I’ve mentioned that cable chest presses and dumbbell decline presses are the two ultimate exercises for chest. [Read more…]
I’m a slow-twitch-dominant “scarecrow,” a.k.a, ectomorph. For some reason, though, I’ve never quite understood why I gain more mass with higher reps. Maybe a wizard can help with my brain thing… [Read more…]
In yesterday’s newsletter, I discussed blocking blood flow to the target muscle by doing a continuous-tension exercise first for high reps, then following with the ideal exercise…
For example, you could do a high-rep set of leg extensions before sissy squats, the ideal exercise. Or cable flyes before dumbbell decline presses for chest… [Read more…]
Q: Reading Old Man Young, Muscle and how an initial high-rep set tires the slow-twitch fibers makes sense. But wouldn’t using a continuous-tension exercise be best for that first set? The blood-blocking [or occlusion] on those exercises you talk about in OMYM should tire and shut down the slow-twitch sooner, right?
A: That’s an interesting idea and one I addressed a few newsletters ago: “Occlusion and the Mass-Exercise Shuffle.” It’s great that you’re thinking about making our workouts more efficient rather than just blindly following… [Read more…]
Q: I always have a problem making gains in the winter. It starts around Halloween, when the weather starts getting cooler and the bowls of candy start taunting me. Then it’s Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie, and it’s even colder outside. I lose the motivation to hit the gym, and my muscles usually shrink and get shrouded with a layer of fat. Is this just something I should accept, or do you have any solutions?
A: Definitely do not accept it—at least not completely—because if you regress in the winter and then start training hard in the spring, you waste a lot of workouts just getting back to where you were the previous year. (We speak from experience—it’s happened to us on more than one occasion). [Read more…]
Q: A friend of mine used to compete in bodybuilding contests, and he swears that practicing his posing improved his muscle size and shape. I think it was all in his mind. There’s no resistance when you flex, so it couldn’t build more muscle. I think he believes it did because he just happened to be getting more and more ripped from dieting and training, which made him look better every time he practiced posing. What do you think?
A: Yes, as you get more and more ripped, you’ll definitely look bigger, even as your bodyweight drops. A fat-free physique creates the illusion of mass, as you can see from the photos below of Jonathan from our X-treme Lean e-book. Nevertheless, you’re friend is also right… [Read more…]
Q: After being involved in weight training for many years, and after working with many people as their instructor at home and at gyms, I think the main reason, and by far the most important one, that lifters get big and strong is because of their own personal genetics. How they train doesn’t make much difference. High reps, low reps, whatever. If they put even a little amount of effort in, they get big. Of course, drugs help immensely, but the actual type of training system they use is of little consequence, as long as it’s reasonably sound. I built 22-inch arms without drugs, and I performed a standing press with 400 pounds. I honestly do not believe it was because I trained scientifically. I did train hard, but it was because of my genetics that I gained so well and got so strong.
A: You are correct, but most trainees who are genetically gifted probably aren’t reading this. That’s too bad because by experimenting with science-based training, most of them could be so much better; however, because they gain easily, they think they’re doing things right and they keep plugging away with mediocre methods and never reach their full potential. [Read more…]
Q: I’m using the Power-Density Mass Workout, the first program with only the Ultimate Exercise for each bodypart. I like the simplicity of it and quick workouts, but I’m having trouble feeling the first power sets when I pyramid the weight. I really don’t feel the muscle working till the ending density sets [the faster 4×10 series]. Any suggestions?
A: Too often, trainees jump right into their heavy work sets with only a haphazard warmup—usually talking to their partner during that lighter preliminary work. In other words, maybe you aren’t doing FOCUSED warmup sets… [Read more…]
Q: I’m having a really hard time putting on any muscle weight. I’m 6’1” and weigh 165. I just can’t seem to get much progress. I’m using your POF X-Rep program but have only gotten okay results in the first month, and I’m working it pretty hard. It’s frustrating when I see other guys who can get big fast while I’m a 26-year-old guy who can’t seem to make much progress. Do you have any suggestions to help?
A: Everyone’s genetics are different (plus, you may not know who’s getting pharmaceutical help). The bottom line is that you may not be perfectly suited for putting on muscle fast; however, with consistent hard training you should be able to transform your physique. Keep in mind that most bodybuilders only add about 10 to 15 pounds of muscle per year, which is about one pound a month… [Read more…]