Gain Muscle with Werewolf Training
This training routine is designed for you to gain muscle. That’s it.
If you came to learn how to bench 700 lbs, you are better off reading Werewolf Training for Strength Gains. Although, truth to tell, you will get significantly stronger following this program.
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Werewolf training is not designed to get you ripped or “toned” (::barfs::), or even super strong, but you will get stronger anyway. This is much more of a bodybuilding routine than anything else, but with great strength benefits.
This is not for powerlifting or strongman training, but some level of strength will definitely be gained with Werewolf Training. Everyone using this routine has added weight to all their major lifts.
If you are a skinny guy and want to gain mass, this is for you. If you are ripped up and shredded but want to have more size, this is for you. If you just want to add 20-30 pounds of muscle to your body for whatever reason, this is for you.
I based this training routine off of 15 years of experience with training and nutrition including my recent evolution into HIIT and HIRT training for fat loss. Periodization and muscle confusion are the two main principles used in this routine, and they will suit you well.
My recent research on Taylor Lautner and how he trained to gain 30 pounds for his role as the werewolf Jacob Black in The Twilight Saga: New Moon is what actually prompted me to write up this routine.
Werewolf Training Principles
Progress Factor #1 – Training
When you see set protocols that look like 3 x 5, the goal is to use one weight for every work set. In this example you would use the same weight for 3 sets of 5 reps. If you can get the required number of reps for all sets, you should go heavier next time.
Choose a weight to start each exercise. If you think you can add weight and still complete the number of prescribed reps for the number of prescribed sets for that exercise, you may increase the weight between sets. HOWEVER – you should not have to decrease the weight at any time during the exercise.
Example: When doing the bench press, 4 sets of 5 reps, you start with 185 and get 5 reps easy. If you choose to go up to 200, you should use 200 for the rest of the exercise.
When you see set protocols that look like 5 x 5, 2, 1, 1, 1 or 3 x 12, 8, 5; the goal is to increase the weight for every work set. For each set, if you can get the required number of reps you should go heavier for that rep range next time.
Even when you see 1, 1, 1 you should increase the weight by at least 5 pounds before starting the next set.
Negative rep overloading:
Jordan Yuam, Taylor personal trainer, had Taylor testing his limits by using 40% more weight than Taylor typically used for a 10 rep set. Overloading was used for 2-3 sets of 5 reps every other week. This type of training requires a strong, experienced spotter. Don’t try it without one.
Varying weights and reps:
Taylor didn’t stick to a 3×5 or 5×5 or 3×10 type of routine. He worked all of his muscle fibers equally by varying the volume from week to week. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that strength can be increased by 28-43 percent just by varying rep counts and training different muscle groups.
It is still good to stick to a certain rep range based on your goals, but it is even better to occasionally change it up to force your body to adapt to new stimulus.
Number of sets:
When doing higher reps with lighter weight, you typically need fewer sets. Two sets of 10-12 reps is not uncommon.
When doing lower reps with heavier weight, you often need more sets. If is good practice to use four to five sets when training in the 1 to 5 rep range.
Bands, Chains, and Tension training:
Free weights are best, but Taylor also used added tension with bands. The added tension increases the difficulty of the easiest portion of each lift, which is usually at the top, by accelerating resistance at the end of each rep. Recruiting additional muscle fibers using this method definitely adds to the growth potential of each and every set.
Incidentally, bands are used in elite powerlifting circles like Louie Simmons’ Westside Barbell.
Reduce cardio to maximize muscle gains:
Taylor’s main goal was to gain 30 pounds of muscle mass. His metabolism was going to keep him ripped no matter what, so in order to gain muscle he had to cut back on cardio. If your only goal is to get ripped, HIIT cardio and HIRT are great schemes, but skinny hardgainers should minimize endurance training during a bulking phase. 20 minutes is the limit.
Note: For those who wish to add cardio, there is one HIRT session scheduled after every upper body workout. Using the HIRT session might decrease your overall muscle gain, but it will also minimize your overall fat gain and keep you in better cardiovascular health. Remember, the HIRT session is OPTIONAL.
