My question is...Is my work out routine useful for mass or is it completely wrong?

For quite a while, I followed a routine where I would start with 3 or 4 sets of a tough excercise and heavy weights I could rep maybe just six times each set. Then on the next excercise of 3 or 4 sets I would move to medium weight I could rep at least eight times each set. Last, I would do 3 or 4 sets of a lighter excercise with omething like 12 reps on each set. For example, for chest I would go heavy on the bench, then do the medium weights with dumbell presses and then finish with peck deck.

I know that there are supposedly optimal rep ranges for mass and I was maybe slightly stepping out of that optimal range on either end of the workout, but I somehow had this idea that I need to go really heavy while I am still full of energy at the beginning and take the muscles to their strength limit (still within something we could consider a mass building rep range), then the middle I would consider the golden core of the workout and the lighter weights at the end I would consider something like a pump up excercise.

I know some people go exactly the opposite way and start lighter and increase loads as they go, but I just find I get exhausted too early on some easy stuff and the when I need to really work, I am half dead already.

Generaly there are tons of different load progression methods...but could anyone give me a qualified answer as to what is really good? (again my priority is mass) Thanks

2 Answers 2


I presume all of your exercises working out the same body part? If so, you are essentially using the technique called "pyramiding down". This means you start with a heavy weight and back off from there. It's a perfectly legitimate way of working out, though you will of course find its proponents and opponents. With your priority being mass, going as heavy as possible when you're fresh is arguably the best way to lift the heaviest, which will in turn induce a need to be bigger in your body the best.

Like many things with physical fitness, nobody really knows as an empirical fact. The reasoning behind your workout is not bad, though, just be careful to warm up thoroughly so you have an idea of your relative strength that day. The last thing you want is to jump in and abruptly figure out you're not feeling quite right, leading to an injury!

  • Thanks for your answer. I am aware of the so called pyramiding down method, but i am not sure if it is exactly what i am doing. Unless i am mistaken, in pyramiding down you start heavy and back off from there, but on the next excercise, you start the process over and start heavy again.
    – Mike427
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 10:09
  • What i do is i go heavy on an entire excercise,that is all 3 or 4 sets, and then i go lighter on the whole next excercise and so on...as i decribed in the first post. I think if you were to draw the loads on a graph,the typical pyramiding down would have way more ups and downs.i basicaly go linear,then step down and go linear from there again. The graph would look like steps going down
    – Mike427
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 10:19
  • @Mike427 You start the process over as heavy again with pyramiding down usually because you don't work out the same body part twice in a row. So you'll do chest, do arms, then go back and do chest again, for example. If you're only working out one body part a linear progression down makes sense.
    – tmesser
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 16:47

What you do is train both rep ranges for hypertrophy and strength within one training. That's OK, many guys do that, so you can go on with that but I just want to show you a training that worked insanely good for me.

It's called Jim Stoppani's Shortcut to Size training and I gained 5-6 kg within the 12 weeks of the program. I didn't take all the supplements he recommended because that's just insane in my opinion. Just make sure you eat enough because the training is tough and remember you want to build some so you have to eat big.

The idea in this training is to focus each week on either hypertrophy or strength and become overall stronger and heavier. Let me know if you give it a try, I absolutely fell in love with this workout routine.

  • Thanks Danny, i will consider trying it. I will keep you informed.
    – Mike427
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 17:25

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