Mr. America and 2019 Drug-Free Mr. Universe Doug Brignole isn’t shy about emailing me when I’m right—or wrong. It’s the latter this time, and I concur. [Read more…]
Discussing how pushing to failure and beyond can cause too much muscle damage and stifle growth had me thinking about my past training…
Way back in college, when I was working out Mike Mentzer Heavy Duty style—all-out sets with forced reps—my training partner Bill and I always stopped our main quad exercise early—about two reps short… [Read more…]
Q: Do you think I could lose 20 pounds in a month? I’ll be honest, I slacked off during the stay-at-home order where I live, and my weight suffered because of it. Oops! I want to be in a somewhat healthy looking condition during the summer. I want the fat off, as it’s killing me to see this gut! And summer’s already under way. Help?!
A: Yes, you could technically lose that much weight in a month, but most of it would be water and muscle—and you probably wouldn’t look better or feel healthy—in fact, you’d feel like crap and look worse than you feel right now. We’re all impatient when it comes to changing our bodies, and especially when it comes to weight loss, but the best strategy is gradual and steady, even when there’s a short deadline like the one you’ve set… [Read more…]
Q: I bought myself and my wife gym memberships, and I started on your Quick-Start Muscle Building program. I’m getting good results already, but my wife will only do aerobics classes. She won’t touch the weights because she says she doesn’t want big muscles. What can I tell her? She’s more concerned with losing fat.
A: If she won’t touch the weights for fear of building too much muscle, tell her not to worry. That attitude is from the dark ages. A little more muscle will actually help her look better and get leaner faster. In fact, most medical doctors now suggest that their patients, male and female, lift weights—and many say that lifting is more important than cardio. Here’s a quote from our X-treme Lean e-book that may help convince your wife:
Many women think ‘muscle’ is a dirty word. Not true. It gives the female body a metabolic boost and more curves in the right places. Women don’t have to be concerned with building too much muscle thanks to their female hormone balance—more estrogen, very little testosterone. Women should train just as hard as men do, using weight training to sculpt their bodies.
The overly muscled women bodybuilders take male hormones to get that way. If your wife isn’t taking those, she doesn’t have to worry. She can use weight training followed by some cardio to transform her body quickly, as Becky Holman, Steve’s wife, did…
Show your wife those photos and emphasize that Becky trained to build muscle first and foremost—and it worked fast, boosting her metabolism through the roof! It’s done wonders for men too, so you may want to consider her direct/indirect POF workouts [on pages 50-52 in X-treme Lean] as your next step after the Quick-Start program.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Over-40 or struggling with T levels?
You Need This!
One of the most interesting read-me pages on Testosterone and other muscle-building hormones we’ve seen is The Truth About Testosterone.
It even talks about a fruit, a specific part, that can up your T naturally. Cranking up your testosterone will not only get you jacked in the gym, but in the bedroom too—not to mention help rip up your midsection as it ignites fat burning. If that interests you, there’s more from our colleague and registered dietician, HERE.
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…]
Q: I’m a man in my late 30s, but I’m very motivated by Becky Holman’s before and after photos and her story. Is the training program she used okay for men to use?
A: Absolutely. Men and women should both strive to build muscle, and that’s what her program does. Women won’t get bulky muscles no matter how hard they train because they don’t have the hormonal profile for that to happen. It’s a testosterone thing—and as you can see in the transformation photos below, Becky (Steve’s wife, who was in her early 40s below) doesn’t have a lot of testosterone…[Read more…]
Q: I saw before and after photos of Steve’s wife, Becky, on your site. Amazing transformation! My girlfriend would like to know what type of program she used. Did she use X Reps, or should women not use that type of intense training?
A: Becky’s transformation took a few months (she kept having to restart due to motivation issues—so much fat to lose was overwhelming to her—and she didn’t use X Reps because we hadn’t developed that technique yet; however, she did use static holds, which we call a Static X. At the end of a set to exhaustion, she would drive the weight up as far as she could and hold for a five count or so to extend the tension time. That had a similar muscle fiber-activation boost as well as occlusion effects. She added muscle and lost fat quickly, as you can see from her before and after photos… [Read more…]