Sensible abdominal training:
The rules of weight training apply to the abdominals. It doesn’t make any sense to train your abs every day. Taylor Lautner only trains his abs 3 days a week. We pick a set of exercises that works the whole core and limit ab training to thrice a week. Every lower body day ends with a 3 exercise abdominal circuit, which is NOT OPTIONAL.
Varying planes of movement:
Most people train up and down, front to back. Yuam knows that side-to-side training is important too. Diagonal and sideways movements are vital for a versatile training plan.
Progress Factor #2 – Recovery
Recovery is so important to growth. Without recovery, you just can’t grow.
You will have the option of taking an extra day off after every 4 workouts. This off day in included in the program, both on the webpage and on the spreadsheet, but remember the extra rest day is OPTIONAL.
Follow these recovery tips to ensure proper muscular adaptation:
- Lautner takes every third day off.
- Limit training to 5 days a week.
- Weight training sessions should be kept under 60 minutes.
- Sleep for 7-8 hours each and every night.
Recovery is important within a workout as well. We want each set to receive maximal intensity and muscular facilitation so we want to make sure your muscles are fresh for each set.
For regular weight training, follow these rest protocols:
- Supersets will still require no rest between sets. They will be denoted by a, b, and c.
- 90 seconds rest between sets.
- 2-4 minutes rest between exercises, as necessary.
Always end your workout with a 10 minute stretching session. Post-workout stretching increases both recovery and flexibility. This is a good thing.
Use these stretching principles:
- Read about Flexibility Training.
- Stretch every muscle group for at least one minute.
- Hold each static stretch for 20 seconds and repeat at least twice.
- Never use static stretching before you train.
- If you must stretch before you train, use only dynamic stretching.
- Think of your stretching session as a cool-down.
- Stretching does not count towards your 45-60 minute workout limit.
Progress Factor #3 – Nutrition
You gotta feed the machine or it won’t grow. Here’s how.
Choose your goal weight.
For example, lets start with a 160 pound man who wants to weigh 180 pounds.
Calculate your metabolic co-efficient (M) based on your body type and past history of gaining muscle and losing fat. If you need help determining your body type, read A Body Type Analysis
- Endomorph (hard to lose fat, easy to gain muscle) – M = 8.5
- Mesomorph (moderately easy to gain muscle or lose fat) – M = 9.5
- Ectomorph (easy to lose fat, hard to gain muscle) – M = 10.5
Let’s consider that our 160 lb man is an ectomorph. He has always been thin with little to moderate muscle development, but it is difficult for him to really gain considerable muscle mass without drinking weight gain shakes all day long. His metabolic co-efficient (M) is 11.
Calculate total number of hours of training weekly.
If you are a busy guy you might be limited to three 45 minute sessions plus some warming up and stretching, which will come out to about 3 hours a week. For this example, based on Taylor Lautner’s routine, at 5 days a week and 60 minutes a session, our man will be training 5 hours a week.
Daily calories = Goal Weight X (the number of hours you workout per week + M)
Example: 180 lbs X (5 hours + 10.5) = 2790 calories per day
You should get 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day.
Example: 180 lbs = 180 g protein per day (180 g protein X 4 calories = 720 protein calories)
The best protein powder you can choose for your Werewolf Training routine, is Optimum Nutrition. They have the highest quality protein for the cheapest prices. Click on this link to get some Optimum Nutrition protein powder now.
You can estimate about half of your goal weight in healthy fats each day.
Example: 180 lbs = 90 g fat per day (90 g fat X 9 calories = 810 fat calories)
The rest of your calories should come from high quality carbohydrate sources such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes.
Example: 2790 calories – (720 protein calories + 810 fat calories) = 1260 carb calories (1260 carb calories / 4 calories = 315 g carbs per day)
Progress Factor #4 – Supplements
First let me say that you don’t need any supplements to succeed with Werewolf Training. Just eat a ton of the right foods, and you will grow. That being said, I know many of you will want to make the most of this routine by increasing your body’s capabilities with supplements.
