Q: I’m not gonna lie… I sometimes get bored with my training or just have random days when my motivation is a bit low. That makes it tough to get to the gym, but I really don’t want to skip a day because of that. What if I took random days here and there to do only one exercise for each muscle. Would that be good for growth, and how often could I do that?
Q: I had your original 10-Week Size Surge book from many years ago and just picked up the Size Surge 2.0 e-book. Thanks for revising it to include 4X training! I’m 45 now with a lot of joint damage from heavy “lifting,” if you want to call it that. So your [moderate-weight] 4X method is perfect and has me making new muscle gains. Thank you! My question concerns the “finisher” set you recommend in one of the workouts. Do you think pure-negative or negative-accentuated sets are better?
A: For the uninitiated, the Size Surge 2.0 e-book has a few new workouts compared to the original, including an alternate Phase 2 routine that’s Positions of Flexion with a few heavy sets, 4X work, AND a one-exercise mass finisher using an intensity method… [Read more…]
Q: You’ve said that training each muscle only once a week doesn’t work for most people. But I just got the Fat-to-Muscle Workout (thank you for the sale price!), and both the four-day and three-day workouts train each muscle only once a week. Am I missing something?
A: You’re not missing anything; we’re just insane. Seriously, in the Q&A section of The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout we mention a study on negative-style training and the need it creates for much MORE RECOVERY. That’s the answer… [Read more…]
Q: I’m loving your 4X mass method. I’ve been using it for only three weeks, and I already feel bigger and look fuller. The scale says I’ve put on three pounds, but it looks like more than that. I feel pumped all the time. Anyway, I’m wondering if I should do a warmup set before I jump into 4X for an exercise. If not on all 3 exercises in Positions of Flexion, maybe just the first one will do the trick since it’s compound [or midrange], like squats.
A: Keep in mind that with 4X mass training, you’re using the same MODERATE weight from the first set to the last. In most cases you shouldn’t need a warmup set because your first in the sequence is fairly easy—you don’t go to failure… [Read more…]
Q: Do you know a good workout that I can use to add size to my triceps without aggravating elbow tendonitis? I’m over 50 and I’m having elbow problems that are really ruining some of my workouts.
A: Join the club! Steve sometimes battles minor elbow problems in his left arm, more on the inner elbow. That’s known as golfer’s elbow (even though he doesn’t play golf). Pain on the outer elbow is commonly known as tennis elbow.
You’ll have to experiment to find exercises that don’t aggravate it. Steve found that bench presses were his prime elbow antagonist; however, he can do declines. So he’ll sometimes start triceps with decline close-grip bench presses. [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using [end-of-set] X-Rep partials and making the best gains of my life. It’s got to be the top muscle-building breakthrough I’ve ever used. You guys always seem to be at the cutting edge of mass techniques. Any other secrets you can recommend to boost my gains?
A: Thanks for the kind words regarding X Reps. They were definitely a big muscle-building breakthrough and they’ve done great things for thousands of trainees—and we made the best gains of our lives our first X-Rep year—in only five weeks with them (no steroids, no trick photography—although the lighting is different and we have tans in the afters)… [Read more…]
Q: I totally agree with your Power-Density mass-building ideas. For density work, you’ve suggested multi-rep rest/pause, but 3 heavy sets with only 15 seconds of rest between them really wipes me out, especially on legs. I’m dead for the rest of my workout. Is there something less taxing I can use for density up front?
A: First, we want to applaud you for realizing the importance of DENSITY, or endurance, work. Missing that get-bigger trigger is why most wanna-be-big bodybuilders grow so slow. They think it’s all about training heavy ONLY to gain more size… [Read more…]
Q: You guys have contributed so much to my ability to build lots of muscle. I want to thank you. X Reps are fantastic. Positions of Flexion is great; I build most of my workouts around that full-range principle. You’ve also created 4X and negative-accentuated [X-centric] training. So what do you think is the best of the bunch, your #1 mass-building discovery over the years?
A: Out of all of our mass-building tactics, X Reps are probably the easiest to apply. Well, maybe “easiest” is the wrong word because when you use them correctly, X-Rep partials at the end of a set are brutal—they hurt, but they work. X Reps make any set three to five times more effective at packing on mass… [Read more…]
Q: Because of my work schedule, I can only train once a week, on Wednesdays. Can I make any gains with once-a-week training, or is it a lost cause??
A: It’s tough to make gains working out only once a week, but if you stress the muscles enough and you’re consistent, you should gradually see some results. [Read more…]
Q: I just got Jonathan’s Size Surge e-book, and it looks great. I’m ready to try it. My problem is that I still need to lose some fat. I also have the X-centric Mass Workout, and that e-book says that negative-accentuated sets can help get rid of bodyfat. Can I do the Size Surge program, but instead of 2 all-out sets per exercise, do one of those sets in NA style for more fat burning? I really want to see my abs.
A: For those not familiar, negative-accentuated sets have you use one second on the positive stroke and six seconds on the negative. So on bench presses, you would lower to your chest in six seconds, then fire the bar off your chest to the arm’s-extended position in one second… [Read more…]