We often look back through our ebooks for motivation and to find mass-boosting techniques we haven’t used in a while. We recently reminded ourselves about Stage Sets from our second e-book, Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building, which also discusses the X-Fade technique, Double-X Overload and X/Pause. When we first used Stage Sets and other X-hybrid techniques within the program outlined in that e-book, we each gained 10 pounds on top of our previous year’s great gains. Definitely something to add back into the mix once in a while when you have a training partner… [Read more…]
Q: I like the idea of training quads by doing front squats supersetted with back squats. My quads get almost a pre-ex effect from the strict fronts, then my glutes get better leverage on the backs to drive my quads for more growth. But I’m not very strong on fronts and can get a lot of reps when I immediately go to back squats after. Should I just do high reps on the back squats—say 6 on the fronts and 12-15 on the backs?
A: Definitely an option—if you don’t get too breathless. When training quads with higher reps, the lungs often fail before the target muscles. That’s a problem, to a degree…
You do want the breathlessness, as that’s hypoxia that can boost metabolic/anabolic drive for new size. Here are a few other options…[Read more…]
Q: I’m trying to get that crisp division between my pecs. I want to be able to see the inner part of my chest muscles from the lower part all the way up to the collarbone. I do lots of cable crossovers, but I’m only seeing a bit of detail in my lower chest. Any suggestions?
A: One problem may be fat in the area. A bit of adipose covering the pecs will blur or negate any detail. You need to be fairly lean to see the chest-muscle division (cleavage) from top to bottom.[Read more…]
Q: I just want to get bigger as quickly as possible? I’d settle for looking like your before pictures at the X-Rep site. I’m working out four days a week on a basic routine with mostly compound exercises. Do you have any tips on ways to get bigger right now?
A: It takes time to pack on mass; however, most trainees can do better than they’re doing and double or perhaps triple their progress. Here are 6 ways to get bigger “right now.”[Read more…]
Q: I remember from your old daily training blog (which I really miss) that you guys would make changes at every workout (or at least it seemed like it). Should I be doing that, or should I stick to a routine as it’s written for six weeks, then try something new? You’ve also mentioned things like “X-Fade” and “DXO” after some exercises. Do you have an e-book that explains those?
A: The frequency of change your muscles require to keep growing depends on your experience. Beginners and early intermediates don’t need change very often because they’re getting stronger as neuromuscular efficiency, or nerve
Q: I have both the Ultimate Mass Workout and the Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building e-books. Congratulations on such well-researched, pertinent information and programs. My gains with X Reps and POF have been well above my expectations. My question concerns hamstrings. The Ultimate Mass e-book says that feet-forward Smith-machine front squats is the ultimate exercise for hamstrings, but the Smith machine at my gym isn’t bolted to the floor, so it moves easily. I don’t want to risk an injury, so I’ve been using feet-forward hack squats on a hack machine, but I don’t feel my hamstrings working when I do those. Should I try walking lunges instead? I’m 6’4” tall if that makes a difference.
A: Both feet-forward Smith-machine squats and feet-forward hack squats can be hard to feel in the hamstrings; we’re so conditioned to think about quads when we squat, it’s difficult to grasp that the opposing muscle group should be doing a lot of the work. Then there’s the fact that the front-squat version on a Smith machine can be uncomfortable for some people (Jonathan hates it with a passion, but he did pose for the photo below)…[Read more…]
It was summer 1975, and Arnold was Mr. Olympia, bodybuilding’s top dog. The muscle world was captivated by the awesome Austrian, and for good reason…[Read more…]
Q: I saw
A: Well, that’s not a question, but it’s a relevant opinion—bigger is not necessarily better. In Jonathan’s case, you are seeing his most-muscular pose, and when you gain more muscle, your physique can look more “crowded” in that pose. You could argue that his muscles are starting to look too big for his frame. Steve, on the other hand, is in a semi-relaxed pose in the X-Rep photo, and a twisting ab shot in his Beyond-X photo. He looks considerably bigger in the “after” photo, but it’s a different pose, which makes it difficult to judge.[Read more…]
Q: I’m reading the Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building e-book, and I noticed that you have a section on X-centric training. But it’s not the same as what you describe in my X-centric Mass Workout e-book. Is one better than the other?
A: X-centric is our X-Rep vernacular for eccentric, which is the negative stroke of an exercise; that is, the lowering of a weight, like the downward portion of a bench press. [Read more…]
Q: You’ve mentioned an animal study that produced a 300 percent muscle mass increase after only a month of stretch workouts. That’s truly incredible. Is there more info? How do I duplicate those stretch procedures in my workouts to get that kind of muscle growth?
A: We refer to that animal study by Antonio and Gonyea in many of our X-Rep e-books, but the most extensive analysis was in X-Rep Update #1. Here’s a quote from Jose Antonio, Ph.D., from that e-book: [Read more…]