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i have a question about german volume training. in one article i read it says to use shoulders only as supplementary workout and use bis and tris as the 10 sets of 10. but you say to use shoulders for the 10 sets of 10. i was wondering is it personal preference or does one work better than the other.

do you think this kind of training is as effective as many people claim.

thank you

Brad Rutledge


Hi Brad,

It really doesn't matter if you do 10 x 10 for shoulders or if you just do supplementary work for them, you will make gains either way.

I like to change my training on a regular basis because it helps to stimulate more muscle growth then doing the same thing over a long period of time. The GVT workout is a killer and it works, but it will not work for ever. Try it for a month or two and then move on a try something else.


Hi Lee,

I've just got a few quick questions:

1) After I work out I drink a whey protein shake straight away, and I have started to put a few spoonfuls of sugar in this to try and get some extra carbs. What else should I be eating straight after the workout, because I don't really want to use a carbohydrate type supplement aswell, but I have read that fast burning carbs are useful.

2) Is this neck workout okay? I lie on a flat bench with my neck and shoulders extended over the edge. I then slowly lift my neck backwards towards the floor, and then raise it up again so that my chin touches my chest. This is done with my back/shoulder workout.

Keep up the good work
Thanks in advance

Manchester, England


Have your protein / sugar drink after your workouts. Then about 30 minutes later have a meal that contains some protein, carbs, and veggies.

Your neck exercise is fine, just make sure to do it with a slow and controlled movement so you do not hurt your neck. I personally do not do much for my neck, the neck will get a lot of muscle stimulation from doing your shoulder workouts, especially with exercises such as upright rows and shrugs. I stretch after each workout and I do stretches for my neck. Simple stuff like looking straight up until I feel the stretch and hold it for 10-20 seconds, touching my chin to my chest, looking side to side, trying to touch my ear to my shoulder, etc.



I've read in some muscle magazines that doing cardio lowers testosterone and makes you actually lose muscle. Now is this true or is there a certain amount I can do without losing any mass? And if I can do cardio without losing mass....how much should I do? I workout monday, wednesday, and friday. I eat a gram of protein per bodyweight a day and I am currently taking Hydroxycut. Thanks.



Hi Chris,

People are going to have mixed views on this, but I personally believe that moderate cardio will help with muscle growth, not hinder it. Most bodybuilders today do cardio and they are getting bigger and more muscular then ever. As long as you keep your protein intake high and get plenty of rest you will not lose muscle.

I have an article about this at: http://www.leehayward.com/art23.htm


Hi lee

I have well developed shoulders & arms but my chest is very very weak (almost flat) this makes me look very awkward so could you please help me out.



Hi Manish,

In a way this could be an advantage. If you ever decide to compete in a bodybuilding contest, big arms and shoulders will really enhance your look in all of the mandatory poses.

To develop your chest more you should pre-exhaust your pecs with isolation exercises first in your workouts and then move on to compound exercises. Start your chest workouts with exercises such as pec deck flyes, incline dumbbell flyes, cable cross overs, etc. this will work your chest muscles with out bringing your arms and shoulders into play. For all bench presses use dumbbells instead of a barbell, this will help to work your chest more. Finish off each chest workout with 2-3 sets of push ups, keep your hands wider then shoulder width to work the chest muscles more.


Dear Lee,

My name is Mike and I would like to ask your professional opinion about certain things. Over the last few months I have realized an odd trend about my body. In all the parts that I am realitively weak (such as chest and legs), I have bulked up the best; however, all the parts of my body which are strong (such as bi's, tri's and shoulders) retain smaller size and are not where they should be. Do you possibly have a way I can gain muscle in my arm/shoulders area, without being an expense to the rest of my body. Thanks for your time.

Michael Solimando


Hi Mike,

I have a similar problem, my arms and shoulders lag behind the rest of my body. What I suggest you do is take one day per week and work on those areas alone.

