We’ve featured Danny Padilla in our Zen installments many times, but he had such a great, well-balanced, and inspiring physique that he’s worth flashing back on again. This is a great twisting-back stage shot that highlights his mass and symmetry, things his training style magnified… [Read more…]
This impressive shot of Mike Mentzer was taken by Wayne Gallasch on a beach in Australia. It really captures Mike’s herculean mass that captivated the bodybuilding world back in the 1970s… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been working out for a couple of years now pretty hard. I’m feeling frustrated because I’ve been tall and skinny my whole life: 6’2″ and 170 pounds. I just can’t seem to put on any muscle. Is it a possibility that a person just can’t build muscle no matter what they do? I receive your e-zine and read about other people’s gains, so I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong or maybe I’m genetically incapable of going from twig to big.
A: You will put on muscle—convince yourself of that; however, you’re in the skinny ectomorph boat with Steve, so you must be realistic, not frustrated. He weighed 120 pounds when he started weight training, and it took time for him to twig to big and looking like a bodybuilder—but even now he doesn’t look all that big in clothes. [Read more…]
Q: I totally agree with your Power-Density mass-building ideas. For density work, you’ve suggested multi-rep rest/pause, but 3 heavy sets with only 15 seconds of rest between them really wipes me out, especially on legs. I’m dead for the rest of my workout. Is there something less taxing I can use for density up front?
A: First, we want to applaud you for realizing the importance of DENSITY, or endurance, work. Missing that get-bigger trigger is why most wanna-be-big bodybuilders grow so slow. They think it’s all about training heavy ONLY to gain more size… [Read more…]
Danny Padilla was known for his classic, no-flaws physique. His nickname was “the Giant Killer” because at only 5’2” his perfect mass-symmetry combo allowed him to beat bodybuilders who were much taller and larger than he was. [Read more…]
This classic shot of Vince Gironda, the legendary Iron Guru, was taken way back in the 1950s. His aesthetic physique, with its symmetry, lines, and rippedness, holds up today. Yep, even now most guys would kill to walk down the beach looking like Vince… [Read more…]
Jim Haislop won the Mr. America in 1968. His incredible symmetry, proportion,
When he competed at 5’11”, he weighed in at around 210 pounds with a 32” waist and true 19” arms…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been lifting for about 1 1/2 years, trying to build a mass base, but it’s just not happening very fast. I like the idea of 3D Positions of Flexion [training each muscle in its midrange, stretch, and contracted positions], but almost everyone I talk to says to stick to only the big, basic exercises and forget about isolation moves. Should I just continue using the big basics and hope I build size and strength, or is now the time for me to try 3D POF?
A: Using only the big, basic exercises, what we call midrange-position moves like squats for quads, is fine for, say, a six-week phase every so often (like winter); however, we firmly believe that those who make big gains using only big exercises have an abundance of pure fast-twitch fibers and exceptional nerve-to-muscle connections (neuromuscular efficiency). They are genetically gifted, unlike the majority…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been reading your e-zine for years, and I have almost all of your e-books. Great info, and thanks to you I have a lot of new muscle. 3D POF is great! My question is about rep ranges. You’ve talked about using lower reps, medium reps, and higher reps. I’ve read that the key to muscle growth is intensity, and that rep ranges don’t really matter. Can’t I just keep doing about eight to 10 reps, the best range for muscle growth, on all my exercises and train intensely, to failure, to make the best gains? Do I really need different rep ranges?
A: While intensity is the big key to forcing muscle growth, there is no doubt that the predominant fiber type in a particular muscle dictates its best rep range for fastest size gains.[Read more…]
Q: I’m testing your 4X variations [Shock-centric, 4X Pyramid, etc. from one of your recent newsletters]. Great stuff! Isn’t another way to get more mass simply to add sets by increasing the volume to 5X or more on any exercise?
A: Yes, volume increases, as in tacking on sets to 4X so you’re doing 5X or 6X, can boost mass gains—to a point. It’s a lot like tanning: To get darker, you can increase exposure time. The problem is diminishing returns… [Read more…]