Just as David Banner mutated into the Hulk, TV’s original not-so-jolly green giant, Lou Ferrigno transformed himself into bodybuilding’s ultimate mass monster. At 6’5″ and 275 pounds while in his early 20s, he was a sight to behold on stage. Even now, the bodybuilding legend—who gained 100 lean pounds in the five years that took him from high school to the Mr. Olympia stage—has many lessons to teach about sizing up.

To go big, let’s think small. We had Ferrigno analyze a single set of his brutal workouts to learn how he built a physique capable of hulking out on bodybuilding stages and TV screens.