Get Bigger (WITHOUT Slowing Down)

This article is a follow-up to my last article called “3 Keys to Building Muscle”. If you haven’t read that yet, read it first here then come back to read this one.

Bodybuilders who only bodybuild generally move like, well bodybuilders.

Their choice of exercises, reps, sets and frequency create their physiques but also leave them slower and less athletic than if they weren’t so focused on hypertrophy all the time.

But for the athlete who wants to increase their muscle mass, this approach won’t work.

Another factor causing high T in college-aged males.

One thing I must mention is that the strategies I talked about in my previous article aren’t necessary for the young college athlete whose gonads are pumping testosterone through their veins like gas stations pump fuel into SUVs on long weekends.

If you’re one of these guys, focus on lifting heavy things with big compound movements and you’ll grow. You probably don’t even need to eat very well, as thousands of college football players provide evidence for.

But if you’re 30+ and you’ve got a job, maybe a family, your T levels aren’t what they used to be, not to mention your recovery ability (which affects but is not completely explained by testosterone) AND you’re training martial arts or some other sport, you need a more refined approach to building mass than just lifting hard and heavy, because do that and sooner or later something will break.

I explained the approach to building mass in the 3 Keys to Building Muscle article which outlined the strategy behind the eXplosive Muscle Building Blueprint (xMB).

Now, I’m going to reveal the other side of the equation – the ‘x’ in xMB.

Add the strategies I talk about here to the 3 Keys and you’ll be able to at the very least, maintain your current level of absolute speed/power, which is actually a relative increase, since you’ll be gaining weight at the same time.

However, most of you who follow this blueprint will probably also increase absolute speed/power because all of the muscle you do add will be trained for explosiveness right from the get go.

It’s all actually quite simple, really, here’s how to do it:

After your warmup but before you get into your hypertrophy training, you start your workout with functional movements focused specifically on maximal speed/power.

Kris Kross ‘ll make ya…

Functional refers to whatever is functional for your sport, not single leg jumps off a Bosu ball, unless you’re a surfer practising bailing off your board.

For MMA, the movements most important would be explosive lower body movements such as Squat or Lunge Jumps (and their variations) for things like takedowns, Olympic lifts, and rotational movements that will help with striking. Many of you already know my fave rotational movements and they involve whipping a medicine ball around.

Doing this before you stimulate your muscles for growth is important because both your nervous system and your muscles are fresh and thus capable of maximal activation, training your now bigger muscles for max speed and power.

The other point that must be made is about general speed/power training – you need multiple short sets and full rest to ensure this system is being maximized and the neural integration occurs.

Sets that last more than 12-15 seconds start to tap into the lactic system, which we want for hypertrophy, but don’t want for speed/power.

Sufficient rest (more rest is needed for exercises closer to the strength side of the speed-strength continuum) is usually a bare minimum of 60 seconds, but I tend to take more just to make sure I’m putting 100% into each set.

In terms of how I periodize this approach in xMB, I start with concentric dominant exercises that won’t result in much if any muscle soreness so your MMA training (or other sport) can continue with minimal impact.

After 4 weeks of this type of training, you’ll transition to exercises that train the stretch-shortening cycle and since you’ve progressed intelligently to them, soreness again will be minimized.

You see, that’s one of the main goals I had when creating xMB and I believe at least for the guys who I mentioned would best be served by this approach, it’s the best approach available.

So get started today and add 7-9 lbs of functional muscle to your frame in just 8 weeks:

It’s difficult to see in the image above, but you’re also getting the xMB Nutrition Guide, which will give you everything you need to know to support your training efforts with proper muscle building nutrition. No fluff, just what works.

And as with all of my programs, you’re backed by my industry-leading LIFETIME PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE.

Ever have an issue with the program, even if you don’t get started until the year 2020?

If you can find me (I’m pretty easy to find online) just send me an email and I’ll hook you up. No hassles. I just want you to be happy with the products and services I offer.

And of course, when it comes to support, I’m there to help, as well as my lovely assistant Thea who is now back from her wedding.

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Shayne Green

Hi Eric. I’m not currently training mma, but I do crossfit around 4 x/week. The crossfit workouts are under and hour. I’m hoping to be able do your program while continuing my usual crossfit workouts. What would you suggest? Thanks!

