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Strength and mass 2.0

Kraft und Masse 2.0

There is no shortage of programs designed to help you get stronger. There are also some good programs that aim to help you induce hypertrophy and get your muscles to grow. Unfortunately, you usually have to choose between these two goals, or at least put one of them on the back burner while you focus on the other.

Well, I've decided to put an end to this dilemma. I've put on my thinking cap and developed a program for those of us who want to get stronger and more muscular at the same time.

Strength and Mass 2.0 is unmatched, superior, incomparable and quite simply the best hardcore program ever developed. This program will make all other hypertrophy and strength programs obsolete. You will never need or want another program again...at least not until version 3.0 of this program is released.

I hope you didn't think I was serious when I said that. I would never try to lure you in with such exaggerated promises. Even if the last paragraph was complete nonsense, Strength and Mass 2.0 is a good, solid program that will work for the vast majority of those who follow it correctly.

The strength and mass conundrum

Conventional wisdom tells us that training for muscle mass and training for strength are two different things. Take a look at the training programs of top powerlifters and top bodybuilders. They are as different as night and day. So how do we solve this conundrum of how to get muscular and strong at the same time?

Heavy weights and low reps (1 to 5) are the undisputed king for maximum strength gains. The key is to subject the muscle to high amounts of tension. High amounts of tension equals strength gains.

Getting experts to agree on what is best to induce hypertrophy is a little more complicated. However, it is generally accepted that anything between 10 and 20 repetitions works best when it comes to mass gains that make the skin taut.

This is provided that a significant number of sets are performed with these repetition numbers. It's safe to say that the foundation of hypertrophy training is to expose the muscles to a high volume of training.

But let's not forget the repetition range of 6 to 10 repetitions. Conventional experts say that this is a good repetition range if you want to get stronger and more muscular. The fact is, however, that if you were to train exclusively in this repetition range for all your sets, you would probably only get a little stronger and a little more muscular.

However, you would severely limit the levels of strength and hypertrophy you could achieve if you included other repetition ranges in your training program. The 6 to 10 repetition range is great, but it is not the panacea that many make it out to be.

Some try to solve this problem with programs that use periodization. In these programs, you train with heavy weights for a few weeks to maximize your strength. Then you move on to training for a few weeks that is geared towards maximum hypertrophy.

One thing I don't like about this approach is that strength tends to diminish during the hypertrophy phase and mass gains often slow down during the strength-only phase. In addition to this, you have to wait many weeks (at least one phase of each of these cycles) to make useful progress in both areas. Call me impatient, but I want to improve both at the same time.

To alleviate my impatience and the impatience of my clients, I developed the program described in this article. It incorporates high levels of tension to maximize strength, as a good powerlifting program should. It also uses higher volume and more repetitions to maximize mass gains, as most hypertrophy programs do.

Both parameters are covered each week, so you'll quickly achieve both goals. The program is elegantly simple, but don't let that fool you. The results you will achieve in terms of strength and mass gains will surprise you.

Heavy day, light day

To get really strong, you will train each muscle group with one heavy training day with low repetitions per week. To build maximum muscle mass, you will train each muscle group with a light training day with high repetitions per week.

That's right, you will train each muscle group twice a week - not three times a week as is the case with most full body training programs, not once a week as is the norm with many pure bodybuilding programs, but twice a week.

This frequency and the varying stimuli from training session to training session will give you the best of both worlds. This is exactly what I wanted to achieve - to give you an excellent strength and mass gain inducing training program in one package.

The program: exercises, sets and reps

Monday: Upper body heavy

Exercise

Sets

Reps.

A1

Barbell bench press

6

3

A2

T-bar rowing

6

3

B1

Barbell shoulder press standing

5

5

B2

Pull-ups

5

5

C1

Skullcrusher (barbell triceps press lying down)

3

5

C2

Barbell curls

3

5

Notes:

  • Rest for two to three minutes between sets of the same exercise.
  • Place your elbows out to the side when bench pressing.
  • Use a wide, horizontal grip for the T-bar row. Your grip width should be the same as for the bench press.
  • Feel free to use some momentum from your legs on the last two repetitions of the shoulder press.
  • If you are not strong enough to do pull-ups with your own body weight, you are welcome to use bands, a pull-up machine with support or the help of a training partner. Using lat pull-ups instead of pull-ups should only be a last resort.

