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When you’re trying to add size, it’s easy to throw too many exercises into the equation. But a more simplistic approach is sometimes what is needed to get the results you’re looking for. Instead of tossing in more moves, try adding more sets for exercises that you know already work — in this case, the deadlift and front squat. With this lower-reps approach, you’re able to train at a higher intensity without the same risk of injury. And the payoff for strength-and-mass-seekers is potentially much higher. Instead of three sets of 10 at 70 percent of your 1RM, you’re muscling through 10 sets of three at 85% 1RM. Fewer reps on heavy lifts also means that form is less likely to degrade, keeping you more insulated from injury.
Add in a squat day on Monday when your legs are fresh to target your quads and core. Follow it a few days later (Thursday, ideally) with a deadlift day to blast your posterior chain. Both of these moves promote the release of body-friendly hormones like growth hormone and testosterone.
Feel free to add in additional work after your 10 sets of each of these exercises but we’d recommend a singular focus on these days to maximize intensity and get a good head start on recovery. Besides, there are five other days in the week for you to target individual bodyparts like delts, pecs and biceps.
Front Squat 10/3
Be sure to get in a thorough, general warm-up, as well as a few light sets of each exercise, not done to failure before tackling your working sets. Take 2-4 minutes rest between all sets. To keep your reps clean and productive, use a weight that is approximately 80-85% of your one-rep max (1RM). Expect that your “middle” sets will probably be your best, as your system takes a few sets to adapt to the heavier weight. In the later sets, take more care to keep your form tight as fatigue begins to set in.
Advanced Tip: For an added strength element, try doing your deadlifts without wrist straps. Since you’re doing fewer reps, your forearms should be able to keep up better than they might on a higher-rep deadlift day. Reserve your straps use for max-effort days.