Dennis Wolf: Mass with Class

The Big Bad Wolf's top 10 training principles.



Wolf does at least one freeweight basic lift for each bodypart, and he typically does these first in his workouts, when his strength and energy are greatest. For example, Wolf starts his chest training with bench presses and biceps routines with barbell curls. 


Although Wolf makes free-weight standards an early focus, he also does isolation and machine lifts to accentuate separation and shape. He also favors mechanical exercises to etch in details; he uses, for example, cable crossovers for chest and one-arm reverse-grip pushdowns for triceps. It’s not enough to simply cram on mass as quickly as possible. Like a sculptor adding clay but molding it, too, you need to train for quantity and quality in every workout.


This big bad wolf knows that moderate reps are best for muscle growth. Wolf sticks to 10-12 reps for most sets, but, for hamstrings, he’ll go up to 20, and for calves and abs, as high as 25. 


Wolf typically does three or four exercises and 12 to 16 sets for all bodyparts except calves and abs, which are trained with less volume more frequently. Wolf explains his seasonal exception: “In the last four to five weeks before a contest, I increase my overall sets.” 

There is no correct formula. Just make sure that you’re doing enough divergent exercises each workout to stress your muscles from a variety of angles and adjust the volume to find what works best for your body.


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