In a recent article, we discussed how inflicting more muscle trauma requires more recovery time. If you do enough damage, you may only need once-a-week training for each muscle. And if you slow down and use the right techniques, your workouts will still be relatively short… [Read more…]
Q: I have almost all of your e-books, and I’ve learned more from them than I have from anywhere else in the 10 years I’ve been training. Thank you. I just got The 4X Mass Workout and had a question: You always say “change to gain,” but you tend to use the same few exercises in a lot of your programs. Shouldn’t I switch moves often to gain mass, like use dumbbells instead of a barbell?
A: While variation is important, you need to focus on the exercises that you feel the most. That’s especially true for weak bodyparts, which tend to lag due to inadequate neuromuscular efficiency, or nerve-to-muscle connections. A good example for us, and most bodybuilders, is upper chest exercises. [Read more…]
Q: Before the start of my spring/summer job a month ago, my muscle development was progressing nicely. I was using your Positions of Flexion and X-Rep techniques on my three-days-a-week split: chest/bi’s, legs, and back/tri’s. My strength-and-size gains were steadily increasing. Then I started my summer job, and I was a lot sorer after my workouts, I take longer to recover, and I’m losing the size I had in my arms. The job is 40 hours a week of outdoor physical labor. I thought that by eating frequently with adequate protein and eight hours of sleep each night, I’d be fine, but that’s not working. Do you have any suggestions to help get me back on the muscle-building track, especially in the arm department?
A: A demanding physical-labor job can make it more difficult to grow, but not impossible. Even a high-pressure office job presents a similar problem: too much stress. It’s similar to being a hardgainer with low recovery ability and high cortisol output: You have to find the right balance and workload so you don’t overtrain, which means you sometimes have to cut back to grow. [Read more…]