Arnold was arguably the greatest bodybuilder ever, but when he came out of retirement in 1980 to enter the Mr. Olympia in Australia, many thought he tarnished his legend status… [Read more…]
Q: I’m a powerlifter, but I want a better physique. I’m not sure how. I’ve got some muscle, but I sure don’t look like a bodybuilder. What should I do? I’m thinking I just need more isolated exercises for each muscle, like pushdowns for triceps. If I keep pushing heavy weights on all those exercises, I’ll look more like a bodybuilder, right? Do any of your e-books address my problem?
A: You gave a clue to one of the big reasons so many trainees make slow-to-no muscle gains: They’re brainwashed into believing that heavy training exclusively is what builds mass. That’s simply not true… [Read more…]
Q: You guys have contributed so much to my ability to build lots of muscle. I want to thank you. X Reps are fantastic. Positions of Flexion is great; I build most of my workouts around that full-range principle. You’ve also created 4X and negative-accentuated [X-centric] training. So what do you think is the best of the bunch, your #1 mass-building discovery over the years?
A: Out of all of our mass-building tactics, X Reps are probably the easiest to apply. Well, maybe “easiest” is the wrong word because when you use them correctly, X-Rep partials at the end of a set are brutal—they hurt, but they work. X Reps make any set three to five times more effective at packing on mass… [Read more…]
Q: How can I get wider shoulders, and I mean as wide as possible? I want more of a classic bodybuilder look.
A: Wider shoulders will definitely give you a more commanding appearance, but understand that your shoulder width is limited by your clavicle, or collar-bone, width. The good news is that you can still look a lot wider with full, round delts. Larry Scott, the first Mr. Olympia, had narrow clavicles, but he packed a lot of meat on his delts and solved the problem, becoming the best bodybuilder in the world in his day. [Read more…]
Q: I read your last e-zine on fat-to-muscle tips with great interest. I added your recommendations to my training immediately. My question is, What about X Reps? Do they help? Should I add those in as well?
A: Yes, X Reps are excellent for a faster fat-to-muscle hustle. For the uninitiated, X Reps are eight-inch partials that you add onto a set after you hit exhaustion. You do those end-of-set partials at the point on the stroke at which the target muscle is somewhat stretched—for example, near the bottom of an incline press, bench press, or chinup…[Read more…]
Q: I’m not a competitive bodybuilder or physique athlete, but I want to look muscular for more sex appeal. I train all my major muscles, but I want to specialize on the muscles women notice. Any ideas on which ones those are and the best way to make those attention-grabber muscles pop?
A: Several years ago IRON MAN did a survey, an anonymous poll of a number of women about their likes and dislikes concerning the male physique. The results were very interesting… [Read more…]
Q: I don’t always have time to go to the gym three times a week. That means I can’t always get in three full-body workouts, which I’ve heard is the best for muscle mass. Should I just do two full-body workouts with the big, basics, like squats, bench, etc. on weeks I can’t make it three times? Do you guys have an ebook with a 2-times-a-week program like that? I want to look like a bodybuilder, but time is hard to come by for me right now.
A: Three full-body workouts a week is the old-school standard for mass, but hitting each muscle only twice a week may be even better for many bodybuilders. According to Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., one of the elite hypertrophy researchers… [Read more…]
Q: I tried Arnold’s method of using a high-rep set to end my major exercises, like bench presses, (Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout e-book, Chapter 1). But I’m just too fatigued to feel the target muscle on that last set. After reading about Doug Brignole’s 50-40-30-20-10 method in Chapter 4, I was thinking about using that on an isolation exercise to feel the target muscle better, like crossovers for chest after bench. Is that a good idea?
A: It could be, but you left a lot of variables out. For example, how experienced are you? That amount of work may be too much. How many days per week are you training each muscle? If it’s once, that amount of volume may work well, if it’s twice, maybe not.[Read more…]
Q: What is the best rep speed for muscle growth? I want to look like a bodybuilder/physique athlete, so I’m not that concerned with strength. I just want more muscle mass.
A: In The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout e-book we cite a study that attempted to determine the optimal rep speed for building muscle. It compared doing sets with a two-to-three-second positive and a two-to-three-second negative—about three up, three down—with sets using a power cadence, which is one second up and three seconds down. The power cadence produced the most mass in this study. [Int J Sports Med. 30(3):200-204; 2009.] [Read more…]
Q: I’m a bodybuilder and very interested in trying the 10-sets-of-10 method you’ve been writing about. I’m worried because using lighter weights and short rests [between sets] would appear to build primarily the slow-twitch and the fast-twitch endurance fibers [2As], and neglect the power fast-twitch 2Bs. Shouldn’t I be using heavy weights to get at the key 2B fibers?
A: You’re right, the 10×10 method primarily builds the type-2A fibers, those fast-twitchers with an endurance component (that’s why it works so quickly, as you’ll see in a moment). You don’t entirely neglect the 2Bs, however… [Read more…]