This is the continuation of a story Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus machines, relayed on the subject of muscle gain, overtraining, and recovery in the February/March 1972 issue of Muscle Training Illustrated. [Read more…]
I want to revisit something I called attention to in a past newsletter: the volume threshold for muscle growth. To review…
According to Richard Winett, Ph.D., a recent joining together of experts from multiple countries looked at empirical studies and systematic reviews on muscle hypertrophy… [Read more…]
Q: After reading your new page, I’m not sure 35-minute workouts three days a week can build muscle. Wouldn’t it take more time and more than a couple of sets per muscle to get the fastest gains possible?
A: According to Richard Winett, Ph.D., a recent joining together of experts from multiple countries looked at empirical studies and systematic reviews on muscle hypertrophy… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using the modified pre-exhaustion method every other workout [from the Pre-Ex 3X e-book]. I’m not supersetting; I just do the isolation exercise first for a 4X sequence, then I do the compound [midrange] exercise after that with 4X. I just got your 4X Mass Workout 2.0. I really like the high-rep [TORQ] idea. What do you think about using that [30-20-15 3X sequence] on the isolation exercise for modified pre-ex?
A: We speak from experience when we say this iso-TORQ method produces a crazy pump—and you’ll feel the target muscle on the big midrange move better than ever. This is one of our favorite super-growth stimulators. Get close to failure with 30 reps, rest 45 seconds, go to failure at 20; rest 45 seconds, go to failure for 15+ reps…[Read more…]
Q: Your 4X mass method has 35 to 45 seconds rest between sets. I’ve seen research that longer rests between sets can be better for strength and muscle growth. What’s your take on that?
A: Legendary trainer Vince Gironda, the Iron Guru who trained Mr. Olympias as well as Hollywood stars to build muscle fast, first got us into reducing rest between sets for muscle growth—he called it Density Training…[Read more…]
Q: I tried Arnold’s method of using a high-rep set to end my major exercises, like bench presses, (Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout e-book, Chapter 1). But I’m just too fatigued to feel the target muscle on that last set. After reading about Doug Brignole’s 50-40-30-20-10 method in Chapter 4, I was thinking about using that on an isolation exercise to feel the target muscle better, like crossovers for chest after bench. Is that a good idea?
A: It could be, but you left a lot of variables out. For example, how experienced are you? That amount of work may be too much. How many days per week are you training each muscle? If it’s once, that amount of volume may work well, if it’s twice, maybe not.[Read more…]
Q: You offer up the Brazilian study that shows doing a single high-rep set to failure before heavier lower-rep work produced more hypertrophy than standard training (multiple sets at 75% 1RM). But in the Ultimate Power/Density Mass Workout e-book, you mention that Arnold used a high-rep set LAST—a “burn-out” set. So which way is better, high-rep set first or high-rep set to finish?
A: A good observation, but there’s something missing in your description of what Arnold used to do. Go back to the Power-Density e-book and read it again—Arnold typically used a pyramid, adding weight to each set. And on his first set, he used a light weight for 15 reps, then a SLIGHTLY heavier weight for set 2 so he got 12 reps…[Read more…]
It’s always interesting to see studies that come out on muscle activation with varying protocols. One of particular interest is from the National Strength & Conditioning Association [May 29, ’15]…
It compared two protocol, but with the same time under tension and load, 60 percent of 1-rep max. The exercise was Smith-machine bench presses, and the subjects were experienced resistance trainers… [Read more…]