Rich Piana’s Workout Tips & Tricks


Among the legends of bodybuilding, Rich Piana stood at the top when it came to giving useful advice. He was a fountain of knowledge, and he freely shared it. His honest, no-holds-barred approach was refreshing in a world of B.S. and hype. In this article, we’ll look at some of Rich Piana’s Workout Tips & Tricks to get and make the most out of your workouts.

Feeder Workouts

What are feeder workouts? They are short, light high-rep workouts done for a muscle the day after that muscle is trained. Rich’s belief was that pumping blood into a muscle as often as possible helps growth because you’re “feeding” the muscle. He suggested 2 exercises, 2-3 sets x 30-50 reps, or 1-2 sets x 100 reps, done superset style. Rich always advocated doing feeders before bed. He also felt this concept was among his most important tips. Optional - drink 1-2 servings of All Day You May when you’re done, then go to sleep. It should be noted that Rich didn’t drink anything but this is highly suggested. 

It’s Not About Heavy Weight

It’s true Rich came up lifting heavy and still lifted heavy from time to time. Like Rich, you should build a strength foundation in your early years. Still, Rich reached a point where constantly trying to go heavier wasn’t working anymore. Rich believed that working heavy weight for 1-2 reps (after countless warm-up sets) and calling that a workout wasn’t the answer. Once you reach your strength ceiling, it’s time to change strategy to keep progressing. Rich did that by chasing the pump. In other words, he used moderate weights for higher reps. He would also use variety, changing his workouts constantly. For example, you might have seen him use a pyramid approach in a chest workout, starting light and doing 20-25 reps. Then over several sets, he’d add weight and work down to 8-12 reps. Next time, he’d change his approach by changing the exercises and doing supersets. What about reps? Sure, he’d do the pyramid approach with his top working sets in the 8-12 range. But he’d also do sets of 30, 40, or even 100 reps. For Rich, the pump was King. 

Once Your Hand Touches The Bar, Every Set Counts

While he did use pyramiding as noted above, Rich did not believe in doing countless warm-up sets that did nothing for muscle growth. Instead, do a good warm-up set, then make every set count. Once your hand touches the bar, work every rep. That means controlled reps, squeeze at the top, no pauses, just keep it going like a piston. This means that even as he added weight and worked down in reps, every set was a challenge. 


What Rich meant here was the idea that no matter what he was doing, he’d flex his muscles. Not posing in a mirror, but simply tensing up a specific muscle while he was doing something else. For example, when he was competing, he was also a personal trainer. While he was supervising a client, he’d be flexing his chest or his quads. He’d flex and hold a particular muscle for 30 seconds. He’d do that a couple of times, and he’d try to flex all the muscles in his body, all while keeping a straight face and never letting on what he was up to. 

Don’t Forget Your 5% Supps!

Rich always had motivating tips that could make a big difference in results. That went beyond working out and eating to include supplements. That’s why he founded 5% Nutrition. His focus was always on real food, and 5% designed innovative supplements that reflected this approach. From insanely effective pre-workouts to amino powders and wellness formulas, 5% does it all. We’re talking about some of the most effective supplements you can buy. For example, there’s the unbelievably effective new pre-workout Kill It RTD, the category-leading All Day You May amino powder, and the delicious whole-food-based Shake Time no whey protein powder. Plus, there’s muscle builders, weight loss, functional foods, and creatines. And it doesn’t stop there, so be sure to visit 5% Nutrition and see what sets us apart from everybody else!
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