I remember back in my late 30s, Jonathan and I were at Mike Neveux’s studio for one of our Iron Man magazine photoshoots… [Read more…]
Q: I just started the Size Surge program for some new size this year, and it feels great so far. I love the workouts. One problem I’m having is that on some exercises that I’m supposed to pyramid the weight up, I don’t get enough reps on the second heaviest set. For example, on dumbbell presses, my reps go 9 and then 4 or 5 after I add weight. Should I just keep doing that, use the same weight on both sets or what?
A: We’ve answered a similar question concerning barbell curls before, and we suggested using the same weight on both sets; however, that’s a single-joint move. It sounds as if you’re having problems pyramiding on the big compound, or multi-joint, exercises, which is common for thin guys looking for muscle size… [Read more…]
Q: I’m using the Direct/Indirect 4X Mass Workout [pages 30-32], so do I only do delts/arms once a week on Wednesday. My arms lag, and I think they need more. I’ve seen you recommend another arm workout on the weekends. I can’t do that, so I’m thinking about adding a biceps and triceps exercise to my Monday and Friday workouts, pushdowns after chest, and concentration curls after back. What do you think?
Q: I like the idea of training quads by doing front squats supersetted with back squats. My quads get almost a pre-ex effect from the strict fronts, then my glutes get better leverage on the backs to drive my quads for more growth. But I’m not very strong on fronts and can get a lot of reps when I immediately go to back squats after. Should I just do high reps on the back squats—say 6 on the fronts and 12-15 on the backs?
A: Definitely an option—if you don’t get too breathless. When training quads with higher reps, the lungs often fail before the target muscles. That’s a problem, to a degree…
You do want the breathlessness, as that’s hypoxia that can boost metabolic/anabolic drive for new size. Here are a few other options…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been reading about the 4X training and am wondering if you have any advice on how to use it with a full-body three-days-per-week routine. I just started using the 4X method for each bodypart. I do one exercise per muscle. Monday I do chest, shoulders, back, bi’s, tri’s, abs, legs. Wednesday I do the same body parts but in a different order and using different exercises. The same goes for Friday. I take the weekend off. I’m drug-free, so I think I’ve been overtraining till now. I’m hoping that 4X will help spark some new gains.
A: That sounds like a great plan for building more mass. First, skeptical readers need to realize that three-days-per-week programs can do incredible things. We discuss the Colorado Experiment in Size Surge 2.0 and 3D Muscle Building, a four-week research project in which Casey Viator gained 60 pounds of muscle… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve read a lot of your stuff over the years, especially when you had your daily training blog, so I have to ask: What’s the deal with squats? You’ve said before that they always injure you due to spine compression, and you’ll never do them again. But then I see them as the first quad exercise on leg day in some of your routines. You’re contradicting yourselves.
A: Not a contradiction; just another discovery. The way we used to do squats—building up to heavy weights over a number of sets with longer rests—produced more injuries than we care to remember. It was usually our lower backs that got jacked. As we found out the hard way over the years, having 350 pounds jamming down on your spine for even a few sets can do lots of cumulative damage. We’re living proof… [Read more…]
Q: I have two of your e-books, The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout and the X-centric Mass Workout. They’re both great, and I’m already seeing results applying the methods. My question is, you say that you need both power sets and density sets to get extreme muscle gains quickly, but which is more important? Should I do more of one than the other for fastest muscle gains?
A: If you would’ve asked us that several years ago, we would’ve said power, no question—because, like most bodybuilders, we had been brainwashed into believing that heavy weights and fairly low reps are the keys to maximum mass fast. But according to our recent experiments as well as many done almost 50 years ago, that’s not the case for most, so it’s a big-time muscle-building myth… [Read more…]