My Experience With Serge Nubret’s Training Method

A few years ago I was really frustrated with my lack of muscular size. I was still looking for a way to hack the system and finally give myself a respectable physical development that would earn me the right to flex in public. Just like many others I have spent a lot of hours digging for a method that really works. I tried many, many things and made almost all beginners’ mistakes that could be made.

Arnold, Serge and Sergio in Mr. Olympia 1972

Arnold, Serge and Sergio in Mr. Olympia 1972

During one of my desperate quests for muscle glory I found some posts online which were supposedly written by the great French bodybuilder Serge Nubret. In brief, he advocated super high volume training with light weights and tons of horse meat as a diet. Of course, he also claimed natural. At that time I was still not convinced that bodybuilders like him are using. That’s how I end up adopting his style of training, although I didn’t eat horse meat or anything similar.

I found a new gym relatively close to work. This was going to be my training ground and the place where my inner bodybuilder was finally going to experience exceptional muscular hypertrophy thanks to the secrets of a great master.


My first day was, of course, chest and quads as suggested by Nubret. To this day I have never thought of splitting quads and hamstrings but what did I know? I was not a muscle guru with 22-inch natural arms.

I remember that day. It felt like going off your diet and eating all the garbage you have ever wanted to eat, except that I accomplished this satisfaction by doing all kinds of previously forbidden exercises including machine dips and chest flies.

I did the workout in the evening and this was a big mistake. Why? Because the morning is always wiser than the evening. The late hours are naturally associated with the spiritual realm and dreaming. The represent an end of a cycle and people tend to feel more “magic” around.

I liked everything – the people, the gym, the girl at the bar. It was awesome. After the workout I walked for about 20 minutes in the city and the air felt different. It was mid-Autumn, my favorite part of year, and I felt like I was finally getting somewhere. I believed that progress was coming and my motivation was high. Until…

About a year went by. Time flies.

I was still pumping muscles Serge Nubret style, but the magic was wearing off. The gym was no longer a wonderful place. The girl at the bar was no longer pretty. She transformed into a wicked witch with fake hair. I guess when I first saw her I was under the influence of the “she is female and not fat, thus she must be good” factor.

The people around me were no longer kind and helping strangers. They were just annoying sweaty dudes with little brains. Some were on steroids while others were suffering from typical natural bodybuilding delusion – confusing fat with muscle.

Ironically, the only one changed was me. They were still the same people from 12 months ago. I was the one who was different. I was sad and disappointed since I made no progress despite pumping my muscles like the masters say you should.

During one of my back days I had some sort of epiphany. I remember doing a seated pull on the row machine. I was super tired, and at the end of my set I returned the handle a little too fast. It hit the main corpus of the row machine, and a metal part broke and made a “ding” sound. Luckily, I was the only one there and nobody saw anything.

I felt happy that the damn thing broke. I wanted to break the whole fucking gym down and take a piss straight in the middle of the locker room. Apparently, it was the trend at that place. The stupid cave was always stinking. I also felt extreme urge to reverse slap all professional bodybuilders and muscle gurus my skinny ecto hand. I still do.

I was real mad because I did my part of the deal, but after a year I have made zero progress. Sure, I didn’t eat the magical horse meat, but I was consuming close to 250 grams of protein. I ate so many cans of tuna that most likely the mercury contained in them felt bad for me and decided to slow down its negative impact. Still, there were not muscles. Zero. Nothing.

I ended my workout. Took my bag from the locker room and never returned, although I have just prepaid for one more month. At least I broke one of their machines. That was my only reward after a year of pump training.

This experience and lot more stories prior and after formed my opinion of the gym culture and the lies of the pro bodybuilders. I mean, they all lie. But, let’s give them a little bit of breathing time. As they say: nobody is perfect.

What I consider my biggest mistake is allowing myself to be used like a sucker because I was too lazy to exercise personal judgment.

Like many others I used to put a lot of emphasis on working out not because I liked it that much, but because I expected muscles to take care of my messed up life. I wanted to fill a void with the wrong filler. I went to the store to buy shoes but bought cookies and got fat instead.

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