The Lean Mass Blueprint – Set your sights…

January 12, 2015




Size, strength and aesthetics—some coaches let you believe they’re mutually exclusive triumvirate that they can’t be trained for simultaneously. You’ve been lied to.


With solid planning and creative training techniques, lean mass, size and strength are eight weeks of hard work away.




Weeks 1 – 4


Lean hypertrophy gains are produced by tactically employing stress via iron. As tacticians, our planning must be novel—we can’t do the same set and rep schemes year round and expect to grow. (What works for strength, doesn’t always work for hypertrophy.) Enter the heavy eccentric.


Heavy eccentric loading isn’t the brain child of new millennium training thought, it’s an oft forgotten strength and mass developing relic from training decades past. For most new millennium lifters, however, heavy eccentric loading is unusual—and a four week cycle of emphasized eccentric training produces new hypertrophy gains while building work capacity to increase future training volume. Our introductory four-week training block employs four to six second emphasized eccentrics for all lifts—main and accessory—minus our conventional deadlift sets. Prepare to embrace the DOMS!


Four to six second descents through Dante’s inferno of controlled muscular lengthening dramatically increases muscular time under tension in comparison to conventional lifting tempos. This intense, negative-phase exploitation stresses muscles into growth without a drastic increase in set and rep based training volume. It does, however, prepare the body for future hikes in training volume—allowing for more work and the potential for greater size gains.





Weeks 5 – 8


During week five, eccentrics vacate to make way for heavy isometrics. As with their eccentric loading predecessor, we’ll apply ISOs to all lifts besides the conventional deadlift—and its variants.


Progressing to ISOs from eccentrics maintains the time under tension stimulus we’ve accumulated during weeks one through four while introducing a new, stressful stimulus by asking muscles to maintain a powerful contraction at their end range—building tissue strength that keeps you healthy while gaining the lean mass you want.


Stomping the breaks on heavy iron, and maintaining a solid bottom position for three to five seconds, trains tissue resiliency while restructuring muscle tissue for hypertrophy. New size and strength await.



Cluster Sets


Cluster sets span both training blocks, and, in each block, are an extension of the main lift, allowing for more growth-inducing volume with an impactful compound lift. We’ll employ two different cluster strategies and progressively increase their volume throughout the eight-week phase.




Each phase includes a mid-week conditioning day designed to improve work capacity, promote recovery and reinforce size gains. Weeks one through four employ a high volume training circuit; weeks five through eight, give us a strongman-inspired conditioning day.




Full program is rolling out, NEXT Monday. Gear up, get ready.


USPlabs Lean Mass Blueprint –  Set Your Sights…

Todd Bumgardner, MS, CSCS

2015-01-12 _ Strong Words


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

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