John Gaines - 12 Week Mass Building Program

John Gaines - 12 Week Mass Building Program

John Gaines 12-week training program is for anyone—man or woman, beginner or advanced. Through three-phases you will work through foundational full body exercises, focused mass building movements and finally a cut phase to let your results show through.


During the foundation phase (weeks 1-4) of this program you will work out three days a week and focus on building strength through the use of straight sets. In phase 1 you should use heavy enough weights to exhaust the muscles within the prescribed rep counts and rest periods should range between 60 and 90 seconds between each set, providing ample time for your muscles to recover. This phase focuses on a lower rep range (5-8 reps per set) utilizing heavy weight in order to best maximize your increase in strength.

Full Body

Squat 5 x 5
Barbell Bench 5 x 5
Barbel Bent Over Row 5 x 5
Barbell Push Press 5 x 5
Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat
3 x 8 (each leg)
Leg Extensions 5 x 8
Standing Calf Machine  3 x 20
Abs - Elevated Crunches, Leg Raises, Russian Twists 20 each x 3 rounds


The “Gains” phase (weeks 5-8) continues to focus on total body activation with many of the movements being compound exercises. These compound exercises are designed to help you develop overall mass while still ensuring growth of individual body parts. Unlike the first phase of this program, you will be working out 4 days a week with a lower, upper push and upper pull split. This phase will utilize the optimal rep ranges for hypertrophy/muscle growth (8-12 reps per set).  Use heavy enough weights to exhaust the muscles, but not too heavy as to not be able to complete the prescribed reps with the 60 -90 second rest periods between sets.

Lower Body

Squats 5 x 10 -12
Barbell Reverse Lunges 3 x 8  (each leg)
Barbell Good Mornings 3 x 8
Leg Press 5 x 10 -12
DB Goblet Squats

3 x 8  

Leg Extensions 4 x 8
Standing Calf Machine  3 x 20
Cable Crunch Super Set Weighted hanging Knee Raises
10 each
x 3 rounds



The “Cut”. The final 4 weeks of this program is designed to cut away fat through the use of super-sets, tri-sets, and plyometrics. Our heaviest work load of all three phases you will be working out 5 days a week, with rest periods greatly reduced (30 seconds between sets). The higher reps, shorter rest, and supersets used in this phase will allow you to keep your heart rate up throughout the workout, maximizing your caloric burn and fat loss. During these workouts you will be working opposing muscle groups (i.e. chest and back) which allow one muscle group to rest while working the other. When preforming super-sets and tri-sets scale the intensity by letting the reps dictate the weight you are using.

Chest / Back

Barbell Bench Press 4 x 10
SS / Barbell Bent Over Row 4 x 10
Incline Barbell Bench 4 x 10
SS DB Reverse Fly 4 x 10
DB Incline Chest Press, Single Arm
4 x 6 (each arm)
SS DB Incline Row 4 x 10
Cable Crossover Chest Fly 4 x 10
SS / Cable Kneeling Lat Pull Downs 4 x 10