Our friend and colleague Doug Brignole just won the 2019 Drug-Free Mr. Universe Open division at age 59. Very impressive [photo courtesy of Doug Brignole ]… [Read more…]
Q: Being drug-free, I was very interested in The 4X Mass Workout. Considering the colleague you mention in that e-book who has trained with a lot of pros while he was using drugs and that he also trained drug-free, his advice is priceless. For drug-free guys, he says he likes 3 weeks of high-intensity-style power training alternated with 3 weeks of lower-intensity, slightly higher-volume workouts. What do you think about this for a big mass blast: 3 weeks of total-10×10 training, followed by 3 weeks of total-4X workouts, followed by 3 weeks of the 3D Power Pyramid [a straight-set lower-rep Positions-of-Flexion workout listed in The Freak Physique e-book]?
A: That looks like a great mass-building, progress-yielding progression. You shift gears every 3 weeks for plenty of muscle-stimulation tweaks… [Read more…]
Q: This is it! I started using The 10×10 Mass Workout a little while ago, and I’ve gained 3 pounds in 3 weeks, all muscle. If I keep this up, I can easily gain 20 pounds of muscle in the next few months. Thank you for showing me the best mass-building program ever.
A: While that’s not a question, we feel obligated to respond. First, we’re glad you’re making such spectacular progress with 10×10. Gaining 3 pounds in 3 weeks is very impressive, so keep using it till your gains slow down or stop… [Read more…]
Q: Most of the programs in your e-books don’t have a lot of work sets. Pro bodybuilders use a lot more volume than you recommend, and they’re obviously pretty huge and ripped. Are there any studies that prove less time in the gym is good or that show the best number of sets for a workout?
A: Too much stress, whether in relationships, in the gym, or on a bungee-jumping platform, causes cortisol to surge. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can force your body to eat muscle tissue for energy. Not good! And it lowers testosterone, which also can cause muscle loss (not to mention a lower sex drive). A study that looked at how training volume affects testosterone in men was done several years ago (Alemany, J.A., et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 36:S238)… [Read more…]
This photo taken in the ’50s shows the classic lines of Steve Reeves that made him a perfect movie Hercules. The man had excellent genetics, and not just in the looks department. Check out at his wide shoulders, small waist,
Q: Thanks for the X-centric Mass Workout! Mixing heavy work, negative-accentuated sets, and 4X has given me the best gains of my life. My bodyweight increased over 5 pounds, but my abs are sharper with veins in the lower part. I’m stoked, and the ladies seem to like it too. LOL! My question is about NA sets vs. negatives at the end of regular sets. After two heavy sets, you say to reduce the weight on the last set for an NA set on the big exercise [like bench presses]. Couldn’t I just keep the weight heavy and add four to six negatives at the end of that last set? I feel like I need another heavy set. I have a partner, so he could lift and I could lower on the negatives. I think Mike Mentzer recommended this style.
A: In his prime, Mentzer actually recommended a 3-phase set to get big and ripped…[Read more…]
Q: You’ve said a lot of pro bodybuilders have used versions of the 4X mass method and made great gains. But weren’t they on drugs? Don’t steroids make a huge difference? Will this type of training really work for me if I don’t use drugs?
A: Several years ago, Steve interviewed a colleague who trained with many of the legendary pros, including the Mentzer brothers, Danny Padilla, and Rory Leidelmeyer to name a few…[Read more…]
Q: Okay, your before and after photos at X-Rep.com are unreal. I can’t believe you made those changes in only one month, and my friends say you used drugs. What’s the truth? How did you do it, what kind of training did you do, and were drugs involved? Please be honest.
A: Trust us, no drugs were involved. Truth: Jonathan is a drug-free for life bodybuilder and Steve experimented with 5 milligrams of Dianabol once a day back in his early 20s—but after three weeks of dreams that his liver would explode, he stopped. BTW, he saw no visual improvement during those 3 weeks on that dosage.[Read more…]
Q: I get depressed when I read the bodybuilding magazines I’ve been handed down from my uncle. I’m 19 and weigh 185 with abs, but I see that the pro bodybuilders weigh anywhere from 250 to 280 pounds, and that’s at 3 percent bodyfat. I don’t want to take steroids, but it seems like that’s the only way to get impressive development, right?
A: If you’re looking for us to give you the okay to take drugs, you’re barking up the wrong tree. We love bodybuilding (the lifestyle, not necessarily the competitions); however, resorting to steroids to get an “impressive,” extremely muscular physique is not mandatory. Look at this shot of Jonathan…[Read more…]
Q: I was reading that because most bodybuilders do a lot of pressing, they shouldn’t do much direct triceps work. I do bench presses and incline presses for chest and overhead presses for shoulders, so isn’t that enough work for my triceps? I’m drug-free, so I don’t want to overtrain them.
A: Two things to consider:
1) MRI studies show that bench presses and overhead presses do hit the triceps, but mostly the medial and lateral heads; in other words, the bulkiest section of the triceps, the big long head, is almost totally neglected. [Read more…]