We’ve both lived in a beach town—Steve still does—and nothing fuels workouts more than summertime near the ocean. You know you’re going to be hitting the sand (or lake or pool) more than a few times, so you better be hitting the gym hard. [Read more…]
Q: I’m making some incredible progress using your Double-X Overload technique, but I wanted to let you know that I don’t just use it on my work sets. DXO works for warmup sets, too. I usually use it on at least one of my two warmup sets for the big [midrange] exercises, and I feel much stronger on my work sets. Great technique!
A: That’s a good tip. We love feedback from fellow weight trainers who think instead of just following the pack. One reason Double-X Overload (DXO) works so well on warmup sets is because of the enhanced occlusion and nervous system activation.
For those unfamiliar with DXO, it’s an X-Rep partial in the semi-stretch position between each full rep. That provides a slightly more explosive action, which has been shown to heighten nerve force (many top-level powerlifters do light, explosive sets for that very reason—it helps them lift more weight). [Read more…]
Q: I’ve read that you can tense your muscles enough so that you can essentially pose to grow. But there’s no resistance involved at all, so I really don’t see how that’s possible. What do you guys think?
A: We used to be skeptical too, but we always notice that as we begin getting in shape and start flexing more as we check our progress (whether it’s in front of a camera or our bathroom mirrors), our muscularity increases quickly.
We thought it was just a coincidence, and that our training and diet were primarily responsible for our accelerated gains—and we were probably right for the most part. But a study we’ve discussed before suggests that flexing a muscle for extended periods does indeed help make your muscles larger and more detailed… [Read more…]
Q: After reading one of your articles that discussed the study where light, longer sets built muscle, I was thinking that maybe that’s why X Reps build so much size. Because they’re partial reps where the muscle is stretched, you block blood flow and get more tension time by making the set last longer. Do you think that’s the case—that X Reps work because they make a set last longer?
A: No doubt that ex-tending the set with X-Reps is one reason those power partials are so effective at building more muscle. As you said, you not only pulse at the
Q: I am in need of some back width, or more specifically, lat development. I’m following your 3D HIT program listed in the X-traordinary Arms e-book, but I’m not getting a pump, and I have a hard time feeling my back working. Do you guys have any suggestions?
A: The 3D Positions-of-Flexion lat routine in that program is…
Chins (midrange), 1 x 9-12
Dumbbell pullovers (stretch), 1 x 9-12
Rope rows (contracted), 1 x 12-15
One reason you may not be getting a big pump is the last (contracted) exercise, rope rows…[Read more…]
Q: I just started using the 30-20-15 [TORQ] method on one exercise for each muscle. I do the other exercises as regular sets or 4X. The higher reps really feel incredible. What a great pump and deep fiber hit. My question is, Which exercise is best for 30-20-15—midrange, stretch or contracted?
A: As we’ve mentioned before, the angle of pull is different on each of midrange, stretch, and contracted exercises, so fiber activation can be unique as well.[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’m making some incredible progress using your Double-X Overload technique, but I wanted to let you know that I don’t just use it on my work sets. DXO works for warmup sets, too. I usually use it on at least one of my two warmup sets for the big [midrange] exercises. I feel much stronger on my work sets. Great technique!
A: That’s a good tip. We love feedback from fellow weight trainers who think instead of just following the pack. One reason DXO works so well on warmup sets is because of the enhanced occlusion and nervous system activation.[Read more…]
Q: I’m on The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout [pages 25-28 of that e-program], and I look and feel much bigger already. Thank you! My problem is that on some of the last isolated exercises I lose touch with the muscle, like on concentration curls for biceps. Arms have always been a problem area for me. Should I do a second double-drop Density set for that exercise?
A: Interesting that you should mention concentration curls, as we’ve found that getting the best Density effect on the contracted-position exercise for many muscles, like biceps, works best with a cable move.
What? Aren’t free weights best because they have more negative resistance due to zero weight-stack drag? Well, free weights are usually best for the big midrange exercises that trigger the max-force mass-building component—like presses and rows…[Read more…]
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…]