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Size Rules

Ironclad laws you need to learn if you want to add serious muscle
By Jay Ashman
 
PQ: “Progressive overload is the number-one rule for gaining strength and size. As you increase workload, you will increase muscle.”
 
Since man began lifting weights, we have sought to gain muscular size and strength. That pursuit is a huge reason why you read this magazine and step foot into the gym. In the 1940s there was a popular comic-book advertisement from Charles Atlas that promised skinny kids the secrets to gaining size and confidence, and all you had to do was send back the little cutout piece of paper with your address for his free book. I never read that book. I was born in 1974, so I can’t vouch for its contents, but I have studied the iron game, and lifted long enough, to understand that the universal truths I’m about to write down for you will apply now and through the next several hundred years.
 
FOOD
The first set of rules pertains to food and how to eat to gain size. The commonly asked question is usually about protein intake. Ideally you want to eat approximately one gram of protein per pound of lean body mass (LBM). I don’t mean your bodyweight, I mean fat-free mass. If you’re 250 pounds with 25 percent body fat, then you’ll eat about 188 grams of protein per day. Protein can be increased up to 1.5 grams per pound if you wish, but that just takes away from other macronutrients that have a critical role in building muscle. Start with one gram per pound of LBM and adjust from there.
To find your carbohydrate intake, you just double your lean mass. If you have 188 pounds of lean mass, this means you’ll be eating 376 grams of carbohydrates a day. Finalize

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Pump And Circumstance

Build strength and size in your upper arms with this burner of a triceps workout.
Jay Ashman
 
The triceps are composed of three muscles, which are the lateral, medial, and long head. Their Latin names are irrelevant to this discussion as you are mostly concerned with having slabs of beef hanging off the back of your arms. If you weren’t, you would be reading something else instead of learning a new routine that adds size to the muscle that makes up 75 percent of your upper arm. You read that correctly: The triceps are 75 of your guns. You may have a sweet bicep peak, but how big are your arms going to get when that biceps is a quarter of the total mass of your arms.
Not only are the triceps 75 percent of your total upper-arm musculature, they are also a primary mover in the bench press and overhead press. Bigger arms and a stronger bench press isn’t a bad trade off, is it? Filling your shirtsleeves out and throwing more weight off your chest is a win-win situation all around.
Since triceps are a primary mover of two big compound movements, we are going to start with what I call the loading phase. In layman’s terms, we’re going to throw some weight on a bar.
Adding a solid loading part and a targeted pump phase to your triceps workout gives you the best of both worlds. Do this routine for four to five weeks before switching it up.
 
Close Grip Bench Press on Smith Machine
Instruction: Set up the bar so it comes down to nipple level. Work up to a heavy eight reps and do three sets with it. Take off 20 percent of the weight and do a fourth set until you fail.
Execution: In this case, “close grip” means hands 12

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Perfect 10

When time is short, hit one of these mini-blasters and get on with life.
By Eddie Avakoff, owner of Metroflex LBC
As a gym owner, I witness the typical influx of “New Year’s resolution” members in the gym every January. Ironically, these are the same members who also quit the gym after they can’t find a valentine come mid-February. And of course, these same members are also the same ones to rejoin in the late spring (usually May), in order to achieve that “summer beach body.” And once again, by the end of summer, they are nowhere to be seen. Not until next January, at least.
This right here is the plight of the average gym-goer. And they wonder why they can’t achieve their goals in the weight room.
I’ve always said that when it comes to fitness and training, consistency is the most important aspect. Without consistency, everything else crumbles. Not every athlete is going to produce progress day in, day out. Sometimes, even with consistent training, we will undergo a slight loss in performance or a step backward in regards to our goals. Those small setbacks really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Those are merely skirmishes in the larger war. You aren’t going to win each little battle. So take each day of training as a chance to win, and if it’s a bad day of training, cut your losses right there and start fresh tomorrow. Over time, the consistency of showing up, battle after battle, will eventually prove the victory.
And that’s what these average gym-goers are missing: a sense of consistency. When they don’t see the results they want after only a few short weeks, they give up. What they fail to miss is that training is a long-term investment. There are no shortcuts and there is no

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Legend Training

An industry veteran pays homage to an IFBB Hall of Famer with this timeless shoulder workout.
By Tony Estrada
 
In January of 2002, an elderly giant walked into Club Fit Pembroke Pines in south Florida and turned nearly every head in the facility. He had a shoulder-length ponytail and the complexion of Ovaltine. I was working as the fitness manager, and he told me he recently celebrated his 60th birthday. After having been a professional bodybuilder back in the day, he was ready to fulfill another dream: becoming a personal trainer. I asked him to come do a workout with me as an informal interview.
It turns out, I was in the presence of greatness. Harold Poole is a member of the IFBB Hall of Fame and still holds the record for being the youngest athlete to compete in a Mr. Olympia. He won Mr. Universe when he was 19 years old and became the first African-American to be crowned Mr. America. (Harold was half African-American and half German—a combination he credited for his great genetics.) In 1965, at the age of 21, he competed in the very first Mr. Olympia. Harold was the only bodybuilder to compete in the first three Mr. Os, placing second all three times. He lost twice to Larry Scott, and then to the legendary Sergio Oliva. He’s still considered to be the best teenage bodybuilder of all time.
In his prime, Harold had the kind of physique that has come back in style today. If a 22-year-old Harold Poole entered a Classic Physique competition in 2017, nobody could touch him.
During our introductory workout, it was obvious Harold knew his stuff. We traded ideas and switched back and forth on who called the next exercise. He loved the Olympic military press while I added the dumbbells. It was

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Just Say NO

Get the ultimate muscle pump with these proven nitric oxide boosters.
By Jenevieve Roper, PhD, CSCS, CISSN, SFN
 
Let’s face it, one of the best things that happens in the gym is about mid-workout when you see that sick muscle pump in your arms. You know, when your veins are popping and you look super shredded because you’re so vascular. I know I get a little excited when that happens to me. There is a specific reason for this effect and an even better reason to have it happen all the time.
When you work out, your body releases a series of hormones, one of which is nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide resides in the endothelium, which is a thin layer of special cells that surrounds smooth muscle vessels (arteries). When certain hormones attach to specific receptors, NO gets released and acts on the arteries to reduce vascular tone, causing the blood vessels to dilate and allow for increased blood flow. This vascular dilation increases the flow of substrates, or fuel, to the muscle, which can help improve your performance in the gym by reducing fatigue.
While there are many ingredients that claim to boost NO, we went through the research and found a few of our favorite ingredients that we think will keep your muscles pumping and make your gym session one for the ages.

Arginine
Arginine is an amino acid found in the diet that directly produces NO by increasing the enzymes that make NO. It is metabolized from citrulline and plays an important role in immune function, cell division, and the release of hormones, among other things. It is also necessary for the synthesis of creatine and facilitates mTOR signaling and activation, which is one of the main pathways for protein synthesis. It has been shown to improve nitric oxide levels; however, the

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