Check out Arnold in his prime below and his son Joseph, age 21. The resemblance is uncanny. Are genetics important in bodybuilding? Absolutely, as is the case in most sports.Read more
Q: Your 4X mass method has 35 to 45 seconds rest between sets. I’ve seen research that longer rests between sets can be better for strength and muscle growth. What’s your take on that?
A: Legendary trainer Vince Gironda, the Iron Guru who trained Mr. Olympias as well as Hollywood stars to build muscle fast, first got us into reducing rest between sets for muscle growth—he called it Density Training…[Read more…]
Q: I’m super impressed! I’ve been on the Size Surge workout for four weeks, and I’ve gained 7 pounds. My shirts are tighter with no increase in my waist, so it seems to be all muscle. The program calls for a back-off, or low-intensity, week between the two training phases. Is that really necessary, or can I go right into Phase 2? I don’t want to lose any mass. Any time I’ve taken a week off or even reduced my training, I’ve gotten smaller.
A: No, do not go right into Phase 2. The back-off week (#6) between the two phases has a definite purpose. It will allow your nervous system to recharge and your muscles to completely recover so you can push into the next phase with more intensity. And during that downshift week, you should get bigger, not smaller, despite what you thought you experienced in the past. Here is what hypertrophy researcher Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., says about the process… [Read more…]
It’s becoming clear that muscle elongation is very important for accelerating hypertrophy to a new level.
In other words, loaded stretching can provide another layer of freaky size quickly.
An older study that we often reference showing that was performed by Jose Antonio, Ph.D., et al.—and it produced incredible muscle size increases. Here’s what he said about it: [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been following the current bodybuilding training trend of hitting each muscle once a week with lots of sets. Growth has been slow, but you’d think that with so much volume and intensity at one workout, it should take a full week for that muscle to completely recover, right?
Well, training each muscle with lots of volume once a week will produce some growth—if intensity is high enough to produce significant damage. The question is how much is enough?
Less volume for each muscle but with more frequent body part hits has proven a better, more sure-fire method for optimal hypertrophy in most cases and works as a sort of anabolic phasing… [Read more…]
Q: So glad you clarified many of the hypertrophic requirements for muscle size in Anabolic Reload [progression, exercise rotation, metabolic stress, etc.]. One that really got me thinking was volumization. I believe it was Vince Gironda who said that more work done in the same or less time creates mass quickly. My question is, What do you think about drop sets instead of rest/pause as the volume addition to each exercise? Seems like you get more work in the same time frame.
A: The drop-set method is one of the best hypertrophic tactics around because it does condense workload into a short time frame. Studies verify the [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: You’ve said high-rep leg work can boost your T naturally. Will the first high-rep set on each exercise in the STX workouts boost testosterone even more?
A: It appears that that reason high-rep leg work boosts testosterone is due to heavy breathing, big-muscle stimulation, growth-fiber activation and muscle burn…
That was the reason that many bodybuilders of yesteryear often relied on [Read more…]
Q: I wanted to report on my progress. I’m 53 and am making the best muscle gains of my life using something you haven’t really discussed. I get bored easily, so what I do is one week I use the Over-40 STX workout [Anabolic Reload e-book] and the next week I go to the Pure-Positions STX program [Stretch Overload e-book]. I think it’s working so well because every week I am getting all three of the hypertrophy requirements but with different splits and exercise mixes. I swear my shirts are already tighter after only three weeks. Just want to thank you guys for my new gains!
A: Hmm, very interesting—and a novel approach. We usually suggest doing one of those programs for four to six weeks, then switch to the other for another four-to-six-week mass phase.
But who are we to argue? Sounds like alternating them is working off the charts for you in the over-40 muscle mass department. Exciting stuff! Now… [Read more…]
Q: The Double-X stretch method you describe in the last chapter of the Stretch Overload ebook really got me sore. All I did was add one set of the stretch exercise for each muscle [listed in chapter 1] with Double-X to my current workout. My question is, do you think just doing a heavy straight set of the stretch move would be better? For Double-X I have to use a lighter weight to get the hitch at the bottom of each rep.
A: Glad to hear that you were able to Double-X your muscle mass. For the uninitiated, Double-X Overload is simply a partial rep at the point of stretch between each full rep.
For example, on incline curls, you [Read more…]