Roelly winklaar lat pulldowns

This is big— really, really big. We’ve compiled mass-making advice from 25 of the largest bodybuilders who ever tested the limits of a posing dais. The amateur superheavy- weight division consists of competitors who weigh more than 225. To make our honor roll, these pros each competed at 250-plus, and some topped 300. These are bodybuilding’s super-duper-heavyweights, and they’ve got a lot to say about sizing up. 


“I’d say the most important thing is getting all your meals in. You have to stick to a schedule to make sure you eat at least six high-protein meals every day. The easiest way to do this is to prepare your meals in advance so you just need to microwave them and eat.”—Dallas Mccarver


“I do a lot of exercises. The bigger the body part, the more exercises I do. So for back and legs, I might do eight exercises each per workout. Sometimes I’ll only do two sets of an exercise, but by getting in so many different exercises I’m able to hit big body parts from a lot of different angles and make sure I’m growing all the different muscles and areas of muscles. Most of the time I get more out of doing two sets of two exercises than four sets of one.”—Art Atwood


“One major mistake that most bodybuilders make is to increase training volume over time, feeling that this is how ‘advanced’ people should train. The problem is that even as you grow bigger and stronger, your ability to recover never improves much. And because you’re able to work your muscles heavier and harder, they need less exercise and more recovery time. Most people get this exactly wrong.” —Dorian Yates


“I don’t commit to a workout plan. Instead, I wait to see how my pump tells me to train on that day. Sometimes I get my best pump with four or six maximum- weight reps. At other times, the best pump might take 10 or more reps. Always, I try to get my best pump with the heaviest weight and lowest reps. That’s hard to do, but it stimulates the fastest growth.” —Markus Rühl


“I do my best growing only training four days a week. I’ll do chest and triceps on Monday, quads and hams on Tuesday, delts and traps on Thursday, and back and biceps on Friday. It means my workouts last longer than when I train six days per week and hit most body parts alone. But it also means I have three days every week that I don’t go to the gym. I think of those as my ‘grow days’— those days that I’m eating and resting but not training.” —Roelly Winklaar


Big ramy squat_0


“You’ve got to eat real food to gain muscular weight, and you’ve got to eat often. Don’t count your shakes as meals. Take the shakes out of the equation. How many food meals are you eating? You need to get in six real food meals. I always say if you’re not getting your meals in, don’t go to the gym. What’s the point? You’re not going to grow without food. It’s like trying to run a car on no gas.” —Jay Cutler


“When it comes down to adding a lot of muscular weight, you need to be aware of where you’re carrying most of it. The two biggest areas are your legs—quads, hams, and butt—and your back—lats and traps, especially. Think about how much bigger your hamstrings are than your triceps, and yet most people do more work for tri’s than hams. They might train bi’s and tri’s separately but quads and hams together. They’ve got it all reversed. They’re undertraining their biggest body parts and overtraining their smallest body parts. Focus more on your biggest body parts and less on your smaller body parts and you’ll see a real change in how much overall muscle you gain.” —Tom Prince


“There’s no secret to getting big. You just have to eat right and train hard and always be focused on growing stronger. Try to use a heavier weight or get more reps with the same weight every time you work a body part. As you get stronger for eight to 12 reps, you’ll grow bigger.” —Mamdouh Elssbiay


“For me, it’s always been mostly the basics: squats, leg presses, barbell bench presses, barbell incline presses, barbell shoulder presses. If the choice is between two exercises and you can use more weight in one than the other, that’s your best choice.”—Rasheed Oldacre


“You don’t grow during the workout. You only grow after the workout when you’ve had the time and nutrition to recover and then add muscle. So if you look at it that way, rest is the most important part of bodybuilding. I have a whole week between training body parts, so I know I’m always getting enough rest to grow.” —Robert Burneika


Size Matters
Chris Lund


“The first time I got over 300 pounds was back when I was just 20 in 1972, and I went way over 300. Nobody was anywhere near that big back then. Remember, Arnold was winning the Olympia at 230. I just wanted to see how big I could get, so I would eat 8,000 to 10,000 calories a day in seven to eight meals and train heavier. Always I was trying to get stronger and bigger. I put on too much fat then because I rushed on the weight. I wasn’t ready yet to weigh 330. But if you want to get bigger, you’ll have to eat more and train heavier.” —Lou Ferrigno


