Your Program + Two Boosters = New Muscle Mass!

This article isn't going to overwhelm you with neuroscience or obscure language. Nope, it's going to be bare-bones simple. As I've learned over the years, elementary advice is usually what helps people most, and it tends to work best.

With that in mind, I've got a muscle boosting plan for you that will do just that – boost muscle fast. And you know what? This plan is so simple that it would take a simpleton not to agree. There will be no esoteric exercises, no mentioning of tempo, and definitely no bullshit. This workout needs none of it.

I'm going to outline a workout that should be performed with your current program. In other words, you're going to do nothing more than drop these two workouts into your weekly plan – no other adjustments are necessary. Think of these workouts as a couple of "booster shots" to be injected into your current training program.

One of the coolest benefits of these muscle boosting workouts is that they're not dependent on what program you're currently following. Whether you're performing a total-body routine, a God-forsaken body part split, or some other hybrid plan really doesn't matter.

Indeed, just like a busty blonde who shows up on your blind date with a plummeting neckline and plunging morals, you're sure to welcome this addition.

Step 1: Determine Your Weakness

First, you must determine your weakest (smallest) body parts. From a hypertrophy standpoint, what body parts need the most work? Here's your list of choices:

Calves
Hamstrings
Quads
Glutes/Lower Back
Abdominals
Chest
Upper Back
Deltoids
Triceps
Biceps
Forearms

Once you've determined your weak points, make a list. Let's say it's your quads, chest, deltoids, and biceps. So your two muscle boosting workouts will work those muscle groups.

Step 2: Choose Your Weapon (Movement Exercises)

Now that you've made up your list of lagging muscle groups, I want you to choose two differentmovements for each of those body parts. The only criterion that you need to follow is this: you must choose two different movements for each body part that you haven't performed in the last two months.

And just because you've performed decline bench presses for your chest doesn't mean that you can't use that movement, but it needs to be slightly changed. So if you're a fan of the decline and you've been performing a barbell variation on a 20-degree decline, all you need to do is switch to dumbbells. Even better, change the angle to, say, 30 degrees, but it's not absolutely necessary to change the angle too.

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press (pink bench optional)

For lower body exercises, the answer could be as simple as widening or narrowing your stance. So if you've been performing barbell back squats with a shoulder-width stance, change it to a narrow stance with your heels elevated. Or use the barbell hack squat. Basically, use any variation that targets your quads if you're trying to bring up your quad development.

Barbell Hack Squat, Heals Elevated

Make a list of your weakest body parts (e.g., quads, chest, deltoid, and biceps) along with two different movements that targets each muscle group. Here's a sample chart that depicts the first two steps. (Keep in mind, this is just a sample. Use whatever muscle groups and movements that fit your situation).

Hypertrophy Booster

Muscle Groups

Movements

Quads

BB Hack Squats, Narrow Stance Squats

Chest

Decline DB Bench Press, Incline BB Bench Press

Deltoids

DB Side Raise, BB Military Press

Biceps

Incline Hammer Curl, Preacher Curl

Step 3: Loading

At this point, you've made a list of your weakest body parts and have chosen two different movements for each of those muscle groups. Now I want you to choose a load for each movement that represents a 40-50 repetition maximum (a load you could lift 40-50 times before failure).

For those who prefer percentages of a one-repetition maximum (1RM) this would equate to somewhere around 30-35% of your 1RM. But this percentage can greatly vary with different people, so don't get too hung up on it. Just take a few minutes to tinker around with the loading of each exercise so you're starting with a load that's in the 40-50 rep range.

It might take one workout to determine the correct loading, and that's perfectly fine. If you choose a load that allows you 35 reps, or 60 reps, or some other number that doesn't perfectly fall within the 40-50 rep range before failure, don't fret; the workout will still provide a useful hypertrophy effect. Just make the necessary loading adjustments for the next workout.

Step 4: The Century Mark

The goal of each workout is to perform 100 reps for each movement. Obviously, a load that represents your 40-50 RM isn't going to allow you 100 continuous reps – that's the point. I want you to perform the first 40-50 reps and stop one rep short of failure. Then, rest 10 seconds and perform as many reps as possible. Keep resting for 10 seconds, followed by as many reps as you can muster, until you reach 100 reps. That's it. Rest for 3 minutes and move to the next exercise.

Should you reach muscular failure by the end of the set? Yes and no. If it's a single-joint exercise such as curls, extensions, and the like, then yes, you can reach failure. But if it's a compound exercise such as squats, overhead presses, etc., always keep one rep in reserve to offset excessive fatigue that can be problematic with compound movements.

In other words, if you performed 100 reps for the narrow-stance back squat to failure, it would cause excessive fatigue that would impair your recovery during the week. However, even if you piss yourself during a set of biceps curls, it's not going to take too big of a toll on your weekly recovery.

