I’ve mentioned the friend I began training with back when we were 14 and continued through high school. Bill was thinner than I was, so he eventually figured out that bodybuilding wasn’t for him. instead, he transitioned to mountain biking and rock climbing… [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: Isn’t it true that you activate the most muscle fibers in the flexed position, like at the top of a leg extension or leg curl? I know that [Nautilus creator] Arthur Jones said that. So shouldn’t I really flex at the top of those isolation-type exercises? Come to think of it, why should I do compound exercises [like squats] at all? Isolating the muscle appears to be the logical way to stimulate the muscle growth best.
A: We respect the late Arthur Jones and value much of his research, theories, and opinions (Steve met him many years ago in Florida); however, newer research states the contrary—that the contracted, or flexed, position of an exercise is not where the most force/fiber activation occurs—it’s the bottom, where the target muscle is somewhat stretched. Here’s a quote from respected scientists Steven J. Fleck, Ph.D., and William J. Kraemer, Ph.D., that makes the point (we’ll put their statements in simpler terms in a moment): [Read more…]