It’s winter, so many of our Zen newsletters these days are motivation oriented. One of the photos that inspired us way back was this one of Arnold walking through the streets of Venice, California… [Read more…]
With the crappy weather outside, we thought a jolt of beach-body motivation was in order. [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using [end-of-set] X-Rep partials and making the best gains of my life. It’s got to be the top muscle-building breakthrough I’ve ever used. You guys always seem to be at the cutting edge of mass techniques. Any other secrets you can recommend to boost my gains?
A: Thanks for the kind words regarding X Reps. They were definitely a big muscle-building breakthrough and they’ve done great things for thousands of trainees—and we made the best gains of our lives our first X-Rep year—in only five weeks with them (no steroids, no trick photography—although the lighting is different and we have tans in the afters)… [Read more…]
Q: Because of my work schedule, I can only train once a week, on Wednesdays. Can I make any gains with once-a-week training, or is it a lost cause??
A: It’s tough to make gains working out only once a week, but if you stress the muscles enough and you’re consistent, you should gradually see some results. [Read more…]
Q: All the info I’ve read on full-range Positions of Flexion makes total sense. It’s a killer concept, and I’m so psyched to use it. My problem is time. Even though your POF [bodypart] routines are only about six sets, I only have time for half that [maybe 3 sets for each bodypart]. I don’t want to use only the Ultimate Exercise because I see the superiority of training the three positions for total development. Or should I try just the Ultimate Exercise for each muscle and use POF on only certain bodyparts?
A: Using the Ultimate Exercise for each bodypart in a program is one way to go. Your idea of using full POF on one or two bodyparts is a good one. Simply add one set of a stretch- and one set of a contracted-position exercise for those two muscle groups. For example, for chest, the Ultimate Exercise is decline presses… [Read more…]
Q: This is kind of an odd question, but does hot weather help make muscles grow? I’ve noticed this summer, when it’s been blazing hot outside, I make my best gains. In the winter, my gains are much slower, sometimes nonexistent. Could it be the heat?
A: It could simply be more summer-time motivation—you train harder because you want to look good at the pool, lake, or beach. It could also be leanness and darkness—being more ripped and tan makes you look bigger and better. There’s a good chance that heat and/or sunshine may have something to do with it, along with sweating. Perspiring more sheds water from under the skin, and that means more vascularity more often, which adds to your bigger, more-shredded look. But heat may be the key… [Read more…]
Q: Now that summer is coming to an end soon, my motivation to train is going down. Is there any way I can build muscle going to the gym two or three times a week? Like, is there a program you can recommend with just one exercise per bodypart that will keep me building muscle without taking hours in the gym?
A: We’re all about efficiency-of-effort muscle building, so you’ve come to the right place for fast-mass workouts, and many of our newest programs are just three days a week.
Most of the time, we preach multi-angular training (Positions of Flexion). That is, using a big midrange exercise followed by a stretch-position exercise and ending with a contracted-position move. That ramps up growth stimulation along three different pathways: max force (midrange), stretch overload (stretch), and occlusion/tension (contracted)… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been super motivated the past few months and really hitting it hard in the gym using a version of a Heavy/Light program you guys have talked about before. I couldn’t stand to do a back-off week, though, so I think I’m overtrained. Do you think reducing to two exercises per muscle is a good idea? Should I still do heavy/light?
A: Your nervous system is probably hammered. We know, we know—you don’t want to lose any muscle or strength. So here’s what we suggest…[Read more…]
This Art Zeller photo of Sergio Oliva taken in the ’60s is a true classic. Its motivational value is obvious. Can you imagine yourself out at a club playing pool with an arm like that hanging out of your polo shirt? Damn![Read more…]
Q: I’m into high-intensity training, doing one all-out work set per exercise. But I just read your 3D Muscle Building e-book and see the logic in Positions-of-Flexion mass training. Do you think I could combine the two and get good mass results doing one work set for each of the three positions for each bodypart? Like, for my quads, I would do squats (midrange), sissy squats (stretch), and leg extensions (contracted), one all-out set for each.
A: That’s an excellent way to get acquainted with the mass-building power of 3D POF. In fact, we’ve used a similar program over the winter years ago with good results. The only problem was that when motivation was low, which it can be when it’s cold outside, gains aren’t so great. To make that 3D triple HIT approach build muscle as quickly as possible, you have to be gung-ho and train every work set like it’s the last set of your life. Summer is probably a better time to lock in that mindset.[Read more…]