Workout Tips

Lift Like This And Grow Forever

Not every training approach from pro bodybuilders works for the rest of us. But this one does! IFBB pro & Animal athlete Derek Lunsford will help you organize your training to maximize hypertrophy and minimize injury.

Derek Lunsford
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When I was a young lifter, I looked to IFBB professional bodybuilders for guidance on training and diet. Every day, it seemed, I would go online and look for videos of lifters like Jay Cutler and Evan Centopani to help me stay motivated and learn the best exercises to train each muscle group.

At first, I would simply do exactly what I saw in the videos—the same exercises, the same number of reps and sets, and the same amount of time under tension. I'm sure you've probably been there! Over the years, though, I backed away just a little and began analyzing how these guys were training, as opposed to the simple X's and O's on the page. Then, I developed my own way of training based on the trends I saw from the most successful guys—combined with my own hard-earned experience, of course. I call this approach the 5 Pillars.

You can apply these pillars to every training, no matter which body part you're working on, but the examples I'm using are specific to arm training—you're welcome!

Pillar 1: The Isolation Warm-Up

The first pillar, warm up and isolate the proper muscle fibers, may be the most important pillar of all. When you first get to the gym, your body isn't usually ready for heavy lifting. Just a couple of sets of body part-specific isolation work not only prepares your muscles for what's to come, but also helps focus your mind on the workout ahead.

If you're young enough, you might be able to get away with starting cold, but why risk injuring yourself and setting your training back for weeks or months just because you didn't want to take the time to warm up? All it takes is one injury and you're on the sidelines. Start with lighter weight and get a solid pump before you start adding more volume.

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