The shots of Frank Zane (left) and Mike Mentzer below show a unique contrast of physiques and conditioning. Both were taken at the 1979 Mr. Olympia, with Zane weighing 190 and Mentzer 210.[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: Okay, your before and after photos at X-Rep.com are unreal. I can’t believe you made those changes in only one month, and my friends say you used drugs. What’s the truth? How did you do it, what kind of training did you do, and were drugs involved? Please be honest.
A: Trust us, no drugs were involved. Truth: Jonathan is a drug-free for life bodybuilder and Steve experimented with 5 milligrams of Dianabol once a day back in his early 20s—but after three weeks of dreams that his liver would explode, he stopped. BTW, he saw no visual improvement during those 3 weeks on that dosage.[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been reading about the 4X training and am wondering if you have any advice on how to use it with a full-body three-days-per-week routine. I just started using the 4X method for each bodypart. I do one exercise per muscle. Monday I do chest, shoulders, back, bi’s, tri’s, abs, legs. Wednesday I do the same body parts but in a different order and using different exercises. The same goes for Friday. I take the weekend off. I’m drug-free, so I think I’ve been overtraining till now. I’m hoping that 4X will help spark some new gains.
A: That sounds like a great plan for building more mass. First, skeptical readers need to realize that three-days-per-week programs can do incredible things. We discuss the Colorado Experiment in Size Surge 2.0 and 3D Muscle Building, a four-week research project in which Casey Viator gained 60 pounds of muscle… [Read more…]
Q: I saw a study that says resting longer between sets produces the most muscle gain. So should I increase the 30-second rests in the STX workouts in Anabolic Reload to 1 1/2 to 2 minutes for best rest results?
A: We’ve seen that study, and it’s right on. But it doesn’t refute our 30-second rests in the Anabolic Reload STX workouts. Why? It has to do with what you’re trying to accomplish with the earlier sets in a sequence and how muscle fibers fire… [Read more…]
Q: I love the 4X mass method and am already seeing new size from it after only two weeks. I notice you’ve been recommending different methods on each set sometimes. Does that work better for mass? Should I be doing that?
A: One method we often recommend is the progressive speed tactic. We know one thing about it for certain: The feel is unreal—deep ache with a muscle-expanding pump after only three sets… [Read more…]
Q: I have your e-book with all the X-hybrid techniques [Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building]. I’m having some excellent workouts integrating one or two every time I train. My question is about Double-X Overload. As you describe it, I do a quarter rep down near the stretch position between each full rep, but I’ve also read you guys say you’ve used 1 1/4s. What’s the difference? Isn’t DXO the same as 1 1/4s?
A: The simple answer is that Double-X Overload (DXO) stresses the STRETCH or semi-stretch point—when the muscle is elongated. For example, at the BOTTOM of a press or flye. [Read more…]