My friend and colleague Doug “Mr. Universe” Brignole recently said something that had me rewinding to years ago when I reported on a study that verified his point… [Read more…]
Q: Thank you for clearing up the muscle-growth mystery for me. I always believed in going heavier and heavier to get bigger. Now I know that’s only a small part of the puzzle. Working in the 4X method, X Reps, drop sets, and even some of your high-rep TORQ sets has already gotten me bigger in just a few weeks. My question is, Do you think some people get a better size response from power training and others get more size from density [endurance] work?
A: Absolutely. As we mentioned in a previous newsletter, the BIGGEST powerlifters don’t train for sarcoplasmic (endurance fluid) expansion yet have good muscle size. That’s because they were big dudes in the first place, which may signify more myofibril-building capacity. That would explain their extraordinary strength. The myofibrils are the actin-myosin strands inside the muscle fiber that generate force, but for most trainees that’s not the key to ULTIMATE SIZE… [Read more…]
Q: Thanks for the X-centric Mass Workout! Mixing heavy work, negative-accentuated sets, and 4X has given me the best gains of my life. My bodyweight increased over 5 pounds, but my abs are sharper with veins in the lower part. I’m stoked, and the ladies seem to like it too. LOL! My question is about NA sets vs. negatives at the end of regular sets. After two heavy sets, you say to reduce the weight on the last set for an NA set on the big exercise [like bench presses]. Couldn’t I just keep the weight heavy and add four to six negatives at the end of that last set? I feel like I need another heavy set. I have a partner, so he could lift and I could lower on the negatives. I think Mike Mentzer recommended this style.
A: In his prime, Mentzer actually recommended a 3-phase set to get big and ripped…[Read more…]
Q: I got your Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0, and I really like the 3-way split of the Basic Workout. I also like doing only one or two exercises for each muscle with a power hit and a density hit at the same workout. My question is, I’m 48 years old and not sure I can handle pyramiding down to 5 reps on big exercises, so should I just do regular 8-rep sets to failure? These days my joints don’t like anything below 8 on most exercises.
A: That’s a good solution. For example, on chest-supported dumbbell rows for mid-back, your set sequence would be…[Read more…]
Q: Doing one high-rep set first before heavy sets is your MMX method for more fast-twitch fiber activation and growth. Isn’t that first high-rep set just a glorified warmup set?
A more accurate word is “focused” or “targeted.” Why? Because you get the benefits of multiple lighter warmup sets with that one slow-twitch-exhaustion (STX) set, using 20-plus reps to failure… [Read more…]
I love TORQ (Tension-Overload Repetition Quantity–30-20-15) high-rep sets. I’ve been using it on the isolated contracted-position exercise to finish off a muscle. Should I ever do it first, on the big midrange exercise?
Yes, and here’s why. [Read more…]