We’ve both lived in a beach town—Steve still does—and nothing fuels workouts more than summertime near the ocean. You know you’re going to be hitting the sand (or lake or pool) more than a few times, so you better be hitting the gym hard. [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 reading about the fascia-expansion supersets, and it makes a lot of sense. A friend of mine is using it, and he’s added five pounds of new muscle fast—in a month! He looks more ripped too, with veins everywhere. I want to try it, but I train after work at my gym, and it’s pretty crowded. I don’t think I can superset. Should I just give up on the idea of fascia expansion for now?
A: In our X-Rep Update #1 e-book we provide a solution. The key to fascia expansion and building new muscle fast is a big-pump exercise followed by a full-stretch movement. That allows you to stretch the muscle encasement, the fascia, due to elongating the muscle after it’s full of blood… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve read that you can tense your muscles enough so that you can essentially pose to grow. But there’s no resistance involved at all, so I really don’t see how that’s possible. What do you guys think?
A: We used to be skeptical too, but we always notice that as we begin getting in shape and start flexing more as we check our progress (whether it’s in front of a camera or our bathroom mirrors), our muscularity increases quickly.
We thought it was just a coincidence, and that our training and diet were primarily responsible for our accelerated gains—and we were probably right for the most part. But a study we’ve discussed before suggests that flexing a muscle for extended periods does indeed help make your muscles larger and more detailed… [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: After reading one of your articles that discussed the study where light, longer sets built muscle, I was thinking that maybe that’s why X Reps build so much size. Because they’re partial reps where the muscle is stretched, you block blood flow and get more tension time by making the set last longer. Do you think that’s the case—that X Reps work because they make a set last longer?
A: No doubt that ex-tending the set with X-Reps is one reason those power partials are so effective at building more muscle. As you said, you not only pulse at the
Q: I am in need of some back width, or more specifically, lat development. I’m following your 3D HIT program listed in the X-traordinary Arms e-book, but I’m not getting a pump, and I have a hard time feeling my back working. Do you guys have any suggestions?
A: The 3D Positions-of-Flexion lat routine in that program is…
Chins (midrange), 1 x 9-12
Dumbbell pullovers (stretch), 1 x 9-12
Rope rows (contracted), 1 x 12-15
One reason you may not be getting a big pump is the last (contracted) exercise, rope rows…[Read more…]
Q: I just started using the 30-20-15 [TORQ] method on one exercise for each muscle. I do the other exercises as regular sets or 4X. The higher reps really feel incredible. What a great pump and deep fiber hit. My question is, Which exercise is best for 30-20-15—midrange, stretch or contracted?
A: As we’ve mentioned before, the angle of pull is different on each of midrange, stretch, and contracted exercises, so fiber activation can be unique as well.[Read more…]
Q: If I just do the basic [compound] exercises and continue to get stronger, won’t I get as big as possible as fast as possible?
A: That would seem to be true on the surface, but consider this: Strength equals force, so the stronger you get, the more you will develop size along that specific pathway—fiber size generated by force overload. But, as we’ve pointed out, there are two other key size-development pathways: stretch overload and tension/occlusion…[Read more…]
Q: I’m trying to get that crisp division between my pecs. I want to be able to see the inner part of my chest muscles from the lower part all the way up to the collarbone. I do lots of cable crossovers, but I’m only seeing a bit of detail in my lower chest. Any suggestions?
A: One problem may be fat in the area. A bit of adipose covering the pecs will blur or negate any detail. You need to be fairly lean to see the chest-muscle division (cleavage) from top to bottom.[Read more…]