Two legendary Mr. Olympias of the past couple of decades are pictured below, Ronnie Coleman (left) and Jay Cutler (right). (Bill Comstock photo). [Read more…]
Q: X-Reps are giving me some wicked-awesome mass gains. The extra pump and burn I get from [those end-of-set partials] is hot! But I was thinking that since they work so well, how about using only the short X-Rep range for all of my sets, without any full-range reps? Wouldn’t that give me some giant mass gains?
A: We first addressed X-Only sets in the X-Rep Update #1 e-book and even included a chapter on former Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler’s workout, which includes a lot of X-Only sets. Check out his X-Only Hammer Strength machine inclines (photos courtesy of Mitsuru Okabe)… [Read more…]
Q: I’m an avid reader of your e-books as well as your website. I’ve been experimenting recently with a heavy set to failure (approximately 10 reps), adding X-Rep partials to the end. Then I do a second X-Only set, often with added weight. This is an excellent trigger for growth, especially if you warm up using the DXO [Double-X Overload] technique. On the warmup set, I do anywhere from four to five X Reps between [full-range] reps, and the burn is incredible! That [combination] has had such a strong effect on my body, that I now have some stretch marks appearing. I’m definitely getting much more muscular while dropping fat. Another thing I’ve been experimenting with is shortening the stroke of X Reps, to the point where I’m almost doing a static hold. I just pulse out very small partial reps. Which brings me to static holds. Research shows subjects adding a few pounds of muscle after only one workout, but that workout was followed by two weeks of rest. Surely two weeks off between workouts is ridiculous. I was wondering how you stand on recovery time and static holds?
A: Thanks for the feedback and your confidence in our methods. We discuss a lot of what you’re discovering and experimenting with in our X-Rep Update #1 e-book. Former Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler used a lot of X-Only sets, as we discuss in Chapter 5, Mr. O’s Wild X-O Workouts. Notice Cutler’s short stroke on this exercise…[Read more…]
Q: Incredible interview with [Mr. America] Doug Brignole in the Power-Density e-book. So cool that he has studied kinesiology and physiology and determined the number-one best exercise for each muscle. He said decline dumbbell presses are the best chest exercise for overall mass. Does he ever use barbell declines or Hammer-machine decline presses, which bring your hands from a wide stretch to close at the top for a better pec contraction? Or what about dips? [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been on the basic Positions-of Flexion biceps and triceps routines you outline in 3D Muscle Building. I’m getting spectacular pumps, and I think my arms have grown already. I’m ready to go to all the POF routines in 3D for all my bodyparts. My question is on biceps. I don’t really feel concentration curls. Is there another ending [contracted-position] exercise I can do instead to help build 3D arms?
A: For the uninitiated, Positions of Flexion is training each bodypart through its full range. For example, for biceps, it’s barbell curls (midrange), incline curls (stretch), and concentration curls (contracted). [Read more…]
Q: I read in one of your previous articles where you mentioned that you sometimes do Stage Sets. What are Stage Sets, and is that a good mass technique for me?
A: Many years ago, even before we developed X-Rep partials, we noticed that every time we introduced Stage Sets to our workouts, we got sudden muscularity and vascularity increases—and now we know why: The technique is essentially a unique type of X overload—an intense out-of-the-blocks blast right at the max-force point where the target muscle is semi-stretched, like near the bottom of an incline press… [Read more…]
“You gotta feel the muscle working if you want it to grow.” So say many of the biggest, freakiest bodybuilders. Trainees in search of big and ripped muscle interpret that to mean that they need to slow down their reps to a snail’s pace. Not true. Once again, it’s a case of watch, don’t ask, or you could go down the wrong road. The champs rarely do slow reps; usually they’re more like the pistons in a car engine. So what the heck do they mean by “feel the muscle?” [Read more…]