Q: I’ve been following your Quick-Start Muscle Building Guide [for beginners]. I’m currently on week 4, and it’s a great program. I’m already seeing results, but I’ve been reading about X Reps and the Positions-of-Flexion approach to lifting. I want to start using those as part of my home-gym training. I currently have only a pair of dumbbells, an EZ-curl bar, and an adjustable bench. Which program I should follow next? I’m not sure I can do POF with my limited equipment.
A: That’s a limited gym alright, and if you’re going to with your home-gym training, consider adding some essentials. For now you can continue progressing with what you have—although you didn’t say if the dumbbells are adjustable or selectorized (so you can change the weight by moving a pin or twisting a dial; you may want to check out PowerBlock if you’re going to keep training at home; it’s pictured and explained on page 42 after the home-gym version of the Quick-Start program).
A good program to move to next is Jonathan’s 10-week Size Surge, but you may need to add some equipment to get the best gains. The first five weeks is a big basic program, three days a week; the second five weeks is full POF workouts for every bodypart (there’s also a chapter in the 3D Muscle Building e-book on X Reps and how to use them). Here are a few substitute exercises for a home gym:
•Leg extensions: Do old-style hack squats instead, heels on a 2×4 and bar held at arm’s length behind your butt; do squats, but flex your quads at the top of each rep.
•Leg curls: If you train alone, you may have to get some bands and connect them to an upright so you can hook your feet in them, lie on a bench and do band leg curls; if you have a partner, he or she can wrap a towel around your ankles and provide manual resistance through the leg curl stroke. If you have a set of PowerBlocks, you can also wedge your foot into a set of “plates” when the handle’s removed.
•Crossovers: Do flat or decline flyes with dumbbells, but squeeze your pecs for two seconds at the top of each rep.
•Incline cable flyes: Do incline flyes with dumbbells, but squeeze your pecs for two second at the top of each rep.
•Pulldowns: Do chins (you need some type of chinning bar—there are some good doorway-mounted ones).
•Machine pullovers: Dumbbell pullovers; then undergrip chins (as we said, you need a chinning bar).
•Behind-the-neck pulldowns: Delete these (the reasons why are explained in the e-book).
•Ab Bench crunches: Full-range crunches on a bench, your feet on a bar across the uprights and your upper back hanging off the end somewhat so you can get a stretch in the rectus abdominis.
All the other exercises in the program you can perform with heavy dumbbells.
If you’re going to continue training at home, we highly recommend adding more equipment so you have more variety and can train heavier.
Taking your gym and workouts up a notch will be worth it. Using heavy basic work in Phase 1 and following with five weeks of full-range POF training is how Jonathan packed on 20 pounds of muscle in one 10-week period with the Size Surge program…
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
ANABOLIC HORMONE RESET SOLUTION
Yes, it is possible to simultaneously build muscle while losing fat…
The right form of intermittent fasting will help you gain more muscle while you burn fat…
That’s because it supercharges your anabolic environment, including testosterone and growth hormone production.
According to Dr. Michael Mosley, it results in “better metabolic adaptations, improved muscle-protein synthesis and a higher anabolic response to post-exercise feedings.” [J App Phys., Jan. 2011: 236-45]
Proper fasting will NOT have you burning muscle—just the opposite as your body fat decreases and your testosterone and growth hormone increase. [Webber, J., et al. (1994). Br J Nutr.]
Still on the fence? Our friend Shaun Hadsall used an approach similar to how The Rock does it, which is explained in the new 1-Day Hormone Reset protocol, developed specifically for the over-40 crowd (women use it too, as you’ll see). Check out his results at the link below…