The Muscle Building Power of Singles Exposed!

By Gregg Gillies

What have you heard about single rep training?

Does the following sound familiar?

"Singles are dangerous and a great way to get injured."

"Singles are great for strength but don't build muscle."

"Singles are for powerlifters, not bodybuilders, and definitely
not for 'regular' weight trainers trying to build some muscle
and burn some fat."

What if I told you that none of this is true? Okay, singles
are great for strength and powerlifters must use them for
obvious reasons, but they can be done safely, they can
build lots of muscle mass and even 'regular' weight lifters
can benefit from the muscle building power of single rep

If singles could build lots of muscle mass as well as strength,
would you be interested? Then read on!

First, if you haven't done heavy single rep training in awhile,
you really need to break into a single rep training routine. You
can't jump from 8 to 12 reps sets right to singles. Your body is
not prepared for it. You definitely need an initial break in

You'll want to hit your weight lifting workouts on three nonconsecutive
days per week, such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday
and Saturday.

Don't miss workouts.

Get plenty of muscle building protein.

Eat at least 6 meals per day.

Sleep at least 8 hours a night.

You need to transition into heavy singles. First, switch from whatever
routine you're currently using to one utilizing the 5x5 training system.
In the 5x5 system, you perform two warm up sets and three work sets for
5 reps each.

For example, let's say you can bench press 200 pounds for 5 reps. Do
two warm up sets of 135 x 5 and 160 x 5. Then do three sets of 5 reps
with 190 pounds. When you can complete all three sets of 5 reps with
190 add 5 pounds to all your sets so it would be 140, 165, 195. Work
up to completing all three sets of 5 with 195.

Stay on the 5x5 system for about four or five months.

After this amount of time on the 5x5 weight lifting program, switch over
to the 5/4/3/2/1 trainng system. In this system you perform two or three
warm up sets with 5 reps. Then add some weight for your first working
set of 5 reps. Add a little weight and do four reps. Add some more
weight for 3 reps, then 2 and then 1.

Stay on the 5/4/3/2/1 system for another four or five months and then
get ready to tackle a weight training routine of singles and singles only.

I know you're shaking your head and wondering why you need to weight train
for over half a year before using the singles system. Trust me, you need
to get your body ready for such heavy weight. Besides, both the 5x5 and
the 5/4/3/2/1 weight training systems are extremely effective in their
own right for building muscle mass and getting stronger. If you've been
doing a lot of high rep pumping sets, you'll be pleasantly surprised with
your results.

Keep in mind that exercise selection is extremely important. The big, basic
compound movements like squats, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press, etc.
need to be the foundation of your routine.

Once you've done all this you are ready for some serious strength and muscle
building with singles. Start off using three or four heavier warm up sets
of 1 to 5 reps each. Then grab 70% of your one rep max and do a single.
Bump up the weight to 80% and do another single. Finally go with 90% of
your one rep max for a final single. That's it. Try adding 1 to 2 pounds
per week until you go past your former max. Then you'll be in a position
of training for the next few months using maximum weights on your final
single almost every training session. To really get the most out of a
singles program like this you need to stay on the program for a long time
and really work it.

If you're stuck with your current poundages and you haven't added any new
muscle mass in awhile, consider giving this singles program a serious
effort for the next year at least and see if you don't transform over that
time with lots of new muscle mass and strength as well.

Gregg Gillies is the founder of Build Lean His articles have appeared in international publications such as Ironman Magazine. He has written two books and is a regular contributor to Body Talk Magazine. You can get a free copy of his ebook Fast Mass at Build Muscle Fast.

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