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Growth principles for beginners

Big A

IFBB PRO/NPC JUDGE/Administrator
Staff member
Jun 4, 2002
This is a general guide for beginning and intermediate bodybuilders that don't know the principles behind muscle growth yet or are not happy with the results that they are currently getting.

We will go through training, diet and gear. I will
tell you the principles behind everything that I
recommend for you to do, so you can understand why
certain things happen, so in the future you can fix
problems yourself.
Bodybuilding is a very simple and logical endeavour.
Everything that you do has to be logical. Only logical
actions will give you results. Every time that you
come across a new principle, always ask yourself it it
makes logical sense. If it does not, dump it!


Why does a muscle grow? Because it has to adapt. When
does it have to adapt? When you expose it to something
that it has not done before. When is something that it
has not done before? When the muscle is taxed 100%.
That's 100% effort. What's 100% effort? When you train
to 100% PHYSICAL, not mental failure. So, to make the
muscle grow, you have to train with 100% effort
otherwise, the muscle will not adapt/grow.
Now, using the above logic, for a set to be beneficial
to your growth, it needs to be 100% effort. So, a 100%
effort set of an exercise, will make you grow. Then,
what is the point to do a second set of that exercise?
You cannot go more than 100%. The muscle already has
been taxed by 100% from the first set, so why should
you do a second one? You will just eat into your
recovery ability.
So, you should only do one set to failure per
exercise. Later on, I will describe the training
program and how exercises and warm-ups are involved.

A muscle will not grow until it's recovered. The
muscle will not begin to recover until the nervous
system is recovered. It takes roughly 24hours for the
nervous system to recover from a workout. Only then
will the muscle begin to recover and grow. So, you
should never train 2 days in a row. Even if you train
different bodyparts, you still use the same nervous
system. You train 2 days in a row, your nervous system
recovers, but by the time the muscles begin to, you
train again, so the body has to concentrate again on
recovering the nervous system.
A training frequency of 3 days per week (Mon, Wed,
Fri) is more than enough. Numerous pros, including
myself, train like this offseason for maximum growth.
Even if you use streroids, you still have to train
like this. Steroids increase your recovery ability,
but they also make you stronger at a quicker rate. The
extra strength will give you the ability to train
harder/tear more muscle tissue, so you will need the
extra recovery that the steroids will give you.

The following is a great training program that I

Mon - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
* Incline press - warm-up sets, 1 work set
* Flat flyes - 1 work set
* Millitary press - 1 warm-up, 1 work set
* Lateral flyes - 1 work set
* Rear delt machine - 1 work set
* Tricep pushdowns - 1 warm-up, 1 work set
* Lying tricep extensions - 1 work-set

Wed - Quads, Hams, Calves
* Squats - warm-ups, 1 work set
* Leg press - work set
* Leg extension - work set
* Leg curl - warm-up, work set
* Stiff leg deadlift - work set
* Standing calf raise - work set

Fri - Abs, Back, Bis
* Rope crunches - warm up, work set
* Lat pull down - warm-ups, work set
* Deadlift - warm-up, work set
* Bent-over rows - work set
* Shrugs - work set
* Standing BB curls - warm up, work set
* Concentration curl - work set

You do a lot of warm-ups for your first exercise of
the day. You do one warm-up for the first exercise of
each bodypart, only to optimise the firing of te
Let's use chest as an example - if for example your
max (work set) in the incline press is 3 plates, then
you do 2 warm-ups with the bar, 2 warm-ups with one
plate, 1 warm-up with 2 plates and then your work set
with 3 plates. The work set is a set where you fail at
about 6 reps. Every workout, you have to do more reps
or increase the weight in that work set (remember, the
muscle has to do something that it has not done
before). So if one work out you fail with 6 reps, the
following nothing less than 7. When you reach 8 reps,
the following workout you should do (increase) a
weight where you can do minimum 4 reps. Then increase
your reps again every workout until you reach 8 again,
and so on. Each rep has a tempo of 2-1-1. That is 2
seconds in the negative, one second in the contraction
and 1 second in the positive.
Then, after you fail in the incline press, you move
straight to flat flyes. You do not need a warmp now
because your chest is more than warm after you failed
on presses.
And that's it for chest. The basic routine stays the
same. If you want variety, small changes as using DB's
instead of BB or doing flat presse and incline flyes
for example, is mor ethan enough variety to keep the
muscle 'confused'.

