Sergio Oliva had perhaps the most incredible bodybuilding genetics of all time—tiny waist, broad shoulders, and long muscle bellies in every body part. You can see that in his famous “victory” pose here… [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: Maybe I missed it since I’m a relatively new subscriber to your newsletter, but what is the Ultimate Exercise for shoulder size; wide-grip dumbbell upright rows or dumbbell presses?
A: We first identified each Ultimate Exercise for every major bodypart in our first e-book, The Ultimate Mass Workout. There’s a comprehensive chapter on each one, why they are best, and also a few complete programs with just those moves—like V-handle chins for lats… [Read more…]
Q: In one of your recent newsletters I noticed that you guys recommended using The Basic X-traordinary X-Rep Workout to an advanced trainee. Can someone who’s been training a while really make new gains with such an abbreviated basic program?
A: Absolutely! And the gains can be outstanding, especially after an extreme peaking cycle. When you’ve been training toward a peak day, like a competition, photoshoot, or any other specific goal, you bring yourself to the brink of overtraining—but that’s a good thing, and incredible things happen when you simplify for size… [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…]
We’re not sure who took this shot of the very first Mr. Olympia Larry Scott, but it looks like it’s in a gym at a seminar perhaps…[Read more…]
Jim Haislop won the Mr. America in 1968. His incredible symmetry, proportion,
When he competed at 5’11”, he weighed in at around 210 pounds with a 32” waist and true 19” arms…[Read more…]
You already know that some type of overload is necessary for growth-fiber thickening. That’s called myofibrillar size.
The strands in the muscle fiber enlarge, giving you bigger muscles. Heavier loads can produce that…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using the Power Pyramid Program (Chapter 2 in the Freak-Physique Stretch-Overload Workout e-book) for six weeks. I’m getting incredibly strong, but I’ve only gained about four pounds of muscle. I realize it’s a muscle strength workout with a size side effect, but now I’m ready to use my new strength to go for major muscle mass. I also want to get leaner. I’m 5’10” and weigh 200 pounds with 14 percent
A: Ah, so now that you’re strong like an ox, you want to get even bigger with some leanness to boot. Sounds good, and it can and will happen. You just need to take your new power in a slightly different direction—still using the multi-angular attack of POF, but altered so you pack on the most muscle size—complete development from origin to insertion.[Read more…]