“For legs, I like to do both higher and lower reps of every exercise. I’ll start with 20 reps and work my way down to six over four sets, going heavier each time. Then I’ll often do a fifth set of 20 reps to really blow out my quads or hams. The key is to push each set—whether it’s six or 20 or something in between—to failure.” —Paco Bautista 


“Training with Charles Glass made me realize I was missing the target a lot before. He has a specific purpose for every exercise and every exercise modi cation to hit different areas of the muscles. This can make all the difference in unlocking new growth.” —Günter Schlierkamp


“Do the heavy, barbell basics first in your routine when you’re strongest. So do bench presses before yes, and do EZ-bar curls before concentration curls. The more weight you can use on an exercise, the more effective it’ll be for gaining size.” —Jean-Pierre Fux


“Proper technique and a full range of motion are the two most important components of training success. Most people focus on how heavy the weight is. I don’t. If the weight feels heavy, it’s heavy enough. Focus on form.”—Justin Compton


Akim williams side chest


“More than any other exercise, squats grew my legs. I love to squat. I go up to 600 pretty much every workout. And I don’t use [knee] wraps or a belt. I feel like they restrict my movement and prevent my tendons and joints from getting strong along with my muscles.” —Akim Williams


“I’ve never been into powerlifting. I don’t even do deadlifts. I do like squats for legs, but I don’t go really heavy. To me, a lighter set of 15 reps is a lot harder than a heavier set of five reps. It’s the same with leg presses. It’s a lot easier to do 10 than 30, even though the weight is lighter for the 30. So it might look like I’m training lighter, but I’m really training harder.” —Dennis Wolf


“The most important lesson I learned from my injury was to take all the proper precautions. Always warm up, always pyramid up to your heaviest set, and don’t always go all out with maximum weights for maximum reps. In the long run, the best thing you can do to keep growing is avoid injuries.” —Zack Khan 

19. BE FREE 

I mostly use machines for legs and back, and those are the most basic machines, like the pulldown and the leg extension. I prefer free weights because of the freer range of motion. Barbells and especially dumbbells make me work harder to balance the weights, and the best workout is the harder workout.” —Alexander Fedorov


“When I was young I got into going really heavy and training DC-style [Doggcrapp], and I definitely think that had advantages for building a foundation of strength and size. But it’s also easy to get burned out with that mindset. I think most people can get big just using moderate reps and moderate volume and making sure they get all their meals in.” —Steve Kuclo 


Dennis james chest

21. HEAVY FOR 10

“People saw those videos of me squatting 800 or deadlifting 800 and thought that was how I trained all the time. I didn’t normally do such low reps, though, not after I gave up powerlifting to just be a bodybuilder. I used heavy weights, but I always aimed for 10 reps.” —Ronnie Coleman


“Bodybuilding is an endurance sport. By that I mean it’s going to take years and years of training and eating to build the body you want if what you want is to get as big as you possibly can. It might take 10 or more years, and after the first couple of years, it’s going to be hard to see the changes from month to month or maybe from year to year. But you’ve got to stick with it, workout after workout, meal after meal, even when you’re frustrated. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.” —Nasser El Sonbaty


“If you’re just going to do what you’ve done before, you’re not going to grow. There’s a place in a set when you get to 10 reps and you could easily quit. The key to growing is to keep going when everything’s telling you to quit. Get another rep or another three. Those are the ones that count. Those are the reps that generate growth—those hard reps you don’t want to do.”—Branch Warren 

24. SWEET 15

“People look at me and think I must do all these crazy heavy sets for low reps. The truth is I could never grow much on reps lower than 10. I found I grow best on sets of 15. If you look at my routine, I stick at 15 for every exercise, whether it’s for biceps or legs or abs. I do four sets of 15 for everything. It’s not so high that I can’t go heavy, but it’s high enough that I can feel the muscle working for a long time each set.”—Quincy Taylor


“You train and eat for size. Let the cardio and diet bring in the cuts. Don’t confuse the two things. That’s one of the biggest problems guys have. They try to train lighter with machines to dial in cuts, or they don’t eat enough or train heavy enough when they’re trying to add mass because they’re afraid of getting fat. The easiest way to get big is to always eat at least a little more than the calories you’ll burn, especially when those calories come from protein. Yeah, you’ll gain some fat, but you’ll also always get all the nutrients you need to grow, and that extra fat weight will help you use more weight, getting stronger and bigger. Everything has to be in moderation. I never advocate clients eating a lot of junk in the off-season, but you also can’t stay really lean if you want to get really big.” —Dennis James