3 Cool Ways to Build Muscle….and Torture Yourself in the Process

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Gaining mass should be an exhilarating process. If you’re not just a little intimidated by your training routine, it may be time to implement some of these unique ways to build muscle…..and to just plain scare you in preparation for your next workout. 

Just to be clear, there are a ton of ways to build muscle. In fact, there is no perfect recipe. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with your training and really try to push yourself. When 3 sets of 10 has reached its limit, give some of these methods a whirl the next time you hit the gym:

1. Total Rep Training – The concept here is very simple. Just pick a total number of reps and get there as fast you can. Pretty sure I first read about this from Chad Waterbury. It doesn’t matter if you get there in three sets or seven – just get the work done. This goes along with the theory that mass gain is related to the concept of volume rather than the perfect blend of sets and reps.  There’s plenty of numbers that work well, but I’d say a range of 30-50 reps will do. Rest between 30 and 45 seconds and bring a towel with you, because you’re going to sweat.

2. Paul Carter’s 350 – Strength coach Paul Carter came up with a way to get a ton of volume in a short time. You only get three sets to hit 50 reps. While that seems easy, you need to pick a weight that won’t let you get all 50 right away. You should torture yourself in the first set to hit 20 reps, but the second set will be a struggle to get 10-15….and good luck on that last set. Rest 120 seconds between sets. It’s a great method because you can get a great workout by going lighter with the weight – and your joints will thank you for that.  

3. Century Sets – As the name implies, the name of the game here it reach 100 reps. You can get there by any means but you can’t go wrong with 5 sets of 20 reps. While doing 100 back squats would certify you as intense – and crazy – leave this concept to isolation moves such as pressdowns and lateral raises. Powerlifters are proponents of this technique for their accessory exercises.

As I tell my personal training clients, there’s always a method to my madness. You could literally take these methods and compile them, in order, to make a routine. Such as this awesome example:

A. Back Squat, Heels Elevated x 30 reps, rest 45 seconds

B. DB Split Squat, rear foot elevated x 350 Method, rest 120 seconds

C. Leg Extensions 5 x 20, rest 120 seconds

Develop an A-B-C protocol for each major body part and you have yourself a nice little muscle building plan…..one that will pack on the mass and intimidate you at the same time.

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