Mr. America and 2019 Drug-Free Mr. Universe Doug Brignole isn’t shy about emailing me when I’m right—or wrong. It’s the latter this time, and I concur. [Read more…]
I won’t keep you in suspense: It’s range of motion. But the forgotten fact is why it’s important…
If you’ve ever watched a very lean bodybuilder doing leg extensions—lean enough so you can see fibers firing—you’ll notice twitching “explosions” all over the quad muscles as the lower leg extends and retracts. [Read more…]
Q: I’m loving the 3D HIT program [listed in the X-traordinary Arms e-book]. Every bodypart is growing, my strength goes up at almost every workout, and I’m only in the gym for 45 minutes. So far, it’s sweet! My question is, Shouldn’t the stretch exercise be last in the 3D sequence: midrange, contracted, then stretch? I’ve read that stretching a muscle makes it weaker right after, so it only makes sense that you should do the stretch-position exercise last instead of before the contracted-position exercise; otherwise, you’ll be weaker on the contracted move. Am I off base here?
A: Either order works well for stimulating growth, and it’s good to mix it up for more adaptation (growth). But we’ll give you our reasoning for why we think the standard order (see the pics below) is best for optimum hypertrophy (fast mass) with regard to the stretch-strength link. Take biceps as an example. The standard 3D POF program is barbell curls, incline curls, and concentration curls—in that order. [Read more…]
Do you do every set the same way? You know, same rep tempo, same hand spacing same rest between sets?
Our motto is “change to gain” because it takes something unique to add more mass to your physique. Here’s a good example of making a change on each set. On seated biceps concentration curls…[Read more…]
Q: Have you heard of FST-7 training, and if so, what do you think of it? It has to do with stretching the muscle fascia from the inside with 7 sets of a big-pump exercise at the end of a bodypart workout.
A: The idea of stretching the muscle fascia, which is the fibrous encasements that surround muscle fibers, has been around a while in many incarnations. The original method had trainees use a rigorous, painful stretching regimen after they trained a bodypart.
For example, after working hamstrings, the trainee would sit on the floor, legs straight and together, and his or her trainer would force the trainee’s torso forward to fully elongate the hamstrings—and it brought tears to the eyes.[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…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using the Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout, and getting fantastic results. My muscles have become more defined, so I look bigger, yet my bodyweight is the same. I’ve read your Power-Density e-program as well, and it makes a lot of sense. My question is, Do you think the negative-accentuated fat-to-muscle method is good for Density? Maybe that’s why it’s working so well after my heavy sets.
A: The bodybuilding truism is, Lose that last 10 pounds of fat and look 20 pounds bigger. That is, a more defined physique creates the illusion of size—and that’s what you’ve done. Here are pics of Jonathan’s back, which looks much bigger in the second more ripped photo, but he actually weighs a little less…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve tried training each bodypart once a week, but it doesn’t seem to work for me. I’ve read about guys making that sort of program work and making great gains. Maybe I’m just not working hard enough to require that much recovery time? Any suggestions on how to make once-a-week workouts work?
A: We’ve done a lot of research and experimentation over the years, and although our first attempts at once-a-week workouts didn’t produce muscle gains, we believe we’ve discovered a simple way to make it work—more fiber trauma.[Read more…]
Q: How do you feel about one-arm and one-leg work? I’ve read that training one side at a time can help you contract more muscle fibers. Is that true?
A: We’ve seen studies that show unilateral work to be better at neuromuscular stimulation and therefore heightened muscle-fiber activation. Our main problem with one-limb exercises is time and energy expenditure.
Working one arm or one leg at a time takes
Q: I’ve noticed that you guys don’t recommend hanging leg raises for abs, but you do include incline leg raises in your routines. Why? Aren’t they pretty much the same exercise?
A: We discuss the difference in the X-traordinary Abs e-book, calling them “kneeups.” The inferiority of hanging has to do with optimal fiber activation…[Read more…]