Q: I don’t seem to see you guys talking about warm-up sets very often. Do I need to do any? I’m interested in building the most mass possible.
Q: You have an all-10×10 program in your e-book [The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout], but I’ve heard that you don’t think total 10×10 routines are that great. I wanted to try it, but now I’m not so sure. Do you still believe that the all-10×10 program is not good?
A: For those unfamiliar with it, 10×10 is taking a weight you can get about 20 reps with, but only doing 10. You rest for 30 seconds, then do 10 more and so on until you complete 10 sets of 10 reps. The first sets are a breeze; the last ones are brutal and create an insane pump and burn.
The beauty of 10×10 is that you do it on one exercise per bodypart, so a muscle is cooked to the bone in about 10 minutes. The problem with the all-10x1o program is that it’s pure DENSITY…
As we’ve said, the dominant fiber type in the biggest bodybuilders is the DUAL-component type-2As. They have both a power and density, or endurance, component. That means you need BOTH power and endurance to build the most muscle size. With 10×10 you’re getting almost pure density. But that can be a good thing…
Total 10×10 training is great if you’ve been doing a program dominated by power-oriented sets—as most bodybuilders do. The majority neglect density almost completely because they are brainwashed into believing that heavy weights build the most muscle. Even we’ve fallen into that trap before. That’s why when we first tried an all-10×10 program, we each packed on more than 5 pounds of muscle. We thought we’d found the Holy Grail of muscle building…
However, gains quickly subsided and began to regress—because now we had been neglecting the POWER component. The moral is that if you use a total-10×10 program like the first program outlined in The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout with only the ultimate exercise for each muscle, use it for only 3 to 4 weeks (our gains began to regress after week 4). Then go back to a balanced attack or even a power-oriented workout.
A good, balanced attack is the Heavy/Light 10×10 Mass Workout later in the 10×10 e-book. On that one, you do a heavy, straight-set POF workout for a muscle—power—then the next time you train it, you do only the big exercise for 10×10—a total 10-minute density mass blitz. Balanced power/density for major muscle immensity!
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
If you want to build muscle (of course you do!) and ramp up your testosterone levels while burning a ton of fat at the same time, you need to try this workout if you haven’t already…
–> Use this cutting-edge cardio trick to boost testosterone and muscle growth
Note: This is NOT traditional HIIT or boring steady-state cardio
A: The simple answer is that X-treme Lean contains more diet and nutrition info while The Ultimate Fat to Muscle Workout is more about the right type of training to max out fat loss as you gain muscle mass… [Read more…]
First of July and I made my legs cry. Or something like that. Great leg workout, and I have a feeling they’ll get as sore as they were after the last leg workout. I might have to rethink the interval cardio on leg days, though… [Read more…]
Q: I read that you guys got super ripped without doing any cardio. I also saw that Arnold had incredible fat loss with no cardio, relying on weight training only. Is that true?
A: According to John Balik, Publisher of IRON MAN magazine and Arnold’s friend and one-time training partner, the only thing close to real cardio that Arnold did was occasional walking or running on the beach… [Read more…]
Q: I read where old-school bodybuilders would use lighter weights and higher reps on some exercises before competition to get more muscle detail. That’s total B.S., right?
A: On the surface, yes. But ending a bodypart with higher-rep work—or even doing entire workouts with higher rep work, enhances muscle burn. No, that’s not fat burning—at least not in a strict sense… [Read more…]
Q: A lot of bodybuilders go all power in the off-season. They push for more strength so size will follow. I’m thinking about using the Phase 1 program in Size Surge for that purpose—mostly big exercises with heavy weights training three days a week so I get plenty of recover-and-grow time. Would that program be okay to use for the entire 10 weeks instead of moving to Phase 2?
A: You’re right, even Arnold used to do a two-to-three-month power phase in the winter—but it wasn’t heavy low reps on every exercise, as we’ll explain. That’s the problem with the way most trainees do it: They go heavy on ALL exercises all the time for too long and neglect critical sarcoplasmic size, which can be a big muscle-building mistake… [Read more…]
Q: In your early e-books, like The Ultimate Mass Workout, you say that generating maximum force is the key to muscle mass. To me, it doesn’t seem like you ever exert max force with 4X training because you are using moderate weights. Do you still think creating maximum force is the way to build the most mass?
A: Yes, we believe force is one of the big keys to packing on muscle mass—but there’s more than one way to get enough… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using your 4X method and throwing in some NA (negative-accentuated) sets every so often, mainly because I like some soreness. It makes me feel like I’ve done good work in the gym and am growing. Lately, I can’t seem to get much soreness from my workouts. Should I add sets or more NA or what?
A: There is no scientific research that shows that muscle soreness equals muscle growth—but we know what you mean. It makes you feel like you’ve hit the muscle hard enough to trigger growth, and it just makes sense that the microtrauma should translate into hypertrophy. We know for a fact that emphasizing the negative stroke of every rep can cause more soreness and that it can cause inflammation—which is temporary size. But that should lead to permanent mass… [Read more…]
Q: I have almost all of your e-books, and I’ve learned more from them than I have from anywhere else in the 10 years I’ve been training. Thank you. I just got The 4X Mass Workout and had a question: You always say “change to gain,” but you tend to use the same few exercises in a lot of your programs. Shouldn’t I switch moves often to gain mass, like use dumbbells instead of a barbell?
A: While variation is important, you need to focus on the exercises that you feel the most. That’s especially true for weak bodyparts, which tend to lag due to inadequate neuromuscular efficiency, or nerve-to-muscle connections. A good example for us, and most bodybuilders, is upper chest exercises. [Read more…]