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…]
John Grimek, at 5’ 8 1/2” and around 220 pounds, was one of the most massive bodybuilders of his era. He was the AAU Mr. American in 1940 and ’41, and at age 38 he beat Steve Reeves for the 1948 NABBA Mr. Universe. He retired from competition the next year.
Q: What do you think about stretching between sets? I’ve heard a lot of big bodybuilders do it, but I’ve seen studies that show stretching can make you weak.
A: The old study you’re referring to showed that stretching a muscle for 20 to 30 minutes before training it compromised strength. That’s a lot of stretching—and one reason we don’t do much prior to a workout-—just some range-of-motion loosening… [Read more…]
Q: I’m using The Basic Power-Density Workout from your Power-Density Mass e-book. So for most
A: Absolutely. Using one Ultimate Exercise for both the Power and Density sequences streamlines the workout, as you need only one piece of equipment. But if it’s possible at your gym, go to a different exercise for Density—just make sure it’s a big multi-joint move.
Q: I’ve been going to the gym off and on for about a year, but I decided to get serious. I got your Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide to get off on the right foot, and it’s absolutely great. It answers all of my questions, and the programs are working fast. I can already see my body changing, and the sleeves on my T-shirts are getting tight. My question is, What program should I go to next? I know you recommend the 3D Muscle Building e-book and a full-on Positions-of-Flexion routine, but there are like 5 different programs in [that one e-book]. Which one should I use?
A: Not every program is ideal for all trainees, so we like to provide choices by providing a few programs in each e-book. (Plus, we’d rather you be a little overwhelmed with all the info rather than disappointed).[Read more…]
Q: In the “X Factor” interview at X-Rep.com, Jonathan says you guys tried a static contraction at the end of isolation exercises with only mediocre size results. But I just got the X-Rep Update #1 e-book, and you’re recommending them. Why have you found static holds more effective now than in the past?
A: When we first used static contraction many years ago, we did them on contracted-position exercises, like leg extensions, holding the flexed position for as long as we could after full-range exhaustion. That’s a hold after a number of regular reps. We got good gains, but later that hold at the end of a set evolved to X Reps on the big midrange exercises instead of isolation moves, and that worked much better at building bigger, fuller muscles.[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been lifting for about 1 1/2 years, trying to build a mass base, but it’s just not happening very fast. I like the idea of 3D Positions of Flexion [training each muscle in its midrange, stretch, and contracted positions], but almost everyone I talk to says to stick to only the big, basic exercises and forget about isolation moves. Should I just continue using the big basics and hope I build size and strength, or is now the time for me to try 3D POF?
A: Using only the big, basic exercises, what we call midrange-position moves like squats for quads, is fine for, say, a six-week phase every so often (like winter); however, we firmly believe that those who make big gains using only big exercises have an abundance of pure fast-twitch fibers and exceptional nerve-to-muscle connections (neuromuscular efficiency). They are genetically gifted, unlike the majority…[Read more…]