Here is a natural bodybuilding question that I got from one of my readers the other day. This question is asked more often than what you would think by both men and women so I figured that posting it will help many of you out there.

Natural Bodybuilding Question: I want to compete one day so I want to get really big as quickly as possible. Should I train twice a day for 2-1/2 hours at a time for faster bodybuilding gains? I hear that is how the guys back in the 70’s used to do it. Please help me.

Answer: Absolutely not. It is a big misconception that the more you train, the more you gain. Back in the 70’s high volume, twice a day training was popular amongst the top level professional bodybuilders. However, these guys were genetically gifted and their nervous systems could take a beating of this magnitude and still recover. And even then, they typically only did this 12 weeks prior to a competition. In addition, due to years of training, each advanced bodybuilder knows how much they can take before overtraining is reached.

I would say that the best way to stimulate gains for most people is by training 1 hour, once a day, with 45 minutes being better for most. Depending on the unique recovery capabilities of the person, 4-6 days a week of weight training will do the job. Remember that muscle growth occurs as you rest and not while you are training.

Also, after 60 minutes of training the levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol increases and testosterone decreases, a hormonal situation that will prevent you from making any gains. My philosophy when it comes to time spent at the gym is get in, do your job well, and get out. These days even most of the top pro bodybuilders refrain from spending much more than 1 hour at the gym.

Like former 8-Time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney used to say: “Stimulate, don’t annihilate”.

Below you will find some programs that will give you the kind of gains that you are looking for.


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More Programs Can Be Used During a Bulking or Fat Loss Cycle

  • Beginner’s Bodybuilding Workout (3 Days a week) – Excellent for those people with no bodybuilding training experience.
  • Intermediate Bodybuilding Workout (3-4 Days a week as desired) – Excellent for those with 12 weeks of training experience.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout Using Periodization (3-6 days a week) – This is for the trainee with at least 24 weeks of training experience who is really serious about getting huge muscles. The periodization, or manipulation of sets, rest and repetition parameters will ensure the fastest gains in muscle mass.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout Using The 10 Sets of 10 Reps Training Method (3-6 days a week) – This is for the trainee with at least 24 weeks of training experience who is ready for another high volume phase and who needs to get past a plateau. The 10 sets of 10 reps bodybuilding training method has been used in bodybuilding circles for years in order to break through plateaus and gain new lean muscle mass. Many people have claimed to its invention, but regardless of who came up with it, it has been used with great success by awesome bodybuilders from the past such as Vince Gironda, as well as Dave Draper and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Today, many athletes on the know still use this method and even elite strength coaches, such as Charles Poliquin, are great advocates of it and use it on their Olympic athletes when they are in need of increasing their lean mass quickly. I’ve used this method myself without fail since early on my bodybuilding career. It never ceases to yield great results.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout Using The 5 Sets of 5 Reps Training Method (3-6 days a week) – This is for the trainee with at least 24 weeks of training experience who is ready for another heavy weight phase and who needs to get past a plateau. This method has also been used in bodybuilding circles for years for the purposes of breaking through plateaus and accumulating new lean muscle mass. The inventor of this method, according to what I have read from various sources, was no other than former Mr. Universe Reg Park who was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bodybuilding idol and inspiration. Reg used this method quite successfully back in the fifties and sixties. This routine is best used after a high volume training phase, such as the one provided by the 10 sets of 10 reps method described above.
  • Hardgainer’s Bodybuilding Training – Periodized workout for people with an ectomorphic bodytype.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout for the Busy Bodybuilder (3-6 days a week) – This is a non periodized workout that makes the most out of the time that you have to train. You can incorporate periodization by changing the repetition ranges periodically as shown on the Advanced Bodybuilding Workout above. You can also change your exercise selections as well.

Take care and train hard!





About the Author

hugoHugo Rivera is an International best selling fitness author certified in personal training and nutrition with a computer engineering degree from the University of South Florida. Hugo is owner of, an informational, free fitness and nutrition website. He is author of over 10 fitness books (with over a million copies sold) including his best sellers: Body Re-Engineering, The Body Sculpting Bible for Men, The Body Sculpting Bible for Women, the Weight Training Diary, and the Hardgainers Handbook of Bodybuilding. Today via his website, numerous articles, book publications, TV and radio appearances Hugo continues to educate the public on how to achieve the body of their dreams via the use of weight training exercise, good nutrition and correct supplementation. You can follow Hugo via:

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In this article you will learn the correct way to start working towards your bodybuilding and fitness endeavors. By following these steps you will guarantee yourself quick results and save yourself from excessive soreness and injury.

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