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?
Not all sets in a given exercise are equal
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.
How can this help you put on more muscle mass?
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.
Okay, how does 2b2 work?
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.
Want some serious muscle growth?
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.
A sample chest workout using 2b2 plus a fatigue 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.