Dennis James knows all about getting huge. In amassing his Hall of Fame-caliber bodybuilding career, in which he collected 24 top-five finishes from 1999 to 2012, “the Menace” regularly competed around 260 monstrous pounds (and was 295 in the off-season) at a height of 5’8″.

These days, from his homebase of Phoenix, the retired IFBB pro is still putting his best growth strategies to work, helping other competitors prepare for shows and offering online coaching services through his site,

Here, he shares his 10 favorite tips and tricks—along with a complete workout plan and a sample diet day—anyone can use to build thick, dense muscle this winter.