Sneak Peek: The 3 Principles of BIG

29 Jul

I wrote this one for the monthly newsletter at Total Performance Sports. It doesn’t drop until Tuesday, but I figured I would give subscribers, and those who don’t get the newsletter, an early look. Enjoy!

The 3 Principles Of BIG.

Listen, I’ve been overweight, I’ve been skinny, I’ve seen all my abs, I’ve even been boy band fit. Ya, I just said boy band fit, not my brightest moment.

Let’s face it though; the best thing to be is big. From head to toe. Jeans don’t fit you, and you still look like you lift weights in a t-shirt.

true story

I have a theory, secretly every guy wants to be big, some just never figure it out. Instead, they settle for being:

– Skinny: But my abs are so tight bro
– Delirious: They think they’re big
– Fat: I guess technically they are big…

The principles below, like so many things in the weight room, are really simple. So simple you probably won’t follow them. Your loss.

The basic principle to bigness is this: Be able move heavier weights longer / more often.

Damn it that is logical. How’s it done?

1. Get Stronger

In order to move heavier weights longer and more often you must first be able to move heavy weights once and / or less often; makes sense.

Are you sick of hearing this yet? Like the proverb says: “you can lead a horse to the weight room, but you can’t unplug his head from his asshole,” or something like that. If you want to get big you do actually need to get stronger; no matter what you have heard. Consider this the final removal of your head from your 5th point of contact. Stop doing small movements with paper weights and work smartly at progressing your big lifts. Go get help with your technique, follow a simple scheme like 5/3/1, stop being a stubborn bastard.

2. Volume and Frequency Make Big People

Now that you can lift heavier weights, you need to move them more times; also…makes sense.

Higher volumes mean more muscular fatigue (higher intensities mean more neural fatigue). This also means more propensity for growth. You know that word hypertrophy that you think is so awesome? This is how it’s accomplished. High volumes of training can’t be sustained all the time, but they need to be included. Furthermore, frequency, or how often you train a muscle group will also play into the total volume (work) done to an area. If you are stronger, you can hit areas more frequently and recover from the work because your capacity to do work is higher; more sense made…

Kroc Rows…heavy weight moved many times

Volume is accomplished by adding reps, sets, training more frequently, or intelligently combining all three concepts. If you aren’t that strong yet, do more sets at lower rep ranges. If you are strong, and want to get bigger, add more reps. If you want to bring up a lagging body part hit it more often. Simple.

Not as simple: combining all three, but a topic for another time.

3. Eat Big, Sleep Well, Get Big.

You can’t grow if you don’t recover; common sense.

This is something most people refuse to accept. It’s also the most basic principle to getting bigger. It takes wood to build a house, not just labor, tools and a blue print. Eat more, sleep enough. I’m not going to dwell on this, just do it please.

…and repeat

There you go, a simple recipe to becoming a bigger person. Now you can go ignore it because it’s not flashy, well marketed, or different from anything you have ever seen before.


You can do it and get results. Life is about making choices, choose to be big.

Like what you read? Share it please! Click one of the social media links below, and help the world not fit into skinny jeans!

3 Responses to “Sneak Peek: The 3 Principles of BIG”

  1. Julio Romón Baillo July 30, 2012 at 7:04 am #

    Awesome man,

    I have always been the skinny type with abs well defined. I got into lifting 3 or 4 years ago, the first 2 years I had no idea what I was doing (and doing it badly) and the 3rd year is when I started learning the concepts of proper training, nutrition and so forth.

    This last year I have been training smarter than ever, following simple rules like those you mentioned and reading folks with some kick-ass knowledge and know-hows like Eric Cressey (I have followed 2 of his programs this year) and I gained 10 kilograms of muscle (22 pounds) and become addicted to moving heavy stuff.

    The truth is the year was not pretty at all, I have anxiety issues (I am a type A personality person to the extreme, have problems relaxing, focusing and many more) and still, despite the few highs, and many lows of my personal life, the tough training days, the pushing through, and all my mental problems… after all the bad things that passed this year I cannot help it but look at myself and be amazed by how much I have improved and how look I good with my new added muscle (still skinny at 160 but bench pressing 235, squatting 250+, and deadlifting 350).

    The point is, is the long run that matters. The daily things are important yes, but is the sticking-to-it and the constantly pushing through, the following of principles and not changing things when you hit plateaus that matters. I do not care how big or awful your personal problems/life is, if you want to get bigger you just have to get your head out of your ass and pretty much do what you mentioned in this post consistently enough to start seeing results.


    • gregtrainer August 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

      Well said brother, and keep up the hard work. Look forward to hearing more about your progress!


  1. Top Good Reads of the Week: Edition 9 | LaVack Fitness - August 12, 2012

    […] – Sean Griffin Hi-Tech Nutrient Conversion; Lessons for Carb Back-Loading – Kiefer The 3 Principles of BIG – Greg Robins 10 Weeks to Squat PRs – Tim Henriques Building a Bigger Yoke – Jim Wendler Olympic […]

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