Two legends in the evolution of bodybuilding training are Arthur Jones, the so-called father of high-intensity training and creator of Nautilus machines, and Vince Gironda, a.k.a., the Iron Guru and Studio City gym owner who trained Larry Scott, the first Mr. Olympia, as well as many other champion bodybuilders and movie stars, including Clint Eastwood. [Read more…]
Q: I read that after a back workout, your lats should feel heavier because they’re so filled with blood. I’d never felt that before until I tried the back program in The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout. Do you think I got that mega-pump and fullness because the routine alternates power sets with density sets? By the end, my lats were the most pumped they’ve ever been. My delts got insanely big too after the shoulder workout. I even saw veins! I’m psyched that I may finally get in the shape that girls will notice. Thanks.
A: You’ve hit the nail on the head. The bodypart routines in that Power-Density Mass Workout are designed so you stress the myofibrils, the force-generating actin and myosin strands in muscle fibers, with POWER sets, then you follow with DENSITY for sarcoplasmic expansion. The sarcoplasm is the energy fluid in muscle fibers… [Read more…]
Q: Just read The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout. Absolutely great! I read it all in one sitting. It really made me think, so I’m redesigning my workout using your programs. But don’t higher-rep warmup sets cover the endurance component of the 2A fibers? And what about X Reps? They extend a set, so I would think they also affect the endurance side of the important 2As as well.
A: You’re right on both counts—to a degree. Warm-up sets aren’t intense, so very few fibers are involved—and many that are fall into the slow-twitch category, rather than the important fast-twitch 2As. [Read more…]
Q: I’m making my best gains ever with the Power-Density Mass Workout. I’m already up six pounds in four weeks, and I see new muscle somewhere every workout, training just about 40 minutes a session. I have a question about my lagging bodypart, shoulders. Can I add sets to the listed workout, or how should I force my shoulders to grow like my other bodyparts?
A: Most of the bodypart routines in the Basic Power-Density Mass Workout consist of only one Ultimate Exercise per muscle group. That makes for quick, simple workouts: First you pyramid the weight over three sets for max force, or Power; then you reduce the weight and attack tension, or Density with a 10×10-style sequence, but using only four sets… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using the 4X mass method for over a month with good gains–now noticeable muscle. I just tried it with the “downward-progression” style [adding weight each set so the reps drop—12-10-8-6], and it’s fantastic. I feel a new level of stimulation. You suggested using it on the big midrange exercises, but what about on the stretch and contracted ones? Can I use it on those too, or is that not advised?
Q: You guys have opened my eyes to new ways to grow muscle. Your explanation of the myofibrils (force generation) and sarcoplasm (energy fluid) and how they both contribute to size is excellent. To build both of those fast, I want a simple, no-bells-and-whistles heavy-light program. What would you suggest?
A: Ah, the no-frills approach. It’s always good to go back to basics every so often, focusing on the force-generating myofibrils with a heavy workout and sarcoplasmic expansion with lighter DENSITY at the next… [Read more…]
Q: I like the idea of experimenting with high reps. Your report on Mr. America Doug Brignole’s results has motivated me to get high (LOL). But I’m getting ready to start the Size Surge program. Should I try high reps [30-20-15] on the isolation exercises in both five-week phases?
A: Lots of people have been grabbing copies of Size Surge 2.0 lately because it seems to be get-big season. That’s how we know many trainees have started—or are getting ready to start—this 10-week mass attack. [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been working out for a couple of years now pretty hard. I’m feeling frustrated because I’ve been tall and skinny my whole life: 6’2″ and 170 pounds. I just can’t seem to put on any muscle. Is it a possibility that a person just can’t build muscle no matter what they do? I receive your e-zine and read about other people’s gains, so I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong or maybe I’m genetically incapable of going from twig to big.
A: You will put on muscle—convince yourself of that; however, you’re in the skinny ectomorph boat with Steve, so you must be realistic, not frustrated. He weighed 120 pounds when he started weight training, and it took time for him to twig to big and looking like a bodybuilder—but even now he doesn’t look all that big in clothes. [Read more…]
Q: I remember reading in your newsletter not too long ago when you mentioned that the rest time between sets during a [10×10 sequence] should be 20 seconds. In the 10×10 e-book you say to use 30 seconds between sets. Is that a deliberate reduction, and if so, should I reduce my starting weight a little to accommodate the reduced rest?
A: Rest between sets during a 10×10 sequence should be anywhere from 20 to 30 seconds. Vince Gironda, famous Hollywood trainer known as the Iron Guru who trained Larry Scott for his first Mr. Olympia victory, liked to continue to gradually reduce it over many workouts till the trainee was down to only about 10 seconds of rest or less between sets. That doesn’t work for many trainees because of having a training partner… [Read more…]
Q: I totally agree with your Power-Density mass-building ideas. For density work, you’ve suggested multi-rep rest/pause, but 3 heavy sets with only 15 seconds of rest between them really wipes me out, especially on legs. I’m dead for the rest of my workout. Is there something less taxing I can use for density up front?
A: First, we want to applaud you for realizing the importance of DENSITY, or endurance, work. Missing that get-bigger trigger is why most wanna-be-big bodybuilders grow so slow. They think it’s all about training heavy ONLY to gain more size… [Read more…]