A Bodybuilder Took on Lou Ferrigno’s Hulking Upper Body Workout

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

AS ONE HALF of YouTube's bodybuilding brother duo the Buff Dudes, Brandon White has tried out all kinds of "old school" muscle and strength-building workouts modeled on the strongmen and boxers of the 20th century. But in his most recent video, he takes on one of his more challenging sessions yet, when he sets out to recreate the chest and back routine of Mr. Universe winner and The Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno.

Like many of us, White first became aware of Ferrigno when he watched him in the now-famous bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron, and takes particular inspiration from how this "gentle giant" was able to build so much muscle at his staggering 6'5" height.

"I've always struggled a little bit with putting on size, so I'm going to see if this is what it truly takes to put that mass on big frames," he says.

Every exercise in the workout is performed for 5 sets of 6 to 8 reps, starting with the dumbbell chest press. White immediately can tell that the high volume on this workout is going to take its toll and he should resist the urge to go too hard and fast in the early sets.

Next up is the incline barbell press. "[Ferrigno] would take a bit of a narrower grip when pressing, so he would say he just barely grip right outside the shoulder there; a lot narrower than you'd typically see a lot of guys doing, especially in the '70s and '80s," he explains. "Arnold says the wider you go, the wider your chest will be. Lou says something different, which I feel like I agree with a bit more, because he was a little taller as well; when he gripped it more narrow, he'd feel more of a stretch in his chest because he's going further down and then pressing from there."

Next, he hits his chest and back together with pullovers. White describes this as an "excellent" exercise. "All the old-schoolers did it," he says. "It's regained a lot of popularity nowadays with the younger lifters, which is great."

White continues with an exhausting round of chest-supported machine rows, machine flys, bodyweight dips, deadlifts, bent over rows, and finishes with two different kinds of pullups, switching from a wide overhand grip for five sets to a narrow, underhand grip for the final five sets of the workout.

"You might see someone on stage winning an award... once you step into what it took to get there, you realize really quick that the training, the suffering, the pain, is going to weed out a lot of people," he says.

You Might Also Like