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Werewolf Training: A Weightlifting Routine to Gain Muscle

Posted Jul 29 2010 6:52pm

Updated on 7/6/2010: routine and new spreadsheet contain updated reps and sets requirements, added exercises, and added HIRT , HIIT , and Tabata sessions.
Updated on 7/19/2010: lower body HIIT and HIRT sessions made optional.


This training routine is designed for you to gain muscle. That’s it.

If you’ve come here to lose fat, you are better off using the Full Body Fat Loss Routine for Men or the Full Body Fat Loss Routine for Women . This routine definitely has nothing to do with fat loss.

If you came to learn how to bench 700 lbs, you are better off reading Werewolf Training for Strength Gains . Although, truth to tell, you will probably get significantly stronger following this program.

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Werewolf training is not designed to get you ripped or “toned” (::barfs::), or even super strong, but you will probably get significantly stronger anyway.

It is not necessarily for bodybuilding, but definitely can be used by bodybuilders at a certain point in their training career. After all Werewolf Training IS designed to build muscle .

It is not for powerlifting or strongman training, but some level of strength will definitely be gained with Werewolf Training. Everyone using this routine has added weight to all their major lifts.

If you are a skinny guy and want to gain mass, this is for you. If you are ripped up and shredded but want to have more size, this is for you. If you just want to add 20-30 pounds of muscle to your body for whatever reason, this is for you.

I based this training routine off of 15 years of experience with training and nutrition including my recent evolution into HIIT and HIRT training for fat loss. Periodization and muscle confusion are the two main principles used in this routine, and they will suit you well.

My recent research on and how he trained to gain 30 pounds for his role as the werewolf Jacob Black in is what actually prompted me to write up this routine.

Without further ado, let’s get into the principles of Werewolf Training.

Weight selection:

When you see set protocols that look like 3 x 5, the goal is to use one weight for every work set. In this example you would use the same weight for 3 sets of 5 reps. If you can get the required number of reps for all sets, you should go heavier next time.

Choose a weight to start each exercise. If you think you can add weight and still complete the number of prescribed reps for the number of prescribed sets for that exercise, you may increase the weight between sets. HOWEVER – you should not have to decrease the weight at any time during the exercise.

Example: When doing the bench press , 4 sets of 5 reps, you start with 185 and get 5 reps easy. If you choose to go up to 200, you should use 200 for the rest of the exercise.

When you see set protocols that look like 5 x 5, 2, 1, 1, 1 or 3 x 12, 8, 5; the goal is to increase the weight for every work set. For each set, if you can get the required number of reps you should go heavier for that rep range next time.

Even when you see 1, 1, 1 you should increase the weight by at least 5 pounds before starting the next set.

Negative rep overloading:

Jordan Yuam, Taylor personal trainer, had Taylor testing his limits by using 40% more weight than Taylor typically used for a 10 rep set. Overloading was used for 2-3 sets of 5 reps every other week. This type of training requires a strong, experienced spotter. Don’t try it without one.

Varying weights and reps:

Taylor didn’t stick to a 3×5 or 5×5 or 3×10 type of routine. He worked all of his muscle fibers equally by varying the volume from week to week. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that strength can be increased by 28-43 percent just by varying rep counts and training different muscle groups.

It is still good to stick to a certain rep range based on your goals, but it is even better to occasionally change it up to force your body to adapt to new stimulus.

Number of sets:

When doing higher reps with lighter weight, you typically need fewer sets. Two sets of 10-12 reps is not uncommon.

When doing lower reps with heavier weight, you often need more sets. If is good practice to use four to five sets when training in the 1 to 5 rep range.

Bands, Chains , and Tension training:

Free weights are best, but Taylor also used added tension with bands. The added tension increases the difficulty of the easiest portion of each lift, which is usually at the top, by accelerating resistance at the end of each rep. Recruiting additional muscle fibers using this method definitely adds to the growth potential of each and every set.

Incidentally, bands are used in elite powerlifting circles like Louie Simmons’ Westside Barbell.

Reduce cardio to maximize muscle gains:

Taylor’s main goal was to gain 30 pounds of muscle mass. His metabolism was going to keep him ripped no matter what, so in order to gain muscle he had to cut back on cardio. If your only goal is to get ripped, HIIT cardio and HIRT are great schemes, but skinny hardgainers should minimize endurance training during a bulking phase. 20 minutes is the limit.

Note: For those who wish to add cardio, there is one HIRT session scheduled after every upper body workout. Using the HIRT session might decrease your overall muscle gain, but it will also minimize your overall fat gain and keep you in better cardiovascular health. Remember, the HIRT session is OPTIONAL.

Sensible abdominal training:

The rules of weight training apply to the abdominals. It doesn’t make any sense to train your abs every day. Taylor Lautner only trains his abs 3 days a week. We pick a set of exercises that works the whole core and limit ab training to thrice a week. Every lower body day ends with a 3 exercise abdominal circuit, which is NOT OPTIONAL.

Varying planes of movement:

Most people train up and down, front to back. Yuam knows that side-to-side training is important too. Diagonal and sideways movements are vital for a versatile training plan.

Recovery is so important to growth. Without recovery, you just can’t grow.

You will have the option of taking an extra day off after every 4 workouts. This off day in included in the program, both on the webpage and on the spreadsheet, but remember the extra rest day is OPTIONAL.

Follow these recovery tips to ensure proper muscular adaptation:

  • Lautner takes every third day off.
  • Limit training to 5 days a week.
  • Weight training sessions should be kept under 60 minutes.
  • Sleep for 7-8 hours each and every night.

Recovery is important within a workout as well. We want each set to receive maximal intensity and muscular facilitation so we want to make sure your muscles are fresh for each set.

