The Pros' Secrets to Getting Huge

Size Secrets From Your Favorite Bodybuilders


SIZE SECRET #1High Reps for Big Legs

FOUAD ABIAD: "The most important change in my career came in 2010, when I decided that lifting really heavy for legs was mostly for my ego. Throughout my career, lagging quads and hams have always held me back. 'Not enough sweep,' people would say about my legs, or 'not thick enough all around.' So I decided to make some changes in my quad training. Instead of lifting heavy for sets of 6–8 reps like I did for the first 10 years of my career, I decided 15–20 reps was the way to go. As soon as I increased my rep ranges, I noticed a rounder, fuller look to my legs. Now, I mix the two training philosophies. On leg presses, I go as heavy as I can for 20 reps, and on hack squats, I go as heavy as I can for 10–12. I don’t do any sets for my legs under 10 reps anymore; I just don't get the size from it."


ExerciseSetsRepsLying leg curls520-10*Squats520-10*Leg presses620Stiff-leg deadlifts4*10Hack squats310

* Increase weight each set, starting out with 20 reps with the lightest weight and finishing with 10 reps with the heaviest weight.


SIZE SECRET #2Super Slow Reps

DENNIS JAMES: "When something doesn't work or I hit a plateau in my training, I always implement very, very slow reps. I'm talking super slow, as in 5–10 seconds up and 5–10 seconds down on every rep using 30%–50% of the weight you'd normally use. And you don't have to limit this to just one exercise in your workout; you can do it for every exercise. It takes you much longer to get through the set, but I guarantee one set will make up for 5–6 regular sets. You can either do slow reps for, say, a month, or you can do slow reps one week and go back to normal reps the next. Doing your reps very slowly is much more intense, creates more of a burn and the chance of injury while doing it is almost zero. And even though you're going a lot lighter, it feels heavier. Because you're going so slow, you can make one plate feel like it's four, so I typically keep the reps between 3 and 6. And I guarantee you, if you try it, you will walk away with the best pump you ever had."


ExerciseSetsRepsPushdowns3-43-6*Lying Extensions3-43-6*One-arm reverse-grip pushdowns3-43-6*

* Perform every rep with a speed of 5–10 seconds on the concentric portion and 5–10 seconds on the eccentric.

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