For example, a typical workout routine for me would be:

Monday: Chest, shoulders, triceps
Tuesday: Back and biceps
Wednesday: off
Thursday: Legs and abs
Friday: Shoulders, biceps, and triceps
Saturday: off
Sunday: off

This will give your arms and shoulders some extra work with out hindering your other body part workouts.


I have a question for u about lifting. see I have a smith machine, and I can bench press 350 on it and I'm only 16 and weigh 180. And I was wondering if benching on a smith machine is easier, harder, or works as well as working out on a normal bench press. I have noticed more gains since I bought a smith machine. I hear good and bad things about them, I was wonder if you could help me out. I have the same dilemma with squatting on it too, I can squat 580 on it and I was wondering about, when I go to power lifting meets, will it be harder to lift what i can do on a smith machine on a normal bench or squat rack.


Thomas Fisher


Hi Thomas,

Lifting with a smith machine is not the same as lifting a free weight barbell. You do not have to balance the weight with a smith machine, and depending on how the smith machine is set up, it may feel heavier or lighter then a free weight barbell.

If you compete in power lifting meets then you should use free weights for the majority of your workouts. A 350 lb. smith machine bench does not equal a 350 lb. free weight bench. You can still use the smith machine from time to time for variety, but do not base your contest lifts on what you can lift with the smith machine.


Mr. Hayward,

I am a 16 year old male, am 5"7, and weigh about 135 pounds. I workout 3 times a week, mostly consisting of upper body strength. ( Bench press, curls, pushups, pullups, and dips). I want to add some good cardio to my workout because of my extra time ( summer vacation). I know jogging and biking are good cardio workouts, but was wondering if jumping rope was good. If so, how many reps and sets should i aim at?

Another question i am uncertain about is what i should be benching. What should a healthy male of my size be able to bench press? I currently can rep 155- 160 lbs about 10 times, depending on how I feel during the workout. I can 1 time max about 185. How am I doing?

One last question is about my energy. As said earlier, my bench press, which is most important to me, all depends on my energy. I frequently have "up and down days" where one day I can be repping 160 easily, but other days I am struggling. What can I do to stop this besides rest ( i workout mon, wed, and fri. ) Can my fluid intake have anything to do with it? I recently began taking creatine serum, but it doesnt seem to help with my energy. I take it about 10 mins before workout. Am i taking it wrong or is creatine serum a complete waste of money?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have written to many people like you, but no one has ever written back. Hopefully you can write back and give me tips


P.S Just came across your site today and its already my favorite!


Hi Vic,

You are doing great with your workout progress. Your strength is really good for your age and size.

Everyone has days where they have more energy then others. There are a number of things that you can do to help prevent low energy days:

- get at least 8 hours of sleep each night
- eat a nutritious meal / snack every 2-3 hours
- drink 1 gallon of water over the course of the day to keep your body hydrated
- try doing your weight training in the morning and other activities such as biking, jogging, jump rope, etc. after your workouts (I have an article about cardio that will help answer your questions at: http://www.leehayward.com/art23.htm

With your workouts focus on all of your muscle groups, not just your upper body. The bench press is the "ego exercise" for most guys and they tend to judge their progress by how much they can bench. But leg and back strength are just as, if not more important for overall strength and power then bench press strength. With your workouts you should make sure that you do equal amounts of work for all of your major muscle groups. I have a great workout routine that you can follow at: http://www.leehayward.com/workout_programs/index.htm

I have a good article that you can read about creatine supplementation at: http://www.leehayward.com/art4.htm



I was just wondering.If I workout 5 days a week (all different bodyparts except chest twice a week). Am I overtraining? Also, I was wondering. no offense. How come bodybuilders gain weight during off season. Can't they stay the same throught the season.


