This photo taken in the ’50s shows the classic lines of Steve Reeves that made him a perfect movie Hercules. The man had excellent genetics, and not just in the looks department. Check out at his wide V taper, small waist and long calves… [Read more…]
Q: I pound away at my workouts, but I’ve only gained about three pounds of muscle in nine months. I’ve gotten stronger, but where’s the size?! I don’t know what to do. I add weight to my exercises whenever I can, but that doesn’t seem to help. I want big, full muscles that will fill out my T-shirts.
A: Are you doing your work sets in the eight-to-10 rep range? Are you resting about 2 minutes between sets? Are your sets lasting about 25 seconds? Are you doing that on all of your exercises? If so, THAT’S WHY YOU’RE NOT GROWING. [Read more…]
Q: I’m using a Positions-of-Flexion program from 3D Muscle Building. I’ve read a lot about the pro bodybuilders’ training, and I’m just not sure three exercises per muscle, as you recommend in POF, is enough. Can you help me understand why that’s sufficient for building the most mass?
A: First, realize the all pro bodybuilders use anabolic steroids. Those drugs heighten recovery and growth significantly. That means they can tolerate a lot more volume at each workout. On top of that, the pros have genetics for building muscle and recovering from work far superior to us normal mortals… [Read more…]
Q: Thank you for clearing up the muscle-growth mystery for me. I always believed in going heavier and heavier to get bigger. Now I know that’s only a small part of the puzzle. Working in the 4X method, X Reps, drop sets, and even some of your high-rep TORQ sets has already gotten me bigger in just a few weeks. My question is, Do you think some people get a better size response from power training and others get more size from density [endurance] work?
A: Absolutely. As we mentioned in a previous newsletter, the BIGGEST powerlifters don’t train for sarcoplasmic (endurance fluid) expansion yet have good muscle size. That’s because they were big dudes in the first place, which may signify more myofibril-building capacity. That would explain their extraordinary strength. The myofibrils are the actin-myosin strands inside the muscle fiber that generate force, but for most trainees that’s not the key to ULTIMATE SIZE… [Read more…]
Q: In a previous newsletter you talked about using DXO [Double-X Overload from the Beyond X e-book] on stretch-position exercises like flyes. I tried it on squats , and it felt incredible! I backed off on the weight, but my quads were on fire and I really felt them working better than a regular set. Is it good to use DXO on the big midrange exercises like squats and bench presses along with stretch-position exercises?
A: Absolutely. You have to use less weight, and that allows you to do the DXO set in perfect form and really connect with the target muscle—plus get unique muscle-fiber activation for new growth. You could end your squats with a DXO set… [Read more…]
Q: I need to build up the inside of my chest, the cleavage, so to speak. A training friend told me that really squeezing and flexing at the bottom of cable crossovers will get my inner pecs popping. Is that true?
A: While full-range cable crossovers can help develop the entire pec muscle—even the inner sections—believe it or not, the BEST way to attack that insertion point of the target muscle is by emphasizing stretch overload… [Read more…]
Q: First, I gotta say that I’m loving the X-centric Mass Workout. I was struggling to get my weight past 195, but now I’m at 203 and still climbing fast. However, my arms aren’t growing as fast as I’d like. I’ve plateaued at 17 1/4 inches, which isn’t symmetrical with the rest of my body. My chest has expanded, my lats are wider, and my legs are thicker, but all those muscle groups are leaving my arms behind. I’ve noticed that the muscle groups that get sore the next day seem to grow the most. My arms never seem to get sore. Is there a relation between muscle soreness and growth? How do I get my arms to 18 inches or beyond?
A: That’s great progress from an overall muscle-gain standpoint. Unfortunately, we all have stubborn bodyparts, and yours happens to be the one that’s most important to almost every trainee—arms, which we all want BIG to stretch the sleeves of our Ts…. [Read more…]
Q: I’m using the Power-Density Mass Workout, the first program with only the Ultimate Exercise for each bodypart. I like the simplicity of it and quick workouts, but I’m having trouble feeling the first power sets when I pyramid the weight. I really don’t feel the muscle working till the ending density sets [the faster 4×10 series]. Any suggestions?
A: Too often, trainees jump right into their heavy work sets with only a haphazard warmup—usually talking to their partner during that lighter preliminary work. In other words, maybe you aren’t doing FOCUSED warmup sets… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve read that training all out [to failure] is not the best way to grow muscle. The argument I read said that it causes nervous system and adrenal burnout as well as higher levels of muscle-eating cortisol [stress hormone]. Don’t you think bodybuilders will grow better if they use more sets, stopping short of failure to avoid those problems?
A: No doubt about it, training all out is traumatic. It’s brutal on the body, but that’s what makes it so effective—if you use it correctly… [Read more…]
Q: I have the updated Quick Start Muscle 2.0. Thank you! The new home-workout section is just what I needed. One question: I remember you guys talking about an all-stretch-exercise workout a while back. Is that something I should try to increase mass gains while I’m training at home?
A: Yes, absolutely. Doing ONLY stretch-position exercises at a workout for every bodypart can do some great things for muscle growth… [Read more…]