We’re not sure who took this shot of the very first Mr. Olympia Larry Scott, but it looks like it’s in a gym at a seminar perhaps…[Read more…]
Vince Gironda was the Iron Guru, a bodybuilding legend ahead of his time. Ask anyone who knew him and trained at his famous Vince’s Gym in Studio City, California, and they would say Vince was a sheer genius when it came to building muscle. (They would also say he was one of the most bombastic, outspoken S.O.B.s around–LOL!)
His most famous pupil in the bodybuilding world was the very first Mr. Olympia Larry Scott, who overcame many genetic flaws to make it to the top, thanks to Vince. The Iron Guru also trained many Hollywood stars back in the day, like Clint Eastwood, and even Arnold consulted with him and was a fan (even though Vince told Arnold that he was a “fat fuck” when he first arrived in the U.S.).[Read more…]
Q: I’m an avid reader of your e-books as well as your website. I’ve been experimenting recently with a heavy set to failure (approximately 10 reps), adding X-Rep partials to the end. Then I do a second X-Only set, often with added weight. This is an excellent trigger for growth, especially if you warm up using the DXO [Double-X Overload] technique. On the warmup set, I do anywhere from four to five X Reps between [full-range] reps, and the burn is incredible! That [combination] has had such a strong effect on my body, that I now have some stretch marks appearing. I’m definitely getting much more muscular while dropping fat. Another thing I’ve been experimenting with is shortening the stroke of X Reps, to the point where I’m almost doing a static hold. I just pulse out very small partial reps. Which brings me to static holds. Research shows subjects adding a few pounds of muscle after only one workout, but that workout was followed by two weeks of rest. Surely two weeks off between workouts is ridiculous. I was wondering how you stand on recovery time and static holds?
A: Thanks for the feedback and your confidence in our methods. We discuss a lot of what you’re discovering and experimenting with in our X-Rep Update #1 e-book. Former Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler used a lot of X-Only sets, as we discuss in Chapter 5, Mr. O’s Wild X-O Workouts. Notice Cutler’s short stroke on this exercise…[Read more…]
Many bodybuilders antagonize over their slow muscle growth, but working out smart, not just hard, will gradually transform your physique…
Still, the determining factor in how your physique will look is genetics, plain and simple—case in point Mike Mentzer. Check out his physique in his late teens (below left) and how he looked at the peak of his bodybuilding career at age 30.[Read more…]
Q: I get depressed when I read the bodybuilding magazines I’ve been handed down from my uncle. I’m 19 and weigh 185 with abs, but I see that the pro bodybuilders weigh anywhere from 250 to 280 pounds, and that’s at 3 percent bodyfat. I don’t want to take steroids, but it seems like that’s the only way to get impressive development, right?
A: If you’re looking for us to give you the okay to take drugs, you’re barking up the wrong tree. We love bodybuilding (the lifestyle, not necessarily the competitions); however, resorting to steroids to get an “impressive,” extremely muscular physique is not mandatory. Look at this shot of Jonathan…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve made the best gains of my life the past year with X Reps, going from 185 to just under 200 pounds. But my gains have stalled. You talk a lot about muscle adaptation, so I’m wondering if I’ve adapted to X Reps. Should I stop doing them for a while so I can pack on more muscle?
A: Adaptation to training techniques and even bodypart routines can happen in as few as six workouts. If you train a muscle twice a week, that means you can adapt in three to four weeks. We’ve talked about phase training, which is downshifting intensity for one week with sub-failure workouts after four to six weeks of all-out workouts. But sometimes even that’s not enough to kick-start new gains once you resume a high-intensity phase. Usually, you have to mix things up somehow…
Q: Your 4X mass method has 35 to 45 seconds rest between sets. I’ve seen research that longer rests between sets can be better for strength and muscle growth. What’s your take on that?
A: Legendary trainer Vince Gironda, the Iron Guru who trained Mr. Olympias as well as Hollywood stars to build muscle fast, first got us into reducing rest between sets for muscle growth—he called it Density Training…[Read more…]
Q: I just got the Vince Gironda Legend & Myth anthology. Incredible info, but I’m wondering a few things. His drag curls and diver cable rows are cool exercises, but how do they fit into your Positions-of-Flexion system? Drag curls are similar to standing barbell curls, but you pull the bar up next to your body to your lower pecs, so the poundage is fairly low. Is it still a good midrange exercise?
A: Vince’s drag curl is similar to a regular barbell curl, but you keep the bar in contact with your body all the way up, so it’s much more isolated. And at the top, when the bar is at your lower chest line, your upper arms are more in a position that’s like the top of an incline curl, a stretch-position exercise. Now you’re probably really confused. LOL!
Q: My training partner and I are arguing. He wants to start using heavy negative-only training, but I told him that your e-book [the X-centric Mass Workout] warns against it. He reads your newsletter, so please convince him that it’s not a good idea.
A: In the X-centric e-book we cited a study that showed the extreme damage caused by negative-only training (someone lifts the weight for you, and you lower slowly). Muscle recovery for some of the subjects took weeks; however, most of those subjects were untrained, so they didn’t have the cumulative capacity to handle traumatic loads. If you’ve been training for a year or more, that’s probably not your case… [Read more…]
Q: Incredible interview with [Mr. America] Doug Brignole in the Power-Density e-book. So cool that he has studied kinesiology and physiology and determined the number-one best exercise for each muscle. He said decline dumbbell presses are the best chest exercise for overall mass. Does he ever use barbell declines or Hammer-machine decline presses, which bring your hands from a wide stretch to close at the top for a better pec contraction? Or what about dips? [Read more…]