We’ve been discussing Mr. America and Mr. Universe Doug Brignole and his biomechanically ideal exercises.
Q: I always have a problem making gains in the winter. It starts around Halloween, when the weather starts getting cooler and the bowls of candy start taunting me. Then it’s Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie, and it’s even colder outside. I lose the motivation to hit the gym, and my muscles usually shrink and get shrouded with a layer of fat. Is this just something I should accept, or do you have any solutions?
A: Definitely do not accept it—at least not completely—because if you regress in the winter and then start training hard in the spring, you waste a lot of workouts just getting back to where you were the previous year. (We speak from experience—it’s happened to us on more than one occasion). [Read more…]
Q: I’m using the Fat-to-Muscle Workout, and the negative-accentuated technique [one second up/six seconds down] has given me a lot of new muscle, and I’ve noticed that the excess muscle trauma you guys talk about has helped me lose a good amount of fat, too. I’m amazed! Now, however, I feel like my mass gains are slowing down. I think it’s because I’ve adapted to the negative-accentuated sets. How can I intensify them? Or should I switch to a different technique for a while?
A: Don’t drop the NA technique unless your goals have changed for your physique. If you’re still trying to lose fat as you build muscle, a set with one second up and six seconds down on every rep for every large bodypart will help you get there faster… [Read more…]
Q: I just got your X-traordinary Arms e-book. Killer information, and I’m ready to use it to build mine into 19-inchers like Jonathan’s. My question is about the 3D HIT program in which you incorporate the arm-specialization routines. One work set for each exercise? You list a few more sets for arms, but I just can’t comprehend how one set could be enough for the other bodyparts. Can I add sets?
A: You can do anything you want, but be careful and monitor your progress. Building muscular size is all about experimentation. In fact, the 3D HIT program is our experiment into one-set-per-exercise intensity training. We’ve seen lots of research validating one-set training for building strength; however, as we explain in our e-books, packing on extreme muscle size is a different animal than merely building strength and a few fast-twitch fibers. There are different layers to attack when size is the goal. [Read more…]
Q: I understand that heavy weight isn’t important for maximum muscle growth. Can you tell me what I should include in my workouts to build the most mass possible in the shortest time. I want to get bigger.
A: Well, “heavy” weights are important, but “heavy” is relative to YOU—and dependent on muscle fatigue. You may struggle with 20 pounds in a certain exercise at the END of a bodypart workout. So that 20 pounds is “heavy” for you on that exercise at that moment… [Read more…]
Q: I’m loving the 3D HIT program [listed in the X-traordinary Arms e-book]. Every bodypart is growing, my strength goes up at almost every workout, and I’m only in the gym for 45 minutes. So far, it’s sweet! My question is, Shouldn’t the stretch exercise be last in the 3D sequence: midrange, contracted, then stretch? I’ve read that stretching a muscle makes it weaker right after, so it only makes sense that you should do the stretch-position exercise last instead of before the contracted-position exercise; otherwise, you’ll be weaker on the contracted move. Am I off base here?
A: Either order works well for stimulating growth, and it’s good to mix it up for more adaptation (growth). But we’ll give you our reasoning for why we think the standard order (see the pics below) is best for optimum hypertrophy (fast mass) with regard to the stretch-strength link. Take biceps as an example. The standard 3D POF program is barbell curls, incline curls, and concentration curls—in that order. [Read more…]
Q: In the 3D HIT program [listed in the X-traordinary Arms e-book], you say to end each bodypart with one slow, higher-rep set of an isolation exercise for tension and occlusion. You also mention drop sets for those exercises. Which is better, one higher-rep set or a drop set?
A: Keep in mind that doing a drop set is a volume increase because it’s two sets back to back. For example, on concentration curls for biceps, you do a set of 10 reps to exhaustion, grab a lighter dumbbell, and immediately rep out again, getting about six more reps. Is that better than one set of 12-15 reps? That depends…[Read more…]
Q: I am in need of some back width, or more specifically, lat development. I’m following your 3D HIT program listed in the X-traordinary Arms e-book, but I’m not getting a pump, and I have a hard time feeling my back working. Do you guys have any suggestions?
A: The 3D Positions-of-Flexion lat routine in that program is…
Chins (midrange), 1 x 9-12
Dumbbell pullovers (stretch), 1 x 9-12
Rope rows (contracted), 1 x 12-15
One reason you may not be getting a big pump is the last (contracted) exercise, rope rows…[Read more…]
Q: I’m interested in building up my body. I’ve been visiting some workout forums, and lots of people are recommending your quick starter workout. Can you explain why it’s so good? Will it work for me? I want a new body, but I don’t want to look like the Incredible Hulk or anything. Maybe Captain America or Thor, though. Lol.
A: The quick starter workout you’re referring to is our Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide, and it has you begin with a two-week break-in program, using the basic exercises, like squats, bench presses, etc., one to two sets each (all exercises are fully explained with printable start-and-finish-position illustrations).
It’s a full-body workout that takes about an hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and it’s geared to upregulate your nervous system and coordination quickly so you can start building muscle immediately after this two-week “learning” phase. Then you move to something more unique to accelerate gains…[Read more…]
If you’ve watched the male gymnasts during the Olympics before, you no doubt noticed their eye-popping upper-body mass. Some have delts, arms, and torsos that resemble competitive bodybuilders’. Very impressive, especially considering that muscle mass isn’t one of their goals; it’s just a side effect of their sport…[Read more…]