In the last training newsletter, I looked at a new meta-analysis that determined the best number of sets per week and optimal intensity for hypertrophy… [Read more…]
Respected hypertrophy and strength researcher Chris Beardsley has a thought-provoking insight on training to failure… [Read more…]
This last installment on damage control will circle back to #1: training to failure, a controversial topic…
Here are the damage factors again—too much of which can derail growth… [Read more…]
A few newsletters back I discussed how pushing sets close, but not quite, to failure is best for optimal mass stimulation…
The rationale is that if you always push to all-out gut-busing failure, you over traumatize your muscles and nervous system, causing slow growth, which eventually triggers systemic exhaustion… [Read more…]
The longer I’m in this bodybuilding maze, the clearer it becomes that everyone responds differently due to unique needs.
Sure, there are some basic facts about efficient hypertrophy you should adhere to, like the best mass-building resistance curve on any exercise is hardest at stretch and easiest at contraction… [Read more…]
Q: Researchers James Steele and James Fisher, based in the UK, claim one to two full-body workouts with compound lifts for one or two sets to failure will get you 98 percent of the results you’re after. They claim the angles of movements, or biomechanics, make little to no difference as long as the muscle reaches failure. What are your thoughts on this? What do you think about the compound lifts?
A: Using specific compound exercises to failure, or close, will of course trigger some hypertrophy.
The best compound exercise would put the target muscle as the prime mover and achieve a full range of motion (ROM) for that muscle. So some are better than others… [Read more…]
Q: Your less-intense approach to build more mass makes sense from a physiological standpoint. I tried it using the Old Man, Young Muscle workouts, and the pump was still awesome. I felt very energized after. I felt so good, I started wondering if I should be doing more sets. What do you think?
A: Adding sets is tricky because it depends on a lot of factors, particularly your recovery ability…
At my age, which is 63 (birthday this month—gifts welcome), I find three sets to be my limit, although I sometimes do four for stubborn muscles, like chest.
So I’m old, plus I have skinny genetics—which can also limit recovery. It’s a double whammy…
Even so, 2019 Drug-Free Mr. Universe Doug Brignole, who is my age with much better genetics, has also found that for each muscle, three sets is best…
He says he’s growing much faster since cutting back and is so excited that he may compete again—at age 63; however…
For stubborn muscles, like his side-delt heads, Doug will do a couple of drops on his third set…
In other words, he does that last set, immediately reduces the weight, does a few more reps, reduces the weight again, and cranks out one last set.
And he—and I—now stop all sets short of failure, even the drops. No writhing around to try for one last nerve-frying rep…
Those are a few options—either add a set for your stubborn muscles or try drops on your third set.
If you have fairly good recovery, you may get away with doing both for your stragglers—add a fourth set plus drops.
But always monitor your progress. That means to keep your eye on the prize, which is more muscle size.
New: Get the ideal exercise for each muscle, the best add-on moves for ultimate mass, complete 35-minute workouts, exercise start/finish photos and details on building muscle fast and efficiently in Old Man, Young Muscle.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Testosterone prescriptions do more HARM than good for older men
Millions of men are struggling with the problems associated with low-T in today’s world, such as extra belly and chest fat, low energy and stamina, lack of sexual desire, ED problems, and loss of muscle.
Sadly, millions of men also turn to Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) to try to overcome these problems and try to feel like a new man again…BUT there are some VERY concerning problems with TRT that every man NEEDS to know.
After reading the article below, you might want to consider alternate routes of boosting your T levels naturally instead of through something that’s potentially as harmful as TRT…
–> Why Testosterone Replacement Therapy can do more HARM than good (for any ladies reading this, please pass this on to your husband or boyfriend if they are using or have considered using TRT)
Yesterday I talked about training to failure and how it can have a negative effect on your nervous system, making each set after the first less efficient at stimulating mass.
A hammered nervous system doesn’t allow enough “juice” to engage the high-threshold motor units, which control the fast-twitch growth fibers.
Solution: [Read more…]