Definition and shape are important to the bodybuilder. Genetics play a large role in one’s overall success in bodybuilding, as well. But, mass, freakishly huge mass, is the true measure of a bodybuilder. A body sculptor might be more focused on the shape and lines. But if you are interested in building your body to the most impressive specimen possible, you must spend some time working on size.
Muscular size is a product of heavy weight training and lots of good quality calories to feed those muscles. The key is that it must be quality training, with loads of iron, focused on strength exercises. A mass diet must focus on solid nutritional choices that will fuel the body and feed the muscles. Gaining size is simple; you simply have to eat more calories than you burn. However, most bodybuilders don’t want to just gain size. A large gut is not very attractive hanging over posing trunks. Calories have to be eaten in a combination, and timed properly, to maximize muscular gains while minimizing fat gain. Some gains in body fat should be expected, but not excessive amounts.
Protein is essential for muscular gains and it is of utmost importance that a bodybuilder gets enough protein to facilitate that growth. How much protein is needed is an often debated topic. Some experts recommend 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight, while others recommend 1 gram per pound of lean bodyweight. The higher number might be worth a try, as long as there is no kidney compromise already. The benefit of protein, beyond the fact that the muscles are made of protein, is that it is the last nutrient to be converted to fat. It is used for repair and building, then energy, and lastly stored for future energy needs.
Carbohydrates and fats are important, also. The carbohydrates should come from complex sources that supply energy over an extended period of time. Fats should be unsaturated. Good sources of quality fats include fish and nuts, among others. A good mix of each should be consumed at each meal. And eating five or six meals a day will help keep the engine fueled and the muscles fed to ensure nutrients are available, when needed, for growth. Mass building in the gym means lots of heavy exercises. The workout should be short and intense. Calorie burning should be limited to ensure that the calories are available for repair. Short intense workouts focused on one or two muscle groups, with lots of rest between workouts for those muscle groups will help build attention grabbing mass. The sample below is just one possibility. The focus must be on compound exercises.
Bench Press: Do one warm-up set then 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps Incline Dumbbell Press: Do 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps Decline Bench Press: Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions Flat Bench Flyes: Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions Close-grip Bench Press: Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions
Deadlift: Do one warm-up set then 4 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions Barbell (or T-Bar) row: Do 3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions Pull-ups (or Pull downs) to the front: Do 3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions Dumbbell Row: Do 3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions Shrugs: Do 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions Barbell Curls: Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions
Day 3: Active Rest
Abdominal work and calves can be done on this day. Cardiovascular work, for health purposes, can be done on this day, as well.
Squat: Do one warm-up set then 4 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions Front Squat (or Hack Squat): Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions Leg Extensions: Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions Stiff-legged Deadlift: Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions Leg Curls: Do 2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions Donkey Calf raises (or standing calf raises): Do 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions
Military Press: Do one warm-up set then 4 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions Upright row: Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions Lateral raise/Bent-over lateral raise superset: Do 3 supersets of 10 repetitions Skull crushers: 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions Overhead triceps extensions (cable or EZ curl bar): 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions Alternate Dumbbell curls: 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions Incline Dumbbell curls: 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions
Day 6: Complete rest
Then you can repeat the workout (or take an additional rest day if needed.) Hit the iron and eat plenty of quality calories and you could be the next mass monster.