VERY simple. Very important that you try to get as
close to 500g of protein per day. Easiest way to do
that is to have a whey protein shake in water with
every meal. Fats and carbs don't matter. Calories
don't count, macro nutrients (protein, fat, carb) do.
If you get to add fat on, just cut out the fats and
keep your carbs bellow 300g/day. That's all it is!
Very simple, but hard to stick to, so not many people
get results. On gear, the more protein you eat, the
more you grow. Is as simple as that. Gear maximises
protein synthesis.

You need a testosterone base. 750mg/week is plenty.
You need an anabolic - deca or Eq at 400mg/week is
plenty. You need for optimum growth, a good oral like
d-bol at 30mg/d or A-50 50mg/d.
You use the test and the anabolic non stop. The oral
is 4 weeks on 4 weeks off. Every 6th week (the half
way point between the off oral period - so 2 weeks
after you finish the oral) you have a blood test. If
the blood test is OK, then you can begin your next 4
weeks on oral. There is no reason for you to come off.
The only 2 reasons are health or your receptors are
saturated. If the regular blood test is OK, your
health is OK. If you are still making progress, your
receptors are OK. Coming off, will just sabotage your
gains. That's why I do not believe in set time frames
for cycles. Listen to your body. When you use the
oral, you need to use all the liver aids available - Synthergine,
Milk Thistle, L-methionine, Liv-52, etc. Of course you
cannot drink or do rec drugs during that time. Using
these precautions, your blood tests will be OK.
You also need to use an anti estrogen like Nolvadex at
10mg/d throughout the whole time. Also, you have a
choice between HCG every 4 weeks at 5000IU or Clomid
at 50mg EOD. These will make sure that your balls will
stay at a decent size and they will not forget how to
The blood tests that you need are: full blood count,
liver and kidney function tests, FSH, LH, TSH,
If the Total protein test in the liver tests is high,
that is because of your diet. You need to keep an eye
on the Billirubin and Urea test results. Your FSH and
LH will be suppressed - that's normal because of the
gear. If the TSH is low, add 20mcg/d T3. If the kidney
function is off, then drink more. Protein stresses the
kidneys, so you need more fluids.
When you eventually come off the gear, you make sure
that you are off the orals. Then cut out the anabolic
over 2 weeks. Then the testosterone over 3 weeks. One
week after that, you need to add primo tabs or anavar
(oxandrin) for 3 weeks. That will ensure that you will
keep your gains.
Ideally do a gainkeeper's formula that is outlined in another article.

These are the basic principles behind muscle growth. You do the above you will GROW, no matter what.
Good Reading

Very nice article BigA. To the point exactly.
Ok Big A, that sounds good to what if I subbed Gh in for the EQ or deca(i.e.- the anabolic) and also did slin with this?
Ivan said:
Ok Big A, that sounds good to what if I subbed Gh in for the EQ or deca(i.e.- the anabolic) and also did slin with this?

Give a chance as I am writing an article about GH and another one about insulin.
Oh my god, this board is getting better and better...
Thanks for your great advice Big A... :) :) :)
BIG A your knowlege never ceases to amaze me!! thats the most informative thing i have ever read for a beginner!! your the man in the know i swear to god, oh this is also my first post on this board, from ripped mass!! thanks a lot for all the info its guys like you that make more people want to GROW!!! thanks heaps man!

