Your Muscle & Strength Authority Site Since 1999

Strength IS the Foundation for Muscle MASS

By Chris Wilson, CPT author Anabolic AfterGrowth

childhood

Growing up I always wanted to be BIGGER like my older brothers.  I mean, they were monsters compared to my little 9 year old butt.  They had a 5 year head start on muscle building and puberty helped too!

Like most juveniles, I began lifting with those old school rusty free weights in our garage.  I had NO IDEA what I was doing but I was getting stronger all the same.

By High School, my football buddies and I spent quite a bit of time benching but we had absolutely no programming or lifting cycles to track our strength gains.  We had zero direction in the gym and without question, our form and technique was pathetic.

Chris-and-brothers

But, we continued to show up and bench (and curl) A LOT until we could barely move.  I guess that was how we measured our success.

While going to college I began learning HOW to be a diehard lifter with some level of skill.  Like most 18 year old guys, I wanted huge muscles, to be a monster in the gym and to impress the ladies at the same time.  I was super dedicated and some would say a little overboard with my training habits but I loved the way I felt with my swollen muscles after 2 hours+ of crushing it in the gym just about every night (when I wasn’t tending bar or goofing off playing video games).

The ladies seemed to like it too, so of course that influenced my desire to get to the gym and bench my brains out!

I laugh now because I was neglecting some of the key lifts that would have truly sky-rocketed my results but I was seeing decent gains on the bench and getting bigger arms, so nobody was going to steal away my thunder and drive to gaining muscle mass.

But of course, things change.

After college, I worked for World Gym in Connecticut and was exposed to all kinds of bodybuilders and powerlifters and finally started to realize the error of my ways.  I was so focused on gaining a stronger chest and larger biceps (like most 20 year olds), that I totally missed the boat on the TWO mega-mass builders, Squats & Deadlifts.

DB Front Squats

I knew from High School football that squats were important to gain leg strength and become more physical but they hurt and weren’t really fun…at all.  So doing them routinely was not a priority.

But working alongside some monsters who could throw around the iron gave me a whole new perspective.  Every chance I got, I picked their brains while drinking my post workout protein shake.  They would tell me how doing more compound lifts helped them gain crazy strength on all their lifts and they watched their muscle mass soar.

Plus, it seemed to give their body a “DENSE” quality that I just wasn’t seeing after years of hardcore training.

Needless to say, it also saved them serious time in the gym bouncing around doing isolation lift after isolation lift and barely making any noticeable progress. 

I felt like a dope but it was a good lesson indeed and just the wake-up call I needed.

Legendary Muscle MASS Forged From the 3 Big Lifts

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the ultimate example of how powerlifting generated the Greatest Bodybuilder to ever grace the stage.  Prior to all that fame and attention in the 1970s, Arnold was working on one thing…Getting Stronger.  Guess what, it worked like magic.

In the Mid-60’s, the Austrian Oak was routinely competing in powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting contests.  His personal bests are quite impressive considering he is known primarily for his physique. Squat – 545 lbs., Bench Press – 440 lbs., Deadlift – 710 lbs.

It was this focus on the fundamental lifts that created “The King” of the Bodybuilding Universe.  Even his best friend, Franco Columbu (pictured far right), followed this approach to bodybuilding and was a champion powerlifter and even competed in the World’s Strongest Man competition.

Implementing the ‘BIG 3’ Power Lifts & Making Gains

profile pic

After a few years working for World Gym, I got an awesome job at a private training studio in a wealthy area of southwestern Connecticut and really began to apply all of this new insight into muscle development.  It was here that I really saw my strength shoot up as I worked alongside gifted lifters who were much smarter and experienced than me.

We got to train young athletes in high school and college who required the BIG 3 lifts to excel in their sport along with middle aged men and young mothers who desired to get stronger and drop serious body fat.  I of course applied this same approach to my own weight lifting program with amazing results.

My young, muscular body was noticeably BUZZING with the muscle building hormones that literally made me Feel Stronger on a DAILY basis.

BOOM! Within weeks of this new approach my Bench Press totals shot through the roof as I started squatting more and more weight.

I was told that focusing on leg strength would instantly improve upper body strength and I discovered that to be 100% true!

The increase in strength was undeniable and undoubtedly due to spending a majority of my time on Squats, Bench Press and Deadlifts.  No combination of barbell lifts demands this magnitude of working muscles.

  • Squats require all the muscles of the legs to fire along with the entire abdominal wall not to mention the upper body muscles that keep the barbell in place.
  • The Bench Press targets the chest, triceps and shoulders but also engages your biggest muscles, the lats, as well as the legs creating a strong platform to bench from.
  • The Deadlift is considered the most primal of all the lifts.  Nothing hits all the muscles in the posterior chain better than this pulling movement.

I was routinely doing reps with 315 lbs. in the squat rack which made my bench press jump from 275 lbs. for reps to well over 300 lbs. and my body fat % was as low as it had ever been.

Without even focusing on cardio activity, my body was INCINERATING FAT at an all-time high level. 

At the end of the day, it all comes down to WHAT you’re doing in the gym. Reps, sets, rest and tempo are also important aspects of your workouts but WHAT you’re doing determines your fate…good or bad.  Sure, it’s fun to do some isolation training with higher reps and get all pumped up but that should be your REWARD for crushing the BIG 3 lifts.

Get really good at squatting, deadlifting and benching in the 80-90% range of your 1RM and watch your SIZE & STRENGTH explode like never before!

Click The Link Below to UNLEASH Your Anabolic Hormones…

anabolic-growth-in-the-news

THESE 3 Lifts Will Awaken Your
‘MAN-MAKING’ Hormones










Be Sociable, Share!

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!