John Grimek, at 5’ 8 1/2” and around 220 pounds, was one of the most massive bodybuilders of his era. He was the AAU Mr. American in 1940 and ’41, and at age 38 he beat Steve Reeves for the 1948 NABBA Mr. Universe. He retired from competition the next year.
Q: Your higher-rep TORQ (tension overload repetition quantity) method is unreal. It’s given me new size in every muscle after only three weeks. I use your [3-way] Positions of Flexion, and I TORQ on one of the 3 moves. I switch it up with regular 4X and heavy pyramids. My question is, Should I add weight on each set when I use TORQ [30-20-15 reps]?
A: Mixing it up is great for ultimate mass, as we’ll explain. As for adding weight to each TORQ set, that’s going to depend on the exercise and where your TORQ move falls in the POF bodypart routine… [Read more…]
Q: I’m making great strides in muscle gains with the 4X mass method from your newsletters. I do 10 to 12 reps per set, but I’ve seen that you sometimes recommend up to 30 reps. What’s up with that, and does that actually work for you guys?
A: We often use higher reps within the 4X-sequence framework, and it’s done amazing things for us and many of our trainees. [Read more…]
There was a period in competitive bodybuilding when art and aesthetics ruled. The gargoyles were not winning, and Frank Zane, pictured below was more than okay with that… [Read more…]
Q: I’m getting excellent results with 4X mass training. Sometimes my workouts go over an hour, which concerns me. I’ve heard that the hour mark is when testosterone becomes depleted. Many trainers say not to be in the gym over an hour or your T is shot. Should I cut back? What are your thoughts/solutions?
A: The one-hour testosterone-depletion scenario completely depends on your level of T (older trainees generally have less) and the workout you’re doing—the bodyparts you’re working, how much intensity you’re using and how many heavy all-out sets you’re including… [Read more…]
Q: You guys often use weight for ab work, but I don’t want to build up my abs because I don’t want a big muscular belly. Shouldn’t I do high reps to keep the muscle toned rather than growing? I want maximum abs from a detail standpoint, not size!
A: Your fear is a common misconception that can prevent fast, dramatic etched abs. The rectus abdominis is a long flat muscle. It CANNOT attain a lot of bulbous mass no matter how much weight you use and how hard you train it.
(Note: The protruding bellies you see on some pro bodybuilders are caused by drug use that bloats their internal organs.)… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been intrigued by the recent 10×10 newsletters and jumped in to give it a try. In your learned opinion, if one were to perform a reverse 10×10 using that technique with the maximum weight possible in decreasing amounts throughout the 10 sets, would it constitute overtraining and negate the activation of the type-2A muscle fibers’ endurance component? I was thinking you would get at both the “power” AND the “endurance” functions of the type 2As better this way. I would only use each big Ultimate Exercise for every bodypart [as outlined in the 10×10 e-program].
A: A reverse 10×10 pyramid means you reduce the weight on each set. And you do each of those 10 sets of 10 reps to exhaustion. First, that’s 10-all-out-sets approach is a very different animal than standard 10×10 style, which is taking a weight you can do 20 with, but you only do 10, rest 30 seconds, do 10 more, and so on till you complete 10 sets—first sets are easy, last few are brutal. [Read more…]
Q: I’m having trouble with decline bench press (midrange position for chest). I get 10 reps on my first work set and eight on the second. I’ve tried to do X-Rep partials at the end of the second set, pulsing below the midpoint, but I was too weak. I didn’t have any strength left to do X Reps. Is there something I’m doing wrong? Why am I weak at that point? Also, on some exercises, I fail at 10 reps on the first set and then can barely do six reps on the second. Is that normal?
A: X Reps are difficult for different people on different exercises. It depends on individual neuromuscular efficiency in each specific target muscle. You may have that type of weakness in your pecs or one of the synergist muscles (triceps or front delts on press moves) if you struggle with decline bench press… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve read that you can tense your muscles enough so that you can essentially pose to grow. But there’s no resistance involved at all, so I really don’t see how that’s possible. What do you guys think?
A: We used to be skeptical too, but we always notice that as we begin getting in shape and start flexing more as we check our progress (whether it’s in front of a camera or our bathroom mirrors), our muscularity increases quickly.
We thought it was just a coincidence, and that our training and diet were primarily responsible for our accelerated gains—and we were probably right for the most part. But a study we’ve discussed before suggests that flexing a muscle for extended periods does indeed help make your muscles larger and more detailed… [Read more…]
Q: In the 3D HIT program [listed in the X-traordinary Arms e-book], you say to end each bodypart with one slow, higher-rep set of an isolation exercise for tension and occlusion. You also mention drop sets for those exercises. Which is better, one higher-rep set or a drop set?
A: Keep in mind that doing a drop set is a volume increase because it’s two sets back to back. For example, on concentration curls for biceps, you do a set of 10 reps to exhaustion, grab a lighter dumbbell, and immediately rep out again, getting about six more reps. Is that better than one set of 12-15 reps? That depends…[Read more…]