There is really no right or wrong way to workout. But I have a great training article that will help to answer your questions about training. You should check it out at: http://www.leehayward.com/workout_programs/index.htm

Obviously, you have never competed and you never have been "ripped". People who haven't done it before may think that it is easy to get in contest shape and stay in contest shape. But the reality is when you have 2-3% bodyfat you are much weaker, you can't lift near the weight that you normally can when you have a higher bodyfat percentage. You can not build large muscle mass if you are on a calorie restricted diet. Your muscles feel small and flat, rather then big and full. And most bodybuilders love to eat, so it is no fun to stay on a diet for ever. I am sure that you must crave some tasty "junk food" once in a while yourself so you should know what I mean.

In the offseason we eat more, train heavier, and get bigger (i.e. put on some muscle and bodyfat). In the last few months before a contest we diet, do more cardio, etc. and work to maintain the muscle we gained in the offseason and lose the bodyfat. The end result is a bigger more muscular physique with low bodyfat levels. If we dieted all year round we would stay the same size and have a low bodyfat percentage.

While staying lean and small all year long may be ok for fitness models, it is not ok for bodybuilders. After all bodybuilding is about getting bigger and more muscular.



I am 17 years old and I have been wanting to build muscle for a long time but it seems like when I get in the mood to work out I never see or feel results. I am 5' 9" and I weigh 140 , I am pretty cut all over but I just want to put on like 20-30 pounds of pure hard muscle. If there is anything that you can do or that you can recommend I would most definitely appreciate your help.



Hi Justin,

Building muscle takes time, it doesn't happen is a few weeks or months or when "we get in the mood". You have to be consistent with your workouts over the long haul in order to see progress. I have a good article that you should read at: http://www.leehayward.com/art5.htm
This article will help put you on the right path for making gains.


Dear Lee,

Could you recommend some good exercises for the upper chest.


John Boyd


Hi John,

Some of my favorite upper chest exercises are:

Incline dumbbell bench press
Incline barbell bench press
Push ups with feet elevated on a bench

Do 4 sets of 10 reps of the dumbbell and barbell bench presses, and 3 sets of as many reps as you can do for the push ups. This will give your upper chest a great workout.



Hey man, how are ya? Right now i am following one of your general workout routines. Working out 4 days a week, 2 days devoted to heavier weights, the other 2 devoted to high reps(12).. I am at the moment 5-10, 172 lbs and i am seeking most of all to get a low body fat percentage. I think the last time i had it measured it was like 14%.. Ive read your articles about cardio, and for the previous two weeks i have been doing my cardio first thing in the morning, even before eating.. I have been doing 35-45 on the treadmill with a combination of fast walking and jogging. Currently i am doing the cardio on monday, wednesday, friday, and saturday.. I am seeking to get around 8% of bodyfat or lower.. Should i up the cardio to everyday?

Also most of my bodyfat is on the back of my legs.. I do squats with my routine but i have trouble with balance when doing free weight squats. I have been doing my squats on a smith machine.. it helps me go deeper without stumbling around.. I know that makes it easier, but i am more interested in doing it correctly than worrying about how much weight i am doing.. I also know i can't spot reduce but is there something else that would help get rid of this fat on my legs.. I unfortunately made the mistake of focusing too much on my upper body initally.. well if you have any suggestions i would be most appreciative.. thanks a lot man..



Hi Matt,

You should up the cardio until you are doing 45-60 minutes each morning. This along with a good high protein diet will help you lose bodyfat.

I would recommend that you do your squats with a regular barbell and not the smith machine. Use light weights at first and focus on doing proper form. As you get the form down, then you can increase the weights.

- use a fairly wide stance (feet wider then shoulder width)
- keep your toes pointed forward
- force your knees out to the sides when you squat down
- keep your head up and your chest / stomach expanded as you squat down
- sit back in the squat and stick your butt out behind you as you squat down
- squat until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor or slightly lower

It will take practice and you will have to develop flexibility in your hips, but this type of squatting will help to add muscle mass to your legs (especially the hamstrings and glutes) and back like nothing else.


