Q: I’m not gonna lie… I sometimes get bored with my training or just have random days when my motivation is a bit low. That makes it tough to get to the gym, but I really don’t want to skip a day because of that. What if I took random days here and there to do only one exercise for each muscle. Would that be good for growth, and how often could I do that?
Q: Great timing on your recent P/RR/S newsletter! I’m using the X-Rep Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout [on pages 103-114 in the 3D Muscle Building e-book], and my size and strength are totally thriving on the variation, like nothing I’ve ever tried before. What a great concept! Now I’m reading The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout, and I want to put that method into the mix, using mass merger techniques. Where should I use it, Power, Rep Range or Shock week? And on which exercises?
A: First, we must give credit where credit is due: a big thumbs-up to Eric Broser for creating the Power/Rep Range/Shock protocol. We simply altered it to include full-range Positions of Flexion and X Reps. To put it in simple terms, Power week you do all low reps; Rep Range week you do one exercise in the 7-9 range, another for 10-12 and the last for 13-15; Shock week is supersets, drop sets and other intensity techniques to totally thrash the muscles. [Read more…]
Q: All the info I’ve read on full-range Positions of Flexion makes total sense. It’s a killer concept, and I’m so psyched to use it. My problem is time. Even though your POF [bodypart] routines are only about six sets, I only have time for half that [maybe 3 sets for each bodypart]. I don’t want to use only the Ultimate Exercise because I see the superiority of training the three positions for total development. Or should I try just the Ultimate Exercise for each muscle and use POF on only certain bodyparts?
A: Using the Ultimate Exercise for each bodypart in a program is one way to go. Your idea of using full POF on one or two bodyparts is a good one. Simply add one set of a stretch- and one set of a contracted-position exercise for those two muscle groups. For example, for chest, the Ultimate Exercise is decline presses… [Read more…]
Q: I have learned an incredible amount from your X Arms e-book. My question has to do with emphasizing the biceps heads. You suggest total focus on one head at each workout. Instead, I want to use two sets in each position of flexion, with each set focusing on a different head. For example, for the first exercise (midrange), I’ll do one set of close-grip preacher curls for the outer biceps heads; then follow with one set of wide-grip dumbbell curls for the inner heads. I’ll do that for the stretch-position exercise and the contracted position exercise, using the specific movements in your e-book, one set for each head in each position. I plan to use that biceps routine every arm workout. I’ll use the same two-sets-for-each-position idea for triceps too. What do you think?
A: Let’s see, two sets in each of the three positions of flexion, one set for inner-head emphasis, the second for outer-head emphasis. Interesting. That’s a different strategy from what we outline in X-traordinary Arms, which is to focus on one head of the biceps at one workout, then focus on the other head at the next to build awesome arms. [Read more…]
Q: I’ve seen you guys talk about Mass Finishers in the past. Is that a Positions-of-Flexion term, a special exercise, or something to do with
A: Lol. It relates to mass—as in muscle size—and you could say that it’s a “special” exercise…
We first outlined this technique in the Size Surge 2.0 e-book—in the chapter on Mass-4X training. You do it after a full-range Position-of-Flexion bodypart routine (there’s a complete sample program there for every muscle group)…[Read more…]
Q: I picked up your 10×10 e-book over the weekend and started using that style of training on calves immediately, but I’m doing 8×20 as you’ve suggested in the e-book. My question is, should I angle my feet differently on each set to develop the most calf mass? I was thinking toes in on the first three, toes out on the second three, and toes straight ahead on my last two sets.
A: It’s not foot angle that stresses the inner or outer heads of the gastroc, but rather which side of the foot you’re exerting the most pressure with. In other words, if you’re pushing with the inner part of the ball of your foot, the big-toe side, you will stress the inner head of the calf muscle. If you roll out onto the little-toe side of your feet as you rise, you will stress the outer head of the calf muscle.
Notice in this photo how the trainee is using a narrower stance and rolling out; that’s not what you want. Go wider than this for more calf mass…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been hearing a lot about muscle stretch and how it’s uniquely anabolic. What’s the best way to build mass with this information—a freehand stretching routine?
A: Freehand stretching routines can do okay things for muscle growth. In fact, a recent study showed muscle hypertrophy from ONLY freehand stretching, but it wasn’t extreme…[Read more…]
Q: The first day of [meteorological] spring slapped me in the face. My abs are gone and I feel “loose,” as in soft. I need to drop fat, especially around my middle, and add some hard muscle—like right now. How do I get it going and see abs?
A: Don’t panic. You still have about 12 weeks until summer. But because fat-loss is a slow process—if you want to hold and even gain muscle—you need to start NOW.[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been reading that testosterone is the key muscle-building hormone, so what is the best way to get it up?
A: “Get it up?”
Q: I love the 4X Workout method. It’s opened my eyes to a new way to build mass. I notice that you guys often superset opposing muscles with 4X, like forearm extensors (top) and flexors (underside), going back and forth. Can I do that with other opposing muscle groups, like biceps and triceps to save time and get a bigger pump?
A: We addressed that question in the Q&A section of the 4X Mass Workout e-book. The answer is, opposing-muscle-group supersets work great with the 4X method—as long as the exercises don’t force you to stop your sets from cardiovascular failure as opposed to muscular exhaustion… [Read more…]