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…]
You already know that some type of overload is necessary for growth-fiber thickening. That’s called myofibrillar size.
The strands in the muscle fiber enlarge, giving you bigger muscles. Heavier loads can produce that…[Read more…]
Many bodybuilders antagonize over their slow muscle growth, but working out smart, not just hard, will gradually transform your physique…
Still, the determining factor in how your physique will look is genetics, plain and simple—case in point teenage Mike Mentzer. Check out his physique in his late teens (below left) and how he looked at the peak of his bodybuilding career at age 30.[Read more…]
Q: How do you feel about one-arm and one-leg work? I’ve read that training one side at a time can help you contract more muscle fibers. Is that true?
A: We’ve seen studies that show unilateral work to be better at neuromuscular stimulation and therefore heightened muscle-fiber activation. Our main problem with one-limb exercises is time and energy expenditure.
Working one arm or one leg at a time takes
Q: I was reading one of your newsletters I saved, and you were talking about how bad it was to see people using fast moves with ballistic reps in the gym. But I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you guys recommend fast reps recently. What’s the deal—are they good or bad?
A: There is research showing that a faster tempo can help engage more fast-twitch growth fibers; however, our speed, or X-celeration, method is not throwing the weights… [Read more…]
Q: I do four-week phases of different workouts from your various e-books. That strategy works great for me. I’ve gained 10 pounds of muscle in three months, and that’s after training consistently for 10 years. I’m getting ready to start the Modified Pre-Ex 3X Mass Workout. After all the positive talk about TORQ, I was thinking about using that on the first exercise, the isolation move. Is that a good idea for building new muscle mass?
A: Absolutely. We’ve talked about that before, and we used to use TORQ-ed up modified Pre-Ex as a shock tactic in our old Freaky Friday workouts… [Read more…]
Q: I’m reading the Super-Size e-book. Jordon’s 18-pound muscle gain is inspiring and a great story, but I’m 45 years old. He’s in his teens. I don’t think I can train heavy even at every other workout the way he did. Should I try it, even at my age? I got great gains with The Anabolic After-40 Muscle-Size Manual, but this one has me intrigued to see if I can get big during my next training phase.
Q: Your Progressive-Speed 4X method (from The Super-Size Crash Course) sounds like a killer mass method. As Coach Charles Poliquin used to say, changing tempo is a legit way to get new gains in muscle growth. But I’m into heavy training now, so I don’t want to start my work sets with a light [1/6 tempo] X-centric set. Can I do X-centric last?
A: You don’t have to use Progressive-Speed 4X for new gains as we outline—with an X-centric set first (lifting in one second, lowering in six)… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using a drop on my last set, and I do speed reps on that lighter drop. It works great for finishing an exercise, but I’m wondering if I should do it on stretch-position movements, like stiff-legged deadlifts for hamstrings or overhead extensions for triceps? It seems like the proven anabolic effects of stretch with the fiber shock of speed reps would be an excellent mass combo.
A: X-celeration, or speed, sets are much more dangerous with stretch-position exercises because the target muscle is fully elongated. That said, we do use it from time to time, but not with a 1.5-second-per-rep tempo. It’s more like a 1/1 or even 1/2—lift in one second and lower in one or two seconds. [Read more…]
Q: I tried DP 4X (downward-progression 4X) on my big midrange exercise with a speed drop set after the last one. Wow, what an amazing feel and pump. I do behind-the-neck presses for delts. Can I use speed sets on those too if I’m careful?
A: You could—but you may end up needing rotator cuff surgery… [Read more…]