We’re not sure who took this photo of Lee Haney, but it’s from of one of his eight Mr. Olympia wins—a flawless double-biceps pose… [Read more…]
Q: I was on your newsletter list back when you guys were kicking butt at Iron Man and released the Size Surge program as an e-book, but life caught up with me and I unsubscribed for a while. You guys used to be all high about the Size Surge Workout, but since I rejoined your X team a while back, it seems like you rarely mention it anymore. What’s the deal—what happened to Size Surge? I was thinking about getting on it, but if it’s off your radar, maybe it’s no longer a good option?
A: What happened to Size Surge, you ask? Nothing… It’s still a great for most trainees during their winter mass-building phases. The 10-week program is built around big, basic exercises with plenty of power sets, muscle trauma, and lots of recovery time. That style of training works optimally when you’re not restricting calories—bad-ass bulk building at its best. [See Jonathan’s before and after photos from the first Size Surge experiment on the Size Surge page.] [Read more…]
This black-and-white shot of Ray Mentzer is one we haven’t seen before (we’re not sure of the photographer). It’s when Ray won the 1979 Mr. America. [Read more…]
We’ve featured Danny Padilla in our Zen installments many times, but this is a shot we haven’t seen before. It’s a great stage shot that highlights his mass and symmetry, things his training style emphasized and amplified… [Read more…]
Q: I need to lose 20 pounds. I’ve gained a bit of a gut during this interesting year, and I have a goal to lose it in two to three months. If I succeed, I should look pretty good for spring and summer. Is that possible? What’s the number-one thing I should do to get it going? I’m stoked to see abs, so I’ll starve if I have to.
A: Well, the first thing you should NOT do is starve by making a huge calorie cut. That’s the big mistake most people make due to excessive motivation and/or impatience. A giant calorie reduction all at once sends your body into starvation mode. That preserves fat and burns muscle tissue—which then slows down your metabolism to a crawl. Not what you want… [Read more…]
Lee Labrada never won the Mr. Olympia, but he got close due to his incredible symmetry, proportions, and muscle size and density—“Mass With Class.” His physique was a work of art…
You can see that from this out-and-about photo by Michael Neveux of Lee in archer mode… [Read more…]
Q: In The X-traordinary Size Surge Workout, Jonathan mentions that he used forced reps to gain 20 pounds of muscle [in 10 weeks—see his before and after photos on the Size Surge cover at the end of this newsletter]. Did he just do them randomly, whenever he felt like it, or was there a specific set he used them on?
A: Gradual progression is a BIG key to continuous new muscle growth, so he did more forced reps as phase 1 progressed… [Read more…]
Mohammed Makkawy is one of the greatest short bodybuilders of all time. At only 5’3” the Egyptian-born physique sculptor defeated men much taller with his proportioned, no-weak-points physique. [Read more…]
Q: I’m astounded by Jonathan’s Size Surge transformation in only 10 weeks. His arms got huge, and he said his gains really took off during the second phase when he started using Positions of Flexion. I was thinking that I should do POF for arms in phase 1 too. Like for biceps, he has two sets of barbell curls and two sets of concentration curls. Wouldn’t I make better gains if I did two sets of barbell curls followed by one set of incline curls [for stretch] then one set of concentration curls? That’s the same number of sets, but now it’s full-range POF. I could do the same for triceps too.
A: That sounds like a good plan—at least until you realize one reason phase 2 in the Size Surge program works so well is because the muscles get a progressive-shock size effect when you shift to full-range training for the last four weeks. In other words, you force more growth adaptation to happen when you add stretch-position exercises like incline curls for biceps and overhead extensions for triceps at week 7… [Read more…]