Notes health

Section 4: Training (Bigger, Leaner, Stronger)


The best ways to train are using dumbbell and barbell exercises, if you want to build bigger, stronger muscles. There are some machines that are good, such as the leg press or cable setup, but most are inferior to dumbbells and barbells.

The average guy needs to build a strong overall foundation of muscle and strength, and if you want to do that naturally, you must do a lot of heavy, compound weightlifting.

To achieve maximum overload and muscle stimulation, train one or two muscle groups per workout or per day.

For nearly all exercises, you will be working in the 4 to 6 rep range.

The workouts in this program will call for 9 to 12 heavy (or working) sets per workout.

Rest 3 to 4 minutes between sets.

Every 8 weeks choose between a deload week, or several days of rest.

When you hit 6 reps for one set, add weight for your next set. This is a simple and effective method of progression.

The rep timing should be 2-1-2 or 2-1-1. First part of rep, less than 2 seconds. 1 second pause, and then final part, 2 seconds.

When cutting, training heavy is very important, because you want to preserve muscle. To do this, you need to keep overloading the muscles.


Cardio can help your body repair muscle damage quickly because it promotes blood flow.

Cardio is good for insulin sensitivity.

By keeping regular cardio all year, you can maintain your metabolic conditioning. and prevent system “shell shock” at the beginning of a cut.

There are muscle-related benefits of cardio, especially if the exercise is like the motions used in muscle building exercises, like cycling or rowing.

HIIT burns more fat in less time than steady state cardio and preserves muscular size and performance better.

Separate weightlifting from cardio sessions by at least a few hours if possible. If you can’t, do cardio last.

When bulking, do two 25-minute HIIT sessions a week. When cutting, do 3 to 5 25-minute HIIT sessions per week. When maintaining, do 3 sessions.


The best exercises: the squat, deadlift, bench press, and military press.

Don’t do heavy half-reps, they strain your joints, tendons, and ligaments.

The Squat

With proper form, the squat does not cause injuries.

It is preferable not to squat on a Smith machine.

Don’t use a wide squatting stance unless you are powerlifting. Squat barefoot or with flat soled shoes.

The front squat is good for quadriceps, core, and puts less pressure on spine and knees.

The Bench Press

If you bench a lot of weight with poor form, it is easy to hurt your shoulders. Do it properly, and you can grow your chest and make it stronger, while keeping your shoulders safe.

Do not bounce the bar off your chest but lower it in a controlled manner. Let it touch your chest and drive it up. Finish your last rep before trying to rack the weight.

Do a lot of incline pressing to make sure your upper chest doesn’t fall behind your pec major.

As you narrow your grip on the bar, the triceps must do more work.

The Deadlift

The deadlift is the best full-body workout, it trains about every muscle group in the body.

The variations of this exercise include the sumo deadlift, the hex bar deadlift, and the RDL.

The Military Press

The best all-around shoulder exercise is the military press. It is a simple, easy movement that is safe.

The standing variation needs core and back strength.

Chest Training

Forget cable work, dumbbell flys, push-up variations and machines. Avoid decline pressing, it’s not worth it. Focus on incline pressing.

Rotate between dumbbell and barbell centric routines.

Back Training

Always start your back workouts with the deadlift. From there, move to wide-gripped pulling movement like barbell or T-bar row, front lat pulldown or wide-grip pull-up. Follow this with a more narrow gripped pulling movement like the one-arm-dumbbell row, close grip lat pulldown, and close-grip seated row.

Shoulder Training

Like chest, focus on heavy pressing. But also include side raises and something for the rear delts.

Leg Training

Start every leg workout with the back or front squat.

Next, focus on major muscle groups you can pair with the back squat, such as front squat, hack squat, leg press, or a lunge movement for the quadriceps.

Finish with Romanian deadlift or leg curl for hamstring centric work.

Like the abs, the calves recover from workouts more quickly than other muscle groups and can be trained more intensively.

Arm Training

Do one barbell and one dumbbell exercise per workout for the biceps. Ex: Barbel curl then hammer curl.

Start triceps training with something you can push weight on, like close-grip bench press or seated triceps press.

If you get intense forearm soreness with the arm workouts, reduce working set weight to 6-8 rep range and build your strength there for first couple of months.

Core Training

To get a six-pack, you need both low body fat levels and well-developed core muscles.

The squat and deadlift don’t involve the show muscles of the abdomen.

Like any other muscle they require progressive overload to grow and that can only be done by adding resistance to exercises.

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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