I walk into the cavernous Metroflex Gym in Austin, Texas.
Across the gym, I see the following and in this order:
- Trainers busy with their clients. Clients are mainly women – business types, moms, etc
- 200lb dumbbells
- Nautilus pullover made famous by Dorian Yates
- A mural on the wall of Ronnie Coleman
I’m in Austin’s Mecca. The mecca used to be Hyde Park Gym on Guadalupe near downtown Austin. But now this has changed. You can feel it, see it and you must experience it. Train here and you’ll get big and strong. There was a time when you could go to the local YMCA or some other public gym and find the types of people that knew how to train to build maximum muscle mass but alas, those days are gone. The truly hardcore have, for the most part, disassociated themselves from these commercial gyms and gone underground. Temple Gym, garage gyms, and this gym are where the strongest bodybuilders on earth train.
Do you really think you’re going to see 200lbs dumbbells at 24 Hour Fitness?
You’re going to hear and see the truth about how to lift here. No one is going to give you a tour of the showers and then try to suck your bank account dry with auto enroll monthly gym dues. I’ve heard about the guy here who bench presses 575lbs raw. He’s a bodybuilder – not a fat slob wearing two powersuits, knee wraps, elbow wraps, wrist wraps and a gut the size of Rosie O’Donnell’s head. You’ll also see regular people who want results. They are not intimated by the size of the members, they are simply after results. They are here to get in their best shape ever.
I see Ed Brown, Jr over there next to Logan, the gym manager, and stroll on over with my camera equipment. I’m here to do some filming and show the YouTube universe how these guys train. Ed is only 10 weeks out from the Mr Universe and he’s leaning out big time from the top of his head all the down to his Chucks. We talk about what we’re filming and then waste no time. First up, is a Monster Set. I’m sure you’ve heard of supersets, giant sets and drop sets. But how many times have you used Monster Sets in your training?
Sometimes bodybuilders get a bad rap for being too big, not conditioned enough and other nonsense. Monster sets will address any doubts about Ed’s lack of conditioning. Here’s what we’re going to do:
- Dumbbell Presses x 8 reps with 130lb dumbbells (Lee Priest)
- Dumbbell Rows x 10 reps with 200lb dumbbells (Dorian Yates)
- Nautilus Alternate Curls x 12 reps with 80lbs (Mike Mentzer)
- Dumbbell Pullovers x 10 reps with 120lbs (Arnold)
- Dumbbell Flyes x 10 reps with 55lbs (Brian Dobson)
You’ll hear why in the accompanying video we listed the names above beside each exercise. At the end of the video, Ed will explain the reasoning behind the exercises.
*Side note – I was watching a YouTube video yesterday of some “expert” who looked all of 160lbs telling my “WHY” I should never do dumbbell flyes, leg extensions and 3 other exercises. WHAT? If the body naturally moves in a direction whether it be the hugging motion (dumbbell flyes) or the leg extension (leg extensions) then, YES, you should definitely do that exercise with resistance. IF a motion is an UNNATURAL motion – think awkward angles and such – then NO you should not do those movements with resistance if at all.
Take Yoga for instance. You use bodyweight. You position your body into natural positions and stretches. You’re adding weight (bodyweight) to these positions and stretches and, as a result, you get stronger. When bodybuilding, of course you should use good judgement and warm up first, don’t lift more than you’re capable of lifting, don’t become guilty of pattern overload (doing the same exercise too much in a short period of time) and don’t exaggerate the movement by doing extreme ranges of motion.
I guess this guy on YouTube has run out of material so, in this case, he’s reaching. Bottom line – if you want to learn about bodybuilding, getting stronger and bigger – learn from bodybuilders. They teach the doctors and the physical therapists not the other way around. You’ll already know this or you’ll just have to trust me on this.
BACK TO MONSTER SETS
Pick 5 exercises and will be hitting shoulders, back, biceps, and chest. If you’re intermediate to experienced, use a medium heavy to heavy weight. You can see what kind of weights Ed is using in the video. You will not see Tony Horton at this gym. This is a gym where beasts train. This is a gym where the most popular preworkout drink is referred to as “Mud”. More on that another time.
Implement monster sets in different ways.
- If you’re short on time, after you warm up, do up to 5 sets of monster sets with heavy weight (rest 90 seconds in between each monster set) and call it a day – workout complete. If you can do more than 5 monster sets, you’re not using enough weight
- At the end of your regular workout, if you want to finish yourself off, do 1 or 2 monster sets. Rest 90 seconds in between each monster set, NOT IN BETWEEN EACH EXERCISE.
- Only implement this 1-2 times a week. My preference would be once. Twice in a week may be too intense. Experiment with this method to find your preference.
Watch the video. You may grow just from watching. Comment below with any questions or feedback. We’d love to hear it.