Workout Routines

Simply Huge: Mass Gain

This six-week training program takes the complication out of mass gain.

by
Simply Huge: Mass Gain
Duration 6 weeks
Exercises 52
Equipment Yes

We’ve all known people who make things more complicated than they need to be. At work, there’s the boss who requires meeting after mind-numbing meeting and procedures that rival a NASA rocket-launch sequence. (Come on, how many steps does it really take to order new staplers?) For you, Office Space seemed more like a documentary than a comedy. Or perhaps your girlfriend turns dinnertime into a harrowing game of Jeopardy!, leaving you to guess just what she’s craving. “What do I want for dinner? What is ‘It obviously doesn’t matter, Alex?’” The gym is supposed to be a safe haven from the lunacy of your daily life. There’s no good reason to make it harder than necessary with a difficult-to-follow, overwrought training program when a straightforward approach will get you exactly where you want to go - and faster.

This six-week plan cuts through all the noise. At its heart, it’s plain yet powerful. Splitting the body over four training days, you’ll use a selection of unpretentious and effective exercises, sans complex techniques and tricks. Lift a heavy weight for the prescribed reps, rest two minutes and do it again. See? Simple.

Fundamentals Focus

The program breaks down your training as follows: Day 1 is chest and triceps; Day 2 is legs; Day 3 is shoulders, traps and abs; and Day 4 is back and biceps. In Weeks 1, 3 and 5 of this six-week plan, you’ll do six reps per set with one “pump” set of 25 to finish each exercise, while in Weeks 2, 4 and 6 you’ll do 12 reps to failure on all sets (except for calves and abs).

The 6/25 rep scheme in the odd-numbered weeks is an excellent hybrid designed for strength and mass development, encouraging muscle breakdown, rebuilding and growth. The low-rep, high-intensity sets are followed by sets of 25 reps that flush the target muscle with blood, giving you a serious pump. And that pump isn’t just for show, friends. Working out produces waste products in the muscle cells - the result of burning glucose and fat to fuel muscular contractions. That waste buildup draws water inside muscle cells, and as with a balloon, the more water that the muscle cell can hold, the bigger the pump you’ll experience. The pump essentially stretches the muscle cell, making the muscle itself momentarily bigger and initiating biochemical pathways that prompt permanent growth.

The strategy in the even-numbered weeks is to hit the muscle-hypertrophy sweet spot: 12-rep sets, each to failure. You want to pick a weight with which you can get 12 reps - no more - so err on the heavy side. Say you get eight reps with a weight and fail - that’s no problem, just immediately reduce the weight by 20%-30% and finish out your last four reps. Or an attentive spotter can help you through some forced reps to reach the target.

Straight to the Point

Although this program is devoid of fancy tricks, that doesn’t mean it’s not potent. You can build size and strength, and best of all, make the gym your “quiet place” from all the complications of work, home and family. If you were a contestant on a certain previously mentioned game show, you might even say, “What is ‘;the perfect solution?’”

Training Plan

In this program, you’ll perform each workout once per week and take three days off each week (for example, lift on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday). Use this six-week training plan once, or repeat it - it’s built for results both in the short term and over the long haul.

Simple Mass-Gain Split

Day 1: Chest + triceps

Day 2: Legs

Day 3: Shoulders + traps + abs

Day 4: Back + biceps

Weeks 1, 3, 5: 3 sets of 6 reps plus a pump set of 25 reps

Weeks 2, 4, 6: 12 reps to failure on all sets (with the exception of calves and abs)

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Weeks 1, 3, 5 Day 1: Chest + Triceps

Exercise 1

Incline Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Barbell How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets. In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 2

Smith Machine Bench Press You'll need: Smith Machine How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 3

Incline Dumbbell Flye You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 4

Weighted Dip You'll need: Dip Station, Ankle Weights How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 5

Bodyweight Dip You'll need: Dip Station How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 6

Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Barbell How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets. In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 7

Cable Pressdown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 8

Barbell Lying Triceps Extension
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Weeks 1, 3, 5 Day 2: Legs

Exercise 1

Barbell Squat You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets. In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 2

Leg Press How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 3

Leg Extension How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 4

Romanian Deadlift
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 5

Lying Leg Curl
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 6

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
4 sets
25 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets.

Weeks 1, 3, 5 Day 3: Shoulders, Trap + Abs

Exercise 1

Overhead Barbell Press You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets. In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 2

Barbell Upright Row You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 3

Bent-Over Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
Perform seated. In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 4

Barbell Shrug You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets. In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 5

Hanging Knee Raise You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
2 sets
20 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets.

Exercise 6

Kneeling Cable Crunch You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment How to
2 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Weeks 1, 3, 5 Day 4: Back + Biceps

Exercise 1

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets. In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 2

Barbell Bent-Over Row You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 3

T-Bar Row You'll need: Barbell, V-Handle Attachment How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 4

Lat Pulldown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar How to
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 5

Barbell Curl
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets. In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 6

Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
2 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Exercise 7

Preacher Curl
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
6 reps
-- rest
In addition, perform 1 pump set of 25 reps.

Weeks 2, 4, 6 Day 1: Chest + Triceps

Exercise 1

Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Barbell How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets.

Exercise 2

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Pec Deck Flye
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Cable Pressdown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment How to
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets.

Exercise 6

Bench Dip You'll need: Bench How to
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 7

Cable Kickback You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment How to
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Weeks 2, 4, 6 Day 2: Legs

Exercise 1

Leg Extension How to
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets.

Exercise 2

Leg Press How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Barbell Hack Squat You'll need: Barbell How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Glute-Ham Raise
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Seated Leg Curl
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 6

Seated Calf Raise You'll need: Bench How to
4 sets
25 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets.

Weeks 2, 4, 6 Day 3: Shoulders, Traps + Abs

Exercise 1

Cable Lateral Raise
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets.

Exercise 2

Arnold Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Dumbbell Upright Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Reverse Pec Deck Flye
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Incline Dumbbell Shrug You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets.

Exercise 6

Reverse Crunch You'll need: No Equipment How to
2 sets
25 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets.

Exercise 7

Double Crunch You'll need: No Equipment How to
2 sets
25 reps
-- rest

Weeks 2, 4, 6 Day 4: Back + Biceps

Exercise 1

Lat Pulldown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar How to
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets.

Exercise 2

Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Wide-Grip Seated Row
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Weighted Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar, Dip Belt, Weight Plates How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Seated Dumbbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Doesn't include 1-2 light warmup sets.

Exercise 6

Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 7

Cable Preacher Curl
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 8

Hammer Curl
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest
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