My Experience With Serge Nubret’s Training Method

| by Truth Seeker |

Arnold, Serge and Sergio in Mr. Olympia 1972

Arnold, Serge, and Sergio in Mr. Olympia 1972

A few years ago I got extremely frustrated with my lack of muscular size. I was still looking for a way to hack the system and acquire a respectable physical development that would earn me the right to flex in public.

During one of my desperate quests for muscle glory, I found online posts which were supposedly written by the great French bodybuilder Serge Nubret. In brief, he advocated super high volume training with light weights supplemented with horse meat. Of course, he also claimed that he is natural. I decided to put my faith in the method and adopted his style of training without the horse meat.

On the first day, I did chest and quads as suggested by Nubret. Honestly, I’d 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 previously forbidden exercises (e.g., machine dips and chest flies).

I did the workout in the evening – a mistake. Why? Because the morning is always wiser than the evening. The late hours are naturally associated with the spiritual realm. They represent the end of a cycle and make people dreamy and delusional.

I liked everything – the people, the gym, the girl at the bar. It was awesome. After the workout, I went for a walk. Everything was perfect. It was mid-Autumn, my favorite part of the year, and I felt as if I were in the air. My intuition told me that progress was coming.

A year later, 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’d transformed into a wicked witch with fake hair. I guess that when I first saw her for the first time I was under the influence of the “she is a female and not fat, thus she must be hot” 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 delusions. (e.g., confusing fat with muscle).

Ironically, the only one changed was me. They were still the same people from 12 months ago, but I was different. I was sad and disappointed by the lack of gains.

I had some sort of epiphany during a back workout. I remember doing a seated pull on the rowing machine. At the end of a set, I returned the handle a little too fast. It hit the main corpus of the rowing machine, a metal part broke and made a “ding” sound. Luckily, I was the only one there. Nobody saw anything.

I felt happy. I wanted to break the whole gym 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 an extreme urge to reverse slap all professional bodybuilders and muscle gurus with my skinny ecto hand.

I had done my part of the deal. Where were my muscles? Sure, I didn’t eat the magical horse meat, but I was consuming close to 200 grams of protein anyway. I ate so many cans of tuna that the mercury in them felt bad for me and decided to slow down its negative impact. Nevertheless, there was no growth for me.

I ended my workout. Took my bag from the locker room and never returned, although I had just prepaid for a month.

I broke a machine. That was my only reward after a year of pumping.

This experience and lot more stories prior and after formed my opinion of the gym culture.

In short, they lie.

A lot.

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  1. Drs

    I enjoyed this article. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Mr. Lolman

    Brilliant! ? Probably one of the most entertaining sites in the bodybuilding world…. but also full of useful info! Thanks man, gonna pass this page on to my buddy!

  3. bob

    An amusing story but it sounds like you may be the one with the small brain. You have to do some thinking of your own to transform your physique. There is no one size fits all in bodybuilding. That should be obvious when looking at the differences in training styles of past Mr Olympia competitors. Serge responds well to his style of training and it just so happens I respond well to Serge Nubrets training yet HIT (think Mike Mentzer) is garbage for me. A friend I train with grows like a weed running HIT programs. Muscle fiber ratio plays a role as does your CNS and genetic factors still not understood. I tried most every style of training until I found something that worked well for me and convinced me I’m not a hard gainer. Unfortunately this takes time as in order to see if something works you have to give it an honest go (8 weeks+) To blindly follow a routine for an entire year without results is stupid. Think of the plethora of training routines posted online as merely ideas for you to test and manipulate at will but don’t put too much weight in any of them. I don’t use Serge Nubrets routines for example as for one thing I don’t take steroids and need to factor in reduced recovery capacity. I did learn a lot from his training principles though and customized my own program to suit me best. As for training times, some people have better focus and energy in the morning while others are night owls. I train in the evening because it’s when I’m physically and mentally most focused.

  4. Steve

    Inhave a question.. since inhave had moderate scudded using the Musclenow workout and diet… and later other programs..

    I’m not going to try the Nubret style.. as i absolutely despise cardio! And he claims cardio isn’t needed on his program…

    Anyway here is MY question.. during your Year of training.. DID you EVER increase the weight you where using.. i come to understand that it doesn’t matter what workout you do.. as LOng as you Increase the weights you use over time… so i ask.. did YOU? Or did you just use the same weights every workout without really challenging yourself.. thanks

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      No man. Never increased the weight. Just lifted the bar for years.

      1. Sire

        Well i guess we figured out why you didn’t have any succes with the program… i just started it “modified for me” and i LOVE it!

        Starting at 4 sets of 12 adding sets up to over the weeks 6.
        Then when completed all reps sets with weight add 5lbs and start over ..

        You can really feel the muscles working and concentrate in mind muscle connection… i have never fealt this kind of soreness in my side delts pecs and arms before… almost couldn’t move off just 10 lbs!

      2. OSB

        Didn’t increase the weight? No wonder you’re small.

  5. Redd

    I changed it to a push,pull, legs routine. When i can hit 6×12 i ncrease weight. It works wonders. If I’m tired i take a rest day.. But i do ab work every day.js

  6. Redd

    When i can do 6×12 i increase the weight.

  7. Edoardo Quarta

    Minimalism is the only approach worthing trust me, whether you do multiple sets or one set to failure. Pump routines are just a waste of time, Nubret was a liar and a steroid user, a complete con man.

    1. TheFinisher

      Minimalism has given you minimal results. It’s always skinny ‘hardgainers’ promoting low volume crap, yet have nothing to show for it.

      1. Dude

        Jesus Christ you old skool moron, if only one day I will have the “pleasure” to meet you in person I swear i’m going to punch you in the face and literally beat the shit out of you, you fucking moron

        1. OSB

          Really? And how fo you intend to do that, little one?

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