If you’ve come here to lose fat or to learn how to bench 700 lbs, you are better off reading another article. Although, truth to tell, you will probably get significantly stronger following this program.
Werewolf training is not designed to get you ripped or toned or super strong, but that will probably happen too.
It is not necessarily for bodybuilding, but definitely can be used by bodybuilders at a certain point in their training career.
It is not for powerlifting or strongman training, but some level of strength will definitely be gained with Werewolf Training.
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. HIIT and HIRT is not really used at all in this training plan.
Without further ado, let’s get into the principles of Werewolf Training.
The goal is to use one weight for every work set for each exercise unless specified. 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.
Negative rep overloading:
Jordan Yuam, Lautner’s 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.
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.
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.
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. Pick a set of exercises that works the whole core and limit ab training to thrice a week.
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.
typically need more sets.
Recovery is so important to growth. Without recovery, you just can’t grow.
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.
Supersets will still require no rest between sets. They will be denoted by a, b, and c.
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)
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 3 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.
Here is an 18 day routine that you can repeat as many times as you want. Make it a 21 day routine by making every 7th day a rest day, but then you will only be training 4 times a week instead of 5. Do whatever fits your schedule.
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.
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.
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 will all of the other exercises. Your limitations will be set by your own creativity.
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.
As I mentioned before, an off day could be inserted on every seventh day (7, 14, 21) depending on your schedule and tolerance. The extra day of rest would turn this into a 2 on, 1 off, 2 on, 2 off type of program, which is useful for taking weekends completely off, training Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri. The choice is yours to make.
For the time being, I am leaving off the extra rest day in favor of the added volume. After all, we are trying to gain as much muscle as possible in the shortest amount of time, 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 week.
Written by Steve
Steve is a formerly ISSA certified personal trainer and sport nutritionist, who has been studying, practicing, and experimenting since 1994. Please use the content at Project Swole to supplement the advice of your doctor or physician. All medical questions should be directed towards a qualified medical professional, and the advice provided at Project Swole should be used at your own discretion.