Training

Dennis James's Mass-Gain Diet and Training Program

This is how James prepped for his final pro show.

by
Dennis James
Kevin Horton / M+F Magazine
Kevin Horton / M+F Magazine
Duration 5 Days
Exercises 29
Equipment X

The Flex Mass-Gain Diet

Training is only a small part of the battle in the pursuit of more size. To get big, you need to eat big. Follow the sample daily plan below to help you add the mass you desire.

Meal 1

  • 3 whole-grain pancakes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 slice fat-free cheese
  • 1 slice turkey bacon
  • 1 glass orange juice
  • 8 oz low-fat milk (2%)

Meal 2

  • 2 scoops whey protein
  • 1 low-fat bran muffin

Meal 3

  • 6 oz flank steak
  • 2 cups pasta, cooked with tomato sauce

Meal 4

  • ½ can white tuna in water with 2 tbsp low-fat mayo
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 apple
  • 8 oz low-fat milk (2%)

Meal 5

  • 7 oz chicken (1 large breast)
  • 12 oz baked potato
  • 1 cup peas or corn

Meal 6

  • 1 scoop whey protein mixed with 16 oz low-fat milk (2%)
  • 2 to 3 slices whole-grain bread with low-sugar jam

Total Macros

  • Calories: 3,690
  • Carbs: 412g
  • Protein: 286
  • Fat: 95g

The Workout

This sample program—based in part on James’ preparations for his final pro show, the 2012 Masters Olympia, where he finished third—assembles his training tips into one comprehensive weekly workout program.

Monday: Chest Do three to four sets of every exercise listed, pyramiding up the weight set to set, and cycle between two weeks of four-to-six-rep sets and two weeks of eight-to-12-rep sets.

Exercise 1

Incline Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Barbell, Bench How to
Incline Barbell Bench Press thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

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

Exercise 3

Incline Dumbbell Flye You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Incline Dumbbell Flye thumbnail
-- sets
Or flat bench reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Machine Chest Press How to
Machine Chest Press  thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Hammer Strength Chest Press
Hammer Strength Chest Press thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest
Or decline machine press

Tuesday: Quadriceps Do three to four sets of every exercise listed, pyramiding up the weight set to set, and cycle between two weeks of four-to-six-rep sets and two weeks of eight-to-12-rep sets.

Exercise 1

Leg Extension How to
Leg Extension thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Barbell Squat You'll need: Barbell How to
Man Barbell Squat thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Leg Press How to
Leg Press thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Single-Leg Extension
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Wednesday: Shoulders Do three to four sets of every exercise listed, pyramiding up the weight set to set, and cycle between two weeks of four-to-six-rep sets and two weeks of eight-to-12-rep sets.

Exercise 1

Dumbbell Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest
Or barbell press

Exercise 2

Dumbbell Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Lateral Raise thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Dumbbell Front Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Front Raise thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest
or barbell front raise

Exercise 4

Barbell Shrug You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Shrug thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest
Wide or close grip upfront row

Thursday: Back Do three to four sets of every exercise listed, pyramiding up the weight set to set, and cycle between two weeks of four-to-six-rep sets and two weeks of eight-to-12-rep sets.

Exercise 1

Pullup
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Row thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest
Perform on hammer strength machine if possible.

Exercise 3

Barbell Bentover Row You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Row  thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

One-arm Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One-arm Dumbbell Row thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Friday: Arms Do three to four sets of every exercise listed, pyramiding up the weight set to set, and cycle between two weeks of four-to-six-rep sets and two weeks of eight-to-12-rep sets.

Exercise 1

Cable Pressdown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment How to
Cable Pressdown thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Standing Barbell Curl
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Seated Barbell French Press
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest
Perform with an EZ-bar if possible.

Exercise 4

Seated Dumbbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Seated Dumbbell Biceps Curl thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Cable Kickback You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment How to
Cable Kickback thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest
Perform one arm at a time.

Exercise 6

Cable Biceps Curl You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Straight Bar Attachment How to
Cable Biceps Curl thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Saturday: Hamstrings and Calves Do three to four sets of every exercise listed, pyramiding up the weight set to set, and cycle between two weeks of four-to-six-rep sets and two weeks of eight-to-12-rep sets.

Exercise 1

Seated Hammer Curl
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Lying Hamstring Curl How to
Lying Hamstring Curl thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Stiff-leg Deadlift
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Single-Leg Curl
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest
Perform standing.

Exercise 5

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
Standing Calf Raise thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest

Exercise 6

Seated Calf Raise You'll need: Bench How to
Seated Calf Raise thumbnail
-- sets
-- reps
-- rest
Comments