Q: The deadlift is popular at my gym. I watch people pile on the weights and do doubles and singles. Is it an exercise you recommend? [Read more…]
Here are two interesting photos of aesthetic bodybuilder Bob Paris with some seriously motivating muscle. On the left is an artistic studio shot that showcases his symmetrical physique (looks like a Michael Neveux photo). On the right is Bob, guns blazing in a polo shirt, probably calling about a penicillin shot after touching a germ-ridden pay phone. [Read more…]
Q: Many years ago, I tried negative-only sets on most of my exercises. My partners lifted the heavy weight for me, and I lowered it slowly, six seconds on each of six reps. I got some decent strength gains but not much mass at all. That’s what gives me reservations about your negative-accentuated [or X-centric] technique. Will it build muscle for me even though pure negatives didn’t?
A: The heavy, pure-negative sets that you tried are great for building neuromuscular efficiency—the nerve connections that improve strength. You also get some muscle trauma; however, you lose muscular tension between each rep when your partners lift the weight for you… [Read more…]
This is a great photo of Rich Gaspari looking aesthetic—something he was not known for… [Read more…]
He was the very first Mr. Olympia, and while his entire physique was excellent, it was Larry Scott’s awesome arms that had people shaking their heads in disbelief… [Read more…]
Q: I have limited time to train—three days a week. I can get to the gym M-W-F, but I usually have family stuff on the weekends, so that’s it. Can I build a bodybuilder physique by training only three days a week? What program would you recommend?
A: Can you get a bodybuilder physique training only 3 days a week? That depends entirely on your genetics. We’ve known a few guys who looked like bodybuilders going to the gym zero days a week. Not kidding—lucky bastards. LOL! [Read more…]
We gravitate back to Bob Paris in our Zen newsletter often because he had one of the most perfectly proportioned physiques to ever grace a bodybuilding stage… [Read more…]
Q: I have almost all of your e-books. They’re all great, and I reread them often for motivation and ideas. Right now I’m on The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout. Can I Double-X Overload everything stretch-related in that program? It seems like that would produce even more muscle microtrauma similar to the negative-accentuated sets on the big exercises. That should speed up my fat loss and muscle gains, right?
A: If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; if you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. What does that have to do with your question? We’re just glad to see you taking techniques from our other e-books and applying them to your current workout. You’re learning how to “fish”—grasping the mass-building concepts and applying them when and where appropriate… [Read more…]
Q: Your Quick Start Muscle 2.0 has renewed my motivation for home training. I’m stoked and starting the STX workouts next week. You have the first set in both workouts for slow-twitch exhaustion. Do you think that first set is better as a slow-mo set or as a normal speed high-rep set?
A: Either of those methods on the first set accomplishes the same thing: You fatigue the slow-twitch fibers, triggering more fast-twitch-fiber activation on the set or sets that follow… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been reading about 4X and TORQ. I’m 25 and usually train heavy, but now that I have to train at home, I’m looking for the best way to keep building muscle without a lot of weights. I’m afraid with these light training methods I might lose muscle. I’ll try them because I have no choice right now, but I think heavy is the way to grow. How do I know I won’t shrink if I don’t pony up for more weights in my home gym?
A: We’ve both been using 4X-based training techniques for several years. If a couple of old guys whose anabolic hormones aren’t what they used to be don’t shrink, you won’t. In fact, we’ve got trainees from all age groups who’ve tried 4X and TORQ and many start using them constantly because they make such great gains… [Read more…]