Q: I tried Arnold’s method of using a high-rep set to end my major exercises, like bench presses, (Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout e-book, Chapter 1). But I’m just too fatigued to feel the target muscle on that last set. After reading about Doug Brignole’s 50-40-30-20-10 method in Chapter 4, I was thinking about using that on an isolation exercise to feel the target muscle better, like crossovers for chest after bench. Is that a good idea?
A: It could be, but you left a lot of variables out. For example, how experienced are you? That amount of work may be too much. How many days per week are you training each muscle? If it’s once, that amount of volume may work well, if it’s twice, maybe not.
Let’s assume your an intermediate bodybuilder using full-range Positions of Flexion (as explained in Chapter 2). If you pyramid on the big midrange exercise (bench), adding weight over three to four sets, then you do a stretch move for two heavier stretch-overload sets, you’re left with the isolated contracted move—cable crossovers, as you mentioned—or lying cable flyes, pictured below. Should you use Mr. America’s Super-TORQ method (50-40-30-20-10 + drops)?
That would most likely be severe overkill. Remember Brignole is a Mr. America winner, and he only uses it on ONE exercise per muscle—and that’s all he does for that bodypart at that workout. A better idea is to use a streamlined version, our TORQ method (tension-overload repetition quantity)…
We touched on TORQ in the Power-Density e-book Q&A chapter (page 51), but
Why does high-rep, continuous-tension isolation work pack on new muscle tissue so quickly? Here’s what Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., respected hypertrophy researcher said:
Research supports that lifting with continuous tension can provide a potent stimulus for muscular hypertrophy, even when relatively light weights are used (Tanimoto, et al., 2008). The true benefit probably has to do with an acute restriction of circulation to the working muscles…. Repetitive muscular contractions cause a compression of blood vessels, impeding both inflow and outflow during exercise and creating a hypoxic intramuscular environment. There’s evidence that the hypoxic effect mediates a hypertrophic response, conceivably by the buildup of metabolites and reduction in pH levels associated with such training.
To put it in simpler terms: Continuous-tension TORQ makes the post-set pump insane—which triggers major mass gains.
Note: In the Super-Size Crash Course e-book the Phase 1 program has you use a heavy Power workout at one session for each target muscle (pyramid and lower-rep sets); then at the next workout for you do a lighter Density workout–using the 4X mass method and ending with TORQ. The Phase 2 workouts are a mix of Power & Density, using Downward-Progression 4X, Progressive-Speed 4X, and a high-rep finisher exercise. Add this best-selling e-book to your mass-building library for ONLY $10 ($24 value). More info HERE.
The Ultimate Power/Density Mass Workout e-book that includes Basic P/D Mass Workout (pyramid + 4X), Positions-of-Flexion P/D Mass Workout (full-range muscle attacks with POF—midrange, stretch, contracted), and Mr. America Doug Brignole’s Super-TORQ method and program is still ONLY $9 ($24 value) HERE.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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