The Bamboo Bar For More Muscle Mass

It goes by many names: bamboo bar, tsunami bar or earthquake bar. Whatever you call it, this contraption will humble you, challenge you and make you better – to the tune of more muscle and increased strength. 

The material used to make these bars does not absorb vibrations like a traditional barbell. Instead, it is designed to AMPLIFY them so the bar wobbles like an earthquake. Here it is in action:
 Sure it sounds crazy, but the benefits are awesome! Those benefits include:
  • Increased motor recruitment (massive pumps)
  • Increased intramuscular tension (perquisite for growth)
  • Increased stabilizer muscle recruitment (makes regular bar feel easy and light when you go back to them)
  • Safer on elbows and shoulders (not the nose – be careful & use a spotter!)
How to make your own:

Don’t worry if you don’t have one of these bars! You can do this at-home with a PVC pipe, bands, and any weights – plates, KB’s or DB’s – just make sure the PVC is about 2″ in diameter…thick enough to hold, but thin enough to wobble! Or you can use the “crazy bell” setup and hang weights off a regular bar. It’s not EXACTLY the same, but it’s better than nothing.

How to incorporate into your workouts:
Here are the two most popular ways to incorporate these bars into your training for maximum benefit:
  1. Use as your main move in a deload phases for higher reps (like the 8 x 8 in a MASS phase as you’ll see below)
  2. As a pressing accessory after your main strength work.


  • “Shugart” DB Press: From Chris Shugart at TNation… 2 x 15-20 warm up sets. Keep those DB’s close. Arnold press x 6-8, then with same weights, do regular DB Press to failure. Immediately drop to warm-up weights and repeat the Arnold press x 6-8 reps and then regular OH Press to failure. Do 3 sets.
  • Bamboo Bar Incline BP 8 x 8**
  • Close-Grip Pullups x 8 (Superset with Incline BP)
  • Kettlebell Hammer Curls 3 x 8-12 (bottom of bell should face straight out at top of curl, do not break wrists)
  • Rope or Band Tricep Pressdowns 3 x 15-20
  • Band Pull-aparts 3 x 20 (Perform biceps, triceps, and pull-aparts as a tri-set. Do 3 rounds in 10 minutes or less)
  • Battling Ropes Tabata

**The 8 x 8 rep scheme used here is one the best for muscle SIZE. This setup dates back to the legendary Vince Gironda who was famous for his size, leanness, and symmetry. Choose a weight that is challenging but does NOT take you to failure on any set. Keep rest periods low (15-60 seconds). **

Get HOS MASS – an 8-week online coaching course filled with workouts like this one that will BLOW YOU UP HERE!