traInIng If you’re lookIng to gaIn sIze and strength, you must adhere to the idea that simple is more effective than complex. Start your pro- gram around a heavy compound lifting base of squats, bench presses, over- head presses, and straight-leg deadlifts (SLDL). Why SLDLs over deadlifts? Simple, deadlifts are an exercise for strength and are a poor muscle builder. SLDLs are more effective for slapping mass on your posterior chain and also help you build a deadlift. I’m not saying don’t perform a traditional deadlift; I’m saying it isn’t the first choice for adding muscular size. Once you have found a solid program, analyze it. How many exercises per day does it have? This may seem like a stu- pid question, but if you’re training with maximum effort per day for the sake of gaining size and strength, you don’t necessarily need a program with eight to 10 exercises every day. Keep your daily lifting between five and six exercises per day with three to five sets per exercise. This will allow for the ability to hit each exercise hard and recover better. For ex- ample, a lower-body day could contain this series of exercises: Squats: 4x8 SLDLs: 4x8 Leg Presses: 4x15 Lunges: 4x12 Seated Leg Curls: 4x10 Standing Calf Raises: 4x12 ProgressIve overload Is the number-one rule for gaInIng strength and sIze. as you Increase work- load, you wIll Increase muscle. This is a basic, hard, and targeted lower-body workout that will give you the desired result. You can change exercises as you wish, but unless you’re specifi- cally training for a bodybuilding show or a powerlifting meet, focus your training around the philosophy of keeping it sim- ple and let the volume do the work. As you progress along in your work- out from week to week, add weight, add reps, and add sets to compensate for traInIng rules • Build your base with compound lifts • Simplicity over complexity • Progressive resistance is the key for size and strength • Form is your religion—learn it, love it, live by it 68 april 2017 | ironmanmagazine.com your increased workload and to promote adaptation and growth. In week one you may have performed 4x8 of squats with 185 pounds on the bar, and by week four you could be working up to 4x11 with 195 pounds. Progressive overload is the number-one rule for gaining strength and size. As you increase workload, you will increase muscle. These training rules are moot with- out the number-one rule of training, which comes last beca use I want you to remember this rule as if it were your religion. Form over everything. You need to feel the muscle work, you need to take each exercise throughout the entire range of motion, you need to eccen- trically lower the weight under control, and you need to control the concentric so the weight isn’t being moved with momentum. Control is imperative. If you want to throw weights around, take up Olympic lifting. It’s a fun sport and a challenging one. If you want to gain size and strength, controlling the weight under load is critical.