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Guaranteed Muscle Mass Frequency and Intensity Questions


#1

Hi Paul,

I just read your article about your Guaranteed Muscle Mass program and I want to try it out.

Before doing so, I’d like to ask you 2 questions:

  1. I’m used to working out up to 6 times a week, and I see the program has you work out 3 times a week. Is there any way to make it work with 4 sessions a week instead of 3? That is, doing 2 upper body days and 2 lower body days each week.
  2. I see you mention percentages or 1RM for most exercises. I haven’t really ever tested my one rep max on any exercises and if at all possible I would like not to have to. How do you suggest going about choosing the weight? Should I just go by feel and choose a weight I think I can get at least 8 reps with and then go from that?

Thank you!


#2

If already want to tinker sounds like the program is not for you, try this 4 day U/L instead…


#3
  1. You can def do it on a 4 day a week split. Just be aware of how you feel after a few weeks and how performance is going, i.e. you’re recovering enough.

  2. You can use, and I advise, an “everyday max” here. Something you can hit for a single even when sick or feeling like crap. You could have a week where you test this, or run the first cycle by just estimating. Just be conservative.


#4

Thank you!

Looking at the program, I’ve got a couple more questions. They might be just silly but I want to make sure…

  1. As weird as that can be, I never barbell bench press. All the pressing I did for the last 9 months has been with dbs. The movement just didn’t feel right. Now I’d like to “relearn” the movement. However, I feel like I should be doing more of a neck press than a regular press (tried it in the smith machine and felt very good in my chest). So when your program calls for “bench press,” can i do a barbell neck press instead?

  2. For your 350 set with the db row, do you suggest going unilaterally or with a variation like a chest supported bilateral row? If the former, how do I keep track of reps?

  3. I know this question is usually annoying but, is there any way I can squeeze in some delt work at the end of upper body days? In another thread here I see you suggested plate raises. How about middle and rear delt work? I’m really trying to bring those up, along with biceps.

  4. Do you know about CT’s “train biceps every damn day for fast growth?” It consists of doing 10 sets of biceps with a specific scheme every day for 3-4 weeks, while doing no other bicep work meanwhile. I’m thinking about doing it from the 2nd to 6th week of the program once I start it (I’ll use the 1st to get accustomed to the volume), if you think that’s okay. While not technically “modifying the program,” because that’s like an addition, I would like to hear your thoughts about this.

Sorry if bothering you with not-very-smart questions.

Thank you again Paul!


#5
  1. Yes

  2. You count?

  3. You can throw in some extra delt work if that’s a lagging bodypart, yes.

  4. That is modifying the program. If you’re going to run the program, run it AS IS at least the first time around for 6-8 weeks and THEN make adjustments.


#6

Hi @Paul_Carter!

Last Friday I completed the first week of your GMM program, training 4 days a week. First of all, THANK YOU. Each and every one of the workouts kicked my ass and there wasn’t a single exercise that didn’t leave me thrashed in a good way, feeling like I had worked every muscle hard. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow to get back into the gym.

After doing the workouts, I’ve got some questions:

  1. After reading Meadows’s article about the smith machine Bent over row, I decided to try it in your upper 1 workout (instead of the regular Bb row). It was awesome! I could feel my whole back contracting way better than with the regular version. What are your thoughts on this exercise? Is it okay to keep it in place of the traditional row?

  2. As I already knew, I suck at both Dips and chin ups. I got 26 total Dips and 21 chins. I know the easy way out of this would be to substitute them with something like Decline presses and let pulldowns but since I have never really put much effort into these exercises—do you suggest I just stick to them until I eventually can do 50 reps? I am doing all the 3 sets to failure of course.

  3. Leg workouts are kicking my ass big time. Is it okay to keep some reps in the tank on the unilateral work at the end? By the time I get to split squats and lunges, after doing my balls-out set of squats and then leg presses/rdl, I don’t have nearly as much willpower as when I begin the workout. I’m just in too much pain lol

  4. Assuming I have more time and could potentially train more than 4 days a week—is there anything I could do on an extra day or two? Some active recovery or maybe cardio? I’m planning to do your program for 5 weeks to put on as much mass as possible, while limiting fat gain, and when May comes, I’ll cut for 5 weeks. Then I might very well just get back to doing your program. What extra activity could help me with my current goal?

Thank you again Paul, loving your program so far.


#7
  1. Love rows in the smith. All good there.

  2. I think you can rotate through them honestly. Chins one back workout, lat pulldowns the next. It’s funny because EMG has shown that the lats have a higher degree of activation during lat pulldowns than with chins. So there’s no reason why you can’t use both.

  3. Yes, totally. Leaving a rep or two in the tank actually works just as well as going to complete failure without the toll on systemic recovery. So that’s fine.

  4. Some easy steady state is great for recovery. 30 minutes of walking can be highly restorative.


#8

The program actually already has me rotating through them. On upper 1 I have Incline presses and pull downs, whereas the other workout calls for Dips and chins for the 350 technique


#9

Is there any particular reason you feel as though you need to improve on chins? Are you chasing a performance goal in them or looking for more mass? If it’s more mass, then just use the rotation or lat pulldowns as often as you like.

People get too caught up in certain movements and wanting to get better at them. Sometimes to the detriment of actually achieving their primary goal.


