Do You Wanna Get Big and Strong?

It’s a common theme in gyms all around the world – Guys want to get bigger and stronger.

So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today. A kick ass training program designed to get you bigger and stronger.

The “Do You Wanna Get Big and Strong?” Program

Phase 1  –  10 x 10 Training

In phase 1, we are going to use one of the all-time best size building programs.

This phase goes by many names….

  • Call it  10×10 training,
  • Call it German Volume Training,
  • Call it that mother-blanking workout that causes so much pain that you can barely walk after a workout, call it whatever you want.

Here’s what you’re going to do.

  • Lift 3x per week on non-sequential days (M,W,F)
  • Rest between lifting sessions (Tu,Th,Sa)
  • Sunday is devoted to either HIIT training or Cardio training or something else athletic.
  • Day 1 focuses on Chest & Back training
  • Day 2 focuses on Legs & Abs/Core
  • Day 3 focuses on Arms & Shoulders
  • Each bodypart will be hit with one main compound exercise for 10 sets of 10 reps.
  • You are going to stick with that same exercise for the next 6 weeks
  • I have also included a couple of supplemental exercises in each workout. If you find that your muscle mass isn’t noticeably increasing, remove the supplemental exercises and just stick with the basic 10×10 sets.
  • When it comes to weight selection, choose a weight that you perform for 20 reps. This means that the first few sets of the 10×10 will seem way too easy. But don’t worry, around set number 6, you WILL feel the pain.
  • If you are able to complete all 10 sets of 10 reps, you need to increase the weight. Don’t make a huge jump in weight. A 5% jump should be about right.
  • After 6 weeks, you should be ready to move onto Phase 2. However, if you find that you’re still growing like a weed after 6 weeks (and you aren’t too bored of doing the same exercises over and over) feel free to stay on Phase 1 for another 2 weeks.

Suggested Exercises

For the 10×10 exercises, we are going to choose big, long range of motion, compound exercises. We want to involve as many muscle groups as possible while still maintaining simplicity of movement.

In the past, some people have tried to incorporate olympic style lifts into 10×10 training. It doesn’t work real well. Too much volume. Too much fatigue. Too high a chance of injury. Stick to the basics

  • Suggested 10×10 Chest ExercisesPresses – BB or DB, Incline, Decline, Flat…it’s your choice. You can even do push-ups with additional resistance (chains, bands)
  • Suggested 10×10 Back ExercisesChins or Rows – Try to resist doing pulldowns – do a band assisted chin-up if you need help. For rows, standing cable, bent-over barbell, even bodyweight rows with additional weight (weight vest, chains)
  • Suggested 10×10 Legs ExercisesSquats or Deadlift – Front squat, back squat, safety bar squat, trap bar squat – For deadlift, if technique is an issue, partial deadlifts out of the rack may be an option – set the pins just below knee height
  • Suggested 10×10 Arms & Shoulders ExercisesDips, Curls & Presses – no machines

Why the 10×10 Program works

It’s simple. You are exposing your biggest muscle groups to a huge volume of work.

You will grow. I have seen this program work time and time again.

And if you don’t that even the skinniest guy can get big and strong, check out Christian Bale

Christian Bale muscle transformation


Health Habits

Do You Wanna Get Big and Strong?

Phase 1 Workout Log – PDF

Next Page – Phase 2



  1. wow, right on. just cuz I’m a chick doesn’t mean I’m left out does it? I’m trying to put on a little bit more muscle def right now so I’m gonna try your program for a shake-up from my regular routines. thanks for that!!

  2. You 10×10 concept makes perfect sense. I will sstart today. will get back to you in 3 weeks.

  3. Minimum of 60 seconds

    This is not a conditioning/metabolic workout, and my concern is more about performance per set than burning calories/improving anaerobic endurance

    Often I will use breathing rate and/or heart rate as an indicator of rest time.

    Actually, that may be a good idea for a post – thanks casey

  4. 4 seconds on the negative part of the lift (example – lowering the bar to your chest on a bench press), 0 seconds rest with the bar on your chest, X (explode – move as fast as possible) on the positive portion of the lift (bench press – pushing bar away from your chest) and 0 seconds rest at the top of the lift

    Does this make sense to you Pat?

  5. Is the tempo always 40×0 for main lifts and 4020 for supplemental?

    tried 40×0 Front Squats on Thursday – damn that hurts until today!

  6. Hello!
    Any other option to replace for deadlifts for the second exercise in the legs workout?

  7. Hip Thrusts/Bridges , Glute Ham Raises, Good Mornings, 1 Leg Deadlifts, Heavy Swing Snatches

  8. Thanks for the answer! Another questions, how much should be the weigth for the suplimentary exercises? Should I use the same approximation as for the 10×10 series?

  9. Hi Doug,

    I am reading your blog. Since I am new at getting in shape, is this post a good place for me to start?

    Look forward to hearing your answer.


    As you can see from my facebook page on Brinkmann BBQ Smokers, I like cooking BBQ, which is probably not to good for me since I want to get in shape. I have noticed that the meat I buy gets leaner and leaner each year, but it still has plenty of fat.

  10. It depends what your goals are?

    Size, strength, weight loss, athletic performance…

  11. In the past my focus was athletic performance since I was a hockey and lacrosse goalie.

    Now I think my focus is weight loss and athletic performance.

    I didn’t have a problem with weight until I took a desk job.


  12. Are you saying do 10 sets at 10 reps for every exercise?.. so 10 sets of flat bench? 10 sets of incline? Etc? Or do a total of 10 random sets for each body part? Ie..5 sets of preacher curls and 5 sets of dumbbell curls?

  13. Hi John

    During a workout, each of the targetted bodyparts will get hit with 10 sets of 10 reps of a single exercise. Plus an optional supplemental exercise which will be 4 sets of 10 reps. For chest and back day, you might do 10×10 of flat bench with 10×10 of chin-ups

    check out the sample workout pdf

  14. hi when training arms and shoulders do i include triceps or do they get worked with say military press? thanks for your help

  15. This program looks intense. I bet it is effective, but it is kinda boring doing only one exercise per muscle. How about tempo? Are these sets all slowed negatives?

    I have a similar workout right now that is working well. I do high sets (6 or 7) but with only 2-3 main exercises for each muscle group. Doing 2 few more exercises keeps it interesting. I increase the weight each set by around 10-15%, then the final set is a monster drop-set.

  16. Hey Eric – All of the sets are slow(ish) negatives during this phase. In phase 2, we switch to a 5×5 protocol with “normal” eccentric speeds.

    It’s not a fun program, but is extremely effective for building mass. The focus on mass is not typical of the workouts I usually post.

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