Size Matters

25 tips for getting huge!

21. HEAVY FOR 10

“People saw those videos of me squatting 800 or deadlifting 800 and thought that was how I trained all the time. I didn’t normally do such low reps, though, not after I gave up powerlifting to just be a bodybuilder. I used heavy weights, but I always aimed for 10 reps.” —Ronnie Coleman


“Bodybuilding is an endurance sport. By that I mean it’s going to take years and years of training and eating to build the body you want if what you want is to get as big as you possibly can. It might take 10 or more years, and after the first couple of years, it’s going to be hard to see the changes from month to month or maybe from year to year. But you’ve got to stick with it, workout after workout, meal after meal, even when you’re frustrated. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.” —Nasser El Sonbaty


“If you’re just going to do what you’ve done before, you’re not going to grow. There’s a place in a set when you get to 10 reps and you could easily quit. The key to growing is to keep going when everything’s telling you to quit. Get another rep or another three. Those are the ones that count. Those are the reps that generate growth—those hard reps you don’t want to do.”—Branch Warren 

24. SWEET 15

“People look at me and think I must do all these crazy heavy sets for low reps. The truth is I could never grow much on reps lower than 10. I found I grow best on sets of 15. If you look at my routine, I stick at 15 for every exercise, whether it’s for biceps or legs or abs. I do four sets of 15 for everything. It’s not so high that I can’t go heavy, but it’s high enough that I can feel the muscle working for a long time each set.”—Quincy Taylor


“You train and eat for size. Let the cardio and diet bring in the cuts. Don’t confuse the two things. That’s one of the biggest problems guys have. They try to train lighter with machines to dial in cuts, or they don’t eat enough or train heavy enough when they’re trying to add mass because they’re afraid of getting fat. The easiest way to get big is to always eat at least a little more than the calories you’ll burn, especially when those calories come from protein. Yeah, you’ll gain some fat, but you’ll also always get all the nutrients you need to grow, and that extra fat weight will help you use more weight, getting stronger and bigger. Everything has to be in moderation. I never advocate clients eating a lot of junk in the off-season, but you also can’t stay really lean if you want to get really big.” —Dennis James