Back in 1973, Arthur Jones, the creator of Nautilus machines and considered the “father of high-intensity training,” decided to prove to the world that his short, intense muscle-building methods worked… [Read more…]
Q: The idea of a few medium-intensity [subfailure] workouts after many weeks of going all out makes perfect sense to me. My question is, Should I reduce my poundages so I can do the same number of reps, or should I stick with my same working poundages and just do fewer reps? Which way is best?
A: We prefer to use the same phase-training approach Jonathan used on the 10-week Size Surge Program when he gained 20 pounds of muscle. For each of his two supercompensation weeks, he used the same work weights and just stopped two reps short of failure—and that worked amazingly well for him. He actually appeared to get bigger during each downshift week as his muscles and nervous system
Q: I’m always totally blown away when I see Jonathan’s 10-week Size Surge before and after pics. I want to yell “bullshit,” but I’ve been reading your stuff for so long, I trust you guys. So he really didn’t use any steroids?
A: Okay, one more time: No, absolutely no steroids, GH, or drugs of any kind. Jonathan is natural for life. But keep in mind that he was REGAINING a lot of mass he’d already had—and it’s much easier to put it on the second time around. That’s one reason he added muscle so quickly—20 pounds in 10 weeks…[Read more…]
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).[Read more…]
Q: I’m using Jonathan’s 10-Week Size Surge Workout [in the 3D Muscle Building e-book], and for shoulders, it has dumbbell upright rows as the first exercise for midrange work; then I do incline one-arm laterals for stretch, and then standing laterals [contracted]. I added two sets of dumbbell presses after that for more shoulder size, as you’ve suggested, for some overhead shoulder work. My question is, Why do you sometimes recommend presses first? Aren’t those dangerous for your shoulder joints?
A: We only do behind-the-neck presses first if we use a technique that allows lighter weight, such as negative-accentuated (six-second lowering), 4X, 10×10, TORQ, etc. As you said, in the quest for shoulder size, heavy weights on behind-the-neck exercises can wreck your rotator cuffs.
For heavy pressing at the start of a shoulder workout, we use either Smith machine military presses (to the front) or dumbbell presses…[Read more…]
You know our mantra: You can trigger bigger gains with one small change. But let’s multiply that for even more mass. We’ve got 3 simple things to get you growing immediately… [Read more…]
Q: The Size Surge program is very motivating, and I want to start. I’m very skinny. My problem is that I can only make it to the gym two days a week. Can I make any progress doing that? Can you suggest how to alter the program for two workouts a week instead of three?
A: Yes, you can make progress on 2 workouts a week. In fact, our colleague, Stuart McRobert, who is a hardgainer expert, often suggests that high-strung “skinny” types (ectomorphs) train ONLY two days a week for best results. More than that, he says, can deplete too much recovery ability and slow or halt muscle gains. [Read more…]
Q: I just got the Size Surge 2.0 e-book (thanks for the great price). It’s excellent, but you don’t mention X Reps much. I know you said when Jonathan got his great results with the original Size Surge program, you hadn’t developed X-es yet. I’ve built a lot of mass with that technique, so should I include X Reps in either phase?
A: For the uninitiated, X Reps are short eight-inch partials at the end of a full-range set. We’ll give you an alternate end-of-set mass move in a moment, but first, here’s a quick explanation of X Reps… [Read more…]
Q: I’m insanely stoked using the Size Surge program. Phase 1 is insanely good for me, and I’m gaining like crazy. My gains have been so good that I don’t want to go to phase 2 yet. Can I stick on phase 1 for another month or so, till I feel like my gains have stalled out?
A: Everyone has different genetics, so nothing is written in stone. The Size Surge program listed is what worked for Jonathan—he gained 20 pounds in 10 weeks using it as written: phase 1 for five high-intensity weeks, stuck with it for a sixth downshift week, then did the phase 2 Positions-of-Flexion program for the last four weeks. [Read more…]
Q: I agree with your progressive-overload theory, gradually making workouts more intense. You suggest adding a few forced reps every couple weeks in the first phase of the Size Surge program. But I train alone and can’t do forced reps. How can I make the workouts progressively more intense for solo training?