For regular weight training, follow these rest protocols:

  • Supersets will still require no rest between sets. They will be denoted by a, b, and c.
  • 90 seconds rest between sets.
  • 2-4 minutes rest between exercises, as necessary.

Always end your workout with a 10 minute stretching session. Post-workout stretching increases both recovery and flexibility . This is a good thing.

Use these stretching principles:

  • Read about Flexibility Training .
  • Stretch every muscle group for at least one minute.
  • Hold each static stretch for 20 seconds and repeat at least twice.
  • Never use static stretching before you train.
  • If you must stretch before you train, use only dynamic stretching .
  • Think of your stretching session as a cool-down.
  • Stretching does not count towards your 45-60 minute workout limit.

You gotta feed the machine or it won’t grow. Here’s how.

Choose your goal weight.

For example, lets start with a 160 pound man who wants to weigh 180 pounds.

Calculate your metabolic co-efficient (M) based on your body type and past history of gaining muscle and losing fat. If you need help determining your body type, read A Body Type Analysis

  • Endomorph (hard to lose fat, easy to gain muscle) – M = 8.5
  • Mesomorph (moderately easy to gain muscle or lose fat) – M = 9.5
  • Ectomorph (easy to lose fat, hard to gain muscle) – M = 10.5

Let’s consider that our 160 lb man is an ectomorph. He has always been thin with little to moderate muscle development, but it is difficult for him to really gain considerable muscle mass without drinking weight gain shakes all day long. His metabolic co-efficient (M) is 11.

Calculate total number of hours of training weekly.

If you are a busy guy you might be limited to three 45 minute sessions plus some warming up and stretching, which will come out to about 3 hours a week. For this example, based on Taylor Lautner’s routine, at 5 days a week and 60 minutes a session, our man will be training 5 hours a week.

Daily calories = Goal Weight X (the number of hours you workout per week + M)

Example: 180 lbs X (5 hours + 10.5) = 2790 calories per day

You should get 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day.

Example: 180 lbs = 180 g protein per day (180 g protein X 4 calories = 720 protein calories)

The best protein powder you can choose for your Werewolf Training routine, is Optimum Nutrition. They have the highest quality protein for the cheapest prices.

You can estimate about half of your goal weight in healthy fats each day.

Example: 180 lbs = 90 g fat per day (90 g fat X 9 calories = 810 fat calories)

The rest of your calories should come from high quality carbohydrate sources such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes.

Example: 2790 calories – (720 protein calories + 810 fat calories) = 1260 carb calories (1260 carb calories / 4 calories = 315 g carbs per day)

First let me say that you don’t need any supplements to succeed with Werewolf Training. Just eat a ton of the right foods, and you will grow. That being said, I know many of you will want to make the most of this routine by increasing your body’s capabilities with supplements.

Therefore, I am going to recommend the 4 best supplements for you to use to gain muscle.

That’s just about all you need for supplements, although there are many other options available if you have the cash.

You could consider using to increase energy and elevate metabolism.

You could consider adding a free trial of to increase muscle building and encourage fat loss.

And of course there’s Biotest Surge Post-Workout drink, considered by most to be the #1 post workout formula on the planet. Use within 20 minutes of your workout to stop catabolism, restart protein synthesis, and get you back on the road to muscle recovery.

The number of supplements you use depends highly on your budget and your willingness to drink shakes, juices, and take pills all day.

Here is a 12 session workout routine designed to build muscle , which you can repeat as many times as you want.

This is an 18 day routine if you choose to take every 3rd day off, or you can make it a 21 day routine by taking an additional rest day every 7th day. Both options are listed in the routine and on the spreadsheet. Do whatever fits your schedule and recovery ability.

I have tried to limit the exercise selection to equipment that most people can get at a gym, which includes barbells, dumbbells, and a box.

Resistance Bands

Read this post about Training with Resistance Bands to learn more.

You can find resistance bands at some gyms, but typically you will have to buy them on your own. Do not buy the resistance bands they sell at WalMart or Target, those are garbage. Go online and find real resistance bands that you can attach to free weight machines. (See the training with resistance bands post for more info.)

The bands are best used with the first couple compound exercises of the day such as bench press, deadlift, military press, and squats . They can also be used with many of the other exercises. Your limitations will be set by your own creativity.

Acronym Key:

The Routine

You can use these spreadsheets to track your progress. Either keep track of your numbers on the computer, or print out the spreadsheets to take to the gym with you, or both! A clipboard works great to hold your workout logs if you decide to print them out. I recommend using pen to record your numbers, as pencil fades over time.

Click here to download the newest updated training log with updated exercises and rep requirements, added optional cardio sessions, and the optional 7th day of rest: Werewolf Training for Muscle Gains 2.0

** If the volume for the new routine is too much for you or if you are hung up on one of the old routines, I still have the old Werewolf Training routines in spreadsheets linked below. **

Click here to download the spreadsheet for the old 21 day routine: Workout log with the extra rest protocol (21 day routine)

Click here to download the spreadsheet for the old 18 day routine: Workout log without the extra rest protocol (18 day routine)

Consistency is key. You must be consistent and disciplined in your training. Taylor Lautner had a multi-million dollar movie franchise contract on the line. You need to train like your future is on the line too, if you want to make the most of your workouts.

I haven’t tested this program out over a long period of time, so I’m going to need a couple people to try it for at least 3 cycles. That could be as quick as 54 days, or if you take an additional rest day every 7th day (see below), you’d be looking at about 63 days.

I’m guessing a solid 10 pounds of muscle could be gained in less than a half a year using this program, as long as you train at least 4 times a week, use proper recovery, and eat right.

After using this program for 3 cycles, 54 days or 63 days depending on how many rest days you decide to use, you should take one full active recovery (little to no weight training) week. Read more about active recovery here.

Happy gaining!

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