Obviously not required, but they can give you a boost:
Creatine monohydrate: 5g/day (Post-Workout)
Beta-alanine: 3-4g/day (Spread across the day)
Caffeine: 3-4mg/kg (60 mins before training )
Fish oil: 3g of total EPA+DHA (Taken with a meal)
If you want some extra joint support (fish oil already helps a ton), you can take Glucosamine sulfate. Take 500mg 3 times per day with a meal.
You can view the program below: (Click for a larger image)
Remember that building muscle is a very, very slow process. So even though you will notice significant changes after the 8 weeks, I recommend running the program a 2nd time. Either back-to-back, with a little break in-between with another program of your choosing.
When there’s an * before a set, it means that set should be taken to failure. Failure meaning you only stop when you fail a repetition. However, if it’s a compound movement where it’s risky to fail a rep, then you can stop where you’re sure you wouldn’t have the next rep.
1 rep maxes and percentages:
To know your 1 rep max in each lift, when you’re about to do the first session of each movement, replace the first set to a set to failure with a weight that you think you can do for about 5 reps. Then use an online calculator to estimate your 1RM. Personally I like the Brzycki equation, although it doesn’t matter too much and they give similar results. So let’s imagine it’s my first day and I’m going to do 3×12 on dumbbell overhead press. Let’s say I think I can manage 55lb dumbbells for 5 reps, and I end up getting 7. I put that into an online calculator, which gives me an estimated max of 66lbs. It asks for sets at 65%, so 65% of a 66lb max is 42.5lbs. I’d round it to 40lbs since there are no 42lb dumbbells, and that’s what I’d use for the remaining 2 sets. You only do this once for each exercise for the entire 7 week program. As the program progresses, if you feel the weight is too light, feel free to add 5-10lbs to your estimated max, although the weight increases by default.
I highly recommend trying not to change the program as much as you can, especially in your first round, but sometimes it might be needed.
If you’re heavy and/or not very strong, you’re probably not going to be able to do the pull-ups and chin-ups within the rep ranges written. If that’s the case, replace it by dumbbell rows, and then replace the barbell rows by lat pull downs. You can replace it during the entire program, or only when the reps are too high for you.
If you want to bench press with a regular grip, do it as the main movement either on Wednesday or Friday. And if you don’t want to deadlift, simply do Romanian Deadlifts just like Tuesday, and remove the hamstring curls.
If there’s any other movement you want to replace, choose an exercise that targets the same muscle groups, and if possible, with a similar motor pattern.
Don’t skip any week, if you really have to, skip the 7th week, but don’t skip the 8th, no matter what.
Now you’re ready to go! If your nutrition is on point and you’re working hard, your upper body will soon catch up to your massive legs. When you finished the program, feel free to send me some progress pictures!
About the author:
Tiago Vasconcelos is a 20 year old competitive powerlifter currently living in Lisbon, Portugal. He is a cofounder of Kratos Strength and Conditioning, through which he coaches bodybuilders, powerlifters, and the general public for improvements in bodycomposition and strength improvements.