Q: My gym has an old Nautilus behind-the-neck torso machine for lat work. It feels pretty good to me, better than cable pull-ins because you don’t use biceps. What do you think of it? Should I use it or stick with cable pull-ins? [Read more…]
Q: I have trouble feeling my lats. I’ve tried the cable pull-in, pulldowns, and pullovers. Nothing. I don’t have access to a pullover machine. It looks like the full range would be best for me, as I’m sure the lack of isolation on the others is the problem. Any suggestions?
A: The machine pullover is a full-range move that many bodybuilders feel in their lats, even though the resistance curve is not great… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve seen new muscle after adding in stretch exercises. But your discussion on pulldowns was kind of confusing. You concluded that parallel grip with separate handles is best at about shoulder width, and close-grip V handle is okay, but an over grip can cause shoulder impingement. I don’t see much of a difference. Can you explain? [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been reading about 3D Positions of Flexion, and it makes total sense. Most of the three-way hits for each muscle are straightforward, but I’m confused about midback. Is a row classified as the big midrange exercise? With a barbell row, the arms squeeze the shoulder blades at the top, which is the contracted position. Is a barbell row both a midrange and contracted exercise?
A: You need to look at the lats and midback together to understand the three positions of flexion for each. For lats, you use pulldowns or chins as the big midrange exercise. Then you follow with pullovers for stretch and stiff-arm pulldowns for contracted.
For midback muscle building, there’s no need for a midrange exercise—you get that on the pulldowns or chins for lats. Those exercises pull the arms down and back, which affects the lats as well as the midback…[Read more…]
Q: I was reading some past articles where you guys had mentioned something called Aftershock training. What is that, and should I try it?
A: Aftershock training is supersetting two exercises, but with a distinct reason—more fast-twitch fiber recruitment for new muscle growth quickly (it can rejuvenate standard straight-set 3D POF training, as you’ll see).[Read more…]
Q: No matter what exercise I use, I can’t feel my lats working. I’ve tried drop sets, but I get nothing from those. Any suggestions on how to get new growth for slacker muscles? I feel lat-less.
A: You’re not alone. Most trainees have difficulty feeling the back working. The arms tend to take over because the nerve-to-muscle connections to the lats are underdeveloped. But there is a great way to get in touch and grow the slacker muscles in your back… [Read more…]
Q: After seeing 10×10 in your newsletters, I’ve been trying it on arms [10 sets of 10 reps with minimal rest]. They blew up bigger than ever! They looked about two inches bigger when I was done. My problem is that I feel I need to train with heavy poundages to get the most growth. Do you think it would work to alternate a 10×10 workout with a conventional heavy session each week?
A: That’s precisely how we designed the Heavy/Light Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout in the 10×10 e-book. On the so-called light day, you do only 10×10 on one big exercise for a muscle. For the uninitiated, 10×10 is taking a weight you can get about 20 reps with, but you only do 10. Rest 20 to 30 seconds, then do 10 more, and so on till you get 10 sets of 10—although on the last few sets you should only get eight or nine because they will be BRUTAL—with a giant pump! [Read more…]
Q: I have almost all of your e-books. I can’t begin to tell you how much muscle they’ve helped me build. I’d be lost without them, and I reread them often. My question is about back width, which is one of my weak points. In The Ultimate Mass Workout [the original X-Rep manual] you say that parallel-grip chins is the Ultimate Exercise for lats. But in many of your programs, like the POF-X workout in the X-Rep Update #1 e-book, you have wide-grip pulldowns as the big midrange move for lats. But what about chins? I’ve read that wide-grip chinups are the best lat exercises. Can you clarify, please?
A: For most trainees, parallel-grip chins will put the biceps in an advantageous position to maximize pulling power, but not so good as to make the biceps the prime mover. That’s why we say it’s the Ultimate Exercise for lats—if you’re only going to do one exercise for lats, that’s at the top of the list. [Read more…]