Tuesday: Lower body light and abs

Exercise

Sets

A

Single leg leg press

3

25/20/15

B

Dumbbell deadlift with straight legs

3

12-15

C

Walking lunges with a barbell

2

30

D

Sitting calf raises

3

20

E

Crunches

3

Muscle failure

Notes:

  • Rest 60 seconds between sets.
  • Pause 15 to 30 seconds between leg presses.
  • Consciously use your gluteus when moving upwards during deadlifts. Go up until your torso is at a 15 degree incline relative to the vertical to maintain tension on the target muscles.
  • Take wide steps on the walking lunges for 30 steps/reps (15 per leg) per set.
  • Use extra weight on the crunches if needed to keep the number of reps per set under 25.

Wednesday: No training

Thursday: Upper body light

Exercise

Sets

A1

Dumbbell bench press on the reverse incline bench

3

15/12/20

A2

Dumbbell rowing

3

15/12/20

B1

Dumbbell side lift

3

15

B2

Lat pulldown to chest

3

15

C1

Scott curls

2

15

C2

One-arm dumbbell tricep press overhead

2

15

Notes:

  • As with the light training session on Tuesday, the pause intervals should be 60 seconds.
  • Avoid raising your shoulders during side raises. Make sure you hold the dumbbells straight in the highest position and avoid pointing the little finger down and the thumb up.
  • When doing dumbbell tricep presses, avoid hyperextending the arm in the highest position, which would take the tension off the triceps. Lower the dumbbell until your forearm is parallel to the floor with your elbow bent to about 70 degrees.

Friday: Lower body heavy and abs

Exercise

Sets

A

Squats

6

4

B

Rack deadlift

4

8/6/4/2

C

Lying leg curls

3

6

D

Standing calf raises

5

5

E

Hanging leg raise

3

8

Notes:

  • The rest intervals for squats should be two to three minutes and can be longer if necessary.
  • Be a real man and perform deep squats. If you only do half squats, don't tell anyone that you are using my program.
  • Place the rack pin in the rack deadlift so that the bar is about 8 to 10 centimetres below your knee at the start of the movement.
  • Pull your shoulder blades back at the highest position of the deadlift.
  • Your feet should be angled downwards when performing the leg curls
  • Perform true hanging leg raises by moving your feet up to your hands while tilting your pelvis back. Don't just tense your glutes and lift your knees upwards.

Saturday and Sunday : No training

A few specifics

The specified number of sets does not include warm-up sets. Make sure you warm up sufficiently, but avoid exhausting yourself too much before your work sets. One or two easy sets should be sufficient, especially if you have done some flexibility training beforehand.

To reduce the risk of overtraining, you will only train four days a week. To further reduce the risk of overtraining, you should not perform forced repetitions. On the heavy days, you should be able to perform your last repetition in good form without having enough reserves for another repetition.

On the light days, finish your sets one or two reps before reaching muscle failure. Holding back and not going to the last one is something I find difficult and it might be the same for you, but your patience will pay off in the form of continued gains.

One of the most important and yet easiest ways to ensure continued progress is to keep a training diary. Keeping accurate records will allow you to plan your progression intelligently.

As a general rule, you should try to increase by either 2.5 kilos or one extra repetition every other workout or two out of every three workouts. Trying to improve at every training session would quickly lead to stagnation or even regression.

The rest intervals I suggest are general guidelines. Rest longer when training with low repetitions if necessary and train with shorter rests when training lightly if necessary. Use your recovery between sets as the ultimate guide and not the clock.

A little leeway

Can I use other exercises in this program? Of course you can, but then it's no longer this program. No, seriously, if you make sensible changes, such as dumbbell incline bench presses instead of dumbbell bench presses on the reverse incline bench, then you won't distort the program.

But if you're talking about replacing squats and deadlifts with lighter exercises or doing more sets for the arms, then you're generating your own program that may or may not work. If you replace exercises with others, make sure you replace them with something comparable. I have chosen these exercises for a reason.

You can of course add one or two injury prevention exercises such as rotator cuff exercises. These don't usually interfere with recovery and can help you become less prone to injury.

Due to the nature of this training plan, I think you can and should use it for longer than most other plans. I would say that 10 to 12 weeks is optimal. If you feel that this program is beyond your recovery ability, then you can take a recovery break in the week 6 or 7 range, during which you only do about 70 to 80 of what you are capable of doing on each set. You will start the next week stronger than before.

A short summary

Even though this is a very good training program, it is not the holy grail of training - which of course is not true for any program. However, if you change the exercises regularly and modify the repetition scheme a little, then this four-day program with alternating light and heavy days can work for a long time. So don't use this exact program for too long, but feel free to use the template for many months in a row as long as it brings results.

by Clay Hyght

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/training/blending-size-and-strength-20

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