Science-Based Chest + Biceps Workout for Massive Natty Gains – Vegan Bodybuilder

People keep asking me for training videos… so, here you go: a training video!

Last Saturday was pretty quiet at my gym due to the holiday — so, I was able to film without it really being an issue.

This video documents my Chest and Biceps workout. Throughout, I will also discuss the science behind how I train.

And the “how” is VERY important, and it is why my Vegan Muscle Academy clients get optimized results… quickly… and DRUG FREE!

They not only diet properly, and put in the requisite work, but they do it all correctly. Based on science, not personal anecdote.

If you want top-rate bro-science, there are enough channels and “trainers” peddling just that… both vegan and non-vegan alike. But, I won’t be contributing to that drivel!

And my training principles will also be laid out in great detail in my upcoming books, which I will keep you all updated on.

So, I kicked things off with a single pre-exhaust set for the chest at 20% of my 1 rep max to utter failure — which typically gets me around 40-50 total reps.

I went with cable flyes since, for pre-exhaust, I prefer isolation movements that provide a powerful peak contraction.

Research shows that implementing a single set at 20% of your 1 rep max before your main resistance work facilitates greater increases in strength, growth, and endurance.

After that, I headed over to the free weight area, and performed a compound lift for the chest to incorporate the mechanism of hypertrophy known as Mechanical Tension.

In this session, I chose Incline Dumbbell Presses, as I really wanted to focus on my upper pecs. And I went for 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps to failure.

Why dumbbells and not a barbell, you might ask? According to EMG data, for what it’s worth, the dumbbell version provides approx. 38% greater peak activation, and approx. 25% greater mean activation in the upper pecs than the barbell version!

Remember, I am a bodybuilder, not a powerlifter. Nonetheless, I do change things up often.

After completing my compound lift, I moved on to the second mechanism of hypertrophy known as Muscle Damage, which is best expressed with exercises that involve a deep stretch under tension.

Naturally, I chose dumbbell flyes to meet this requirement. And I went with the flat version since I kicked off with an incline movement.

I completed 2 sets of 9 to 12 reps to failure, which is ample volume to facilitate growth: providing 21 to 24 total reps.

Remember, what’s most important is cumulative workload. Research shows that 7 sets of 3 reps provides just as much growth as 3 sets of 10. In other words, 21 total reps produced just as much growth as 30.

Once I completed my flyes, it was time for the finisher: the 3rd and final mechanism of hypertrophy known as Metabolic Stress, which is best expressed with movements providing a hard peak contraction, constant tension, and a good pump.

So, I decided to return to the cable station for another set of cable flyes, aiming for 13 to 15 total reps to failure, with drop sets beyond failure until I reached 25 to even 50 total reps completed.

Keep in mind, research also shows that finishing off a muscle with a single very-high rep set, directly after heavier workloads, produces significant improvements in muscular strength, size and endurance than when such a higher-rep finisher is not included.

And only one set is all that’s needed here, due to the higher amount of reps completed.

And with that, I laid my chest to rest… but, it was only half-time! I still had to smash the biceps!

Again, I kicked off with a pre-exhaustive set at 20% of my 1 rep max to failure.

In this session, I chose one arm preacher curls. And I had to awkwardly use a weight plate, since my gym’s regular dumbbells do not go below 15. And I couldn’t locate the little pink or yellow weights.

Once that was finished, it was Mechanical Tension time… thus, some heavier overload work.

Since I love to kick the shit out of my arms, as I view them as a genetically-lagging bodypart compared to my chest and back, I like to superset heavier lifts, sometimes, to provide a little extra stimulation and damage.

According to research on resistance-trained men, supersetting produces greater muscle activation and damage, so much so that even 5 days is not always enough time to recover from the effects!

So, I supersetted weighted chin-ups and ez-bar curls; both exercises substantially activate the biceps, according to EMG data. And the ez-bar provides about 18% greater peak activation in the biceps than the straight bar, and about 22% more than dumbbells. The ez-bar is also easier on the wrists.

And, I shot for 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps to failure for both exercises.

Now, despite my biceps absolutely screaming by this point, I still moved on to incorporate the Muscle Damage mechanism.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over!

And since I required a deep stretch under tension to facilitate that, I went with incline dumbbell curls. And I shot for 2 sets of 9 to 12 reps to failure. You may notice that I do not twist at the bottom of the movement, as I feel that twisting offsets the stretch on the biceps, shifting it more toward the brachialis. And I was not targeting the brachialis here. The brachialis got its own work on another day.

After the incline curls, it was time for a biceps finisher, going for the Metabolic Stress element.

In this session, I decided to hit up the one arm preacher curls that I had used for my pre-exhaust set.

I performed a single set of 13 to 15 total reps to failure, with drop sets beyond failure until I completed at least 25 total reps.

And that was a wrap! 17 total sets for two muscle groups. And I left the gym VERY sore, pumped, and satisfied!

In fact… here I sit 4 days after that session, and I still feel the soreness! It’s a beautiful thing. That satisfying feeling of hard work!


A single set of exhaustive exercise before resistance training improves muscular performance in young men.


Inside the Muscles: Best Chest and Triceps Exercises | T Nation

Effects of different volume-equated resistance training loading strategies on muscular adaptations in well-trained men.

Muscular adaptations to combinations of high- and low-intensity resistance exercises.

Muscle Damage And Muscle Activity Induced By Strength Training Super-Sets In Physically Active Men.

Inside the Muscles: Best Back and Biceps Exercises | T Nation

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