoulders get hammered, and even working legs shoulders get hit.

Sets and reps? Like I said before, if you want to gain mass you need to stay around 5-6 reps. 4x6 or 5x5 are both good combinations. In my experience the guys that make better gains on 8-12 reps are advanced bodybuilders or are on drugs. I don't care if you feel a pump or a burn or whatever. That has nothing to do with size or strength, only momentarily pumping blood into a muscle.

Increasing your weights? You need to add weights to the bar every workout if you can. Going up in 2 ½ or 5 pound increments is great. You won't be able to add more weight each week, but that needs to be your mentality. Don't think about anything else but adding weight.

How long to stay on a routine? My experience is that around 8-12 weeks is best. Some guys say that after 6-8 weeks they've hit a plateau and need to change their routine. That's hogwash. Most of the time they've hit a plateau because they're not training hard enough or because they've added in more exercises than what's in my program and hinder their recovery.

DAY 1 – PULL

Deadlifts or Power Cleans
Barbell Rows, Dumbbell Rows, or Wide Grip Chins
Barbell Curls, Close Grip Underhand Chins, or Hammer Curls

DAY 2 – PUSH

Incline or Flat Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press
Barbell or Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
Tricep Dips or Close Grip Bench Press

DAY 3 – LEGS

Front or Back Squats
Barbell or Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts
Calf Raises (3x12) - only if a seriously lagging bodypart
Weighted Crunches or Weighted Hanging Leg Raises (3x12)
#1

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    Mighty306
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/21 18:49:52 (permalink)
    Great post guys...I knew that I would be the first person to find this as I have been waiting....

    One question...when you say 5x5 do you mean the traditional 5x5 (5 sets of 5 reps using the same weight, when you get 5 on fifth set move the weight up) or, 5 sets of 5 reps to failure?

    Also, wouldn't 10 sets for chest be a little much? I was thinking BB Bench 5x5, Military Press 5x5, Close Grip/Skulls 5x5.

    What do you think?

    Thanks Guys!
    #2
    Big-Ron
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/21 22:00:57 (permalink)
    Sounds great, i think this could be for me.

    Although after 12 weeks what would you suggest? taking a month off? then starting a similar routine?

    B-R
    #3
    Boxer
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/21 23:49:22 (permalink)
    You don't take a month off. You change your routine...
    #4
    Frankie NY
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/22 02:20:01 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Big-Ron

    Although after 12 weeks what would you suggest? taking a month off? then starting a similar routine?


    After 12 weeks, take one week off. Continue doing cardio but don't touch a weight. Your body needs the time to completely recuperate.

    Then, begin your next 12 week cycle. If you did deadlifts in cycle 1, do powercleans in cycle 2. If you did flat barbell bench, do incline barbell bench. If you did back squats, do front squats. If you did barbell overhead presses, then do dumbbell overhead presses. The idea is to stick with heavy compounds. DO NOT SUBSTITUTE OR ADD IN ANY ISOLATION MOVEMENTS. DO NOT INCREASE REPS OR SETS.

    Natural bodybuilders need to stay on a bulking program like this for about 4 or 5 years before they should even think about a cutting cycle or competing.
    #5
    Frankie NY
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/22 02:28:36 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Mighty306

    One question...when you say 5x5 do you mean the traditional 5x5 (5 sets of 5 reps using the same weight, when you get 5 on fifth set move the weight up) or, 5 sets of 5 reps to failure?

    Also, wouldn't 10 sets for chest be a little much? I was thinking BB Bench 5x5, Military Press 5x5, Close Grip/Skulls 5x5.


    5 sets of 5 reps with the same weight.

    10 sets for chest isn't too much. I like to see a second movement added in like dumbbells or dips because for some guys benches make their chests grow and for others it's less effective. But I would never skip benches all together. They're too important for overall upper body strength and thickness.

    Forget about close grips benches or skulls. I don't know what you mean by "skulls", but I assume they are for triceps. Heavy benches and overhead presses are all you need for huge triceps. After two chest movements and one shoulder movement, your triceps should be so wasted that you couldn't do a triceps exercise even if you wanted to.
    #6
    Slyblackdragon
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/22 04:03:48 (permalink)
    Umm. I am just starting back to working out, should I try this or my routine in my Journal?

    http://www.muscletalk.co.uk/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=57338
    #7
    DerMalePhonkMann
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/22 11:21:31 (permalink)
    Sly, I think this is much better than what's in your journal.

