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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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Test Your Chest

If you’re looking for the rush you get from an amazing pump in your pecs, try this workout now.
By Redmann Wright
 
At different periods in our training, we all hit plateaus. It’s a fact of training life. With that in mind, we should all be looking for that something new, that boom that says “hi” to your muscles. Here is that workout you’ve been looking for to really dial in some highly focused stimulation to the muscle fibers in your pecs. This short but intense program is designed to spark an incredible pump while initiating gains in new muscle. Who doesn’t want that?
The idea is to progressively move up in weight on each set of the bench press, cable crossovers, and lying low-pulley chest flyes. This gradual increase in load will give the body a chance for adaption. For these three exercises, focus on slow reps, maximizing the time under tension on the negative position of the movement. Also don’t forget the lost art of peak contraction. Be sure to intensely squeeze your pecs at the top of each rep.
The bodyweight bounce push-ups are a different beast than the bench press and cable exercises. They will fill your pecs with so much blood and test your muscular endurance at the same time, you’ll barely be able to get your hands together for the flyes. Performed for high reps, they are a great addition to the loaded exercises that are done in the eight- to 10-rep range.
I call this “Hypertrophy-Specific Training.” It’s the ideal method to increase muscle mass and push through the winter into the summer months (aka “shirts-off season”) that are fast approaching.
 
Barbell Bench Press
 
Barbell Bench Press
Lie faceup squarely on a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Grasp the barbell with a wide overhand grip, well outside

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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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The Magnificent Seven

The best isolation exercises for hypertrophy.
By Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes
 
Isolation exercises have been utilized for over a century, but their usefulness is still debated to this day. Some lifters favor them, while others shun them, but the truth is not binary. Isolations movements can be more effective than compound exercises when used appropriately, and knowing how and when to apply them is the key to incorporating them into your training
An Isolated History
Isolation exercises have existed for thousands of years. There are historical records dating back to Ancient Greece, Persia, and India, depicting soldiers training with weighted implements and performing movements that resemble curls, shoulder raises, and various swinging movements. Clearly mankind recognized early on that resistance training and muscle growth had a very clear relationship.
Flashing forward a few thousand years. The “Physical Culture” movement arose in the late 1800s and was led by Arthur Saxon and Eugen Sandow. Both of these men published various guidebooks on how to lift weights, and you can bet that isolation exercises were part of their repertoire. The weights they used were very primitive, as the adjustable barbell had yet to be invented. The most common “weights” for recreational use were the globe-style dumbbells and fixed-weight barbells, along with various odd implements like sledgehammers, weights for measuring cereal grain and produce, and ballast weights.
Isolation exercises were in use, but compound lifts were recognized for being the most effective at adding muscle across the entire body. Up until the 1940s, bodybuilders were usually also competitive weightlifters and strongmen at the same time. Bodybuilding competitions almost always had an athletic competition as well, so the bodybuilders of the classic age had to perform gymnastics, Olympic lifts, or some combination feat of strength.
As the sport of bodybuilding grew, the athletic component was eliminated and the competitions became focused

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