Our biggest training influence as we got older—and wiser—was Vince Gironda. In our last Moment of Bodybuilding Zen, we featured Larry Scott and Freddy Ortiz, a photo from the ’60s taken in front of Vince’s Gym in Studio City, California. [Read more…]
Q: I just got The Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0, and [Mr. America] Doug Brignole’s one-exercise-per-muscle training is interesting, to say the least. And his interview [Chapter 4] makes a lot of good points for high-rep sets.
A: Yes, his “Super TORQ” method can rack up some impressive gains. It helped Doug get into the best shape of his long bodybuilding career, and he won the Muscle Beach International Over 50 competition while using that routine (see photo below).[Read more…]
Jim Haislop won the Mr. America in 1968. His incredible symmetry, proportion,
When he competed at 5’11”, he weighed in at around 210 pounds with a 32” waist and true 19” arms…[Read more…]
Q: So from what I can surmise, it sounds like I need both heavy, lower-rep sets and higher-rep, longer tension-time sets to build the ultimat muscle size. Is that right?
A: That’s a simple way to put it, but yes, most trainees need both types of training to attain extreme development as quickly as possible. Let’s review the late, great Olympic coach and strength/muscle-building expert Charles Poliquin’s input…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been training like a madman for six months, but my arms haven’t budged. I’m getting stronger, and I do see more veins on my biceps, but my arms are still skinny. A guy at the gym told me it’s because I have small bones. My wrists are under 7 inches around, and he said I can’t expect much size with small wrists. Is that true?
A: Um, in a word, NO. It’s not true. The size of your wrist has nothing to do with where your biceps and triceps attach, how much muscle-fiber density your muscles have, or your ability to pack on muscle mass.[Read more…]
Q: I got your 4X Mass Workout and am already growing with TORQ [Tension-Overload Repetition Quantity]. You discuss Mr. America Doug Brignole, his version, and how he uses drop sets on the last set. You don’t mention that with your version [30-20-15 reps]. Should I do drops on the last round of TORQ?
A: Doug has been at this bodybuilding thing for decades—and even he is still learning and experimenting…[Read more…]
Q: I got the Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0 and was motivated by [Mr. America] Doug Brignole’s interview and how he uses only one exercise for each muscle. I notice he adds weight over five sets so his reps fall—but I’m with you and think 50 reps is a bit much—and boring. My question is, if I use your TORQ method [30-20-15] on two or three exercise per bodypart, should I add weight over those three sets?
A: You can—it really depends on the exercise. When we do TORQ on an isolation move, like machine flyes for chest, we do NOT add weight…[Read more…]
Q: I got your Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0, and I really like the 3-way split of the Basic Workout. I also like doing only one or two exercises for each muscle with a power hit and a density hit at the same workout. My question is, I’m 48 years old and not sure I can handle pyramiding down to 5 reps on big exercises, so should I just do regular 8-rep sets to failure? These days my joints don’t like anything below 8 on most exercises.
A: That’s a good solution. For example, on chest-supported dumbbell rows for mid-back, your set sequence would be…[Read more…]
Q: I heard that close-grip bench presses can build the inner pecs. But then a pro bodybuilder said that’s false. He said no exercise can build the “inner” pecs—or “lower” biceps for that matter, and that those are muscle-building myths. Which is correct?
A: While close-grip bench presses won’t direct development to the inner-chest area, some researchers suggest that putting a muscle into elongation, or stretch, against resistance can thicken the fibers at the insertion point. For example, doing flyes for more chest beef near the sternum… [Read more…]
Q: I tried Arnold’s method of using a high-rep set to end my major exercises, like bench presses, (Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout e-book, Chapter 1). But I’m just too fatigued to feel the target muscle on that last set. After reading about Doug Brignole’s 50-40-30-20-10 method in Chapter 4, I was thinking about using that on an isolation exercise to feel the target muscle better, like crossovers for chest after bench. Is that a good idea?
A: It could be, but you left a lot of variables out. For example, how experienced are you? That amount of work may be too much. How many days per week are you training each muscle? If it’s once, that amount of volume may work well, if it’s twice, maybe not.[Read more…]