We featured Danny Padilla back in Zen #19, but after recently running across the gym photo below, we had to include him again. That’s because every time we see it, all we can say is, “Damn!” [Read more…]
Q: I’m not gonna lie… I sometimes get bored with my training or just have random days when my motivation is a bit low. That makes it tough to get to the gym, but I really don’t want to skip a day because of that. What if I took random days here and there to do only one exercise for each muscle. Would that be good for growth, and how often could I do that?
Q: I just got the Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0. Absolutely one of the best muscle-building guides I’ve ever read. I’m very interested in [Mr. America] Doug Brignole’s one-exercise-per-muscle high-rep method [50-40-30-20-10]. The problem is that it’s tough deciding which single move is best for each target muscle. He likes decline dumbbell presses for chest, but I’m thinking bench presses. What are your thoughts on that? And what about back? I see Brignole likes T-bar rows as his only upper-back exercise.
A: We like decline dumbbell presses. It’s one of the best overall pec moves; however, unlike Brignole we see the value of inclines as well (more on that in a moment). [Read more…]
Q: I’m starting to drag at the gym, and I don’t look forward to my workouts anymore. I’m starting to think I’m overtrained. I haven’t grown in a while, but I DON’T want to take a layoff. Even backing off to low-effort workouts sounds like a bad idea because I don’t want to lose my gains. What should I do?
A: Boy, does that sound familiar. We always tell trainees that they need a break to regenerate and keep the growth process rolling, but they never take one (and neither do we—bad). That’s an easy way to end up overtrained. [Read more…]
Q: You guys have opened my eyes to new ways to grow muscle. Your explanation of the myofibrils (force generation) and sarcoplasm (energy fluid) and how they both contribute to size is excellent. To build both of those fast, I want a simple, no-bells-and-whistles heavy-light program. What would you suggest?
A: Ah, the no-frills approach. It’s always good to go back to basics every so often, focusing on the force-generating myofibrils with a heavy workout and sarcoplasmic expansion with lighter DENSITY at the next… [Read more…]
Q: I remember reading in your newsletter not too long ago when you mentioned that the rest time between sets during a [10×10 sequence] should be 20 seconds. In the 10×10 e-book you say to use 30 seconds between sets. Is that a deliberate reduction, and if so, should I reduce my starting weight a little to accommodate the reduced rest?
A: Rest between sets during a 10×10 sequence should be anywhere from 20 to 30 seconds. Vince Gironda, famous Hollywood trainer known as the Iron Guru who trained Larry Scott for his first Mr. Olympia victory, liked to continue to gradually reduce it over many workouts till the trainee was down to only about 10 seconds of rest or less between sets. That doesn’t work for many trainees because of having a training partner… [Read more…]
Q: I just finished a six-week phase using the HIT workout with arm specialization [listed in the X-traordinary Arms e-book]. I made some good mass gains training each exercise with only one all-out set. I used my extra energy to blast my arms with more sets [with full Positions of Flexion] and got amazing gains using the different exercises at each arm workout. They’re looking big and full, and now I’m ready for a new program. Which one do you suggest after that 3D HIT Workout?
A: To clarify, on that 3D HIT Program listed in the X-Arms e-book you do full POF for each bodypart, but only one all-out set in each position. For example, for quads, you do squats (midrange), sissy squats (stretch), and leg extensions (contracted), each getting a warmup set or two and then only ONE mass-kicking set to exhaustion… [Read more…]
Q: Being drug-free, I was very interested in The 4X Mass Workout. Considering the colleague you mention in that e-book who has trained with a lot of pros while he was using drugs and that he also trained drug-free, his advice is priceless. For drug-free guys, he says he likes 3 weeks of high-intensity-style power training alternated with 3 weeks of lower-intensity, slightly higher-volume workouts. What do you think about this for a big mass blast: 3 weeks of total-10×10 training, followed by 3 weeks of total-4X workouts, followed by 3 weeks of the 3D Power Pyramid [a straight-set lower-rep Positions-of-Flexion workout listed in The Freak Physique e-book]?
A: That looks like a great mass-building, progress-yielding progression. You shift gears every 3 weeks for plenty of muscle-stimulation tweaks… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been intrigued by the recent 10×10 newsletters and jumped in to give it a try. In your learned opinion, if one were to perform a reverse 10×10 using that technique with the maximum weight possible in decreasing amounts throughout the 10 sets, would it constitute overtraining and negate the activation of the type-2A muscle fibers’ endurance component? I was thinking you would get at both the “power” AND the “endurance” functions of the type 2As better this way. I would only use each big Ultimate Exercise for every bodypart [as outlined in the 10×10 e-program].
A: A reverse 10×10 pyramid means you reduce the weight on each set. And you do each of those 10 sets of 10 reps to exhaustion. First, that’s 10-all-out-sets approach is a very different animal than standard 10×10 style, which is taking a weight you can do 20 with, but you only do 10, rest 30 seconds, do 10 more, and so on till you complete 10 sets—first sets are easy, last few are brutal. [Read more…]
Q: I want to experiment with 10×10 on arms to see if I can get another inch of growth. Would you suggest 10×10 combined with Positions of Flexion, or just 10×10 alone on one exercise? One exercise just doesn’t seem like enough angles are worked to hit all the fibers.
A: There are two ways you can approach 10×10 for unstoppable arm size. The first is using 10×10 on one biceps and one triceps exercise at your one arm workout each week. The key to getting the most growth is the bodypart split. For example… [Read more…]