This week’s quote comes from an Olympic coach and hypertrophy expert, the late Charles Poliquin—who had a damn good physique for an older guy, by the way… [Read more…]
Q: I tried your 4×10 method on every exercise, and I’m amazed. The pump was incredible and my nervous system didn’t feel so hammered at the end of my workout as it has in the past. My question is, shouldn’t I do at least one warmup set on the more dangerous exercises, like squats?
A: In theory the first set or two in a 4×10 sequence should be a sufficient warmup. That’s because you use a weight you could get 15 reps with, but you only do 10. And you use that same poundage all the way through… [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 just got The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout and The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout. Tremendous. I’ve already read them both twice. Undoubtedly the best bodybuilding info I’ve ever seen. I noticed that in the programs in both e-books, you rely a lot on pyramiding the weight on the compound exercises. Is that better than just using the same poundage on all work sets and going to exhaustion?
A: With the type of training we list in those e-books, we believe adding weight to each work set so that the rep count decreases—9, 7, 5, for instance—is ideal to build BOTH mega mass and strength for three reasons… [Read more…]
Q: I want to thank you for putting together the Freak-Physique e-book. What a blockbuster resource of training information and programs. I’m using the 3D Power Pyramid Program. The quote from the trainee who gained so much muscle and strength in only a few weeks using it got me stoked. My question is, I’m more of a train-each-bodypart-once-a-week guy, so can I use it that way instead of training each bodypart twice a week? If so, how should I adjust it?
A: First, you picked a great program. We get lots of positive feedback on the 3D Power Pyramid because it’s simple Positions-of-Flexion methodology but you add weight over three sets on the big midrange move (pyramid), and do only one set each of the stretch- and contracted-position exercises. It’s basically a POF strength-building workout with a big muscle-size side effect. [Read more…]
Q: I’m making some incredible progress using your Double-X Overload technique, but I wanted to let you know that I don’t just use it on my work sets. DXO works for warmup sets, too. I usually use it on at least one of my two warmup sets for the big [midrange] exercises, and I feel much stronger on my work sets. Great technique!
A: That’s a good tip. We love feedback from fellow weight trainers who think instead of just following the pack. One reason Double-X Overload (DXO) works so well on warmup sets is because of the enhanced occlusion and nervous system activation.
For those unfamiliar with DXO, it’s an X-Rep partial in the semi-stretch position between each full rep. That provides a slightly more explosive action, which has been shown to heighten nerve force (many top-level powerlifters do light, explosive sets for that very reason—it helps them lift more weight). [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been super motivated the past few months and really hitting it hard in the gym using a version of a Heavy/Light program you guys have talked about before. I couldn’t stand to do a back-off week, though, so I think I’m overtrained. Do you think reducing to two exercises per muscle is a good idea? Should I still do heavy/light?
A: Your nervous system is probably hammered. We know, we know—you don’t want to lose any muscle or strength. So here’s what we suggest…[Read more…]
Q: It’s hard for me to believe that a few partial reps at the end of a set [a.k.a. X Reps] can do anything measurable for muscle gains. Isn’t doing an additional set just as good or better for muscle growth?
A: At first glance, you’d think so; however, once you understand muscle physiology, you see the enormous muscle-building effects that can occur if you extend a set correctly. It all starts with the size principle of muscle fiber recruitment…[Read more…]
Q: I’m making some incredible progress using your Double-X Overload technique, but I wanted to let you know that I don’t just use it on my work sets. DXO works for warmup sets, too. I usually use it on at least one of my two warmup sets for the big [midrange] exercises. I feel much stronger on my work sets. Great technique!
A: That’s a good tip. We love feedback from fellow weight trainers who think instead of just following the pack. One reason DXO works so well on warmup sets is because of the enhanced occlusion and nervous system activation.[Read more…]
Q: The idea of a few medium-intensity [subfailure] workouts after many weeks of going all out makes perfect sense to me. My question is, Should I reduce my poundages so I can do the same number of reps, or should I stick with my same working poundages and just do fewer reps? Which way is best?
A: We prefer to use the same phase-training approach Jonathan used on the 10-week Size Surge Program when he gained 20 pounds of muscle. For each of his two supercompensation weeks, he used the same work weights and just stopped two reps short of failure—and that worked amazingly well for him. He actually appeared to get bigger during each downshift week as his muscles and nervous system