Mr Hayward:

I'm 17 years old, 6'4" 200lbs, and have been lifting for over two years. I'm looking for a workout program that will maintain my upper body and put some extra focus on the legs. In particular, I'd like to gain power in the hips and thighs for squats, and size in the calves. More minorly, I'd like to work my inner and upper pecs, as well as my inner and outer delts. Any help would be appreciated. I usually just follow a powerlifting program and throw in a few minor exercises for calves and other small muscle groups.

I do squats with my heels on a block since I don't seem to be flexible enough in my ankles to go down far enough, will this affect my power?

I'm considering going in to college to study to become a personal trainer, much like yourself. I'm curious as to which courses I need to take in high school, which I will need to take in college, what market opportunities might be in the future, etc. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time,

-Dustin Roderick


Hi Dustin,

Here is a good schedule that you can follow:

Workout 1: chest, shoulders, and triceps
Workout 2: back and biceps
Workout 3: legs and abs

Train every second day. So you would do workout 1, take a day off, do workout 2, take a day off, do workout 3, take a day off, and repeat the routine. This will give your body plenty of time to rest and grow. This is the schedule that I am currently following.

At 6'4 and 200 lbs. you need to pack on some size. Don't get hung up on detail and isolation exercises, focus on big power movements.

Here are some great exercises for each bodypart. If you are not sure how to perform some of the exercises check out: http://www.leehayward.com/pics/exercise.htm

Chest: incline db bench, flat barbell bench, dips

Shoulders: seated db press, up right rows, shrugs

Triceps: push downs, lying ez bar extensions, tricep dips (between two benches)

Back: dead lifts, chin ups, barbell rows, cable rows, pull downs

Biceps: barbell curls, db curls, cable curls

Legs: squats, leg presses, hack squats, leg extensions, leg curls, standing calf raises, seated calf raises

Abs: crunches, leg raises, kneeling cable crunches

Do a couple warm up sets and then do 2 heavy sets for each exercise. Keep your reps between 6-10 per set. Use perfect form at all times, if you have to cheat in order to lift the weight, lighten the weight and do the exercise correctly.

You should try doing your squats with your feet flat on the floor and a wider stance. It will take some getting used to, and you may have to use less weight at first, but it will be better in the long run for your squatting strength.

You need to eat, eat, and eat some more in order to gain size and strength. I have an article with some good nutrition tips at: http://www.leehayward.com/art5.htm

To become a good trainer you need to first practice what you preach. You should be working out regularly and after 2-3 years of training you should also enter a bodybuilding contest. This will give you first hand experience with both building muscle mass in the off season and losing bodyfat pre contest.

Read everything that you can get your hands on with regards to bodybuilding, exercise, nutrition, fitness, etc... I have personally read dozens of books and hundreds of magazines related to exercise and nutrition. I have also attended several seminars, courses, watched dozens of videos, etc. As for a great certification course, check out your local YMCA they offer a great personal training certification course.

The main thing is keep learning and improving. You will learn more from experience and reading then you will ever learn from a personal training course.


When doing the GVT (German Volume Training) workout, instead of using the same weight for a particular exercise, could you use a heavy weight for 10 reps until you can't do 10 reps, then lighten the weight for 10, etc until the 10 sets are achieved?

Example: Bench Press

260 x 10,10,10,8
225 x 10,10, 9
200 x 10,10,10 
Also, should one be doing cardio with this type of training?

Glenn ClayboMidale,


Hi Glenn,

Lifting too much weight will quickly lead to overtraining with GVT. I suggest that you start off with approx. 225 and try to do all 10 sets of 10. Towards the end of the sets you may not be able to get all of the reps. But the next time you do the workout try to get more reps, until you are able to do all 10 x 10, then increase the weight by 10 lbs.