#10

Not really going for any performance goal. I believe that could actually be an ego thing—I don’t like not being able to do chins or Dips, which most fit people can in fact do.

But I’ll tell you: I wouldn’t really be bothering with them if they weren’t listed in your program. But they are, so I guess I gotta do them.

I’ll agree on the fact that pull downs generally feel better than chins for lat involvement, but when it comes to the dip, I believe it’s a decent chest movement, different than a regular press.

My question was more to understand if they are worth doing, provided I’m not really good at them (considering I should be able to get to 50 reps in 3 sets and I barely got to half that) and they my only concern is putting on slabs of muscle.


#11

“Worth” doing would depend on your goals.

If you’re trying to get better at them (because of ego) then yes. If you’re really trying to grow then no, there are other options. IF you enjoy them, and want to get better at them then the byproduct will be more muscle. But it’s not a requirement to do them.


#12

Hey Paul I’m using the program also , I have to say I love !!! I have some questions regarding the program #1 when I can’t add add any more weights to the lifts how much weight should I take off and restart the guaranteed muscle mass program ?
#2 is doing hiit 15sec work 45 rest with jump okay for 2 times a week for conditioning ?
#3 is it okay to replace front squats with hacks? i find it that I’m able to focus more on my quads more that way.


#13
  1. Something to the tune of around 60% of your EDM.

  2. I wouldn’t do jumps for HIIT at all. Hard on the knees and ankles. Do the bike or sprints.

  3. Yes totally ok.


#14

oh okay thank you paul very much appreciate it


#15

hey Paul when reaching the top end of the rep range how much more weight should be added 5-10 pounds for upper body and 10-20 pounds for lower body ?


#16

That all depends on your strength levels. For stronger guys, 20 pounds. For not so stronger guys, then 5-10 pounds yes.


#17

Hey @Paul_Carter

3 weeks into your program now, and I have a couple of questions:

  1. As I predicted, my technique on the Barbell bench isn’t really on point and that recently hurt my progress (I don’t feel confident doing the exercise, much less seeing as I’m doing it neck press style). I’m considering to switch to Smith machine neck press as my 50%-technique exercise for upper 1 workout. Can you see this hurting me long term? I’ve been avoiding barbell pushing exercises and using mostly DBs or the smith machine as they just feel better. However, seeing all the big guys regularly benching with Bb has me thinking that maybe this isn’t the best path. What do you say?

  2. I believe my strength may have gone down lately. For Incline db presses, I used to be able to do six reps with 32 kg DBs, followed by 8 reps with 24 kgs and then a very hard 10 reps with 22 kg DBs, all in a big dropset… And I was even cutting. Now I’m struggling to get 50 total reps for your 350 technique with 22 kg DBs! What may have happened? I know that as long as I’m going to failure I’ll still get results, but it puzzles me that I can’t nearly get the same weight for reps. If I only think that when starting the program I was debating as to whether to use 26 or 28 kg DBs… I’m not even close now.

  3. You gave me green lights as to adding some delt work at the end of upper body workouts. I’ve been sorta skipping on that as I always get to the end of the workout with virtually nothing left in the tank. I did indeed try your 25-15-10-rest-10-15-25 method for laterals in a couple of workouts, and it killed my delts big time! I did it with plates instead of DBs (1.25 kg, 2.5 kg, and 5 kg plates) because I feel like I can isolate my delts better with them. I tend to be trap dominant and I feel that with plates I can focus on pushing the arms away with the delts better (it also feels easier on the wrists). What other isolation exercises could I do for delts? I’m thinking that I could do like one isolation exercise for the front delts and one for the middle on upper 1, then one for the rear and one for the middle on upper 2. What do you think? CT’s growth factor sets seem effective, but you also have some interesting techniques for isolation work.


#18
  1. IF it feels better use them. Don’t base what you need off of what you see other people doing. Dorian was famous for thinking outside the box and doing what was best for him. He realized he didn’t do well with barbell squats or bench presses. I think he did ok.

  2. This could be a myriad of factors from how you’re manipulating your pre and peri nutrition to your overall workload in general. If performance is suffering, it most often means there’s some fatigue masking it. Look at your total workload and see if some volume or frequency needs to be scaled back.

  3. Plate front raises, face pulls, and anything that hits the rear delts with bent laterals. I also like upright rows using a rope to allow the joints to move more naturally in the movement as well.


#19

Okay I will look into that.

Speaking of workout nutrition, I’d like to hear your thoughts on my current protocol. Since I can’t really afford plazma currently, I bought the main ingredients in bulk. Here it is:

45 min prior to workout: 6 capsules Indigo 3g
15 min prior to workout: half a dose of 25 g highly branched cyclic dextrin, 13 g isomaltulose, 15 g hydrolyzed casein
During workout: the other half (so the remaining 12.5 g, 6.5 g, 7.5 g. The ingredients add up to the equivalent of 1 serving of plazma)
10 min after workout: 250 ml skim milk, 20 g highly branched cyclic dextrin
60 min after workout: post workout meal (200 g white rice, 112 g canned tuna, 10 g olive oil, 20 g low fat mayo)

What do you think?


#20

I’d drop the mayo in the post workout meal. The 10g of fat from olive oil is ok as it will slow down the digestive rate a bit which is fine. But you probably don’t need 30 grams of fat in that meal. The rest looks good.