The Cheapest Anabolic
By Iron Addict:
I know there are some people on this board that are dying to add some serious mass to their frame. Want to know the cheapest and MAYBE the most effective way? SQUAT! I have met people that never gained shit until they got on a simple program that revolved around heavy squatting. I have had drug free people gain 20 lbs in three months doing a simple routine of 6 or 7 exercises with the emphasis on killing yourself squatting, and heavy eating. And I mean 20 lbs ALL over not just the legs. Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote for Hardgainer Magazine many years ago, and yes I know hardgainer mag is aimed at drug free trainees, but the same principles apply:
The typical hardgainer can forget about making big gains throughout the body until they get the thigh/back musculature growing. Think about it this way, if your body is not very efficient at growing muscle tissue and your current routine is like that of most trainees, (what I call the double B's, bench and biceps) how much of a demand have you placed on your body to become more efficient at growing? Working chest, delts, tri's, and biceps works approximately 10% of your overall lean body mass. Working hard on deadlift's (bent legged, Trap Bar, or sumo) or squatting (not necessarily at the same time) works more like 70% of your musculature at once and sends a STRONG message to your body to GET BETTER AT GROWING NOW!
Because the demands on your metabolism are so great when doing these movements the results are also great. But like anything worthwhile in life it comes at a price: brutally hard work done consistently with ever increasing poundage's. The original "recipe" for success for those that were previously unable to register significant gains in size and strength was the 20 rep squatting routine with one set (after warm-ups) to failure done along with a handful of other basic exercises, no fluff, just brutally demanding hard work done infrequently with an emphasis on heavy eating. If you have never done high rep squatting or deadlifting with limit poundage's you will no doubt be amazed at how difficult they are. They will probably be the most demanding things you have ever done inside or outside of the gym. They will for sure be the most productive thing you've ever done in the gym.
Twenty Rep squats are not done by putting a light-weight on the bar and doing twenty quick reps and racking the bar. They are done by using a weight that the trainee will have to almost kill himself to get 15 reps with. By rep 10 or so you will be breathing like a horse and gasping for your breath. You will fight to get the 15 reps, then instead of racking the bar you keep it on your shoulders and rest/breath long enough to get the next rep, and the next, then the next. You will have to fight every fiber in your body telling you to dump the bar. But you persist and make it to rep 20. Rep 21 should be impossible should you have attempted it. If you are able to do another set after this one you weren't trying hard enough. For this reason I always do high rep squats (or deadlifts) as the last movement in the routine. Try them and see why! Many times I have trained people who swore they worked like animals in the gym and had them on the floor gasping like fish out of water, unable to continue with any additional work after one limit set of squats. These were people that swore they trained as hard as possible and were sure the proposed workout could not possibly be able to stimulate growth in so few sets. By the way these were usually people that were previously unable to add bodyweight and went on to become quite big and strong by applying Hardgainer techniques to their training.
The Heritage High rep squatting has a history going back to the early days of the Iron Game. For a detailed history and training program promoting high rep squatting I suggest you purchase the book "Super Squats" by Randall Strossen. www.amazon.com/exec/obido...14-1343061 While the main routine contained in this book will prove to be too much for most
Hardgainers, the abbreviated routine given is excellent (contained in this manual, see description) for those needing to cut back to the bare bones in able to gain. This routine was promoted by Peary Radar (IronMan Magazines previous Editor/Publisher) as a surefire routine for those unable to gain on even the basic 20 rep squatting routine consisting of squats, barbell curls, bench presses, rows, and military presses. Peary championed the 20 rep squatting routine for years during his time as publisher of IronMan. Unfortunately his voice was drowned out by the Weiders "champion" routines. His magazine also did not have the exposure of the Weider publications at the time. When IronMan was procured by the current owners the newer formula (big names, long routines) was ushered in and the tradition of basic training with heavy squats as the core of the routine was almost lost to future generations. Were it not for Stuart McRobert, Randall Strossen and a handful of others that had learned this most productive method of training and promoted it to all that would listen. And yes, all rep ranges work, but for sheer size all over you can't beat heavy 20's.