    I'll be doing something similar to what Johnny posted in a few weeks.
    #8
    TonyStarks
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/22 11:24:54 (permalink)
    Great post mate and welcome to MT
    #9
    miki
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/22 16:07:04 (permalink)

    How much cardio would you recommend weekly? Bulking phase.

    Seriously thinking of switching to this (J's version) because I'd like to take up boxing too and it would give me the time I don't have on my four day split.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Frankie NY

    After 12 weeks, take one week off. Continue doing cardio but don't touch a weight. Your body needs the time to completely recuperate.


    #10
    miki
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/22 16:14:43 (permalink)

    One more thing on the 5x5.

    Do you keep doing sets until you hit the '25 rep total'?

    For example the first three sets I get my five reps. The forth set I only manage 3 reps, so I rest a few seconds then force out the other two. Then move onto my fifth set?



    #11
    Frankie NY
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/22 23:25:16 (permalink)
    Miki:

    If you can only get 3 reps on the 4th set, then that's fine. Rest for 3-5 minutes and do your 5th set. If you don't get atleast 8 reps in total on your last two sets, then lower the weight 5-10 pounds. If you can get 8 or 9 reps on the last two sets, then stay at that same weight. Once you can do 10 reps in total on your last two sets, then increase the weight 5 pounds the next session.

    I would do cardio at least 2 times a week and up to 3 for 30-35 minutes. When you're bulking, don't be too concerned about your body fat %. Cardio is important just to make sure your heart is healthy.
    #12
    JohnOvManchester
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/23 00:43:29 (permalink)
    Do you mean for the barbell rows:
    Bent over rows,
    or
    Upright rows.

    If you mean bent over I would do them with a under-hand grip.
    #13
    Frankie NY
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/23 06:50:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by JohnOvManchester

    Do you mean for the barbell rows: Bent over rows, or Upright rows.


    Bent over rows for building thick lats. Upright rows are a complete waste of time.
    #14
    Big-AL
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/23 08:30:42 (permalink)
    A very solid routine there, i like it.
    However personally i would prefer dips to the barbell press, though i can understand why people would want to do barbell presses. Maybe they could dip one cycle and press the next?
    I like j5's idea of using chins so that the biceps get contraction as i am not a big fan of curls, though i don't know whether i could fit deadlifts, chins and rows into one session![xx(]
    AL
    #15
    Chez
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/23 09:47:31 (permalink)
    I like this routine alot, what sort of rest period between sets and movements would you recommend?

    I'm seriously considering this, but currently I'm training on my own and might find it hard to keep up the intensity!
    #16
    mindle
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/23 12:52:32 (permalink)
    Would anyone put any calves into the routine, maybe instead of Abs on the leg day?
    #17
    Big-AL
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/23 13:32:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by mindle

    Would anyone put any calves into the routine, maybe instead of Abs on the leg day?


    Your calves will be built with squats and deads etc, you can worry about details later.
    AL
    #18
    Frankie NY
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/23 16:39:55 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Chez

    I like this routine alot, what sort of rest period between sets and movements would you recommend?

    I'm seriously considering this, but currently I'm training on my own and might find it hard to keep up the intensity!



    What "movements would you recommend"? I don't understand your question. All the movements I recommend are in the post. ???

    You should rest between 2 and 5 minutes but it depends. You should rest long enough until you are physically and mentally ready for the next set. For example, heavy squats can leave you on the verge of fainting. I almost always rest 4-5 minutes between sets with squats. But no matter how hard I hit overhead presses or bent over rows, I'm usually ready in about 2 minutes.

    Don't be one of these guys with a stopwatch who does each set after exactly so many minutes. Focus on what's important - doing the next set.

    One last thing. If you do 5x5, you may find that you need to rest longer between sets as you move from set to set.

    I'm glad you are considering this routine. Don't be afraid of the intensity. With weight lifting you get out of it what you put in to it. I've seen guys add 100 pounds to their squat in a year. I've also seen guys who are using the same weights now as they were a year ago. Which one do you want to be?
    #19
    JohnOvManchester
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    RE: Frankie NY's Mass Building Program 2003/08/23 22:45:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by JohnOvManchester

    Do you mean for the barbell rows: Bent over rows, or Upright rows.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Bent over rows for building thick lats. Upright rows are a complete waste of time.


    Thats not raelly what I was getting at, I was meaning IMO if you did mean bent over barbell rows, I would do them with a underhand grip as this would help the lats and biceps (due to the lack of curls).
    If you have never done bent over barbell rows with a underhand grip, give them a try, you can really feel it.
    #20
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