Here’s a fantastic shot of Arnold at Muscle Rock. We asked John Balik if he took it, and he said he believes it’s a Gene Mozee photo. [Read more…]
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 getting excellent results with 4X mass training. Sometimes my workouts go over an hour, which concerns me. I’ve heard that the hour mark is when testosterone becomes depleted. Many trainers say not to be in the gym over an hour or your T is shot. Should I cut back? What are your thoughts/solutions?
A: The one-hour testosterone-depletion scenario completely depends on your level of T (older trainees generally have less) and the workout you’re doing—the bodyparts you’re working, how much intensity you’re using and how many heavy all-out sets you’re including… [Read more…]
Q: I’m using the 3-way split in the basic program listed in the X-traordinary X-Rep Workout e-book. I’ve added about six pounds of muscle in only a month! My arms are larger than they’ve ever been, but I’m not really happy with my legs. I’m working legs only once a week on Tuesdays, with the other two upper-body workouts alternating on Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Should I add some leg work somewhere?
A: That’s one of the best bodypart splits you can use for mass, as there’s very little overlap and optimal muscle recovery AND systemic recuperation. So keep the X-traordinary X-Rep Workout split as you’re doing it—with legs only on Tuesday. The fix is, every other week, when back day lands on a Friday, add in deadlifts for some residual leg work—like this: [Read more…]
Q: This is kind of an odd question, but does hot weather help make muscles grow? I’ve noticed this summer, when it’s been blazing hot outside, I make my best gains. In the winter, my gains are much slower, sometimes nonexistent. Could it be the heat?
A: It could simply be more summer-time motivation—you train harder because you want to look good at the pool, lake, or beach. It could also be leanness and darkness—being more ripped and tan makes you look bigger and better. There’s a good chance that heat and/or sunshine may have something to do with it, along with sweating. Perspiring more sheds water from under the skin, and that means more vascularity more often, which adds to your bigger, more-shredded look. But heat may be the key… [Read more…]
Q: I’m loving the 3D HIT program [listed in the X-traordinary Arms e-book]. Every bodypart is growing, my strength goes up at almost every workout, and I’m only in the gym for 45 minutes. So far, it’s sweet! My question is, Shouldn’t the stretch exercise be last in the 3D sequence: midrange, contracted, then stretch? I’ve read that stretching a muscle makes it weaker right after, so it only makes sense that you should do the stretch-position exercise last instead of before the contracted-position exercise; otherwise, you’ll be weaker on the contracted move. Am I off base here?
A: Either order works well for stimulating growth, and it’s good to mix it up for more adaptation (growth). But we’ll give you our reasoning for why we think the standard order (see the pics below) is best for optimum hypertrophy (fast mass) with regard to the stretch-strength link. Take biceps as an example. The standard 3D POF program is barbell curls, incline curls, and concentration curls—in that order. [Read more…]
Do you do every set the same way? You know, same rep tempo, same hand spacing same rest between sets?
Our motto is “change to gain” because it takes something unique to add more mass to your physique. Here’s a good example of making a change on each set. On seated biceps concentration curls…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve seen you guys talk about Mass Finishers in the past. Is that a Positions-of-Flexion term, a special exercise, or something to do with
A: Lol. It relates to mass—as in muscle size—and you could say that it’s a “special” exercise…
We first outlined this technique in the Size Surge 2.0 e-book—in the chapter on Mass-4X training. You do it after a full-range Position-of-Flexion bodypart routine (there’s a complete sample program there for every muscle group)…[Read more…]
This photo taken in the ’50s shows the classic lines of Steve Reeves that made him a perfect movie Hercules. The man had excellent genetics, and not just in the looks department. Check out at his wide shoulders, small waist,
Q: I’m interested in building up my body. I’ve been visiting some workout forums, and lots of people are recommending your quick starter workout. Can you explain why it’s so good? Will it work for me? I want a new body, but I don’t want to look like the Incredible Hulk or anything. Maybe Captain America or Thor, though. Lol.
A: The quick starter workout you’re referring to is our Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide, and it has you begin with a two-week break-in program, using the basic exercises, like squats, bench presses, etc., one to two sets each (all exercises are fully explained with printable start-and-finish-position illustrations).
It’s a full-body workout that takes about an hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and it’s geared to upregulate your nervous system and coordination quickly so you can start building muscle immediately after this two-week “learning” phase. Then you move to something more unique to accelerate gains…[Read more…]