Q: I’m torn between using standard training with 2 minutes between sets or drop-set-style training with 10 to 20 seconds between sets like you follow [in the Old Man, Young Muscle workouts]. Is there a definitive answer as to which is better for mass? [Read more…]
Q: The 4X Mass Workout is filling out my muscles faster than anything I’ve ever tried. Thank you! I’m wondering what you think about doing something weird on the last set. Like I’ve been doing a drop set on the last set every so often or a superset with another exercise just on that last set. Is that okay, or should I only stick to straight sets with 4X?
A: If you’ve been reading this newsletter for any length of time, you should know that we encourage any and all types of training experimentation. Always remember that what packs on new mass for one person may not work well for another, so be innovative and open-minded… [Read more…]
Q: You have V-handle pulldowns as the Ultimate Exercise for lats [in the X-traordinary X-Rep Workout]. I do those for the power pyramid then wide-grip pulldowns for a density drop set. But I feel the wide-grips in my lats more. Can I reverse the order and do the wide pulldowns for the pyramid, then the V-handle pulldowns for a density drop set?
A: Absolutely! Your question is similar to one we had for chest before. In that case, we suggested switching the order at every workout to emphasize a different line of force for optimal size effects. You could do that with lats also (and it will help your arms look huge too, as you’ll see in a moment)… [Read more…]
Q: I love 4X training. It’s gotten me bigger than I’ve ever been, but my gains have leveled off. I’m thinking about doing the last set in stage style for more intensity. Do you think that will work? Any tips if I try it?
A: We love experimentation. It can make good gains great, so we say try it on for SIZE…
Let’s start by explaining the 4X method for our new readers who aren’t familiar: You pick a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10; rest 30 to 45 seconds, then do 10 more—and so on until you complete four sets. If you get 10 reps on your last set, you add weight to that exercise at your next workout…. [Read more…]
Q: Thank you for clearing up the muscle-growth mystery for me. I always believed in going heavier and heavier to get bigger. Now I know that’s only a small part of the puzzle. Working in the 4X method, X Reps, drop sets, and even some of your high-rep TORQ sets has already gotten me bigger in just a few weeks. My question is, Do you think some people get a better size response from power training and others get more size from density [endurance] work?
A: Absolutely. As we mentioned in a previous newsletter, the BIGGEST powerlifters don’t train for sarcoplasmic (endurance fluid) expansion yet have good muscle size. That’s because they were big dudes in the first place, which may signify more myofibril-building capacity. That would explain their extraordinary strength. The myofibrils are the actin-myosin strands inside the muscle fiber that generate force, but for most trainees that’s not the key to ULTIMATE SIZE… [Read more…]
Q: Doug Brignole’s high-rep method [explained in his interview in The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0] sounds interesting. I’d like to try it once a week for upper body. Do you think it would be okay to do an entire workout with his “Super TORQ” for chest, back, and arms, and at the other workouts that week do standard training?
A: Faster mass creation is all about experimentation. We really like your idea, as it’s similar to some of the Power-Density mass workouts in that e-book that alternate heavy training with TORQ for high-rep hyper-growth. [Read more…]
Q: I have the Size Surge e-book and just picked up the 3D Muscle Building e-book. In 3D there’s a different version of the phase 1 Size Surge workouts [SS Mass F/X Program, pages 81-84 in 3D]. It has rest/pause and drop sets. Should I use that as phase 1 or Jonathan’s straight-set version in the Size Surge e-book?
A: The Mass F/X Program in the 3D e-book is the same 3-days-per-week phase 1 that Jonathan used, but with a few twists: You do a max-Force-generating mass workout for a bodypart, then at the second workout for that bodypart, you do an eXtended-tension-style workout. That gives you the power-density mass-building combination we’re always harping on… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve followed your beginner program [in the Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide], and then went on to the 3D Muscle Building [Positions-of-Flexion] program. Great results! Better than I imagined, but I’m having trouble sticking to it. The POF program is 4 days a week, which is too many days for me. I was wondering if you could show me how to change this into a 3-days-a-week POF program—a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. With my job, it’s nearly impossible to do the 4-days-a-week routine.
A: We understand the problem; it’s probably the number-one reason people stop training—time constraints. Life can get in the way, but we’re here to help. [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 just got The Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0, and [Mr. America] Doug Brignole’s one-exercise-per-muscle training is interesting, to say the least. And his interview [Chapter 4] makes a lot of good points for high-rep sets.
A: Yes, his “Super TORQ” method can rack up some impressive gains. It helped Doug get into the best shape of his long bodybuilding career, and he won the Muscle Beach International Over 50 competition while using that routine (see photo below).[Read more…]