Arnold was arguably the greatest bodybuilder ever, but when he came out of retirement in 1980 to enter the Mr. Olympia in Australia, many thought he tarnished his legend status… [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…]
Arnold was revered for his arms, particularly his sky-high biceps—but check out Arnold’s delts in the photo below. They were really popping that day. [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: I just got The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout and The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout. Tremendous. I’ve already read them both twice. Undoubtedly the best bodybuilding info I’ve ever seen. I noticed that in the programs in both e-books, you rely a lot on pyramiding the weight on the compound exercises. Is that better than just using the same poundage on all work sets and going to exhaustion?
A: With the type of training we list in those e-books, we believe adding weight to each work set so that the rep count decreases—9, 7, 5, for instance—is ideal to build BOTH mega mass and strength for three reasons… [Read more…]
Q: I’m putting in more hours at work to make ends meet, so I don’t have a lot of time to train. I can get to the gym three days a week. I really want to start The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout [that uses only the Ultimate Exercise for each muscle group]. My problem is that I’m not convinced the 10×10 method will work. As much as I want to try the routine, I’m not sure I’m convinced that using lighter weights can really build muscle.
A: For the uninitiated, 10×10 is taking a weight you can get 20 reps with, but you only do 10. You rest for 30 seconds, then you do 10 more and so on until you complete 10 sets of 10 reps. The first sets are easy—almost too easy—but the last few sets are severe, and the pump is unreal. [Read more…]
Q: I want to thank you for putting together the Freak-Physique e-book. What a blockbuster resource of training information and programs. I’m using the 3D Power Pyramid Program. The quote from the trainee who gained so much muscle and strength in only a few weeks using it got me stoked. My question is, I’m more of a train-each-bodypart-once-a-week guy, so can I use it that way instead of training each bodypart twice a week? If so, how should I adjust it?
A: First, you picked a great program. We get lots of positive feedback on the 3D Power Pyramid because it’s simple Positions-of-Flexion methodology but you add weight over three sets on the big midrange move (pyramid), and do only one set each of the stretch- and contracted-position exercises. It’s basically a POF strength-building workout with a big muscle-size side effect. [Read more…]
We’ve both lived in a beach town—Steve still does—and nothing fuels workouts more than summertime near the ocean. You know you’re going to be hitting the sand (or lake or pool) more than a few times, so you better be hitting the gym hard. [Read more…]
Q: I like the standard two-way split, working each muscle group twice a week, as in the 3D Power Pyramid Program in Freak-Physique Stretch-Overload e-book—that’s my favorite routine so far. Could I use that as an HIT program and just do one work set per exercise?
A: Yes, you can apply the HIT one-work-set-per-exercise idea to almost any of the programs in that e-book. In fact, we’ve had a few trainees say that the 3D Power Pyramid feels like too much work to them (hardgainer types), in which case we suggest simply spacing out the workouts a bit—use them in the sequence they are presented, but train on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday instead of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
That way, the bodyparts that get hit on Wednesday of the first week get trained only once that week, but they get hit twice the following week (Monday and Friday). That’s known as Rotation for Recuperation, and it works well for recovery-challenged trainees. [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…]