This shot of Freddy Ortiz from the early ‘60s shows his incredible genetics. Freddy often trained at the iconic Vince’s Gym in Studio City, California. [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been hitting it heavy for a few months, so I’m planning to switch to your 10×10 Mass Workout for a few weeks. I’ve done two workouts so far with 10X, and it feels great so far, and the pump is awesome. One problem I have is chins—there’s just no way I can do 10 sets of 10 reps with only 30 seconds of rest between. I know I can do pulldowns instead, but I believe chins are the superior back builder. Any suggestions?
A: You have a few choices. Famous Hollywood trainer, Vince “Iron Guru” Gironda, favored 8×8. You could try that instead of 10×10. Vince called that his “honest” muscle-building workout, and his trainees’ muscles got bigger, fuller shapes with 8×8.
One of the most famous proponents of the 10×10 method was our colleague, Olympic coach, and muscle-size-and-strength expert the late Charles Poliquin. Here was his advice to those who couldn’t manage 10×10 on chins…
The law of repeated efforts will enable you to develop the work capacity to perform all 10 sets… Start at 10 sets of 5 reps as your first goal so that you can accumulate volume. Then progress to 10 sets of 6, and so on.
So once you get all 10 sets—or almost all—for 5 reps, add a rep at our next workout so you attempt 10×6. Keep striving to bump up your rep count…
Also, there’s no hard-and-fast rule that 30 seconds is the ideal between-sets rest. You can use 45 seconds or even one minute. For sarcoplasmic-expansion stress—building the energy fluid in the fibers—which is what 10×10 is all about, one minute should be the limit…
As for your comment that chins are better than pulldowns, maybe not better—just different. Pulldowns allow you to angle your torso for a unique lat-fiber hit. There’s really no way to angle your torso on chins to vary the stress on your back…
To get a best-of-both worlds double hit, you could start a 10×10 sequence on chins, and when you can no longer get 10, move to pulldowns. You’ll have to experiment with the poundage so that your first set of pulldowns isn’t too easy but also not close to failure…
Say your chins go something like 10, 10, 10, 9. That’s four sets. Rest 30 seconds, then move to pulldowns. Your reps should go something like 10, 10, 10, 9, 9, 8. And your lats will be thoroughly pumped from hitting two slightly different angles of pull. It’s a great double attack to get your back jacked…
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Mass-Building Lessons From the Master Trainer
Vince Gironda was the Iron Guru, a bodybuilding legend ahead of his time. His most famous pupil in the bodybuilding world was the very first Mr. Olympia Larry Scott, and he also trained many Hollywood stars back in the day, like Clint Eastwood, and even Arnold consulted with him and was a fan (even though Vince told Arnold that he was a “fat f**k” when he first arrived in the U.S.).
Many of Vince’s mass-building tricks and methods have been forgotten, buried by information and misinformation overload on the Internet, but now you can find them all, his true methods, in this must-have, 330-page Vince Gironda e-book anthology…
You get everything from “Train 21 Rest 7” to 10-8-6-15 to Vince’s Stone Age Nutrition, the 8×8 method and program and much, much more (remember, it’s 330 pages). And it’s on sale at a discount for a limited time: Simply use the code GIRONDA20 at checkout for an extra 20 percent off.
Vince Gironda: Legend & Myth (300-page anthology + many bonus gifts and programs) HERE
We’ve featured Danny Padilla in our Zen installments many times, but he had such a great, well-balanced, and inspiring physique that he’s worth flashing back on again. This is a great twisting-back stage shot that highlights his mass and symmetry, things his training style magnified… [Read more…]
Danny Padilla was “the Giant Killer” of pro bodybuilding back in the ‘80s. At only 5’2”, his symmetrical sculpted mass allowed him to beat bodybuilders who were much taller and larger than he was.
From the pic here, you can see why—no flaws anywhere. [Read more…]
Dorian Yates won his first of six Mr. Olympia titles in 1992. His huge, grainy physique was the next step up from the more aesthetic previous Mr. O, Lee Haney… [Read more…]
One reason Arnold is considered by many to be the greatest bodybuilder of all time is that he could look shockingly massive or aesthetically sculpted, as in this photo. [Read more…]
This impressive shot of Mike Mentzer was a poster that Steve had on his wall in his late teens for motivation… [Read more…]
Mohammed Makkawy is one of the greatest short bodybuilders of all time. At only 5’3”, the Egyptian-born athlete defeated men much taller with his proportioned, no-weak-points physique… [Read more…]
Q: This is it! I started using The 10×10 Mass Workout a little while ago, and I’ve gained 3 pounds in 3 weeks, all muscle. If I keep this up, I can easily gain 20 pounds of muscle in the next few months. Thank you for showing me the best mass-building program ever.
A: While that’s not a question, we feel obligated to respond. First, we’re glad you’re making such spectacular progress with 10×10. Gaining 3 pounds in 3 weeks is very impressive, so keep using it till your gains slow down or stop… [Read more…]
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…]