Q: I don’t seem to see you guys talking about warm-up sets very often. Do I need to do any? I’m interested in building the most mass possible.
Q: I have a 4X question. Let’s use incline dumbbell presses as an example. I do the first 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 pounds. On the 3rd set, I hit the 10th rep, but it isn’t easy. After 30 seconds rest I do my 4th set, but I can only get 5 or 6 reps. Is it better to keep pushing with the 60s until I hit 10 reps on all 4 sets, or should I drop the weight to 55 pounds for all 4 sets, increase the reps to 12 and try that for a few weeks? Any thoughts?
A: We prefer 10,10,10,6, striving to get more reps on that last set at each workout. For most muscle groups, 10 reps seems to be ideal for getting BOTH power and density size effects in the key 2A growth fibers. But there is a place for 4×12 sequences, as you’ll see… [Read more…]
Q: I love the 4X Workout method. It’s opened my eyes to a new way to build mass. I notice that you guys often superset opposing muscles with 4X, like forearm extensors (top) and flexors (underside), going back and forth. Can I do that with other opposing muscle groups, like biceps and triceps to save time and get a bigger pump?
A: We addressed that question in the Q&A section of the 4X Mass Workout e-book. The answer is, opposing-muscle-group supersets work great with the 4X method—as long as the exercises don’t force you to stop your sets from cardiovascular failure as opposed to muscular exhaustion… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve made the best mass gains of my life with your 4X method. I know you guys got new size with it too, so my question is, why Anabolic Reload STX (slow-twitch exhaustion)? I realize that it also does not require heavy weights, but is it better than 4X?
A: First, both methods accomplish the same thing: full-blown fiber hypertrophy with slow-twitch-fiber pre-exhaustion, triggering more high-growth fast-twitch fibers to fire on the last sets.
It’s the Size Principle of Muscle Fiber Recruitment… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using the 4X mass method on just about every exercise for just over a month and have gained five pounds of muscle. I’m still lean with abs, so I know it’s not fat. I often do 3X sequences, the way you sometimes recommend, but if I don’t do all 4 sets, I feel guilty. It’s just that I don’t want to overtrain, which is how I feel when I do 4X on all exercises. Should I just bite the bullet and do 4X on everything?
A: If you’ve gained five pounds of muscle in a little more than a month, you’re doing damn good! Most bodybuilders don’t gain five pounds in a year… [Read more…]
Q: I love the 4X mass method and am already seeing new size from it after only two weeks. I notice you’ve been recommending different methods on each set sometimes. Does that work better for mass? Should I be doing that?
A: One method we often recommend is the progressive speed tactic. We know one thing about it for certain: The feel is unreal—deep ache with a muscle-expanding pump after only three sets… [Read more…]
Q: In Positions-of-Flexion mass training you classify the one-arm cable lateral as a stretch-position exercise for the medial-delt head. But isn’t it really a stretch- and contracted-position exercises? There is resistance all the way through the stroke, so you get resistance at contraction [top] as well as at stretch.
A: You could classify one-arm cable laterals as both stretch and contracted, but it’s more of a stretch-position move because of the angle of pull. [Read more…]
Q: A lot of bodybuilders go all power in the off-season. They push for more strength so size will follow. I’m thinking about using the Phase 1 program in Size Surge for that purpose—mostly big exercises with heavy weights training three days a week so I get plenty of recover-and-grow time. Would that program be okay to use for the entire 10 weeks instead of moving to Phase 2?
A: You’re right, even Arnold used to do a two-to-three-month power phase in the winter—but it wasn’t heavy low reps on every exercise, as we’ll explain. That’s the problem with the way most trainees do it: They go heavy on ALL exercises all the time for too long and neglect critical sarcoplasmic size, which can be a big muscle-building mistake… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using the Size Surge Phase 1 routine for only 2 weeks, and I’ve already added almost a half inch to my arms. I was skeptical since there’s only one direct arm workout each week [Wednesday], but I guess it’s like you said: the chest and back work on Monday and Friday hit arms hard too. Anyway, thanks for opening my eyes. I was wondering what you thought of supersetting the biceps and triceps exercises on Wednesday. I know Bill Pearl used to do that. BTW, I’m using 4X on my arm exercises.
A: It’s hard to argue with Bill Pearl considering his incredible mass—and his heyday was when steroids were in their infancy; minor use, if any, was happening back in the ’60s. Pearl was a staunch proponent of supersetting a biceps exercise with a triceps exercise because it made his arms so huge and full. Talk about in-the-gym motivation! The photo of Pearl above says it all. [Read more…]
Q: I really like the Direct/Indirect Split in the 4X Mass Workout e-book. My problem is I can’t work out on Wednesdays—only Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. If I put that split over those days, the Thursday and Friday workouts have too much crossover. The same muscles are getting trained on both days back to back. Is there a workout change I can use as a solution? I really want to use the Direct/Indirect schedule so I can hit my muscles multiple times a week to build more mass.