Now that you’ve wrapped up the first part of this phase-training program, you’re probably amped up to start putting on some serious size.
Chances are high that you gained a bit of muscle during the five weeks of your size-priming phase, but now is when the real muscle-building fun begins…
Phase 1 was a priming phase that laid the groundwork for Phase 2, so now it’s time to change things up and bring in some full range-of-motion training and increased muscle fiber recruitment to get the real gains going.
If you feel like you’re ready to attack Phase 2 with full force, try to hold your horses a bit… It might sound counterintuitive to slow down when your motivation is this high, but it’s a good idea to take a deload week of medium-intensity training before jumping into the size-building phase.
As we mentioned in Phase 1, for a medium-intensity week, you can use heavy weights and low reps—stopping short of failure, or you can lighten up the weights for slightly longer tension times.
Either way, you want to let your nervous system recover.
The Phase 2 routine is another five weeks, but this time you’ll be training every other day with slightly more volume and with full-range exercises for every major body part. Let the gains begin…
Phase 2: Building Muscle Size
|2. Sissy Squats||1||10|
|3. Leg Extensions||1||8-10|
|4. Stiff-Legged Deadlifts*||2||6-9|
|5. Leg Curls||1||8-10|
|6. Standing Calf Raises||2||8-10|
|7. Donkey Calf Raises||1||8-10|
|8. Seated Calf Raises||1||8-10|
|9. Incline Bench Press*||2||6-9|
|10. Incline Flyes||1||8-10|
|11. Bench Press||2||6-9|
|12. Cable Crossovers||1||8-10|
|13. Lying Triceps Extensions*||2||6-9|
|14. Overhead Extensions||1||8-10|
|15. Rope Pushdown||1||8-10|
|1. Pull Downs*||2||6-9|
|2. Dumbbell Pullovers||1||8-10|
|3. Reverse Grip Pull Downs||1||8-10|
|4. Cable Rows||2||6-9|
|5. Bent Over Lateral Raise||1||8-10|
|7. Standing Dumbbell Press*||2||6-9|
|8. Side Lying Rear Delt Fly||1||8-10|
|9. Lateral Raise||1||8-10|
|10. Barbell Curls*||2||6-9|
|11. Incline Curls||1||10-12|
|12. Spider Curls||1||8-10|
|13. Hanging Knee Raise||2||10-12|
|14. Ab Crunch||2||10-12|
*Do 1-2 warm-up sets on the big exercises, doing around 10 reps with about half of your work weight or slightly more. Train to failure on work sets, adding weight whenever you’re able to go beyond the listed rep count.
Notes on Phase 2
- Although one to two sets per exercise may not sound like a lot, it allows you to put in 100% effort on all sets.
- Use a medium-speed rep cadence of approximately two seconds on the negative/eccentric and approximately one second on the positive/concentric. Controlled reps allow you to feel the muscles working for better mind-muscle connection, and this cadence will help maintain a decent amount of time under tension.
- Keep rest periods between sets at 40-60 seconds maximum. This will help with muscle fiber recruitment while also making sure your workouts don’t go too long.
- Train every other day on this routine if possible. Yes, that will mean one weekend day every week. If you can’t do that, you can take weekends off, but start back the next week with the next workout in series (if you do Workout 1 on Friday, continue with Workout 2 on Monday). You’ll likely get the best gains by training every other day with this routine, however, and remember that it’s just five weeks.
Once you’ve finished the five size-building weeks of Phase 2, you can either go back and do Phase 1 again, repeat Phase 2 with some variation, or pick a whole new workout routine.
Just remember to change your training routine every 4-6 weeks to keep moving forward and avoid stagnation or boredom.