Step 5: Progression

For progression, all I want you to do is squeeze out a few more reps with each subsequent workout during the first set. I'll use the decline dumbbell bench press as an example. Let's say your first Booster Shot workout for your chest went like this:


WORKOUT 1

Movement: Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

Load: 40-50 RM
42 reps
Rest 10 seconds
12 reps
Rest 10 seconds
10 reps
Rest 10 seconds
10 reps
Rest 10 seconds
9 reps
Rest 10 seconds
7 reps
Rest 10 seconds
5 reps
Rest 10 seconds
5 reps

So for the next Booster Shot chest workout, you need to use a different movement (e.g., incline barbell bench press). After that, you'll repeat the above chest workout since you're alternating between two different chest movements during your microcycle (weekly plan, for most).

Now that you're back to the decline dumbbell bench press the following week, you'll need to add a few reps to the first set. Even if all your other variables stay relatively consistent, you're in good shape. Your next chest workout for the decline dumbbell bench press might look like this:


WORKOUT 2 (For the same movement)

44 reps
Rest 10 seconds
12 reps
Rest 10 seconds
10 reps
Rest 10 seconds
10 reps
Rest 10 seconds
9 reps
Rest 10 seconds
7 reps
Rest 10 seconds
5 reps
Rest 10 seconds
3 reps

On average, most trainees increase their first set performance by 2-5 reps with each subsequent workout for the same movement. Yours might be more or it might be less. As long as you're increasing your first set by at least one rep, you're making progress.

Once you reach the 50 rep mark, it's time to augment the load. Ideally, you'll increase the load 2-3%, but I know such changes aren't viable in many situations. For instance, if you use this workout for the lat pulldown, you might be forced to increase the load from, say, 50 pounds to 60 pounds (a 20% increase). That's just something that you and I have to live with.

In such a situation, the jump in loading might force you to perform fewer than 40 reps during the first set of your next workout. That's okay. Just follow the rep progression until you – once again – reach 50 reps during the first set. At that point, it's time to further increase the load.

Step 6: Weekly Plan (Microcycle)

Most of you are following a microcycle that's based on a seven day plan. For you, each Booster Shot workout should be separated by 3-4 days of recovery. If you perform three total-body workouts each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, here's how your new plan would look:

Note: I denote each booster shot workout with numbers 1 and 2 since each workout uses different movements for the same body part.

The same type of schedule can be arranged with a body-part split. Here's a sample:

Or maybe you're following an upper/lower body split. Here's another sample:

Note: The following week of this plan would be arranged so upper body work is on Monday and Friday; lower body work is on Wednesday.

Work Capacity

Not only will the Booster Shot program add more muscle to your lagging body parts, it'll also dramatically increase your work capacity. Work capacity is just like it sounds: your capacity to perform work. This is a direct measure of your overall fitness level. If you're someone who often peters out by the 20 minute mark of your workouts, you can be pretty damn sure your work capacity is akin to an obese geriatric.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of building up your work capacity. The more often you train, the higher your work capacity will be. And the higher your work capacity, the more muscle you'll be able to build since your recovery rates will skyrocket (you'll be able to workout more often). Even if you don't have the luxury of making it to the gym more often, a higher work capacity will allow you to perform significantly more work (sets, reps, load, etc.) during your workouts.

So for those of you who want to add muscle and increase your work capacity, arrange your Booster Shot workouts in the evening hours after your morning workout. Here's a sample:

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

Saturday:

Sunday:

Many people favor this option because it allows for the most total rest days each week. I also like this option because it forces people to find time for twice-daily training sessions. Once they become accustomed to this schedule, I slowly sneak in an extra workout or two on their "off" days.

Nevertheless, performing the Booster Shot workout either on your old "off" days or in the evening will increase your work capacity. So don't think that the only way to up your work capacity is to perform twice-daily sessions (although it's my favorite option).

And this, my friends, is how you merge into the realm of High Frequency Training (HFT).

Convergence & Recap

Yep, this whole article is nothing more than a covert operation to get you to train more often. You see, no matter how hard I try to explain my HFT concepts, many people are still lost in the details. So I've designed the simplest (in my world, anyway) workout that can be dropped into your current program, twice each week.

Here's a recap of the Booster Shot workout.

A Few More Points

Perform the Booster Shot workouts for as long as you see fit. But after one month, you should choose two new movements for each body part (even if you're staying with your initial list of muscle groups). Then, just start the whole sequence over again.

For maximum results, consume half a serving of Surge at the onset of each workout, followed by one full serving directly after, mixed with 5 grams of micronized creatine.

I hope I've simplified a way to make HFT a viable option in your muscle-boosting plan!