Therefore, I am going to recommend the 4 best supplements for you to use to gain muscle.
Post Workout Nutrition – P90X Results and Recovery Formula
Studies repeatedly show that you will recover from an intense workout twice as fast if you use a post-workout drink within 20 minutes of finishing an intense workout. It is a known fact at this point, so if you’re not using a specially formulated post-workout drink in that 20 minute window, then you’re throwing 50% of your gains right out the window.
This post-workout shake contains four parts carbs to one part protein, which is exactly what you need to ensure speedy muscle recovery after intense workouts. It tastes great, is all-natural, and contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Mix it with water in a shaker bottle right after your workout – quick and easy.
This specially designed post-workout shake contain a perfect blend of:
- Dextrose for optimum glycogen replenishment, a necessity after an intense workout.
- An easily digestible protein blend, providing critical amino acids to immediately restart protein synthesis.
- Antioxidants and vitamins, which help to reduce soreness and assist in tissue repair and muscle growth.
Nitric Oxide (NO) Supplement
N.O. supplements are some of the most popular bodybuilding supplements. N.O. will increase your pumps and, more importantly, increase your strength endurance. I find myself getting an extra 2-3 reps on every set when I’m using an N.O. supplement.
- This N.O. supplement is a Hemodilator, which gives you extra energy by pumping more blood through your body.
- N.O. supplements give you incredible pumps… you will look and feel stronger than ever.
- N.O. supplements increase levels of Nitric Oxide in your body, increasing both strength and endurance.
- By increasing your metabolism, N.O. supplements helps you avoid typical bulking-phase fat gains.
Shakeology or Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein
Whey protein supplements can help you get the strong, powerful, lean, healthy body that you dream of. Hard-gainers can make higher carbohydrate protein shakes, while mesomorphs and ectomorphs can opt for the low-carb protein recipes. Click here for a list of more than 100 protein shake recipes.
First, check out Shakeology – it’s not just your average protein shake. Comes in two great flavors.
- Whole-food ingredients curbs cravings and burn stored fat
- Over 20 phytonutrients and antioxidants
- Reduces risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke
- Probiotics to assist digestion and nutrient absorption
If you are looking for a pure protein powder, check out Optimum Nutrition. Optimum Nutrition protein powder comes in about 20 different flavors, and is available in 1 lb, 2 lb, 5 lb, and 10 lb containers.
- Make protein shakes to supplement your daily protein intake.
- Mix with foods you eat everyday to increase your daily protein intake.
- The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of muscle tissue.
- More calories = more muscle!
Xtend Amino Acid Supplement
Xtend is a scientific blend of amino acids consisting of the proven 2:1:1 ratio of energy BCAAs (L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine), Glutamine, Citrulline Malate, and Vitamin B6 that will give you the energy you need to maximize your training and enhance recovery.
The components in Xtend have been scientifically proven to:
- help speed recovery
- enhance ATP production
- promote cell volume
- avoid fatigue
- increase protein synthesis
- improve immune function
- improve digestive health
- elevate growth hormone levels
- and promote vasodilation, which can lead to better assimilation and absorption of protein
Remember, Xtend is full of glutamine, which is an important amino acid for energy and muscle recovery. You can take a serving of Xtend before, during, and after any workout, as well as right before bed and first thing in the morning. A steady supply of amino acids can only do a body good. Just don’t drink so much that you make yourself sick of it! Trust me, I’ve been there.
Creatine – Kre-Alkalyn
The purpose of creatine supplementation, is to build up the creatine levels in your muscles in order to increase strength and long term muscle gains, by more efficiently rebuilding ATP levels during your workouts. If you don’t know, ATP is what muscles use for short intense muscular contractions like weightlifting, sprinting, throwing, and jumping.
The good news is that Kre-Alkalyn has a higher absorption so it doesn’t require front loading and reportedly causes less creatine bloating and stomach problems. Kre-Alkalyn offers you a brand of creatine that is 100% stable, will not break down into creatinine, and will absorb efficiently into the bloodstream. Each gram of Kre-Alkalyn is equivalent to 10 grams of creatine powder.
