Q: The end-of-set static hold that Jonathan used on most sets during his Size Surge transformation work great. I feel the muscle much better when I add that. Thanks for that great tip. Are there any other things he did that improved his gains?
A: He ate like a horse. But you probably mean in the gym. Let us think…
Oh, one subtle thing he did was slightly vary each set when possible – small change for big-muscle gains. What do we mean by that? Hand spacing, foot spacing, hand angle, etc.
For example, on incline presses, he would start with a fairly wide grip for the first set. Then on the second set he would bring his hands in about half a palm width.
He would do the same thing on squats–wider on the first set, somewhat narrower on the second.
If we was doing concentration curls, he would start with his palm facing his leg and rotate his palm as he curled, fully supinating his hand with the little finger has high as possible at contraction…
Then on the second set he would keep his palm facing up the entire time, only rotating slightly at the top.
Small variations can give some fibers better leverage or different heads of the muscle a better angle to work. For example, MRI studies show that angling your feet slightly inward on leg extensions works the outer quad (vastus lateralis) more, while angling your feet out works more of the inner quads (teardrop vastus medialis).
One more: He also made sure to lower the weight slower than he raised it. He would use an almost explosive positive, one to two seconds, and a slower negative–two to three seconds.
It’s those little tweaks that can pack more muscle on your physique.
Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.
–Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson