Even way back in the ‘80s I knew that stretch-position exercises had unique muscle-building power. If I included them, I got bigger, no question about it. [Read more…]
Q: I have almost all of your e-books. They’re all great, and I reread them often for motivation and ideas. Right now I’m on The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout. Can I Double-X Overload everything stretch-related in that program? It seems like that would produce even more muscle microtrauma similar to the negative-accentuated sets on the big exercises. That should speed up my fat loss and muscle gains, right?
A: If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; if you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. What does that have to do with your question? We’re just glad to see you taking techniques from our other e-books and applying them to your current workout. You’re learning how to “fish”—grasping the mass-building concepts and applying them when and where appropriate… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve seen speed reps in some of your routines. What are those, and how do they work to add more mass?
A: We call this mass tactic X-celeration, and it can pack on new mass FAST because of extra fiber activation, and it’s a technique that lends itself well to home-gym training… [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…]
Q: I love Positions of Flexion. I can totally feel it working new fibers, and the pump is off the charts. I’ve been doing midrange, stretch, and then contracted, but I just saw that you sometimes recommend the stretch-position exercise last. Is that a good idea? Why do that?
A: The standard order is midrange, stretch, and contracted, as you’ve been doing. For example, for triceps, it’s close-grip bench presses (midrange), overhead extensions (stretch), and pushdowns (contracted)…[Read more…]
Q: I was reading some past articles where you guys had mentioned something called Aftershock training. What is that, and should I try it?
A: Aftershock training is supersetting two exercises, but with a distinct reason—more fast-twitch fiber recruitment for new muscle growth quickly (it can rejuvenate standard straight-set 3D POF training, as you’ll see).[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: You’ve mentioned an animal study that produced a 300 percent muscle mass increase after only a month of stretch workouts. That’s truly incredible. Is there more info? How do I duplicate those stretch procedures in my workouts to get that kind of muscle growth?
A: We refer to that animal study by Antonio and Gonyea in many of our X-Rep e-books, but the most extensive analysis was in X-Rep Update #1. Here’s a quote from Jose Antonio, Ph.D., from that e-book: [Read more…]
Q: I just saw an interview with a top pro bodybuilder, and he said one of the keys to building mass is to explode at the bottom of every rep and attempt to move the positive rep as fast as possible. Are explosive reps a good idea? I’m afraid of getting injured.
A: The big pros are the genetic elite with superhuman muscle-fiber density, as well as ironclad tendons and ligaments. And don’t forget that many use growth hormone, which fortifies cartilage, tendons, and ligaments even more (that’s why many athletes use it—to quickly rehab soft-tissue injuries and prevent others from occurring in the gym and on the field.) [Read more…]
Q: What is the best rep speed for muscle growth? I want to look like a bodybuilder/physique athlete, so I’m not that concerned with strength. I just want more muscle mass.
A: In The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout e-book we cite a study that attempted to determine the optimal rep speed for building muscle. It compared doing sets with a two-to-three-second positive and a two-to-three-second negative—about three up, three down—with sets using a power cadence, which is one second up and three seconds down. The power cadence produced the most mass in this study. [Int J Sports Med. 30(3):200-204; 2009.] [Read more…]