“Training sessions should always be geared towards building muscle because you can use diet for anything else,” says Miyaki. Leave fat-loss workouts like circuits, intervals, and complexes to the cutting phases; when clean bulking, focus on muscle.
If you want to add only size, focus on hypertrophy. “3 – 5 sets per exercise, 8 – 15 reps in that moderate range,” Miyaki explains. “If the goal is purely to put on muscle, that’s the best way to go.”
If you want only strength, lift heavy weights with low reps. That approach, however, limits your size gains because strength training relies on neural activities. “There are some guys who lift incredible amounts of weight who don’t ever look like they’ve touched a weight,” says Miyaki. “It’s about technique and activating motor units for one rep.”
Also, ditch cardio — that spawns from the traditional bulk mentality: if you explode your calorie intake, you need cardio (and a lot of it) to slow fat gains. Cardio, however, saps time, wrecks your recovery, and taxes your muscles. “You deplete any of your reserves with too much cardio on top of all the strength training,” Miyaki says. Remember, you lose fat via diet.
Finally, less is more. For natural athletes, 3 – 4 workouts per week are enough. “We grow and recover with the proper nutrition plan,” says Miyaki, “and some trainees tend to be in a broken-down, catabolic state, not allowing enough time for recovery.”
10 Tricks for Bigger, Healthier Shoulders