Lee Labrada never won the Mr. Olympia, but he got close due to his incredible symmetry, proportions, and muscle size and density. An Iron Man editor (Steve) gave him the monicker “Mass With Class” back in the ‘80s for good reason–his physique was a work of art (photo by Michael Neveux)… [Read more…]
Q: I’m intrigued by the Super TORQ ultra-high-rep approach. But I’m also making great gains with your standard 3-exercise Positions of Flexion training. Can I use his method on one of the three exercises for each bodypart in the POF routine, or would that be too much?
A: If you’ve read the interview with Doug Brignole in The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0 and checked out his program there, you can see that he only does ONE key exercise for each target muscle with that extreme high-rep approach…[Read more…]
Q: In 4X Mass Workout 2.0 you describe the high-rep [TORQ] method, going 30-20-15 in reps with short rests between. Sometimes I can’t get 30. Either I pick a weight that’s a little too heavy or I just fatigue too quickly. What should I do?
A: What you’re trying to do with TORQ—tension overload repetition quantity—is reach the upper area of the optimal hypertrophic tension time—60 to 90 seconds.
Q: I’ve been using an X-centric set [lift in one second, lower in six] for every muscle and have noticed more cuts, veins, and I’m pretty sure more muscle size. I usually use it on the last set of a 4X sequence, but I’ve heard it’s better on the first set to get more of a warmup. Which is better, the X-centric set on the first or last set of 4X?
A: In a previous newsletter, we outlined how to use an X-centric set on the last set of a 4X sequence with The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout. We showed a lat routine with 4X on the first exercise.[Read more…]
Q: I love the 4X Workout method. It’s opened my eyes to a new way to build mass. I notice that you guys often superset opposing muscles with 4X, like forearm extensors (top) and flexors (underside), going back and forth. Can I do that with other opposing muscle groups, like biceps and triceps to save time and get a bigger pump?
A: We addressed that question in the Q&A section of the 4X Mass Workout e-book. The answer is, opposing-muscle-group supersets work great with the 4X method—as long as the exercises don’t force you to stop your sets from cardiovascular failure as opposed to muscular exhaustion… [Read more…]
Q: I tried Arnold’s method of using a high-rep set to end my major exercises, like bench presses, (Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout e-book, Chapter 1). But I’m just too fatigued to feel the target muscle on that last set. After reading about Doug Brignole’s 50-40-30-20-10 method in Chapter 4, I was thinking about using that on an isolation exercise to feel the target muscle better, like crossovers for chest after bench. Is that a good idea?
A: It could be, but you left a lot of variables out. For example, how experienced are you? That amount of work may be too much. How many days per week are you training each muscle? If it’s once, that amount of volume may work well, if it’s twice, maybe not.[Read more…]
Q: You offer up the Brazilian study that shows doing a single high-rep set to failure before heavier lower-rep work produced more hypertrophy than standard training (multiple sets at 75% 1RM). But in the Ultimate Power/Density Mass Workout e-book, you mention that Arnold used a high-rep set LAST—a “burn-out” set. So which way is better, high-rep set first or high-rep set to finish?
A: A good observation, but there’s something missing in your description of what Arnold used to do. Go back to the Power-Density e-book and read it again—Arnold typically used a pyramid, adding weight to each set. And on his first set, he used a light weight for 15 reps, then a SLIGHTLY heavier weight for set 2 so he got 12 reps…[Read more…]
We get the stronger = bigger question a lot—and there’s no question that getting stronger will build some size—note that we said “some.” To clarify, here’s an excerpt from our best-selling e-book The Super-Size Crash Course…
“One of the biggest reasons muscle growth is so slow in most cases is the simplistic myth that strength equals superior size. There’s more to it than that. Trying to move big weights for a few reps does very little for ultimate muscle size. Are you shaking your head? Check this out…[Read more…]
Q: I notice that you guys often use a double-drop set on the last one when you do TORQ. I love that muscle maker variation, and it appears it’s gotten me bigger in the past few weeks. Do you have any other ways to vary that method?
A: To refresh memories, TORQ is tension-overload repetition quantity… [Read more…]
Q: I have the new Size Surge Workout 2.0, and I like the idea of adding a unique finisher to top off the pump and stimulate new growth. You suggest using a different exercise than was used in each 3-exercise Positions-of-Flexion bodypart routine, such as ending quads with leg presses, and to do it in negative or speed style. What about using Pre-Exhaustion as you’ve been discussing recently instead—like finishing off quads with a leg extension-leg press superset, one round?
A: We like that idea a lot. The idea of isolating the target muscle and then immediately blasting it further past the growth threshold with the help of other muscles is an almost magical mass-building method. And the huge pump you get with Pre-Ex is unreal… [Read more…]