With almost 50 years of training experience, I’ve come to realize that incomplete recovery is the #1 roadblock to achieving the fastest hypertrophy your genetics will allow… [Read more…]
Here’s an eye-opening quote from hypertrophy researcher Chris Beardsley on muscle repair and recovery: [Read more…]
Q: The study you discussed that showed eccentric [negative] contractions cause more damage than concentric [positive] or isometric is interesting. Makes sense, but I wonder that if more rest days were included after eccentric training if that would make a difference?
A: I would say yes, however, each type of contraction may contribute to growth in different ways… [Read more…]
Q: I read with interest your comments on using a drop-set workout when you feel overtrained. I tried it, and it felt great. I was more energized after than when I started the workout. My question is, Can I use two drops instead of one? Some muscles didn’t get much of a pump.
A: My first reaction would be no, it’s not necessary or recommended to use two drops instead of one; however… [Read more…]
Q: In Old Man, Young Muscle you say that you sometimes skip a workout when you feel drained or sore. How often does that happen? Is it something I should build into my month-long workout schedule?
A: That’s a great question, one that’s very important because of the obsessive-compulsive bodybuilding mindset. After 45 years of training, I still struggle with it… [Read more…]
In yesterday’s newsletter I discussed muscle damage and how it can impair growth. And that damage is not just a result of too many sets; it can also be the result of excessive intensity—and many times both. [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’m a man in my late 30s, but I’m very motivated by Becky Holman’s before and after photos and her story. Is the training program she used okay for men to use?
A: Absolutely. Men and women should both strive to build muscle, and that’s what her program does. Women won’t get bulky muscles no matter how hard they train because they don’t have the hormonal profile for that to happen. It’s a testosterone thing—and as you can see in the transformation photos below, Becky (Steve’s wife, who was in her early 40s below) doesn’t have a lot of testosterone…[Read more…]
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: I am a fan of your mass tactics like X-Fade, Static X and, of course, X Reps. You often list the ones you use in a workout, but often you list a 4X sequence as (4×10 + StatX). Do you do the [end-of-set] static hold on all sets, some sets or just the last set?
A: We never use those end-of-set mass tactics on more than the last two sets of a 4X sequence. And usually, it is only one unique set… [Read more…]