Saturday, June 26, 2010

Building Muscle with Bands and Chains

By Jason Ferruggia

These days it’s very trendy to use bands and chains for building muscle and strength. Several years back, I got caught up using chains and bands with almost everyone in my gym. After a couple years of doing this I realized that nobody was progressing any faster than they were before. It occurred to me that what we were doing was overkill and from then on, I kept the chains and bands reserved for only the strongest members of my gym. Now I don’t use them at all (or at least in that sense).

The fact is that there is no need to use bands or chains unless you are extremely strong. If your max squat is 225, squatting with bands and chains isn’t going to do much for you in the way of building muscle or gaining strength. In fact, it will be detrimental to your progress. Tons of people have gotten inhumanly strong for decades without ever using bands or chains and plenty of guys continue to do so today.

Unless you are capable of doing a full back squat, all the way to ground with no belt and pristine technique with 500lbs, you have absolutely no business using bands or chains. These are advanced tools to pull out of the toolbox only at the times when you really need them. During your first several years of training all you need is a hammer and nail. Don’t search deeper in the toolbox for something you don’t need yet. If you get to 545lbs and plateau there for a while then maybe it’s time to pull out the chains and bands. But not before then. The problem is that when you incorporate advanced methods before you need them you miss out on the potential huge gains that they could provide later on down the road when you really need them.

So layoff the bands and chains until you are really advanced and stick with more tools for building muscle, at least until your strength levels are at the point where the entire gym stops to watch when you squat or deadlift.


Jason Ferruggia is a world famous fitness expert who is renowned for his ability to help people build muscle as fast as humanly possible. He has trained thousands of clients during his 14 years as a professional fitness coach, including more than 500 athletes from over 20 different sports. Jason has written hundreds of articles for numerous top rated training magazines and websites and has authored four fitness books. He is also the head training adviser for Men’s Fitness Magazine where he also has his own monthly column dedicated to muscle building. For more great muscle building information, please visit Muscle Gaining Secrets. 


Note: You can read my review of this program here: Muscle Gaining Secrets Review.  

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Build Muscle Fast with Less Time in the Gym

I've noticed that some people think the best way to build muscle is to spend countless hours in the gym.  My fellow gym patrons are often surprised that I'm done within 45 minutes to an hour.  Here's an article about spending less time in the gym:

By Jason Ferruggia

I’ll never forget my first encounter with “Big Joe.” I had just gotten my driver’s license about a week before, so I was 17 at the time. Up until my 17th birthday, I had been training at our crappy high-school weight room and was counting the days until I could drive myself to the real gym about 15 minutes down the road. I had been training for a few years at that point and was really starting to get obsessed and read everything I could about how to build muscle fast. Of course, I had been doing everything wrong up until that point, but I didn’t know any better. I was convinced that when I was finally able to join Main Street Gym, I would start to grow like a weed.

During my second week there, I saw Big Joe for the first time. I was about halfway through my workout when he walked in. He was massive from neck to calves with a thick goatee, long sideburns, and a mop of curly brown hair. Big Joe stood about 6’4” and had to have weighed close to 300 pounds. At the time, he was in his late 30’s or early 40’s and walked with a slight hitch—I would later find out that it was from an old football injury—but he continued to squat and deadlift on a regular basis.

He was doing standing military presses that day and throwing around 275 like the bar was empty. I couldn’t help but stare as he hoisted the weights up with ease. After every set I did, I would walk to the water fountain just to get a closer look at one of the most jacked guys I had ever seen in person.

Eventually, we crossed paths and he nodded. That was it.

All the gym vets seemed to know him and every few minutes I heard one of them acknowledging his presence.

“What’s up, Big Joe?”

“Big Joe, what’s happening, my man?”

I had to move to another section of the gym to complete the rest of my workout, but I figured I would see Big Joe again when I was done. I was wrong. When I finished my workout, I looked around the gym and Big Joe was gone.

It was about two weeks before I saw Big Joe again. He came in the door right behind me one night and thanked me when I held the door for him. We both went about our business and started our workouts. He was doing bent-over barbell rows that night and had worked up to 405 for a few sets of six.

About halfway through my workout, I had to run to the locker room to get my straps out of my gym bag. When I returned Big Joe, was gone again.

Over time, I started to see Big Joe more and more and began to notice a trend- he was in and out of the gym before most guys were even halfway done with their workouts. He was so much bigger and stronger than everyone else that I figured there had to be something to what he was doing.

Finally, I worked up the courage one day to go up to Big Joe and ask him about his short workouts. I wanted to learn more about how to build muscle fast and I just knew Big Joe was the one to help me.

“Uh, excuse me,” I said.

“What’s up, big man?” Big Joe replied.

“I just wanted to ask you a few questions about training. I notice that your workouts are way shorter than anyone else’s in this entire gym, yet you are bigger and stronger than everyone,” I said.

“Finally caught on there, huh, diesel? That’s the secret right there. If you keep your workouts short, you never overtrain, you recover faster, and you constantly make progress,” Big Joe explained. “Your testosterone output peaks about a half hour into your workout and is completely shot within 45 minutes. So get in and get out in 45 minutes or less and you will get huge. That right there is one of the most important things I can ever teach you about how to build muscle fast.”

From that day on I have kept all my workouts short and have always done so with all of my clients. The results have been nothing short of spectacular. There is no reason to spend your life in the gym. Hit it hard and get out. And get ready for guys to start stepping aside when they see you coming.



Jason Ferruggia is a world famous fitness expert who is renowned for his ability to help people build muscle as fast as humanly possible. He is the head training adviser for Men’s Fitness Magazine where he also has his own monthly column dedicated to muscle building. Visit Muscle Gaining Secrets for more info on how to build muscle. 


Note: You can read my review of this program here: Muscle Gaining Secrets Review.