The theory behind Kre-Alkalyn is: scientists discovered that the higher the pH of your creatine, the slower it is converted to creatinine. Pure Kre-Alkalyn has a pH of 12, the highest pH product on the market. This particular product also claims to use an enhanced delivery system, which gets the product into your blood stream even quicker.
Your other options are to get regular old creatine monohydrate or creatine malate, which are both good, but reportedly not as good as Kre-Alkalyn. Just please do not get scammed by liquid creatine or creatine ethyl ester, or any of the other ‘advanced delivery’ creatine scams. That liquid stuff never works.
That’s just about all you need for supplements, although there are many other options available if you have the cash. The number of supplements you use depends highly on your budget and your willingness to drink shakes, juices, and take pills all day.
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The Werewolf Training Workout Routine for Muscle Gains
Here is a 3 week, 21 day, 18 session workout routine designed to build muscle. It consists of 12 resistance training sessions, 6 neural activation training (NAT) sessions, and 6 ab workouts.
Neural Activation Training (NAT)
NAT workouts are optional, non-fatiguing, and will not lead to overtraining if used properly. NAT workouts will add to the effectiveness of the routine if you choose to use them.
Abdominal workouts are scheduled on NAT days, but instead you can train your abs on any non-consecutive workout day. All NAT and abdominal training options are listed in the routine and on the spreadsheet. Do whatever fits your schedule and recovery ability.
I have tried to limit the exercise selection to equipment that most people can get at a gym, which includes barbells, dumbbells, and a box or bench.
You can find resistance bands at some gyms, but typically you will have to buy them on your own. Do not buy the resistance bands they sell at WalMart or Target, those are garbage. Go online and find real resistance bands that you can attach to free weight machines.
The bands are best used with the first couple compound exercises of the day such as bench press, deadlift, military press, and squats. They can also be used with many of the other exercises. Your limitations will be set by your own creativity.
The latest version of Werewolf Muscle Training is 3.0. It is the most comprehensive Werewolf Muscle Training to date, updated based on personal and reader feedback.
View a printable version of the routine, or download the spreadsheet for Werewolf Muscle Training version 3.0 here: printable workout routines
Printable Werewolf Training Workout Routines
A printable html document and an Excel spreadsheet is available for Werewolf Training 2.0, 3.0, and each update from this point forward. You can download them all at the link below.
Use these spreadsheets to track your progress. Either keep track of your numbers on the computer, or take the print-outs to the gym with you. A clipboard works great to hold your workout logs if you decide to print them out. I recommend using pen to record your numbers, as pencil fades over time.
Click the link below to print or download the newest updated training logs with updated exercises and rep requirements, added optional cardio sessions, and neural adaptation training integration:
Click the link below to download the spreadsheet for the old Werewolf Muscle Training 1.0, 21 day routine:
Click here to download the spreadsheet for the old Werewolf Muscle Training 1.0, 18 day routine:
You Can Make it Happen
Consistency is key. You must be consistent and disciplined in your training. Taylor Lautner had a multi-million dollar movie franchise contract on the line. You need to train like your future is on the line too, if you want to make the most of your workouts.
I haven’t tested this program out over a long period of time, so I’m going to need a couple people to try it for at least 3 cycles. That could be as quick as 54 days, or if you take an additional rest day every 7th day (see below), you’d be looking at about 63 days.
I’m guessing a solid 10 pounds of muscle could be gained in less than a half a year using this program, as long as you train at least 4 times a week, use proper recovery, and eat right.
After using this program for 3 cycles, 54 days or 63 days depending on how many rest days you decide to use, you should take one full active recovery (little to no weight training) week. Read more about active recovery here.
Apparently a guy named Chris used this routine with a low calorie diet to lose 50 lbs in 6 months and gained some muscle along the way. I’m trying to get him to write about his experience, but not sure if he will. It doesn’t mention Project Swole at all, but here are his results: Chris on Facebook.