This photo taken in the ’50s shows the classic lines of Steve Reeves that made him a perfect movie Hercules. The man had excellent genetics, and not just in the looks department. Check out at his wide V taper, small waist and long calves… [Read more…]
Q: Your Positions-of-Flexion mass training is great! Using the 3D Muscle Building e-book and workouts, I’ve designed different programs for myself with the three-exercises full-range stimulation, and I credit POF with the 50 pounds of muscle I’ve built over the years. Thank you. My question is, What do you think about starting with the stretch-position exercise for each POF bodypart routine? Stretch is one of the biggest mass stimulators because of that muscle elongation, so why not start with it?
A: Your question reminded us that years ago we experimented with the stretch-move-first method, and it produced such good gains that a video was created, “Hypercontraction Training.”
For example, you train a few sets of FLYES first for pec stretch overload. Then you work bench presses (midrange) and end with cable crossovers (contracted)… [Read more…]
Q: You’ve mentioned Stage Sets. What are those, and should I use them to get more size? Also, are Smith-machine squats a midrange exercise for quads or hamstrings in the Positions-of-Flexion mass-training system? I’ve seen it classified as both.
A: We discuss Stage Sets as one of our favorite X-hybrid techniques in Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building, along with Double-X Overload and X-Fade. We first tried Stage Sets after reading about them in one of Ellington Darden’s High-Intensity Training books back in the ’80s. So what the heck is a Stage Set? [Read more…]
Bill Pearl is a four-time professional Mr. Universe winner (1956, ’61, ’67 and ’71). He retired after that last win and achieved that victory at the age of 41. [Read more…]
We’ve discussed Arnold’s biceps peak and his full-range workout—standing curls, incline curls, concentration curls—a few times in this newsletter.
While most bodybuilders did concentration curls seated with their arm braced against the inside of their thigh, Arnold preferred a standing version… [Read more…]
Rachel McLish was the very first Ms. Olympia winner way back in 1980. Her symmetrical physique, not to mention her head-turning beauty, catapulted her into the public eye and established women’s bodybuilding as a brand-new sport. [Read more…]
Q: After reading some of your previous newsletters, I’ve been thinking about trying your 10×10 method. It sounds good, except I can’t get myself to accept using such a light weight. Will that really build muscle? I bench 300 pounds for a single, so that means I should use 180 pounds for 10×10. Man, how can that work?
A: You’re falling for the old the-heavier-you-go-the-more-you-grow myth. It’s been ingrained in all of us, but once you understand how muscle mass is created, you’ll know that you can build a lot of size with more moderate poundages and short rests—like with 10×10 or 4X… [Read more…]
Q: I love 4X training. It’s gotten me bigger than I’ve ever been, but my gains have leveled off. I’m thinking about doing the last set in stage style for more intensity. Do you think that will work? Any tips if I try it?
A: We love experimentation. It can make good gains great, so we say try it on for SIZE…
Let’s start by explaining the 4X method for our new readers who aren’t familiar: You pick a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10; rest 30 to 45 seconds, then do 10 more—and so on until you complete four sets. If you get 10 reps on your last set, you add weight to that exercise at your next workout…. [Read more…]
Q: I’ve read a lot of Mike Mentzer’s high-intensity info, and he said that the pump didn’t matter as far as muscle growth is concerned. He said a lot of the biggest powerlifters never get a pump yet carry a lot of mass. So shouldn’t heavy sets be the core of a mass-building routine?
A: Mentzer was partially right—but leaning more toward being mostly wrong. You don’t need a pump IF you’re only after primarily myofibrillar growth (strength). The myofibrils are the strands of actin and myosin inside the muscle fiber. Those grab onto each other to generate force. Training heavy increases their size and your strength—but science is finding that they are more about producing strength with less-than-stellar effects on muscle size… [Read more…]
Q: I was browsing through old training articles on your site and noticed that you guys sometimes include dumbbell pullovers in your triceps routine. What’s up with that?!
A: While the dumbbell pullover is an excellent stretch-position move for the lats in Positions-of-Flexion mass training, it’s also one of the best exercises for the long head of the triceps. That’s the section that really fills out the back of the upper arm and gives it that eye-popping sweep when it’s down by your side or up flexing your peak. [Read more…]