Q: I’m using the three-position training of POF [as outlined in the 3D Muscle Building e-book] and have made excellent gains with it. I recently purchased your Quick-Start Muscle Building Guide for my nephew. It’s excellent, and I can already see changes in his muscles after three weeks, but I wonder why you don’t include stretch-position exercises, like incline curls for biceps, in the workouts. I’m sure stretch exercises are one reason I’ve added so much muscle with POF, so if beginners are to make the fastest gains possible, I would think they should use full 3D POF programs. No?
A: The reason we don’t include stretch-position exercises in the Quick-Start program is that they are more dangerous for beginners. Joe Horrigan, D.C., of the Soft Tissue Center, uses the often-injured lower-back as an example:
When an average, untrained person rounds his/her back forward [to stretch], the muscles along the spine decrease in activity to the point that the muscles actually stop firing. That cessation of muscle activity is known as myoelectric silence. At that point of back rounding, as if attempting to toe-touch, the weight of the upper body and anything you are holding, is taken by the ligaments and discs of the spine. That can lead to a low-back sprain or worse. Again, these studies were with untrained individuals.
The Quick-Start Muscle Building Guide is primarily geared to beginners (untrained individuals), so stretch-position exercises are out—at first. That myoelectric silence can happen with any untrained muscle if it’s stretched excessively, and adding weight increases the danger.
Beginners should not incorporate stretch-position exercises until after using one of the programs in that e-book for about two months. After that, adding stretch-position exercises can take the trainee to the next level of muscle mass.
Proof of that is the animal study we often refer to that produced a 300 percent muscle-mass increase in only one month of progressive stretch-only workouts—that’s a triple-size muscle gain. Explosive new progress down the road with stretch moves will keep the trainee motivated, no doubt about it.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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