Eric
Eric

First off – what are your main goals?

Shayne Green
Shayne Green

I would say (In order of importance):
1.improve overall fitness level
2.improve body comp by losing about 15lbs of fat
3.add some muscle
Once 1. and 2. are achieved, I’ll probably want to do another round of the program to try to add some more muscle. I’m an average build (not skinny, not over fat or bulky) .
Thanks for the response.

Eric
Eric

For 1+2 – you should be able to do it through your current workouts and a focus on nutrition. If your current workouts aren’t working, MMA Ripped will do just that in 8 weeks.

Then you can focus on #3.

Santiago Sanchez
Santiago Sanchez

Can you do this program 2 or 3 times in a row just cycling in for more than 8 weeks?

Eric

Definitely, if you’re looking to continue gaining muscle beyond the initial 7-9 lbs.

All you do is take 1 week completely off from any weight training, then resume training at Week 1.

You won’t gain 7-9 lbs each cycle, but you’ll continue to gain, as long as you’re not already jacked up, which by asking this question, you probably aren’t.

Alex
Alex

Better approach definitely.. I use plyos and speed work like box jumps on my MMA training so i dont see the need for them on my weight training, what i use is a powerbuilding approach, usually 5×5 compound, 3×8-10 weighted bodyweight or not, depends on the muscle group and a 2×12-15 isolation, working on all 3 ends of the spectrum, doing it for 3 weeks and deloading one week at the end, on wich i will drop the weight down a bit and simply work for speed and explosiveness on all lifts.. Even then i will get to a plateau sooner or later, so i turn things around and use the 2×15 as a pre exhaust, keep the 3×8 in the midlle and do the 5×5 at the end but using the same weight as i did when i had it in the beggining altough i am pre fatigued im… Read more »

Eric

Thanks for the detailed response. The thing is with my approach in xMB, weight training goals aren’t in front of MMA goals, in fact, quite the opposite, it’s still MMA first, but with the goal of at the very least maintaining all MMA related fitness, while building muscle. I have to disagree about hypertrophy being controllable through diet. Weight gain/loss can be controlled through diet for sure. But not muscle gain. The signals for muscle gain come directly from training, not diet. My buddy Brad Pilon wrote about this in-depth here: http://bradpilon.com/weight-loss/intermittent-fasting-and-bulking/ The most relevant quote from his article: “Calories are permissive to the muscle building process. The driving force behind muscle growth happens in a gym, in a syringe or the combination of the two. Yes, if you are not eating ‘enough’ you can hinder muscle growth. But once you start eating just ‘enough’, eating any more on top… Read more »

Alex
Alex

Off course if someone ISNT weight training he cant control hypertrophy thru diet, that is basic.. but if someone IS weight training, off course he can chose to gain or lose, either muscle or fat, just by changing his diet..
I dont change my training all year round, it is basically the same (exercises will change off course), but i change my diet when bulking or cutting and it is only thru diet that i can control it..

Eric

Look, we’ll just have to agree to disagree here.

The point I and Brad are making here is that the driver of hypertrophy (not bulking) is training, while the driver of fat loss is nutrition.

You can bulk easily just by eating lots, doesn’t mean it’s going to be muscle.

Patrick
Patrick

Hey Eric,

I have a few questions (sort of off topic)

stretching for flexibility- what’s the best way to do it? I mean how often, what sort of stretches, what stretches do more harm than good etc.

if you already have an article on this please shoot me the link

Thanks for the awesome info and keep it up!

Winson Lim

Hey Eric, thanks for this article. Ok, this is what happen to me. I train Muay Thai for 4-5 days a week, have been losing 2kg of weight and my chest muscles, arms, legs, shoulders become much smaller till I cannot take it any longer as i want to build up my size and mass. I have stopped for 3 months now due to my toe injury and just bought insanity yesterday as I’m finding an alternative for intensive interval training to increase my overall fitness while waiting for full recovery. But you said in your previous reply that I cannot do that as I’ll be very skinny after training with they program so you suggested that I work with building my muscle size and mass either with your program or other alternatives. Then once I achieved my goals of increases muscle size and mass, I can work on my… Read more »

Eric

Yes.

NOTE: xMB requires equipment.