Lyle McDonald of BodyRecomposition is very well known for his in-depth and no BS approach when discussing nutrition and fat loss. He has published a total of seven books, all of which are incredible resources, especially when learning about proper dieting. To date, he has not published any books on training, but I suspect that day may come eventually.
Speaking of training, he has developed his own generic bulking routine which has its own sticky in the bodybuilding section on his infamous discussion forum. The program has been hashed out ad nauseam by the forum members and Lyle has referenced it in one of his training articles in which he discusses a few popular hypertrophy training programs such as DC Training and HST Training.
Lyles Bulking Routine is a combination of strength training and higher rep hypertrophy training. Here is an excerpt of the training article in which Lyle explains his bulking routine.
My generic bulking program is stock in the middle because I’m a middle of the road kind of guy. I generically like to see a body part hit about 2X/week with slightly lowered intensity (relative to DC) although higher than Bryan’s HST. I recommend about a rep short of failure so that the volume (which is higher per workout than either DC or HST) can be accomplished. I’m trying to strike a volume between the issues of frequency (for gene expression and protein synthesis), recovery (failure training can burn people out) and progression (I want to see the poundages going up consistently over the cycle).
Who is Lyle McDonald’s Bulking Routine for?
Bodybuilders, intermediate trainees, and your basic gym rats who train to look good naked. I cannot recommend such a program for beginners as they are more likely to benefit from more a beginner workout routine.
The Bulking Routine
As presented directly on the forums.
Squat: 3-4X6-8/3′ (3-4 sets of 6-8 with a 3′ rest)
SLDL or leg curl: 3-4X6-8/3′
Leg press: 2-3X10-12/2′
Another leg curl: 2-3X10-12/2′
Calf raise: 3-4X6-8/3′
Seated calf: 2-3X10-12/2′
Flat bench: 3-4X6-8/3′
Incline bench or shoulder press: 2-3X10-12/2′
For the Thu/Fri workouts either repeat the first two or make some slight exercise substitutions. Can do deadlift/leg press combo on Thu, switch incline/pulldown to first exercises on upper body day. A lot depends on volume tolerance, if the above is too much, go to 2-3X6-8 and 1-2X10-12
This is a four-day training program and could possibly be converted into a three-day program alternating upper and lower workouts every other day. As Lyle suggests, if the routine as laid out is a bit much, start conservatively with the volume and subtract a set on each exercise.
If you struggle with SLDL’s or want another option for a hamstring/glute movement, check my back extension tutorial.
I highly recommend this programming to trainees who are beyond the beginner phase. I usually have them start out on the lower end of the spectrum regarding volume, and ask that they slowly ease into more volume as their work capacity improves.
If you’re interested learning which training program is right for you, check out this workout plan article. I’ve put together TONS of good info on which programs are beneficial based on your training preferences and availability.
Ever wondered how much protein is necessary to change your body? We’ve got it covered here in ‘how much protein do you need?’ article.