T Nation

Mass Gaining Program


Hey Chris,

Out if interest I was hoping you could give me some feedback on this bulking programme that was recommended by Gene Mozee in a special edition of Ironman Magazine.

Bench Press to Neck 6 x 6-8 Reps
Barbell Squat 6 x 8 Reps
Machine Calf Raises
Behind the Neck Press 6x 6-8
Front Pull Down 6 x 8-10 Reps
Lying Barbell Tricep Extension 6x8
Preacher Curl 6x8
Bent Knee Leg Raises 1x 100-150

It recommends starting of with 3 sets and going up every 30 until you can do 6 days. I could start on 4-5 sets i reckon

It recommends doing it 3x a week and aiding it with the right diet and sleep.

What do you think??


How do you perform a bench press to the neck? I've been training for awhile but i still have alot to learn, that one is new to me.


Bench Press to Neck 6 x 6-8 Reps

Why to the neck? Bench press to the neck can be a somewhat decent assistance exercise if once sporadically but as a core exercise in a program? To replace the regular bench press (or dips)? NEVER! Peoples tend to get too "cute" with their programs in hope of looking innovative.

Barbell Squat 6 x 8 Reps

Good exercise.

Machine Calf Raises

I personally never do calf training, except while performing power shrugs (shruging the bar with both the traps and calves). But if you want to work them, this exercise is just as good as any other.

Behind the Neck Press 6x 6-8

For 80% of the population the behind the neck press can be hard (i.e. traumatic) on the shoulder joint. Shoulder press from the front (seated shoulder press or standing military press) is a much safer option AND it allows for more weight to be used,thus will lead to greater gains in muscle mass around the shoulder area.

Front Pull Down 6 x 8-10 Reps

It's probably only the 4th or 5th best upper back exercise behind chins, pullups, barbell rowing, seated rowing to the abdomen and seated rowing to the neck. If you are only going to be doing one back exercise, at least use a good one.

Lying Barbell Tricep Extension 6x8

Not a bad exercise, althought weighted dips and decline barbell triceps extension would also be a good choice.

Preacher Curl 6x8

Good exercise, but so is the standing barbell curl.

Bent Knee Leg Raises 1x 100-150

Try to do 150 bent knee leg raises and get back to me! There is not only one abdominal muscle, you need several exercises to work them completely. Read my latest article on this subject.

Another general problems I see with the program are:

  1. No rest intervals mentionned
  2. No indication as to how to perform the exercises. 6-8 reps with a slow negative and a fast negative will have profoundly different impacts on your body.
  3. No deadlift. I feel that a whole-body approach should revolve around the bench press, squat and deadlift (or cleans) THEN add assistance exercise. Use core exercises then complete the picture. All the author did was include one exercise per bodypart, not very inventive and/or effective.



To be honest i had a few questions myself about it but i wanted to get some feedback from someone that was a little more qualified than myself.

Thanks for your detailed reply, what i plan to do is to sit down incorporate your ideas and re-adjust it accordingly.

Further more i planned on slow negatives with about a 2-3 minute rest between each set. As it's such a big program it will go beyond an hour looking at all excercises. Is this an issue??

Can i forward the re-adjusted program to you and get some extra feedback??


If you want to develop maximum muscle mass on such a program (very little volume for each muscle) shorter rest intervals might be a better option. 1-2 minutes tops.


With all due respect, I disagree with Christian here. In my opinion, there is far too much volume in this program and will cost you greatly in training intensity or cause overtraining.

You're performing 18 sets of squats per week. How can anyone survive such volume unless they're using submaximal weights or have Arnold's genetics + plenty of 'roids.



A little ambiguity here,

Do you mean low volume as in low number of sets would be better... say 3 , or that you can only gain low volume of mass with a routine like this.



David, if the squats are your only lower body exercise, and if there is 1 day between each session there is no real problem in squatting 3 times per week. Many many powerlifters have done so successfully. Several lifters actually squat and bench EVERY DAY!

However I agree that the number of sets recommended might be high. Still, don't be too quicky to throw the term overtraining out in the open. Many athletes bench, squat and deadlift/clean 3 times per week and they are fine and progressing well.