Tiger Fitness Ultimate 10 Week Mass & Strength Building Program

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This 10 week mass and strength building program is designed for a late beginner or early intermediate that has made little in the way of gains. He or she may be a program hopper that would benefit from a structured routine to help them set attainable and realistic goals, improve focus, and add both muscle mass and strength.

Run this program as outlined for 10 weeks, take a break, and then start a different program. You will be following an upper/lower split and training 4 times per week. There is an optional 5th day for cardio, abs, and weak point training.

This program does not have prescribed deloads; decrease the intensity or volume if you’re feeling beat up or not progressing in specific exercises. If you don’t have the proper exercise equipment or are unable to perform a specific exercise, substitute an equivalent exercise. This routine will implement a number of tried-and-true training principles:

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The Rep Goal Method – popularized by Steve Shaw’s e-book “Massive Iron: The Rep Goal System.” For example, if the routine prescribes 3 sets with a rep goal of 25, then you should aim to perform 25 TOTAL reps across all 3 sets. When you perform more than or equal to 25 reps you increase the working weight for the subsequent workout.

Progressive Overload – you’re not going to add appreciable size and strength unless your adding rep or weight to bar.

Bulldozer Sets – pick a rep goal, number of sets, short rest period (10-45 seconds) and a conservative weight with which you believe you can exceed the rep goal given the set and rep goal parameters. Adhere strictly to the short rest periods and increase the working weight for the next session when you exceed the rep goal.

Back-off Sets – after performing a heavy single, double, triple, or 5-rep set, decrease the weight by 10-30% and perform as many quality reps as possible. When you exceed the rep goal, increase the working weight for the next session.

Drop Sets – perform one set to technical failure, decrease the weight by a reasonable amount, and then perform another set to technical failure. The number of drops can range from as few as 2 to as many as 5. Track total reps and utilize the rep goal method to measure progress.

AMRAP – perform as many reps as you can with good form; if you feel as though you may fail on the next rep or be unable to complete it with good form, terminate the set.

The 10 Week Mass & Strength Routine – Weeks 1-5

Weeks 1-5
Monday Workout
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Seated Behind the Neck Press – Rest 90-180s between sets  3  20
Seated Behind the Neck Press – Back off set – decrease the working weight by 20% from the prior working sets and perform AMRAP  1  12+
Chest Supported Row – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  40
Incline Bench Press – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  30
Chin-up – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  AMRAP
Close Grip Bench Press – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  35
Barbell Curl – Use the bulldozer method; rest 30s between sets  5  50
Lateral Raises – Perform 1 giant set comprised of 5 drop sets  5  AMRAP
Weeks 1-5
Tuesday Workout
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
High Bar Back Squat – Rest 90-180s between sets  3  20
High Back Squat – Back off set – decrease the working weight by 20% from the prior working sets and perform AMRAP  1  20+
Romanian Deadlift – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  35
Wide Stance Leg Press – Use the bulldozer method; rest 30s between sets  5  50
Lying Leg Curl – Use the bulldozer method; rest 15s between sets  5  60
Seated Leg Extension – Use the bulldozer method; rest 15s between sets  5  60
Standing Calf Raises – Use the bulldozer method; rest 30s between sets  5  50
Rope Crunches – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  40

Man with Dumbbell

Weeks 1-5
Thursday Workout
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Flat Bench Press – Rest 90-180s between sets  3  20
Flat Bench Press – Back off set – decrease the working weight by 20% from the prior working sets and perform AMRAP  1  12+
Dumbbell Row – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  40
Arnold Press – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  30
Neutral Grip Lat Pulldown – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  35
Parallel Bar Dip (Tricep Emphasis) – Rest 60-90s between sets. If you can perform more than 3×15 un-weighted then add weight  3  AMRAP
Hammer Curl – Use the bulldozer method; rest 30s between sets  5  50
Cable Crossover – Perform 1 giant set comprised of 5 drop sets  5  AMRAP
Weeks 1-5
Friday Workout
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Deadlift – Rest 90-180s between sets  3  15
Deficit Deadlift (2 inches/stand on one 45lb plate) – Back off set – decrease the working weight by 25% from the prior working sets and perform AMRAP  1  10+
Front Squat – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  35
Good Morning – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  40
Lunges – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  40
Glute Ham Raises – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  AMRAP
Seated Calf Raises – Use the bulldozer method; rest 15s between sets  5  60
(Weighted) Ab Wheel Rollouts – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  AMRAP
Saturday Cardio, Conditioning and Weakness Training
  • Cardiovascular Exercise – Sprinting, Incline Walking, Swimming, Recumbent Bike, OR
  • Conditioning – Jump Rope, Box Jumps, Battle Ropes, Weight Sled Pushes & Drags

If performing Steady State Cardio, aim for 30-60 minutes. If you’re performing conditioning or High Intensity Interval Training work, then perform as many quality rounds as you can with good form and high intensity.

  • 1-2 Isolation Exercises to Target Lagging Muscle Groups – The number of sets and rep goal will vary based on the exercise
  • 1-2 Abdominal Exercises – The number of sets and rep goal will vary based on the exercise

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The 10 Week Mass & Strength Routine – Weeks 6-10

Weeks 6-10
Monday Workout
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Incline Bench Press *  1  3+
Incline Bench Press – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  35
Cable Low Row – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  40
Standing Overhead Press – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  30
Wide Grip Pull-ups – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  AMRAP
Skullcrusher – Rest 30-60s between sets  3  35
Cable Curl – Use the bulldozer method; rest 15s between sets  5  50
Shrugs – Perform 1 giant set comprised of 5 drop sets  5  AMRAP

* Incline Bench Press – Work up to a heavy triple; this shouldn’t be a max-effort 3RM attempt every time; progress can occur in the form of adding reps, adding weight, or increasing bar speed with the same weight.