You should be doing at least 3 cardio sessions per week. I have a good article about cardio at: http://www.leehayward.com/art23.htm


hey lee,

i'm in a bit of a bind here,see i can't afford to go to a gym and i have no equipment,but i do have two dumbells and alot of time,the only problem is that i'm relatively weak (i just started,my dumbells wiegh 25 pounds each and the most bicep curls i can seem to do is 20 tops no matter how long or often i work out),so i can't do much before i get tired out.on top of that i don't what exercise i can do with my dumbbells (except the bicep curl thing),any help would be appreciated.


You can perform some exercises with little or no equipment at all. Here is a sample workout routine that you can perform in your home. Do this workout every second day.

Push ups (works the chest, triceps, and shoulders)
3 sets of 25+ reps

Squats (works the thighs)
3 sets of 25+ reps

Calf raises (works the calfs)
3 sets of 25+ reps

Crunches (works the upper abs)
3 sets of 50+ reps

Reverse crunches (works the lower abs)
3 sets of 25+ reps

If you have a chin up bar you can include these in your workouts as well. If not then you should try and get one of those chin up bars that fits in a door way. Chin ups are great for working the back and bicep muscles.

With your dumbbells you can perform exercises like shoulder presses, bench presses, chest flyes, bicep curls, bent over rows, etc... I have included links to pictures of some dumbbell exercises:


As for your diet you should eat lots of protein foods such as: beef, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, protein shakes, protein / energy bars, etc. Eat lots of carbs such as: bread, rice, cereals, potatoes, pasta, fruit, vegetables, etc. Eat a small meal every 2-3 hours. Also drink lots of pure water throughout the day, at least 1 gallon a day.


Mr. Hayward~

I bumped into your site the other day and was impressed with it. You seem to be the guy that will have the "true" answer to my question. It is this: I have been working out for months now. My arms and chest are increasing in size and I am pleased with them. I am on a strict diet that's high in protein and low in fat. However, I cannot lose the fat around my ab area and my "love handles." I do 100-150 crunches at every workout. I workout 4 times a week. What am I doing wrong?

Your help is much appreciated,

Trey White


Hi Trey,

In order to see your abs you have to lose the bodyfat that is covering them, you need to have a really low bodyfat percentage (i.e. 5-6% bodyfat) in order to have six pack abs. I have an article that has some great fat loss tips at: http://www.leehayward.com/art17.htm

Train your abs 2 times per week at most, your abs need time to rest just like any other muscle group. Include different ab exercises in your workouts such as leg raises, crunches, crunches on the exercise ball, etc.

You should also try using a good fat burner such as Ripped Fuel to help boost your metabolism and burn off excess bodyfat. You can get Ripped Fuel at: http://totfit.safeshopper.com/108/829.htm


Hi Lee.

I'm 19 years old 5'7 170 pds and a riflemen in the Marine Corps. I was wondering what the best program for seperating days for each muscle and which muscle groups to combine. Example - is chest and back better, or chest and tri's on the same day. I currently have a workout that goes day 1 chest, bi's, and forearm, day 2 off, day 3 back, tri's, and shoulder, day 4 off, day 5 legs and abs, day 6 and 7 off.

I take multi-vitamins daily and and protein shakes. I also wondered when the best time(s) to take a muti-vitamin is, what my daily protein intake should be, and how much pre/post workout intake of carbs and protein should be. I've purchased your blast your bench and livin lean programs and have found them both successful.

Thanks Lee!


Hi Jonathan,

My current workout routine is like this:

Workout 1: Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps
Workout 2: Back and Biceps
Workout 3: Legs and Abs

I train every second day. So I do workout 1, take a day off, do workout 2, take a day off, do workout 3, take a day off, and then repeat the cycle. I find that this is a great workout schedule to follow because it gives my body plenty of time to rest and grow.

Take your vitamins with your meals (i.e. with breakfast and/or dinner). Have 2-3 protein shakes per day, with or in between meals. Try to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day.

