If you’ve watched the male gymnasts during the Olympics before, you no doubt noticed their eye-popping upper-body mass. Some have delts, arms, and torsos that resemble competitive bodybuilders’. Very impressive, especially considering that muscle mass isn’t one of their goals; it’s just a side effect of their sport…[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…]
Q: I’ve been hearing a lot about muscle stretch and how it’s uniquely anabolic. What’s the best way to build mass with this information—a freehand stretching routine?
A: Freehand stretching routines can do okay things for muscle growth. In fact, a recent study showed muscle hypertrophy from ONLY freehand stretching, but it wasn’t extreme…[Read more…]
Q: What can I do during my workouts to get leaner right now? I have some pounds to lose, especially around my middle. My goal this year is to see abs all summer, so I want to get rid of the fat fast.
A: You may be doing some of these things already, but here are our top-3 tips to ramp up fat burning in your weight-training workouts (of course, you also have to adjust your eating to make these tricks super-effective):[Read more…]
Q: I love Positions of Flexion. I can totally feel it working new fibers, and the pump is off the charts. I’ve been doing midrange, stretch, and then contracted, but I just saw that you sometimes recommend the stretch-position exercise last. Is that a good idea? Why do that?
A: The standard order is midrange, stretch, and contracted, as you’ve been doing. For example, for triceps, it’s close-grip bench presses (midrange), overhead extensions (stretch), and pushdowns (contracted)…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve added a lot of muscle using Pre-Ex 3X and modified pre-ex. I must commend you for coming up with it. One problem I have is with leg extensions. They hurt my knees when I do them first. Funny that squats don’t hurt me. Leg extensions are the only quad isolator. What should I do first instead?
A: We didn’t come up with pre-exhaustion. That honor goes to the late Bob Kennedy, publisher of MuscleMag…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using an X-centric set [lift in one second, lower in six] for every muscle and have noticed more cuts, veins, and I’m pretty sure more muscle size. I usually use it on the last set of a 4X sequence, but I’ve heard it’s better on the first set to get more of a warmup. Which is better, the X-centric set on the first or last set of 4X?
A: In a previous newsletter, we outlined how to use an X-centric set on the last set of a 4X sequence with The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout. We showed a lat routine with 4X on the first exercise.[Read more…]
Q: I started cleaning up my diet shortly after New Year’s with your X-treme Lean Diet. I lost about 8 pounds of fat, but my losses have stalled. Should I reduce my portions again (I’ve done this twice already)? Or should I do more cardio? Any help would be appreciated. Abs and veins are the goals.
A: Fat loss is a long-term proposition if you want to retain as much muscle as possible. Losing two pounds a week is the most you should shoot for…[Read more…]
Q: I remember reading in some of your previous e-mails that you talked about how some of the bodybuilders of the past added a lot of muscle fast, like 10 to 20 pounds in a month. Is high-rep leg work really that powerful? I’m wondering if I should try it.
A: You’re referring to the 20-rep squat results that some of the early bodybuilders got. For example…[Read more…]
Q: I got your 4X e-book recently and have been experimenting with the TORQ [tension-overload repetition quantity] method you outline.
A: For the uninitiated, The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout incorporates pyramids, X-centric (negative-accentuated) sets, and then two high-rep sets on a contracted-position exercise to finish for growth hormone release…[Read more…]