There is a saying I like to use when discussing the kind of intensity it often takes to ignite hypertrophy: “If you want your muscles to grow, you cannot ‘whisper’ at them – you must SCREAM!” That is where real size comes from.
What I mean by this is that “getting huge” is not a very big priority for the human body. Through evolution, our physiology has become most “concerned” with fighting off bacteria, illness and disease, maintaining all vital bodily functions and organs, while simultaneously attempting to keep all “systems” in balance, or a state of homeostasis.
We are “designed” to keep just the right amount of body fat and muscle while maintaining an adequate level of strength, endurance, and power so that we can survive optimally in our environment. And it is because of this that we must literally force the physical changes we desire. We have to consistently train with enough intensity to successfully communicate to our bodily systems that “if we do not acquire more muscle, we could be seriously injured, or even be in danger of death,” the next time we “torture” ourselves in the gym!
Because I am a bodybuilder, and a coach to many other bodybuilders and athletes who need to acquire extremely high levels of muscle mass, I am constantly researching, experimenting with, and developing novel training techniques and systems that will override our body’s natural tendency toward homeostasis. Below is a training concept that I created called “Add-On-Sets,” which is meant to fit this very need (sorry body – we want much more muscle). This method will not only greatly amplify your level of intensity, but will also allow you to manifest very specific alterations to the overall look of your physique.
Add-On-Sets are similar to Supersets, Tri-Sets, and Giant Sets, but with a bit of a twist in that they allow you to set up a hierarchy of movements, based on which ones you require the most to “target” a specific area (or head) of a (lagging) body part. While undergoing an Add-On-Sets workout, you will need to decide which exercises will be prioritized and thus get the most work sets. The result will be a radically intense training session with laser-like muscle-sculpting precision!
To illustrate the Add-On-Sets concept, I have created two sample workouts below for two very specific areas of the physique:
-Target: Lateral Shoulders
-Precision Movements: Seated DB Side Laterals, Shoulder Wide Grip BB Upright Rows
-Supporting Movements: Seated DB Press, Standing Bent Rear DB Lateral
-Target: Long Triceps Head
-Precision Movements: Incline Overhead Barbell Extension; Cable Overhead Extensions Using Rope Attachment, Reverse Grip Straight Bar Pushdown
-Other Movements: Lying Two Arm Two DB Extension
*Add-On-Sets is an extremely effective hypertrophy-producing technique, but it should not be used often. Maybe once every three weeks for each body part, otherwise overtraining can occur.