1 hour before your workouts have a small snack/meal that contains some protein and carbs. Have a protein shake right after your workouts. After my workouts I have a shake that contains 2 scoops of protein powder, 1 teaspoonful of creatine powder, and 1 scoop of table sugar mixed in 16 ounces of water. This gives my body protein and simple carbs to help speed up muscle growth and recovery.


Hey Lee,

I am 16 and a sphmore in High school. .I am 5'11 and weigh 215lbs. My workout routine is on mondays I do Chest and Triceps. Tuesday I do Back and Biceps. Wednesday I do legs. Thursday I do Shoulders and traps and I take the rest of the week off. I play football so strength is key. I squat about 450. So strength isnt the problem. But I cant seem to bulk up my legs. My calfs arent very big. I hear that big calfs are like hereditary but if you have any tips can you give them to me. Ohh yeah my calorie intake is probably about 4000. lol I eat alot and take Nitro-tech so I dont think that protein is the problem.


If you can you should split your workouts so they go like this Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, take Wednesdays and weekends off. This will allow for better recovery then 4 days in a row.

Do 3-4 sets of basic exercises such as standing calf raises, seated calf raises, and leg press calf raises. Do 2 different kinds of calf workouts. One workout lift as heavy as you can for 5-10 reps per set. The next workout do 20+ reps per set. Alternate doing the 2 workouts each week. This will help to stimulate both the fast and slow twitch muscle fibers and allow for better overall growth.


Hello Mr. Hayward,

I Just started lifting in Jan and a friend told me about your site. I am hoping you can help me. I am a 40 year old male 6' 2, 228lbs. As I said I started in January on a 4 day regiment, while I have lost plenty weight and have made great strides in my legs and back I have not been able to build or increase my arms or chest. I have a very good gym in my basement consisting of 2 leg machines, a lat pulldown machine,benches,and plenty of barbells. I do not have anyone to help me in spotting, and therefore I try not to go to failure when doing bench presses,(I already got myself in trouble once like that if you know what I mean) what can I do to increase my size and strength.

I would really appreciate any advice from you.

Thank You


Hi Rick,

A great exercise that you can do for your chest and triceps is push ups. Do 3-4 sets with your chest workouts and pump out as many reps as you can until failure. This is one of my favorite chest exercises that works great, but most people do not include push ups in their workouts.

For your arm exercises use moderate weights and use perfect form at all times. Really feel the muscles stretch and contract with each rep. Do 12 reps per set for arm exercises and try to get a good pump in the biceps and triceps. Stick with basic exercises such as barbell curls, dumbbell curls, etc. for the biceps. Push downs, ez bar extensions, dumbbell extensions, close grip bench presses, etc. for triceps. Do 3 exercises for 4 sets each for both your biceps and triceps.

Workout no more then 4 days per week. This will give your body plenty of time to rest and grow.

Try these tips and let me know how they work for you.



I am julissa, I am 5"6 and I weigh 136 pounds with 27% body fat. I have been working out for 1 1/2 consistenly, I take boxing at least once a week, I do the epillitical machine, I run onhte treadmill, bike, I do little bit of everything. And I also was weight trainning with a personal trainer once I week, and I still haven't mamaged to lose any weight. I really want to lose 10 pounds, but I will be happy with 8 pounds. I feel like my body will never reach that goal. I feel like I am working out for nothing. Please help!! I need to lose my last 10 pounds in a month!


Hi Julissa,

In order to lose bodyfat you will need to cut back slightly on your cardio and focus a bit more on weight training. When you do cardio you burn extra calories while you are exercising, but an hour or so after you stop exercising, you also stop burning extra calories. But if you add some muscle size though weight training, your metabolism will be faster and you will burn more calories 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I suggest that you up your weight training to 3-4 days per week.

You will also need to focus more on your diet in order to lose bodyfat. I have an article that has some great nutrition and fat loss tips at: http://www.leehayward.com/art17.htm

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