Today, I want to introduce you to my go-to workout strategy when I want to put on a few extra pounds of muscle while maintaining a natural pump that lasts for days.
I came across this idea years ago while I was studying exercise physiology at SDSU. You see, we were comparing the effectiveness of each individual set of a particular exercise. So, for example, if you were to perform five sets of a traditional bench press, would those sets all be equal in terms of benefit and reward? Would certain sets provide more reward than others?
Some people will argue that set number one is the most beneficial because that is when you are at your strongest. Others will argue that the last set is the most beneficial as fatigue creates a challenging environment which promotes growth. These are both fair points, but when put to the test, the winner is…
Set number two.
That’s right. It turns out that set number two is the most beneficial set of any given exercise. Does that mean sets numbers three, four and five have no value? Absolutely not. But, when compared against each other, the biggest bang for your efforts comes from that second set.
That’s the very same question I asked myself when I first learned about the efficiency of set number two. Shortly after, I created a training method which I call 2B2 (two – breather – two). This is basically my way of benefiting from set number two… TWICE.
Since creating this method, I’ve been able to put on muscle faster than ever before.
Before sharing the method with you, I want to make it clear that this is NOT the holy grail of building muscle. This is instead a proven method that should be part of a larger and more complete training program.
The original method of 2b2 is exactly what it sounds like. You perform two sets, take a short breather, and then complete another two sets.
Here’s how the concept would work with a traditional set of bench press:
After a couple of light warmup sets you would do two sets with about a 45 second break in between each set. Your ideal weight would be such where failure occurs between rep number 8 – 11.
After these first two sets, take a longer, fuller recovery. Take 3 full minutes if you need to. When you’re ready, do another 2 sets with a limited 45 second break between the two.
Repeat this strategy for all your exercises for the day and you’ll quickly see some serious muscle gains.
I have recently added one more techniques to this concept that are sure to give you a long lasting muscle pump.
Bonus Technique Adding a muscular finisher after every “set two” is a challenging strategy that will help you develop size in even the most stubborn muscles.
Let’s use the above example to illustrate this method.
Now, you would perform set number one then take a 45 second break. Perform set number two and immediately go into a light finisher. In this example you would jump off the bench and perform as many pushups as possible. The key is not to waste any time and immediately go into pushups after your second set.
Now, after a long break that allows you to fully recover, you would repeat the above and perform two more sets of bench press followed by a pushup finisher.
Workout 1 Traditional bench press with a pushup finisher.
Workout 2 Cable flyes with light cable presses as a finisher.
Workout 3 Dumbbell or cable presses with light weight low-to-high (incline) cable flyes as a finisher.
Workout 4 Incline dumbbell press with narrow grip pushups as the finisher.
Workout 5 Dips with focuses muscular posing / flexing as a finisher.
Give it a try
Get out there and try 2b2 in a few of your workouts. Let me know what you think in the comments section and don’t forget to supplement your workouts with the Evolution SIX Daily Formula. Learn more about our Men’s Daily Formula or Women’s Daily Formula.
Below you’re going to find three workout strategies that I use with my private training clients to help the burn fat and sculpt lean muscle in record time. I have designed these workout templates to give you easy access to effective workouts that can be completed with minimal equipment.
Each of these workouts consists of only six exercises. Because of the pace of the following workout structure, you should select exercises that require minimal setup time.
Side note: If you would like a printable version of our workout templates along with HD videos, finishers, challenges and more, then be sure to take a look at our supplement line as you’ll get instant access to our entire workout program with any purchase.
You will choose a total of six exercises and create workout pairs.
Complete workouts A and B each for 30 seconds. Repeat this sequence 4 times. So, in total you will have completed 4 sets of workout A and 4 sets of workout B.
Do the same for workouts C and D then finally E and F. By the completion of this last sequence, you would have completed a total of 24 total sets (4 per each of the 6 exercises).
You just completed ONE round. Repeat this entire sequence for a total of 2 – 3 full rounds.
Choose SIX exercise that can be broken down into 2 mini circuits of 3 exercises each. You can perform each exercise for time, or for a goal repetition. I personally like to work against a timer as it sets a nice tempo. As illustrated in the template, you will perform each exercise for 40 seconds.
Mini circuit one consists of exercise A, B and C while mini circuit two is made up of exercise D, E and F.
Perform three full rounds of the first circuit for a total of 9 sets. After a short break, perform 3 rounds of circuit two.
At this point, you should have completed 18 total sets.
One more short break and you would now combine and complete 2 full circuits of the above exercises. So, you would perform all the exercises – A, B, C, D, E and F at 40 seconds each exercise – two times through.
This final circuit will give you an additional 12 sets. this combined with the 9 sets performed during mini circuit one, and 9 sets during mini circuit two brings you to a total of 30 total sets.
I like this routine. This is a short, but intense sequence. Here, you will perform 3 mini circuits of 3 exercises. The first exercise will always be a strong sprint (or substitute from the list). This is then followed by 2 exercises. This triple set is repeated 3 times.
Repeat the above sequence with 2 different exercises for the second and then third circuit.
These workouts are all about maintaining a good pace and keeping quick transition between exercises. Be sure you begin with a thorough warm up before jumping into one of these sequences. Listen to your body and stay safe.
If you would like to see these systems in action, then join the Evolution SIX fitness team and get access to all our fitness tools.
Don’t have time to go to the gym? No problem…
BJ Gaddour and Men’s Health have put together a comprehensive list of 70 bodyweight only exercises that you can do at home (or just about anywhere) without the need of any equipment.
Not a single dumbbell was used.
With proper form, technique and intensity, these workouts are sure to get you lean and sweaty.
Some of my favorites in the list include:
You can pick and choose a small handful of these exercises and create a great home workout. Bodyweight workouts are a perfect fit for the Evolution SIX training method (which you can learn for free).
What are your favorite bodyweight exercises? Let me know what works best for you in the comment section below…