Talk about mass, this shot of Mike Mentzer by John Balik at Muscle Rock in Malibu has motivated both of us over the years. His sheer thickness and density in this pose are almost unreal… [Read more…]
Q: In the description of your new e-book [The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout], you mention that Arnold used X Reps. How is that even possible? He was training [at his peak] way back in the 1970s, and X Reps didn’t come around till the 2000s. What’s the deal?
A: We coined the X-Rep term about fifteen years ago, but partial-rep training has been around for ages in various forms. What we did was take the most recent research on semi-stretch-point fiber activation and zero in on the BEST spot on the stroke for end-of-set partials, or X Reps…
That key point on an exercise’s stroke is where the muscle can generate the most force, and you therefore activate the most muscle fibers for incredible growth stimulation…
In other words, at the end of a set, when you can no longer do full-range reps, you move the resistance to that key point and do short-range partials—for example near the bottom of a chinup, from just out of the arms-straight position up to just before the halfway point. Here’s Jonathan demonstrating X Reps on chins…
Now, if X Reps are so effective, why not do some all-X-Rep sets, or X-Only, for max-force overload? X-
Arnold would often hang weight around his waist, enough so he could do maybe two or three full reps, but instead, he would only do the bottom third of the range, a short-stroke X-Rep move in the range Jonathan is demonstrating above. It was a heavy, shock attack for his lats, getting an inordinate number of muscle fibers to fire against a big load. That did some pretty good things for his V-taper, lat width and sweep…
In the X-traordinary X-Rep e-book, we also discuss how he used stretch-position exercises, a key component of Positions-of-Flexion mass training, for most of his
Luckily, the former publisher of IRON MAN magazine and our good friend, John Balik, lived and trained with Arnold back in his heyday, so we have John’s memory of that incredible time in bodybuilding history to draw from. His recollections are very motivating, not to mention informative from a training standpoint. Here’s another shot John snapped of Arnold on the beach in Santa Monica, California, in the ’70s…
No doubt that Arnold was way ahead of his time in the muscle department, and with John’s help we learned why: Arnold had an incredible instinct for doing the right things in the gym, methods that science is now verifying as
Note: For more details on Arnold’s X-Rep methods, see the X-traordinary X-Rep Workout. This exciting e-guide merges the top X-Rep techniques and info with muscle-building research into two power-packed X-Rep workouts—the basic X program only takes about 35 minutes. For more info, go HERE
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
ATTENTION OVER-40 BODYBUILDERS
One of the most interesting read-me pages on Testosterone and other muscle-building hormones we’ve seen is The Truth About Testosterone.
It even talks about a fruit, a specific part, that can up your T naturally. Cranking up your testosterone will not only get you jacked in the gym, but in the bedroom too—not to mention help rip up your midsection as it ignites fat burning. If that interests you, there’s more from our colleague and registered dietician, HERE.
Q: I want to get strong over the winter. I heard that that’s what Arnold used to do. I know that if I get strong, I will eventually get bigger, which was how the Oak did it. What’s the best workout for that?
A: First let’s get some insight into Arnold’s winter training routine. Former IRON MAN Publisher John Balik was there, often training with Arnold, and this is what he had to say about it: [Read more…]
Q: Doing one high-rep set first before heavy sets is your MMX method for more fast-twitch fiber activation and growth. Isn’t that first high-rep set just a glorified warmup set?
A more accurate word is “focused” or “targeted.” Why? Because you get the benefits of multiple lighter warmup sets with that one slow-twitch-exhaustion (STX) set, using 20-plus reps to failure… [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…]
Q: I read that you guys got super ripped without doing any cardio. I also saw that Arnold had incredible fat loss with no cardio, relying on weight training only. Is that true?
A: According to John Balik, former Publisher of IRON MAN magazine and Arnold’s friend and one-time training partner, the only thing close to real cardio that Arnold did was occasional walking or running on the beach… [Read more…]
Q: I was reading in one of my IRON MAN back issues about the “Blood Theory” of muscle growth. Can you explain it and tell me how to take advantage of it to grow?
A: Way back in the 1970s, an Iron Man author named Dennis DuBreuil explained his Blood Theory….
Basically, he said that there is a direct relationship between how well a muscle pumps and how well it grows… [Read more…]
Q: I heard someone at my gym say that Arnold used X Reps. Is that true? I thought you guys came up with the concept a few years ago, so how could Arnold have used it?
A: Arnold used X Reps and many of the concepts we discuss in our X-Rep e-books. We know that because we worked alongside John Balik, former publisher of IRON MAN and Arnold’s former training partner and nutritionist. We talked to John a lot about Arnold’s past training. [Read more…]
Q: I got all of your e-books, which are absolutely fantastic by the way, and in 3D Muscle Building I notice that your arm workouts are very short. I’m interested in sky-high biceps, but I’m worried that four or five sets once a week isn’t enough. If I want to specialize, should I add more sets?
A: While everyone’s work capacity and recovery ability are different, keep in mind that [Read more…]