Serge Nubret Pump Training, Good? or Bad?

Just been looking into how serge nubret trained and it sparked some interest for me, anyone ran his training style before? and if so how did you take to it?

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Loads of feedback here below. Personally I would just run as a 6-8 week blast once a year…

Cheers pal, Definitely think im gonna start the routine tomorrow, however i will be toning it down from 8sets on certain workouts to 6, included in that while training each part twice a week i will be hitting 5x5’s on first bench and squat day then rep’s on everything else, and then the second time in the week ill be just doing reps. Hopefully make some good gains while im still bulking until my cut in February.

Have you personally tried the serge nubret way?

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Yeah good to include a bit of heavy stuff.
Tried the whole thing for a few workouts but not suited for my body and felt like crap.

However I often do an 8x12/10x10, (20 secs rest) etc for one accesory excercise as a finisher though, gets me leaving with big pump

Yeah see I’ve been training with an old school plan as of recent with heavy weights and like I just haven’t been getting the pump that I’ve wanted so I thought I’d do some pump chasing haha plus I like the concept of switching quads with chest / hammys with back

I’ve always found it interesting when certain individuals can get results doing something that no one else seems to do. Serge had one of the greatest physiques of all time IMO, but the fact that he trained so differently from anyone else of his time (or since) makes me wonder if he was just uniquely predisposed to react so well so such pump work.

I realize that higher rep work has its place in any smart plan due to the metabolic component of growth stimulus, but I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone since designing a program specifically around it. Again, Serge was one in a million -lol.


I wonder how much of Serge’s supposed methods were myth. There were some training videos made by him mid/late in his career and he seemed to train more conventionally in terms of sets and reps, no crazy number of sets.
He took steroids just like every pro bodybuilder did, and that will give you help with increased workout volume, and gainz from lighter pump work, a natty is not going to get the same results.
Whatever he did, he did what worked for him as an individual. Listen to your body, and tailor the workout to you current level of fitness and ability, rather than what a pro bodybuilder does at the peak of their career

I tried it and i liked it. In my opinion(i am no pro) it is good because it relieves stress from joints by avoiding heavy weights. Obviously some have fast gains because they are newbies, some have fast gains because they overeat and they think they are big but only impress themself a cut will show the reality. His physique was probably partly due to his genes, partly to non stop training and by that i mean the safety factor when avoiding heavy weights keeps the injuries away, partly due to his special eating and partly to what is considered illigal today. I would suggest alternating maybe 3 months pumping with maybe 10 weeks heavy just keep training smart avoid injuries and accept your genes/limits. We cannot know what he was doing a winning receipe i would keep secret if i had 1, we have to understand the pros earn a living so some marketing is involved. In my understanding i would resume do lots of reps/sets with your warmup weight with short resting periods it s like each set you added some weight it is fun well i guess depending on our personality some might find that boring but what i found when i started lifting is form is very important and that might be part of his secret without heavy loads we can focus on properly doing a squat or any other stuff.

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So I’ve done 3 sessions incorporating the way serge trained however I’m still doing heavy 5x5’s on squats and bench, my main takeaway from this program is: i enjoy the split of quads and hamstrings, and the shoulder pump was decent, i just switched out the programmed front raises for rear flys due to rear lacking more, I got a good shoulder pump/back pump and chest pump from this method of training (obviously with my own tweaking) my legs even got a good going over. The only workout that didn’t really work for me was the Cable curls, i’ve never enjoyed cable curls but i thought fuck it i’ll do them, and i just don’t feel like im getting a pump or any type of work put into the muscle, anyone else dislike cable curls??

Nope I love them. What attachment do you use?

I use the rope handles and make sure I squeeze them out at the top. If the cable is stopping before you extend your arms all the way down, stand on a low box. If you stand back a foot or 2, you can hit your biceps from different angles.

I used a straight bar, i just never feel it, i’ve tried it on a rope as well, i mainly just feel better pump’s from dumbbell concentrated curls, however cable’s on triceps hit my tricep nicely.

(I may try the box idea though, never thought about it)

Serge was in the 1% genetic elite. Combined with anabolics ( and yes they used lots of them back then) you see this result. Serge could have trained using any protocol and would still have been a world champion. If you took every champion bodybuilder in the world and compared their training programs , it would be all over the place. High rep/ low rep/ HIT/ Compound only/ isolation only etc. you get the idea. Essentially, everything works for these guys as long as certain principles are managed of course. Training like the pro’s will likely yield results not to your liking if you are the average bro.


I feel that one should take caution not to make such assumptions as the resulting logic ends up extending to “natties should only do fullbody programs because splits only work for assisted lifters or the genetically elite” and “every bodybuilder other than the ones whose training methods Rippetoe and I agree with is doing it wrong”. Also, other than Serge, we are only looking at a brief snapshot of their training, which may not be the same throughout the year, and the accuracy of what they are actually doing during the workout, e.g. the weight used with every set when pyramiding up to a top set, is limited to the accuracy of the person reporting it.

Regarding Serge’s “pump training”, IMO it is either something he came up with as a novel and interesting training style while selling whatever services he was offering, or it’s something that he may have been doing at a later stage of his career. I personally do a different variation of “pump training” when maintaining while giving my joints a break from heavier weights.