Choosing a Program for Mass Building Phase

I’m just finishing CT’s “Best Damn Strength” program and am looking for a straight-up mass-building program to follow for a few months. I have your Base Building and LRB 365 books and wondered whether you’d recommend one of those hypertrophy programs over another.

For background, I just turned 40, have been lifting for about 4 years but have failed to build much strength on a variety of Wendler-style programs (eg 180lb max BP at 200lbs body weight). I’m hoping building some muscle mass will help with increasing my overall strength, which is my main goal before Father Time closes that window.

Base Building is about building maximal strength, so no.

365 is more like a year long shotgun approach to just getting better overall.

Hypertrophy wise I’m still fleshing out this book on it that’s purely about muscle growth.

The results I’m having in my coaching groups with it have been insane so far.

This is great for a short burst…

This looks great too:

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Thanks for answering, Paul. Any lessons fron the groups that you’re willing to share?

And I should have been more specific with my question.
Would you recommend someone in my situation running the Big-15 on a 3 big/3 small split like in LRB365? Or the mass training programs you wrote up in BB? Or are those really only meant to be run as a part of those larger programs?

Those tend to be a bit more specific to growing for powerlifting. So the movements are used in a way to have a high degree of transferability to strength. It’s not that you can’t grow on them it’s just that a lot of my thoughts have evolved since then about pure size building.

Interesting, looking forward to hearing what you’ve learned! Doesn’t sound like the programs in the books are going to be bad for me, though, given my current levels. Until you publish your new programs, I’ll give one of these a try, probably the Big-15 or GMM. Does that sound reasonable?

There’s a glut of options out there and I always have a tough time settling on one program.

Only way to know is to do it!

Thanks for pointing me toward this, RB. I thought I had all of Paul’s programs bookmarked, but I’d missed that one. Did you run this one? And did you add any other lifts to round our the program?

Yup, I’ve had my eye on that one for a while. The 350 method is the real deal.

I hear that! If I break, I’ll you know.

Any update on when this is releasing?
I literally cannot wait!
I’m probably not even going to do the program since I’m following the 4 times a week progressive overload that you recommended. I simply want to learn more!

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I really don’t have a date set for it. I’m still fleshing out the final parts of the XLR8 diet. That should be good to go within the next two months.


What’s this XLR8 Diet?

It’s my aggressive fat loss carb cycling diet. It’s what I’ve been using in my groups as they have done the training. Everyone who has followed it with a high degree of compliance has lost metric butt-tons of fat. And gained strength on the program while doing it.


Will there be a mass gain version of it?

just eat.


I find its good to run for 3-6 weeks as a change of pace. I occasionally added strict military press(limits the weight) for 5x5, heavy-ish leg press, tricep pump work and some chin ups.

I still use a lot of the 20-30 rep assistance moves in normal training and feel they have a ton of benefits

That’s really helpful, Badger. Thanks for the ideas. I have to say that I’m looking forward to some high-rep work after running BDS – it’s been a fun program, but it’s time for a change.

Probably not. For mass gain, just eat more food.