Seven Rhino rules for building size and strength

Yesterday, I had the great opportunity to spend the day hanging out with Stan “The White Rhino” Efferding

Stan is an IFBB Professional Bodybuilder and World Record Holding Powerlifter

I love to learn and discuss shop with individuals like him. Like Ed Coan, Efferding believes in the beauty of simplicity.

Here are seven Rhino rules for building size and strength

Rule 1: The 99% rule

Ninety nine percent of your attention should be on eating, sleeping and training hard.

If you think taking creatine will compensate for the fact that you are only sleeping 5 hours a night, you are a “Fucking Idiot” (I used that exact quote on Mark Bell’s podcast and it was his highest rated show beating Jillian Micheals).

Rule 2: Supplement only what you are deficient in

A common question Stan gets is:  “What supplements should I take”.  And his answer is always the same:  “What are you deficient in”?


Most people take far too many supplements, wasting money and increasing load on the body for no reason. Get a comprehensive metabolic profile test done, then take what is limiting your progress.

Rule 3: For gaining mass, increase frequency of low volume meals, THEN increase volume of meal

Stan gives a lot of credit to Flex Wheeler for learning how to eat for size. Wheeler got Stan to eat 8 times a day, small meals, and then PROGRESSIVELY, got him to increase his portion sizes.  Train your metabolism the same way you train with weights, gradually adding more week over week and month over month forcing your body to adapt.

Rule 4: 20 reps for leg growth

Big legs add a lot of weight to the body. Even though Stan holds the All-time world record squat of 854lbs with no knee wraps in the 275lb class, his legs were BIGGER when he was not squatting and weighed only 250lbs!!  Stan showed John Broz and I pictures of when his legs were at their biggest: after doing 20 reps sets, twice a week with Flex wheeler.


He still believes in warming up, so even though he does multiple sets to warm-up, ( 5 sets or so) only 2-3 sets are done balls to the walls for 20 R.M. sets.

So a safety squat bar of 315 lbs for 20 reps, may look like this in reality:

  • 135 x 3
  • 185 x 3
  • 205 x 2
  • 255 x 2
  • 285 x 2
  • 315 x 20 reps
  • 275 x 20 reps

Then he may move to hack squats, or leg presses with bands.

On high rep leg day, eight total sets of 20 reps balls to the wall are gone. And it is not “too easy”, if you put in the right effort, you will excrete your spleen through your left eye socket.

Rule 5: Solid food trumps shakes

foodStan relies on frequent solid real food meals over shakes.

Bodybuilding magazines always preach that if you want to go to the next level on hypertrophy, you need supplements. Stan is completely of the opposite opinion. He suggests to invest in better quality food before spending on supplements. As in for example, buy grass fed beef over conventionally raised beef, instead of trying to find the magical powder.

Rule 6: The stronger you get, the less you can train frequently

If you squat 400 lbs you may need to squat twice a week to get those poundages up. By the time he was over 700 lbs, once every 2 weeks got him better results.


Rule 7: Be an information junkie

One thing that is impressive about Stan is how often he gives credit to his mentors like Flex Wheeler, Mark Bell and Ed Coan. He is always looking for how to improve… on a daily basis.