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.
A beard, a flannel shirt, and high levels of testosterone are just a few things that define a man. It’s high testosterone levels that separate the bros from the boys. If you’re lagging in the T-department, then try these weird ways to naturally boost your testosterone levels.
BE LIKE ROCKY
Eggs are the perfect food. They are highly bio-available, scoring 100 out of 100 on the traditional BV scale. One egg provides 6 to 7 grams of completely usable protein as well as zinc. Zinc has been shown in various studies to boost testosterone.
Eggs also contain cholesterol. Before you start quoting something you heard on Dr. Oz, listen up: Cholesterol is not the monster that it’s been made out to be. Cholesterol is the magic ingredient for the body to produce steroid hormones with an emphasis on testosterone. A study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology demonstrates how higher levels of HDL (good cholesterol) correlate with higher levels of testosterone.
HIT UP THE SAUNA
This one is sure to raise some eyebrows. All you do in a sauna is sit. You’re not lifting weights. You aren’t eating any type of specialized herbal remedy. You’re in a hot room, sweating like crazy, and that’s it. Believe it or not, this ancient remedy has been shown in numerous studies, to naturally increase your levels of growth hormone. The high levels of heat in a sauna activate a greater number of heat stress proteins. These specialized proteins then trigger an increase in your growth hormones, which support muscle building and fat loss.
Start out with one 10 to 15 minute sauna session and gradually build up your tolerance by increasing the time frame.
BECOME FRIENDS WITH BROCCOLI
Think back to all of those years that your mom forced you to eat those bland pieces of rabbit food. Turns out, she may have been on to something. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale contain a compound called Diindolylmethane. DIM has gained popularity in the medical field for offering a high level of anti-oxidants. In the bodybuilding world, DIM helps to protect and increase your testosterone levels.
A study published in Thyroid demonstrates how DIM supports a higher level of estrogen metabolism. By ridding your body of harmful estrogens, you allow for the release and consequential increase of free testosterone levels. Eat dark leafy greens raw (just like your eggs). If you can’t stomach vegetables, then purchase DIM as a supplement. Just be sure to avoid any brand that uses soy as that will defeat the purpose.
Testosterone is important for building muscle, staying thin, and feeling great. Despite what supplement industry marketing has rammed down your throat, you don’t need to spend a lot of cash to boost it. Drink and eat raw while you (begrudgingly) watch your favorite porn for that natural spike in T-levels.
1. Netter A, Hartoma R, Nahoul K. Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count. Arch Androl. 1981 Aug;7(1):69-73.
2. Stephanie T., Beth A. Mohr, Carol L., Amy B. O’Donnell , William J. Bremner, John B. McKinlay. Higher testosterone levels are associated with increased high density lipoprotein cholesterol in men with cardiovascular disease: results from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. Asian J Androl 2008; 10 (2): 193–200.
3. Leppäluoto J, Huttunen P, Hirvonen J, Väänänen A, Tuominen M, Vuori J. Endocrine effects of repeated sauna bathing. Acta Physiol Scand. 1986 Nov;128(3):467-70.
4. Rajoria S, Suriano R, Parmar PS, Wilson YL, Megwalu U, Moscatello A, Bradlow HL, Sepkovic DW, Geliebter J, Schantz SP, Tiwari RK. 3,3′-diindolylmethane modulates estrogen metabolism in patients with thyroid proliferative disease: a pilot study. Thyroid. 2011 Mar;21(3):299-304.