Weeks 6-10
Tuesday Workout
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Low Bar Back Squat *  1  3+
Low Bar Back Squat – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  35
Snatch Grip Romanian Deadlift  3  30
Narrow Stance Leg Press – Use the bulldozer method; rest 30s between sets  5  50
Seated Leg Curl – Use the bulldozer method; rest 15s between sets  5  60
Seated Leg Extension – Use the bulldozer method; rest 15s between sets  5  60
Donkey Calf Raises – Use the bulldozer method; rest 15s between sets  5  50
Hanging Leg Raises – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  AMRAP

* Squats – Work up to a heavy triple; this shouldn’t be a max-effort 3RM attempt every time; progress can occur in the form of adding reps, adding weight, or increasing bar speed with the same weight.

Deadlifts

Weeks 6-10
Thursday Workout
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Flat Bench Press *  1  3+
Flat Bench Press – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  35
Barbell Row – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  40
Seated Overhead Press – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  30
Hang Power Cleans – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  25
Rope Pushdowns – Rest 30-60s between sets  3  35
Preacher Curls – Use the bulldozer method; rest 30s between sets  5  50
Kneeling Landmine Press – Rest 30-60s between sets  3  35

* Bench Press – Work up to a heavy triple; this shouldn’t be a max-effort 3RM attempt every time; progress can occur in the form of adding reps, adding weight, or increasing bar speed with the same weight.

Weeks 6-10
Friday Workout
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Deadlift *  1  3+
Deadlift – Rest 90-120s between sets  3  25
Paused Back Squat – Shoot for sets of 3; pause in the hole for 1-5s per rep  5  15
Glute-Ham Raises – Rest 60-90s between sets  3  AMRAP
Step Ups – Rest 60-90s between sets  4  40
Cable Pullthroughs – Rest 30-60s between sets  3  35
Standing Calf Raises – Use the bulldozer method; rest 15s between sets  5  50
(Weighted) Decline Crunches – Rest 30-60s between sets  4  40

* Deadlift – Work up to a heavy triple; this shouldn’t be a max-effort 3RM attempt every time; progress can occur in the form of adding reps, adding weight, or increasing bar speed with the same weight.

Saturday Cardio, Conditioning and Weakness Training
  • Cardiovascular Exercise – Sprinting, Incline Walking, Swimming, Recumbent Bike OR
  • Conditioning – Jump Rope, Box Jumps, Battle Ropes, Weight Sled Pushes & Drags

If performing Steady State Cardio, aim for 30-60 minutes. If you’re performing conditioning or High Intensity Interval Training work, then perform as many quality rounds as you can with good form and high intensity.

  • 1-2 Isolation Exercises to Target Lagging Muscle Groups – The number of sets and rep goal will vary based on the exercise
  • 1-2 Abdominal Exercises – The number of sets and rep goal will vary based on the exercise

3500 Calorie Meal Plan

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If you’re looking to gain an appreciable amount of mass and strength in 10 weeks, then you’re going to have to eat. I’m not encouraging you to binge on McDonalds, cake, and soda pop but you’re going to have to eat in a caloric surplus. This means you should consume more calories than you burn.

Below is a 3500 calorie sample meal plan. Shoot for a weight gain of 0.5 to 1 pound of bodyweight per week. If you’re gaining slower than this rate, increase carbs and fat on workout days. If you’re gaining faster than this rate, decrease carbs and fat on rest days.

Meal Time and Foods & Supplements
  • 7:30am – 6 large eggs, 4 slices turkey bacon, 1 cup cooked oatmeal, 1 cup fresh blueberries, coffee, fish oil, multivitamin, and vitamin D. Nutrition: 855 calories, 52g protein, 50g carbs, 48g fat, 8g fiber.
  • 12:00pm – 8 ounces chicken breast, ½ cup dry-measure jasmine rice, 2 cups of stir fry veggies, 1 tablespoon olive oil. Nutrition: 870 calories, 64g protein, 100g carbs, 23g fat, 2g fiber.
  • 4:00pm – 1 serving (3 scoops) Muscle & Brawn Huge Gainer, 1 cup 1% milk. Nutrition: 590 calories, 35g protein, 90g carbs, 12g fat, 0g fiber.
  • 5:00pm – Creatine and caffeine/pre-workout of choice.
  • 5:30-7:00pm – Workout as outlined above. Drinks lots of water and feel free to include BCAAs and/or carbohydrates intra-workout if you’re struggling to consume 3,500 calories.
  • 7:30pm – 9 ounces sweet potato, 5 ounces sirloin steak, 1 tablespoon butter, 20 asparagus spears. Nutrition: 705 calories, 49g protein, 63g carbs, 30g fat, 14g fiber.
  • 9:00pm – 1 scoop MTS Machine Whey Protein, 1.5 cups whole milk, 1 serving Mygoenix Pro Fiber, 1.5 cups halved strawberries. Nutrition: 480 calories, 39g protein, 52g carbs, 17g fat, 15g fiber.
Total Calories and Macronutrients
  • Calories: 3,500
  • Protein: 239g
  • Carbohydrates: 355g
  • Fats: 130g
  • Fiber: 39g

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Name: Nick Ludlow

Bio: When it comes to fitness I enjoy reading about historic weight lifters, non-conventional weightlifting approaches, nutritional protocols, and the science behind supplements.