Q: I read with interest your explanation of [researcher] Chris Beardsley’s take on explosive movements. If he’s right and the 2X explosive fast-twitch fibers don’t have hypertrophy potential and explosive actions can cause a transition of other type 2 fibers into 2X, how do we explain the muscular quads and calves of sprinters? [Read more…]
Q: I remember a program years ago, I think it was called Cybergenics, that included explosive moves like jump squats. Do very fast reps increase muscle size like your Speed method?
A: You’re talking more plyometrics—ballistic reps. The Speed sets in Old Man, Young Muscle are just slightly faster regular sets using about a one-second lift and a one-second lowering—not explosive. [Read more…]
Q: I’m making some incredible progress using your Double-X Overload technique, but I wanted to let you know that I don’t just use it on my work sets. DXO works for warmup sets, too. I usually use it on at least one of my two warmup sets for the big [midrange] exercises, and I feel much stronger on my work sets. Great technique!
A: That’s a good tip. We love feedback from fellow weight trainers who think instead of just following the pack. One reason Double-X Overload (DXO) works so well on warmup sets is because of the enhanced occlusion and nervous system activation.
For those unfamiliar with DXO, it’s an X-Rep partial in the semi-stretch position between each full rep. That provides a slightly more explosive action, which has been shown to heighten nerve force (many top-level powerlifters do light, explosive sets for that very reason—it helps them lift more weight). [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’m making some incredible progress using your Double-X Overload technique, but I wanted to let you know that I don’t just use it on my work sets. DXO works for warmup sets, too. I usually use it on at least one of my two warmup sets for the big [midrange] exercises. I feel much stronger on my work sets. Great technique!
A: That’s a good tip. We love feedback from fellow weight trainers who think instead of just following the pack. One reason DXO works so well on warmup sets is because of the enhanced occlusion and nervous system activation.[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…]
Q: I just saw an interview with a top pro bodybuilder, and he said one of the keys to building mass is to explode at the bottom of every rep and attempt to move the positive rep as fast as possible. Are explosive reps a good idea? I’m afraid of getting injured.
A: The big pros are the genetic elite with superhuman muscle-fiber density, as well as ironclad tendons and ligaments. And don’t forget that many use growth hormone, which fortifies cartilage, tendons, and ligaments even more (that’s why many athletes use it—to quickly rehab soft-tissue injuries and prevent others from occurring in the gym and on the field.) [Read more…]