Q: I want to thank you both. I’m from Italy, 178 cm tall, and my weight now is 68 Kg (150 pounds). At the beginning of April, my weight was only 62 Kg (136 pounds). My increase in muscular mass, almost 15 pounds, is due to you. Before your training methods, I tried so many others, but with no results. The program that worked is the 10-week Size Surge [that Jonathan used to gain 20 pounds of muscle, listed in 3D Muscle Building]. I’d like to improve my muscle mass to 75 Kg (165 pounds), with a particular emphasis on delts, back, and forearms. I believe forearms are very important. Can you suggest anything to increase my mass? I have most of your e-books, so I can look up any method you suggest.
A: Thank you for the complimentary e-mail. We’re glad you’re making such striking progress with one of our most popular and effective workouts, the 10-week Size Surge program that Jonathan used for his transformation. His progress photos during that mass-building experiment are very motivational. Just seeing his 10-week results can program your mind to help you pack on more muscle now…
Phase 1, the first five weeks, is a basic three-days-per-week program designed to prime your anabolic drive. While the workouts are fairly short, they are tough, and you still train every bodypart two to three times a week with direct or indirect work. That’s because most of the exercises are compound, or multijoint, moves with a lot of muscle overlap—they train a number of muscles at once.
Phase 2, the second five weeks, transitions you to full three-way Positions of Flexion for each bodypart using an every-other-day two-way split. That allows you to build even more muscle via max force, stretch overload, and tension/occlusion with the midrange-, stretch-, and contracted-position exercises for every muscle group.
To up the mass effects of Phase 1, we suggest you simply expand to full POF workouts for bodyparts you want to specialize on. In other words, stick to the basic three-days-per-week program, but insert full-range POF for delts, back, and forearms. There isn’t any direct forearm work in Phase 1, but you can add it to the arm workout on Wednesday…
Some of our past correspondence with the late Olympic coach and bodybuilding expert Charles Poliquin suggests that one of the best, most efficient forearm and upper-arm size builders is reverse curls. He used to say it’s one of the keys to a burst of new arm mass, and we’ve found that to be true in our own workouts…
Reverse curls directly train the extensors on top of the forearms as you curl and the flexors underneath as you grip the bar. They also develop the brachialis muscles that snake under your biceps, which will make your upper arm appear much larger and improve the peak of your biceps…
Use reverse curls with an EZ-curl bar instead of a straight bar for less wrist strain. Follow up with rockers—holding dumbbells at the sides of your thighs at arm’s length; alternate curling your hands up and in for flexors and up and out for extensors. Those two exercises give you a quick, complete lower-arm blast with major upper-arm size effects.
Okay, now to Phase 2, which has full POF for all bodyparts. Do two things to make it more effective…
- Use X Reps on the last set of each midrange exercise. When you reach exhaustion on a set, move the resistance to the point at which the target muscle is semi-stretched, such as near the bottom of an incline press, and fire up to just below the halfway point for as many of those controlled, explosive 10-inch partials as possible. If X Reps are impossible, simply hold at the semi-stretch point for as long as you can.
- On the finishing contracted-position exercise, instead of straight sets, use a drop set. That’s two sets back to back with a weight reduction. Eventually, move to three sets back to back with a weight reduction on each. That will increase mass via endurance-component hypertrophy (mitochondria and capillaries) and growth hormone release.
Good luck, and let us know how you progress.
Note: 3D Muscle Building is the POF manual that includes Jonathan’s 10-week Size Surge program. It also provides alternate three-hit full-range POF workouts for every bodypart and includes info on X Reps.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Testosterone prescriptions do more HARM than good for older men
Millions of men are struggling with the problems associated with low-T in today’s world, such as extra belly and chest fat, low energy and stamina, lack of sexual desire, ED problems, and loss of muscle.
Sadly, millions of men also turn to Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) to try to overcome these problems and try to feel like a new man again…BUT there are some VERY concerning problems with TRT that every man NEEDS to know.
After reading the article below, you might want to consider alternate routes of boosting your T levels naturally instead of through something that’s potentially as harmful as TRT…
–> Why Testosterone Replacement Therapy can do more HARM than good (for any ladies reading this, please pass this on to your husband or boyfriend if they are using or have considered using TRT)