Great post "Big A"!!
great article its great to see the revision to the old school H.I.T. traninig that built so many champions
Reply to growth Principals for Beginners

Big A, I have been on several other boards and have been seeking information on getting started on the next level of growning. I have to say that your informative post "Growth Principals for Beginners" answered just about all of my questions at this point. For me, I was overwhelmed by all of the "advanced" information that was being thrown at me by everyone who took for granted that I knew what they were talking about. I was delighted to read your down to earth, basic information post that really helped me out to understand where to start. I love this board so far and am looking forward to being guided in the right direction during my beginning stages of growing big. I do have an additional question though, I am 27 y/o and 210lbs.6'0" tall and i have a 34" waist and a 44" chest. I feel strong and hard but am thinking about cycling to boost my gains. when do i know that the right time has come to grab some gear.
Thanks for the nice words :)

The right time to start gear is when you have done everything right (training, nutrition and rest) and you stop making gains. You have to realise that gear doesn't make up for sloppy training, dieting and rest practices. All that gear does is enhance them.
So you first goal is to make sure you train properly (this includes making sure you have the mind/body connection - learn what physical failure and mental failure are), to make sure you eat properly on a consistent basis (VERY important) and that you rest adequately on a consistent basis too.
Once you mastered all those, and then you stagnate, that is when you should start the gear.

This is what I tell everyone that is thinking about starting gear or using 'strong' gear' too soon - you will get a certain level of development natural. When that stops, add gear. When it stops again, add GH. When it stops again, add insulin. When it stops again, add Syntherol, etc. If one was to take all the gear he could plus GH plus insulin plus Syntherol right from the start, what is he going to do/take when all this stops working? He will be stuck. Sure he will get quicker short term results, but in the long run he will have less overall results than one that did it gradually and inteligently.
This is an exelent hit routine for beginners, principles are explain very well .

Fallowing this routine and be an advanced bb very soon.
Hit is the fastest way to grow.(the only way, jajajaja)

There is no space for the littles!!!!!!!!

Since I am just moving into the next level in bb, I have alot of questions. One question that I have is, how important is it to use an injectable for my first "real" cycle. I was thinking of using some Dbol and Winny tabs for 6 weeks. Would I benefit at all by this or should I be using some test along with something other then Dbol and Winny. I want to put on size right now and then hope to cut up and become competetive. i am working my balls off to get hard, strong and big and am convinced that, without gear my goals are almost impossible. let me know what you think. sorry about the basic question but my lack of knowlede about gear will hopefully improve with my time on this board.
If you are a principiant bb, you have to focus in diet and training with an advanced tecnique and why not? you can use a little of oral steroids, but my advice is you have to stay "clean", and get a muscular phisique natural. Be pacient !!!!

Check my off season diet. You can get around 20 pounds with this diet without steroids in 3 months.

and remember.............

........There is no space for the littles !!!!!!! but go step´by step.

bigheinz, i have developed a muscular body (with some extra fat around my abs) and have a regular routine that seems to be working well for me. Diet, Diet, Diet is where i am running into trouble. I feel that I am not making the gains that I should be anymore, naturally. This is what led me to have the above questions.

where can I find your off-season diet

thanks for the insight bro

Bumpity bump!
Big A , wow! What can I say .Probally one of the best articals that I have ever read [ only even a couple of doggcraps even come close] and I have been in the game for a long time .I am 33 and I know my stuff but it is nice to see someone put it into such a clear cut simple manner.And it is really is that simple isn't,people make bodybuilding way more complicated than it needs to be .And I really enjoyed your artical on compitition prep as well.[ great stuff , keep them coming bro, I can't wait until your next one]
I making a return to bodybuilding after an 8 year layoff.[ After getting arrested , my dreams got crushed , lost will to train and eat right.]i am now working with a member of your board [Skip] I doing a natural contest prep to see where I am at . I should be shredded at the Arnold .[ I might even ask you to take look at me to see what you think my potential is if you are there and don't mind.After the arnold I plan on totally reconstucting my physique using a plan very similar to what you have outlined in you artical .Thanks for sharing your time and knowledge.I was once hard at 290 w/comp weight of 245. I want that back and then some.With your tid bits and Skips help I plan on getting this done in a year or so. In couple couple of years hmm.......we will just take one step at a time........

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